How Do Websites, Domains and Hosting Work?

As a designer, I am often asked about websites, domains and hosting. The question that most often comes up is ‘how does it all work’?

Web design can seem very technical to clients who do not have much experience in computing, so I am here as a helping hand to break it all down in a jargon free explanation that I promise will not be too difficult to get your head around.

I decided to create some helpful graphics to demonstrate how the whole process works – from purchasing the name of the website, to connecting it up to its files, to popping it online.

There are three parts to any website job – The Domain Name, The Hosting, and The Website Design.

Here are some easy to understand graphic illustrations that show how this all works. Please feel free to ask me any questions via the form or browse some of the other services we can offer. Looking forward to hearing from you!

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How do

Domains are the first part of any website project, and you will need one in order to start the job. A domain refers to what the website is called, in essence the ‘name’ of the site. Your website domain will have www at the start, and either or .com at the end.

For example, you domain could look like

We buy your domain as part of your web package, so the name and all of your website files are in the same place. If your domain has been bought elsewhere, this might lead to complications. If a domain is parked somewhere else, we will need to transfer it onto our server in order to work on it safely.

Your website domain name will need to be assigned to a hosting package before it can have a website built onto it. (Please see below for ‘what is hosting’) This means files can be attached to it, emails can be set up and have a place to be stored, and your website can be accessed online once the project is completed!

Your domain name is renewed every year. This means it is ‘bought again’ for the year in advance, as sometimes people no longer need their website (and therefore do not renew). If your domain isn’t renewed and ‘runs out’, then someone else can buy it after a few months of non payment. We send a reminder every January to all businesses to let them know their domain renewal is due, and also their hosting.

How does

Hosting is a space for rent – a storage space for all of your website files and emails. Once the domain name has been bought, it then needs to be attached to a ‘hosting package’. So imagine the name of a website as something that is empty – purely the door number to a flat. Imagine the hosting as the flat itself – the files inside are the furniture, homewares, belongings. In order for this stuff to remain in the flat, you need to pay rent.

Hosting is a place for all of your files to live in.

In our hosting package, we store your website files as well as your emails. We have backups for your website but do not store backups for your emails, as these are entirely self managed by our clients for privacy and security reasons.

If your website is compromised for any reason, we are able to restore the backup quickly and easily as the server is something we can immediately access – getting in there straight away to fix any issues.

This is because we have the ‘keys’ to the flat – i.e. the access to the hosting. If the domain is hosted elsewhere, we will not have access to these keys, so having everything that we need here makes life a lot easier.

Hosting, like domains, are charged every year at £59+VAT. This is the rent you pay for an entire year, to keep your website files and emails online and accessible. This yearly rental price is called the Hosting Fee.

How do

Now we have our domain name, and have assigned it to a hosting package, we have the means to create a website. The name of the website is ready, the space for storage is ready, so now we have to make those lovely website files!

This is where I come in as a designer – and create an amazing modern website for you, using a platform called WordPress. We specialise in making websites for start up companies, and offer attractive package deals for shop front signs, vehicle signage, leaflets, business cards and a website for all business who are starting fresh and need to be seen.

As somebody with a background in graphic design, my websites also need to look cool, sophisticated, elegant and up to date, as well as being functional.

Using the domain name and the hosting package, I start to create the website which places files into the storage area. When I have finished building everything, all of the files that need to be available online will all be stored in your hosting space.

This means that when someone types in your website, the following things will happen:

1.) The name is typed in
2.) The computer connects the name to the hosting files
3.) The website is brought up in millseconds via these online files that make the design

That’s it! if you ever need your website updated, we can update for you for £35+VAT per hour, or can provide a tutorial to update all text and images yourself for £120+VAT.

Let me know if

Feel free to email me on for any website related queries pertaining to domains, hosting or websites with SimplySigns Ltd. We offer the first years hosting for free as long as you take up 3 years with us. Our hosting prices have never gone up, and we are currently cheaper than Go Daddy and 123 Reg for business hosting, and only charge once a year for convenience rather than setting up a monthly direct debit as most of them do. Thanks for reading!