This is a topic I hold close to me as I don’t like to appear that I am ripping any on off!
Hosting a website just means holding the files (pages) and pictures for your website on a server (powerful computer) for the world to see.
There are two ways to do it (well there are loads, but these are the most likely two) and they have advantages and disadvantages;
- DIY – do it your self – I am not talking about getting a server and sorting it all out, I just mean going direct to a hosting company, buying a package and getting your website put on it. You can use a website like this https://www.tsohost.com/product/web-hosting and the lite package is enough for a website like this one. Which is £15 a year + domain costs (which are around £6 a year depending on domain extension; com, co,uk etc all have different prices). There are easy ways to do this. First you can say to your web design company “please put my website on the appropriate hosting package in my name and make sure we have a direct debit set up so it comes out of my account once a year”. They may charge you a little to do it but once its done you have cheap hosting. The disadvantage to this is you have no local support, you have to phone the hosting company direct with any issue. Normally they are really helpful and even if you went with an agency they would only be doing the same thing! What you will also find is the rubbish agencies will just give you the number of the hosting company if you hit problems but still charge you 5 times the price…
- The second option is you leave your web design company to sort it out. This will cost you more. We look to charge around £100 per year for hosting a site like this plus you domain costs. The reason for this is we are your support number, so we have to cover our time. Some local companies charge nearly double that and dont even offer the support so you have to watch where you go and what you get for your money. The advantage is you get local support, the disadvantage is it costs more.
Opening up a hosting account and getting your website onto it is not hard and should not scare you. But when problems hit it could take half a day of your time sorting things out. So you just need to look at it.
I hope this helps, don’t let any web design company rip you off.