My favorite analogy for explaining the various parts of a live website is:
- Your Domain is like your home address.
- The Website is the house.
- Your Host is the land that the house is built on.
- Elementor, Divi, Beaver, Showit are all builders which are like the tools used to build a house.
- Code and your content are the materials used to build it.
Just like your home address, this part really doesn’t affect much but if it’s simple and straightforward then it will not only be easy to remember, but it will be easier to find you. Making sure your domain is relevant, easy to type, and easy to remember makes it easier for your clients to remember, your email will be easy to type, and if you have keywords included it should help your SEO a little too. I recommend registering/purchasing your domain(s) from Namecheap or Google Domains.
Side note: you know how you can also use GPS coordinates to get to your house? Your server will assign an IP address, just like coordinates, to your domain. And bonus, you can also redirect other domains you own to your website. 😉
Solid land to build your house on and a strong foundation is the equivalent of a good host. All hosts are absolutely not created equal. Cheap land might have hidden issues, be prone to pest infestations, and might need additional improvements to get it up to par. A good, solid host (like Siteground or Cloudways) will include a free SSL Certificate (gives you that secure padlock on your site), will take automatic, frequent backups, have strong security measures on their servers, have fast servers, and top-notch customer service to boot. Cheap hosts are usually slow because their servers are shared and overloaded, and also be prone to hackers and malware which you will need to add security measures to prevent but can’t guarantee that it’ll be enough because security starts at the server level.
A house is only as strong as the materials and tools used to build it. Knowing how to build a website means being able to take your content and create a visually pleasing but also fully functional website. Using a builder is the visual way to create a website without hand coding, Elementor, Divi, etc. are tools that write code as you place widgets, elements, and code. Sounds easy enough BUT it’s very easy to not understand how every little thing affects the functionality of your website. Meaning, even if it looks beautiful and works, it may not be built 100% right. Building without optimizing images, without testing responsiveness, keeping page sections properly organized, and keeping plugins to a minimum are all important things to consider when building a website.
Squarespace, Wix, and other WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) platforms are similar to WordPress builders but are also hosting your site. But as I mention in this article, you don’t own those sites and are only renting the template from them along with working around the platform limitations.
And that’s all she wrote! …FOR NOW!
I hope this helped you understand a few of the terms around all the moving parts of a website. These are just the tip of the iceberg but are the foundation for all websites no matter what direction you go in.