You intend to or have already started a business, know the benefits of having a website and now you want to research more or take the step of actually creating that professional website that will showcase your business, then one thing leads to another and you are now dealing with information overload. You will find terms such as domains, web hosting services, website builders, and then HTML, CSS, and other coding languages are woven into this double helix of jargon that’s constantly evolving.

We are at times asked by our potential clients, “What is the difference between HostFiti Website Builder and another X website hosting company?”. We believe that this stems from the fact that some of them do not know the difference between a website builder and web hosting.

If you are one of them, worry not as we will define the two terms, show you the differences and help you select which one is the perfect fit for your needs.

This post is arranged as follows:

1. What is Web Hosting?

We will use an analogy to describe web hosting. When you rent an apartment, you pay the rent on a monthly basis while you fill the apartment with your own furniture, electronics and other personal items so that it feels like home. The bigger the apartment, the more you will pay.

Web hosting follows the same principle, where instead of paying for an apartment, you pay for a server, where the data ,content and information of your website will live. The bigger the website, the more you will pay for it.

Back to the analogy, web hosting is the apartment and your website (or files) is the furniture, electronics and personal items. In this case, you actually have to create the website from scratch or hire a web developer. Learn the cost of a website in Kenya here.

2. What is a Website Builder?

Using the previous apartment analogy, in this case, the furniture and electronics are also included in the rent of the apartment. In other words, you just move in to your apartment with your personal items.

A website builder follows the same principle. A website builder is a platform that allows beginners and experts alike to build a website, without the know-how. They offer a large variety of website templates to choose from, which can then be customized and tailored to your needs. These tools are built to be user-friendly and often come with tutorials and technical support seeing as they’re designed to complement the DIY (do it yourself) method.  

Since website builders exist on servers that users can access anywhere they have internet, they are in a certain sense also hosting your website. The sites are hosted on these servers regardless of whether or not a website is finished or launched. Website builders usually factor in the cost of hosting your website in their pricing.

Back to the analogy, a website builder is the apartment (plus furniture & electronics) and your website (or files) are the personal items. In this case, you already have the tools to create your site from pre-configured templates and the hosting of your site is already taken care of.

3. Similarities Between a Website Builder and Web Hosting

  • They both host your website, where in a web host, you will upload your website, while if using a website builder, your website is hosted from the start (irrespective of whether it is complete or not).

4. Differences Between a Website Builder and Web Hosting

  • Web hosting is rented space or digital real estate, it’s not a service that allows you to build a website. If you purchased hosting and want to build your website with it, you’re putting the cart before the horse. Think of it this way: you need a website in order to host it.
  • A website builder allows the user to actually create the website they’re going to host on a server. Website builders provide pre-coded and templatized “sections of websites” that you get to put together and customize to create your own website. HostFiti Website Builder offers drag and drop functionality, making it a breeze to use. Try out a demo of our website builder here.
  • A website builder cannot host more than one website or act as a server for anything other than the website you’re building with it. It’s not designed as a hosting platform, it’s both a storage locker and construction ground for your website. 

5. Which one should I choose?

If you want to create a professional simple website for your business (a site that shows what you offer – more like a brochure), choosing a website builder is the best route that you would take.

However if you want to create a highly dynamic website (e.g. a classifieds website like OLX / JIJI or ecommerce platform like Jumia), getting a suitable web host is the best approach, then get a web developer to create that website for you.

6. Useful Links

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Make a Professional Website using HostFiti Website Builder

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Starting from $14.99/mo inclusive of bulk SMS, hosting & unlimited email accounts.

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