It’s easy for people to get confused when IT people start throwing around terms like domain name, registrant, name servers, hosting, web development (isn’t that design?) and so on. So here’s a quick basic explanation of the terms associated with your website:
Domain name: This is the actual web address that appears after www. in your website name. You can buy more than one ‘ending’ such as .com; .co.uk; .net; .biz; .co; .ws; .org; .tv; and many more. You will usually have to pay an annual fee to retain the right to use it.
Registrant: Every web address is registered to the person who bought it – or sometimes to the company that bought it on their behalf (usually a web design or development company). Be careful as if you part ways with your web company you may lose your web address – and your website.
Host: For people to see your website it needs to be ‘parked’ on a server. This will have, usually, two name server addresses, think of these as phone directories, they change the website address into numbers which the internet can understand. You can move your website hosting and then there are two options – simply point the old name servers at the new hosting (this can cause problems later on), or have the name server addresses permanently changed to go with your hosting.
Web design: This is the pretty bit, where a designer creates the look and feel of your web page.
Web development: This is the technical bit that makes your website function. It can be pretty simple or quite complex, especially if you have a database, ecommerce facility or other activities that the user can do on your site. Some web developers also do design and some designers also do straightforward web development – make sure the people you choose can do everything you need them to!
Any more confusion – do give us a call, we’re always ready to shed light on the darkness!