Thinking of updating your website, but getting lost with all the new terminology? Domain Name, Hosting Provider, CMS, WordPress, Plugins, etc. What does it all mean?
Q7 Creative breaks it down using an item we’re all familiar with – the smartphone. We all have one (well, if you’re reading this you probably have one) and you know how it works. So let’s get started!
Step 1: Domain Name
First, you start with a phone number. This is a unique number your clients dial when they want to reach you. It calls YOUR phone, and only YOUR phone (unless of course you have call forwarding activated, but let’s keep this simple).
Your website’s “phone number” is your DOMAIN NAME. This is the address clients type in their web browser to reach your website. Typically something like www.mycompanyname.com. When they search your domain name YOUR website appears and only YOUR website.
Step 2: Server
Next, once your phone number is dialed, you need a physical phone in order to answer the call. You may have an iPhone, Samsung, LG, etc. The choice is yours. You also select different features such as storage space, processor, camera size, etc.
Similarly, your website needs a SERVER. Think of this like a giant hard drive where your website data files are stored. Once a client types in your domain name, the web browser connects to the server, which returns your website. When choosing a server you also select different features such as storage space, number of email accounts, bandwidth, etc.
Step 3: Hosting Provider
Having a physical phone isn’t enough; it needs to be activated by a Phone Carrier. You can choose from numerous providers such as Bell, Rogers, Fido, etc. You need to consider the type of plans offered, pricing, coverage area, quality of customer support, etc.
Choosing your HOSTING PROVIDER is no different. There are numerous providers offering their servers all over the world. You need to consider the type of plans offered, shared vs dedicated, quality of customer support, location, etc.
Step 5: Content Management System (CMS) or WordPress
Your phone’s operating system (OS) allows you to do so much more than just make & receive simple phone calls. It is software that runs your phone and manages its resources and memory. Because of the OS, your phone now has the ability to access more advanced features (apps) such as accessing the Internet, playing games, checking your email, etc.
For your website, Q7 Creative uses a Content Management System (CMS) called WordPress. Like an operating system, it runs your website and manages its resources and content. It also provides access to advanced features (plugins) such as photo galleries, intricate contact forms, social media integration, etc.
Using your OS, your phone can download apps. There are thousands of apps available and they are constantly being developed. Each one has its own purpose; you can check your email, listen to music, play games, track your steps, etc.
WordPress uses PLUGINS to add functionality to your website. Like apps, there are thousands of Plugins available and they are constantly being developed. Each one has its own purpose; you can add a contact form, integrate with your social media platforms, book appointments, etc. The possibilities are endless (well, almost).
There, that wasn’t so bad, was it? Hopefully now you have a better understanding of what a website is all about.
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