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Language of websites

Most people feel ok writing documents, sending emails and browsing the web but ask them to create a website or add something to an existing one and they start to sweat and change the subject.

Does that sound like you?

Knowing what the terms mean can help.  Lets take a look at a few, some you may know well, others you know but were not sure what they meant:

  • Blog
  • Vlog
  • Internet
  • Website
  • Domain name
  • Subdomain
  • SSL
  • WordPress
  • Hosting
  • URL
  • SEO
  • Blog
Global Network Communication
TheDigitalArtist / Pixabay

A Blog is in Internet Log or a lot of smaller entries to make up a series of articles or posts that people can search and possibly find on the internet. 

Vlog

A Vlog is a video log, instead of typing articles or posts people can record and post videos, the content is less easy to search, for example the words in a blog can be indexed and search engines can search through them but the audio or pictures in video are harder to do so the SEO is more important for these.

Internet

The internet is a group of computers and servers (servers are large hard drives that have special software to manage files and systems) that are linked together actively over the same connection.  Like a group call or the old party lines were like.  Everyone on the same line at the same time.  To find anything each location can be reached using addresses called URL’s. 

Website

Websites can be quite complicated but a simple way to think of them is an area of the internet made up of various items like pages, media, downloads for a specific topic or business.  They all are addressed with the same name or starting address called a domain name. For example the website BroomstickWeb.com is in all the URL’s or addresses for the Broomstick Web website.

Website Page Template Internet Web
200degrees / Pixabay

Domain Name

The Domain name is a name that is purchased either forever or for a limited time, usually a fixed term like 1-5 years.  When the internet was still new people could purchase domain names for a one off fee and never had to renew, now most are renewable on a fixed term.

They are made up of 2 parts:

Name – the name is the main part of the URL, it should represent what the site is about, they cannot have spaces but can have an underscore or dashes.

Extension – the extension is the last part of the domain, and can identify the location of the website or business for example if it is a UK company it could be a .co.uk. Most extensions started out meaning something, .com was commerce .org was organisations.  As more people wanted to create websites there were not enough names, popular names were taken in one extension but people could still buy them with another extension.  Some people buy up all the domain names with extensions they think their customers will search for and point them to the same location or URL.  Other people will buy up domain names with popular extensions and auction them off to make money, or they are waiting to start a business.

www.BroomstickWeb.com  is the main address or URL for the domain of BroomstickWeb.com.  The www represents that it is the main website, but it is not necessary to type that into a web browser anymore.  Some companies create offshoot websites using the same domain but changing the www to something else, we will look at that next.

Subdomain

If a website is www or has nothing in this position then we don’t call it a subdomain it is the main site, but. If the first part of the URL is not www or blank but has another word then it is a subdomain for example shop.BroomstickWeb.com was a custom shop using different software where people can buy products to create their own website. It can be used to have a separate website still under the same domain for a specific purpose or for a specific audience for example a help site could be help.BroomstickWeb.com for customers only.

SSL

An SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer (I will test you later on that 😉), it basically adds another level of encryption to your website making it safer for people to leave their personal details or make purchases.

The url will change from HTTP:// to HTTPS://. Most browsers will highlight it in some way so you know it is more secure than with nothing.

Saying all that, it does not mean the site cannot ever be hacked but just that the owners of the site are making as much of an effort as they can to secure the site.

WordPress

WordPress is software that can be installed to create a website.  It was created for people who are not IT or technical so they could write blogs or create websites.

There are two types of WordPress, hosted and .org.  

WordPress.org is a site where people can create a free account and have their own area usually using a subdomain like mysite.wordpress.org, a domain can be purchased and used on these now as well, but you are limited to the functionality that WordPress.org will allow because it is their system.

Hosted wordpress is where you pay to host WordPress yourself and you must have your own domain name.  This gives you more functionality because you are in control of what you can install to expand the basics that WordPress can do.

Hosting

Since the internet is made up of computers and servers connected together if you want to create a website you need to host it or save the files somewhere.  This is the hosting, a server somewhere where you can put your files, install software or whatever, and be connected to the internet.

Hosting is like a home for your website, the domain the post address.

WordPress.org have their own hosting and for free will allow you to create sites which is why the free accounts have less options, you are not paying to use someones server.

Hosted accounts can be from free to very expensive depending on feature and amount of support you get.

The hosting is just the server space and needs a domain name to allow people to find your site, some hosting packages come with a free domain or you can point a domain purchased on the same site or another company to a host, think of it like forwarding your mail when you move houses but permanently so the people don’t know you have moved.

URL

Think of a URL like a postal address, like a letter if you type in the URL correctly then it will go to the correct place.  Like a letter if you only put in part of the address or URL then you could get to the area but might not go to the specific location.

SEO

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation.  This is making your website easier for the search engines like google to know what is on each page of your website and match it up with the search terms that your potential visitors will use.

What internet or website terms are you not sure about?