Web Lingual

What Does All This Web Stuff Mean?

Maybe you've been using the Internet for awhile and still get a little confused. Maybe you are totally green but somebody said, “What! you're still not on the web yet?” Let's cover the basics of the lingual and what it means. Then you might either impress someone, or at least keep from appearing uninformed.

Which is Proper: Website or Web Site?

No one seems to know, so either is fine. You also don't have to worry about capitalizing, it's better not to. However, the word Internet should always be capitalized. Look at the bright side, at least it's not another acronym like SEO.

What is SEO?

The short answer is search engine optimization. This is the process of making your web site get found when relevant search terms are used by search engine users. Since every site owner wants that, the scams and snake oil being peddled as SEO are rampant. The best advice concerning SEO is extreme caution. Find out more about SEO.

Domain Name:

This is essentially your starting point. You know it as Your domain name is “whatever.” You need to find something that no one else has, then register it before someone else does. It is your unique identity. There are mostly two common domain designations; .com and .net. A third common designation of .org is mostly for non profit organizations. We DO NOT recommend .biz, .info, or other such domains in most cases. A few other words of advice are:

  1. If possible, try to avoid being too close to someone else (e.g. someone already has “whatever” so you choose “what-ever”). Yes, they will be different, but you may lose traffic if someone forgets the hyphen, plus, the other whatever will not be happy with you.
  2. Consider registering your domain name under both .com and .net if they are both available. You do not have to build web sites for both, but it's a good idea to register both to prevent someone else from capitalizing on your name later.
  3. If there are common misspellings of the domain name you want to use, it is a good idea to register those if they are available. In many cases, someone might be prone to use a plural version of a word where your domain might be singular. If possible, registering all variations is a good idea, and they can all be redirected to your real web site under your preferred domain name.
  4. DO NOT perform a search to see if the domain name(s) you want is/are available until you are ready to buy immediately! If you try to buy an available domain name later after a search, it could magically become unavailable or considerably more expensive.

Domain Registration:

There are numerous contractors to provide this service and all of them deal with a single source called InterNIC. Once your registration is approved, you own worldwide rights to your domain name. Lease is actually a better term, you initially start with 1-10 years, then renew it before it expires. You can anticipate a cost of about $12 per year. You can usually register your domain name through the hosting service you choose (see next section below), but it's a good idea to use separate sources for each service.

Web Site Hosting:

What is hosting? Simply put, when you have a web site developed, you will need a hosting service to make it available to all Internet users. This is not the same as an Internet Service Provider (ISP), but many ISP's do provide hosting. ISP's provide access to the Internet itself, hosting makes your web site accessible on the Internet. The quality, service, capabilities and even costs of hosting differ greatly. It is not our purpose here to endorse any particular service or provide a spec sheet for choosing one. Every situation is different, but here are some of the things you need to have addressed in making that decision:

  1. Servers (special computers) are the means by which visitors access a hosted web site, your web site. A hosting service needs to be powerful enough to handle your traffic without sluggishness and sending your visitors away due to frustration. Back-up servers should also be used.
  2. Do they allow direct access to make changes and updates? We feel this one is very important.
  3. Do they support all the features you will want to have on your web site?
  4. There has been a proliferation of cheap hosting in the market. We do not recommend making your hosting choice based on price alone. Something has to give to provide this, and very often, one of those things is security. Poor security is a risk you cannot afford.
  5. We recommend using a hosting company with a long history and good customer satisfaction that can be verified. Poor customer service is all too common in the hosting business.

Next.. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)