The online world can seem daunting and confusing to the uninitiated. Even business owners who know they need to be online don’t necessarily know how to go about it – or even where to start. We’ve put together just a few basic web terms to help you understand the essentials when looking to open an online shop.
Very much like the license you need to operate your actual business. Registration is the first step in owning your own www domain name.
Your Domain Registration registers the existence of your ‘web entity’ with the proper authorities who own and maintain the structure of the world wide web. It also determines what your name is to the world – just like your LLC or Corporation name that you file with the Secretary of State.
Every so often accounts with the companies through whom you have registered ( just like the state government for your real business license ) must be renewed and paid.
This is the shell of your website itself – think of it like your actual brick and mortar store online, or the place where your web inventory is stored. Your hosting company controls how big your website is, what core features it has ( like email & databases ), and also acts as the place in which the files that actually create how your website looks to the outside world are located.
Periodically you must renew and pay the companies that own the hosting account for your website – like paying rent on the building your business is located in, or where you live.
Some registration companies also offer hosting and likewise some hosting companies also offer registration. Generally the only reason to not have both with the same company is if one or the other provides a cheaper price or more features.
The design of your website is what everyone will see when they visit you website. Think of your designer as the architect that creates what your internet business will look like.
Some hosting companies offer pre-canned or template websites which you can purchase or use to create your own website. The best sites are designed by professional designers, who not only know what is appealing to the eye, but also what constitutes proper working code.
Some designers will purchase your hosting and registration for you and then charge you a (often inflated) monthly fee. Unless you have a hosting/registration agreement with your designer generally they will only be responsible for the creating and maintaining of your website content, graphics, and code itself – nothing more, if even that in some cases.
I am ready for the customers to start rolling in…right?
Well. Not exactly. See, at one point, back when the internet was new, there was very little competition and just by having a website online you were already well positioned for optimal visibility. That has long, long, LONG since changed.
If you build it, and don’t market it, no one will come.
You can have the most amazingly designed, mobile responsive, jquery, lead capturing bad ass of a website and it won’t count for diddle if no one knows about it. You might as well go stand in your closet and shout about your business – more people might actually hear about it there than on the web without a working digital strategy.
We hope these terms have helped you gain a deeper insight into what each of these elements means and how they pertain to being online. They really are just the basics, but everyone has to start somewhere. If you’re still not convinced you might want to read up on why you need a website as well as look into learning a bit more about how social media impacts seo.
We’ve got answers!