If you are new to the whole world of website design, it's quite possible you've started to encounter a lot of termanology and technical jargon which is at best is confusing and at worst it a complete foreign language. Below is our glossary of terms which hoefully will offer explanation enough to make things a little clearer:
Hosting - Hosting is the term used to describe the process by which your website is kept online. Numerous internet-based companies own what are essentially big electronic boxes (more commonly known as servers) linked up to the internet. Any thing that gets put in these boxes or servers (such as your website) will appear on the internet. These companies that own servers are known as host companies because they host your website on their servers or are "hosting" your website on their servers, hence the term hosting. Without hosting, your website will simply not appear on the internet. There are numerous hosting companies in existance ranging from small enterprises run out of a garage to multi million pound organisations hosting hundreds of thousands if not millions of websites on their servers. Hosting is usually charged on an annual basis and can range from free to thousands of pounds a year. The more you pay for hosting, the bigger is the website that can be hosted. Also, cheap hosting services tend to operate slower servers which will affect the speed at which your web pages load up on screen. Typically for a small business website price between £200 to £1000, a hosting package of £40 to £50 per year would suffice. Our hosting is provided by a third party company. So reliabe and efficent is their sevice it costs a little more - £58.95, but it's worth paying a few extra pounds to know your website willl be fast loading and way up there in the search results in Google.
Domain - A domain is simply a web adress, or the name of a website (less the 3 w's). So, for example the domain of this website is quality-website-design.co.uk. Your domain would need to be typed into a web browswer address bar and that in turn would trigger your website to appear. 1 website can actually have several domains, each one redirecting the customer to the same hosting package. For example 3 domains ... websiteA.co.uk, websitebBco.uk and websiteC.co.uk could all be redirected to take their vsitors to websiteD.co.uk. There are numerous types of domain available - dot com's, dot co.uk's, dot net's, dot org's and so on, There are no hard and fast rules as to which domain your website should have but typically dot com's are associated with american websites, and dot org's are associated with hospitals and charites. We would recommend purchase of a dot co.uk. Also prices vary according to domain, dot co.uk's are the cheapest type of domain. A final point to mention is that domains cant be bought outright rather they have to be "registered". Minimum registration period for most domains is 2 years.
CMS - CMS stands for content management system. A content management system is essentially a bolt-on feature to your website which allows you to make changes to and edit the content of your own website yourself without needing any knowledge of website design or of html coding, php, java script and other such complicated stuff! Whilst on the face of it this seems a good idea, we would actually advise against CMS unless it is absolutely essential. Whilst no knowledge of website design is needed, some content management systems are so complex to learn and operate that the website design companies which offer them provide instruction manuals which are 100 pages long, and telephone tutorials which can last up to 2 hours. For a typical small business website, CMS is definately not needed, but for larger websites which need constant updating, eg an estate agents website, an ecommerce website selling thoughsands of products, then CMS is necessary. We should point out CMS adds signifcant cost to your website.
Webmail - Webmail is a means by which you can read and send emails. Typically all professional and business email addresses are set-up (or "configured") on an email client such as Microsoft Outlook Express. There are many advantages of this, such as for example, you can reead your emails much quicker with just the press of a button. Outlook allows you to do lots of fancy things such as add a signature to the bottom of each email, create an address book and so. The main downside is that you can only ever access your emails from the computer on which you have configured Outlook. If this computer is a desktop and into a laptop, you wont be able to take it with you when you leave your office and so from alternate locations you would not be able to check your emails. Webmail solves this problem. It is a way of being able to check your emails remotely from any other computer in the world. As the name implies, you check your mail on the web, or more specifically a website. Classic examples of web mail would be MSN, Hotmail and Yahoo. These are all web based mail systems.
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