Web Lingo Made Easy: 5 Key Website Terms to Know

Posted November 30, 2023 by swimcreative

Website terminology can seem daunting. Domain? CMS? Hosting provider? If you don’t know what they mean, these terms may as well be a different language.

Don’t stress, we’ve got you covered. Below are 5 common web terms with simple and straightforward explanations. So let’s dive in and boost your confidence in navigating your website.

Whitefish Area Lodging Association website homepage
The domain name for Whitefish Area Lodging Association is whitefish.org

1. Domain

This is simply the name of your website and its identity. It’s what someone will type into a browser to find your site. Ours, for example, is swimcreative.com, a place where we can share our creativity and passion with you!

Domain Name Registrar

These are companies that sell domain names (like Squarespace (formally Google Domains) or Namecheap). On the registrar site of your choosing, type in the domain name you want for your site. If it is available you pay a yearly fee, and that’s it! The web address is yours to keep and use.

*Note: Keep your login information for the registrar handy. You will need to give it to your hosting provider so they can link your site to its name!

Kettle Kravings Kettle Korn home page of website showcasing the flavors of their kettle corn.
Companies like Kettle Kravings Kettle Korn are able to showcase their products globally with the help of internet and servers.

2. Website Server

Servers are essentially very large, powerful and reliable computers that are used to provide services or resources to other computers.

Aside from hosting websites (see term 3 below), they also provide services like storing files, managing email, running applications, and allowing devices to communicate with one another.

Arrowhead EMS website hosted and managed by Swim Creative
Swim provides hosting as well as monthly website management services. Shown: Arrowhead EMS Services

3. Website Host/Hosting Provider

Website hosts, like Flywheel and Bluehost, pay for space on website servers and rent space to individuals and businesses that have a website.

If you want your website to be accessible to everyone, it needs to be stored on a server that connects to the internet, which is what hosting providers are for.

So, I need a hosting provider to get my website online?

Yes, and finding one is simple. Many companies that sell domains also offer hosting services. It’s important to research and choose a reliable and reputable hosting provider.

If you are busy or don’t want the responsibility of worrying about your site, Swim will take care of it all, providing top-notch hosting with our preferred hosting provider and/or our monthly website management services.

The Catholic Foundation website on mobile devices, custom built by Swim Creative.
The Catholic Foundation is one of many custom themed websites built by Swim.

4. WordPress (CMS)

WordPress is a user-friendly tool (the technical term being a Content Management System, or CMS) that helps people create and manage their websites without the need for extensive knowledge in programming languages. Users are allowed to create and edit their site with control of text, images, videos and more.

It is estimated that 43% of websites worldwide use WordPress for their websites, making it the most popular CMS available. Other CMS examples include Joomla, Shopify, Squarespace and Wix.

Did you know…

Where some website developers may use templates, Swim custom makes 100% of their sites and themes with WordPress. Sites made by Swim are custom-coded to each client, so your site will be completely tailored to your needs, both in design and functionality alike.

E-commerce site MinnBox showcasing product that can be added to a cart and purchased.
MinnBox offers a subscription or one-time purchase of their custom curated boxes of Minnesota goods to customers.

5. E-commerce

An e-commerce site means that it allows buying and/or selling online. One of the earliest and most well-known e-commerce sites is Amazon.

Essentially being an online “store”, your e-commerce site will allow customers to purchase any item you choose to sell. E-commerce not only allows you to sell your products but helps reach a larger audience over the internet with almost no overhead cost.

Interested in getting your store online, or need help managing it?

Swim builds custom online stores that are tailored to your brand. Contact us to learn more about how you can build or integrate an e-commerce store into your site.

And there you have it! Understanding these 5 key web terms is a great start toward navigating the world of web with confidence. Familiarizing yourself with fundamental terms will help you communicate effectively with developers and make the best decisions for your online presence.

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