This question often comes up when clients are first exploring the option of building a website. They are trying to understand all of the costs involved in building and maintaining their new website.
I find it helpful to describe all of the parts of a website as if it were your house. First you need to know where you will live. That is your address or your domain name: www.myaddress.com. A domain name costs approximately $10.00 per year depending on which company you choose to register it.
The land that you will build your house on is your hosting account. Without a hosting account, you won’t have anywhere to put your new website’s files. The cost of your hosting account will vary depending on how much space you need. Smaller, simpler sites require less space and will therefore be less expensive. Some hosting accounts cost less than $5.00 a month for most small websites. I offer basic hosting accounts, which work for the majority of my clients, for $47.88 per year or $3.99 a month.
Finally you can build your house. Now that you have your domain name and hosting account (land and street address), your web designer can start putting together the building blocks (files) that will bring your website to life!