Glossary Of Terms
We understand that the internet and running a website is new to many of our clients, we have constructed a glossary, identifying and explaining some of the most common terms you are likely to come across when having your website or ecommerce project developed.
“Pages” is the term we use for the number of unique “areas” within a website. It is possible that a “page” can be broken up into sub-pages and still be considered 1 page and is something we discuss with all our clients during the website quotation process.
Hosting refers to the service that “serves” your website to the internet. The files that make up a website are held on a server which runs all the appropriate applications and services that enable the website to display when a user enters a domain name. Hosting has a strong bearing on the speed at which your website displays as well as the uptime of the website itself. In most cases it is this same hosting service that maintains and runs the emails for a website (for example firstname.lastname@example.org)
A domain name is the address that a user types in to view your website. For example, to visit our website you may have entered www.thp-consulting.com in your browser, when you do this the browser will find the website that is linked to this domain name. It is possible to have multiple domain names pointing to one website (for example www.thp-consulting.co.uk and www.thp-consulting.com all point to the same website). You do not buy a domain outright, they are leased for 1 to 10 years depending on the type of domain and the selections made when registered. Domains are available with a variety of extensions such as .org, .net, .biz and .mobi, with .com and .co.uk being the most popular in the UK and the US.
Domain Registrar refers to a company authorised to sell leases for domain names. An example is www.123-reg.co.uk
FTP is an acronym for File Transfer Protocol. It describes the process in which developers and website owners can connect directly to the server hosting their website files and upload / download directly from their allocated web space.
Content Management System (CMS)
A Content Management System is a user friendly system that allows website owners and administrators to edit text and images, upload files, insert links, add new pages and generally manage the content on their website. They are typically accessed via secure logins and offer a way for non-technically minded users to keep their website’s up to date without having to learn any new skills or pay their web developers to carry out the up dates for them.
Ecommerce refers to the process of selling / trading online. This could be for example a musician selling three or four albums, a large online shop selling children’s toys or an insurance company offering the chance to register and pay premiums online. Ecommerce website’s are often referred to as “Online Stores”.
An SSL certificate (Secure Socket Layer Certificate) is a virtual certificate that is assigned to a domain or hosting account and allows information that has been entered into the website by a user (for example credit card information) to be securely encrypted before it is sent to the receiving end to be processed. These are commonly installed on ecommerce website’s that allow their customers to enter their card details on the website itself rather than on the payment gateway providers website. Using this method allows for a seamless experience when customers are purchasing items from a website as they never leave the merchants site.
Webmail is the name given to the service that allows users to check their emails by logging into a control panel online rather than by setting the emails up on their computer in Outlook (or similar). The main benefit of this system is that it allows you to access your emails from wherever you have access to an internet connection, although it does offer less customisation and management options than when accessing emails from an email client such as Outlook. For this reason it is generally used as a secondary service to Outlook etc.
POP3 / SMTP
POP3 and SMTP are the names given to the services that allows email to be sent from and delivered directly to an email client such as Microsoft Outlook or Apple Mail. It is also commonly used to send and receive emails from handheld devices such as mobile phones and PDA’s. It is usually used as the main method of sending and receiving emails alongside webmail access.
CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) is a language which helps separate content from presentation, a concept much preferred by search engines and therefore critical for Search Engine Optimisation. The use of a style sheet when building website’s provides the developers with an easy way to make global changes to website’s, such as font types and element positioning, without having to edit every single page on the site. From an optimisation perspective it helps to separate the code that controls how the information is presented when a user visits a site, from the actual readable content on the website. As a search engine mainly concerned with the content of a website it makes their job a lot easier and allows a higher level of indexing.