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Domain names, website hosting, website design fees & SSL - EXPLAINED

At Branding Box, one of the most frequent questions we receive from new clients regarding website design concerns the costs involved and the specifics of these charges. To clarify these queries, we've created this helpful explainer.

Shop front showing a name to explain how a domain name is just the name above your website.
Think of a domain name as being the name above your shop door.

Domain Name

The domain name of your website is akin to the address your internet browser, such as Chrome or Safari, uses to load your site. If your website were a physical shop on the high street, the domain name would be the sign above the door, helping people identify who you are.

You can purchase domain names from various providers, typically on an annual basis. As a rough guide, you might expect to pay around £10 annually for a .com,, or .net domain, provided the name isn’t highly sought after.

Before setting up a website, it's wise to check availability and prices, for instance on GoDaddy. It’s crucial to ensure the name you want isn’t already taken, especially after you’ve established your business name and brand.

Website hosting is just the same as paying rent to a landlord for your shop.
Website hosting is just the same as paying rent to a landlord for your shop on a high street.

Website Hosting

Website hosting is like renting a space for your website on a server (a large file storage system), making it accessible via the internet. In our high street shop analogy, this is similar to paying rent for your shop's physical location. Hosting costs can vary, and opting for the cheapest isn't always advisable. As with physical shops, location and quality matter; cheaper hosting may mean slower, less reliable servers, impacting your website’s performance.

Investing in reliable hosting ensures your website is consistently accessible to your customers, just as a constantly open physical shop ensures steady sales.

Website Design Fee

So I've bought a domain name, paid for a hosting package now what?

A website designer is a decorator for your website. They make sure it looks good and works well.
Once you have your domain name and hosting set up you'll need to get the decorators in.

After acquiring a domain name and hosting package, the next step is website design. This is akin to fitting out your high street shop to create an inviting shopping environment.

A website designer enhances your site's user experience (UX), ensuring customers can easily navigate and interact with your site. Skimping on professional design might lead to a website that's difficult to use, affecting performance and customer satisfaction.

Investing in a skilled website designer is crucial; it pays dividends by ensuring a user-friendly, efficient website that benefits your business.

A SSL certificate is in place to make sure that your website is as safe as possible for your customers to use.
Don't forget to lock your website so it is safe for your customers to use.

SSL Certificate

The final component is the SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate, providing a secure, encrypted link between your website's server and the user’s browser. It’s similar to a shop's lock, protecting customer interactions from external threats.

A valid SSL certificate is essential for your website's credibility. You can check for an SSL certificate by looking for a padlock icon next to the website name in the browser’s address bar. The absence of this indicates a lack of SSL, which needs immediate attention.

The SSL certificate is vital if your website is to be seen as credible to your audience so make sure you have it in place.

We hope this explanation sheds light on key website terminology and considerations for setting up a website. When working with a website designer, ensure they address all these aspects. At Branding Box, we certainly discuss these with our clients, so if you would like to talk further about websites, or have any questions simply book a 1-2-1 with us.


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