Some of our clients have basic questions about what hosting, domains and other technological words mean and how they fit into their website. We will go over some of the most common terms so you know what we are talking about when you call in for support or want to do something on the web.
Think of a domain name as a street address for a house. It is a human-friendly name for a website instead of a complex number like 192.168.1.12. Website addresses are really just an an IP address. Now we have 300 million human-friendly domain names registered on the internet thanks to domain registrars, like GoDaddy, Namecheap, and others. These all point to IP addresses. A good domain name should be short and easy to say over the phone.
If a domain is the street address to a house, then hosting is the patch of land the house is built on. A hosting account is space on a server where all the files and images that make up your website live. When put together properly, these files can be served out to anyone who finds your domain name and they can view and interact with your website. A website can’t exist without hosting.
Secure Sockets Layer technology was developed by Netscape back in 1995. They created SSL to keep communication on the internet private from prying eyes. An SSL certificate is issued by an authority (we use Comodo) to authenticate and encrypt traffic between a visitor and a website. This stops hackers from seeing your private information like anything you enter in a form or credit card details. It is a necessary piece of owning a website. It’s the lock on all the doors of the house.
Search Engine Optimization is how your website looks to Google, Bing, Yahoo and DuckDuckGo. By making your website relevant, easy to read, and in compliance with the latest web standards, search engines will place your website higher in searches. Nobody knows exactly how search engines work or else they could start another Google, but trial and error has taught us what works and what doesn’t. So we can get you ranked higher in the searches people use to find businesses. By optimizing your websites pages for the search engine “spiders,” you get more traffic and potential customers. This is an optional service and is considered marketing.
The process of actually building a website. It is a refined art where client input is critical. A contractor can throw some paint on a house and call it a day, but a great contractor will weather-proof your home and then paint it. See the difference? That’s how web design works. There are many websites out there and some are great while others are just okay. When you add in security, maintenance, latest web technologies and a general proactive approach, web design can be great.
Now that you know all the basic terms of what it takes to have a great website, you can start on the path to ownership with confidence.