What is a: Website Setup Lingo (Part 1)

9 February, 2019

14 mins read

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Talking to a website developer or support person can feel like they’re speaking in another language. They say you need something, while you’re secretly scribbling down, “What is a domain name,” or “How do I turn off caching,” to Google later.

Well, Google no more! Find the most common lingo used in the website setup and tech world right here. And, if you don’t find the answer you need, check out our website page or drop us a live chat enquiry or Facebook message. We’d be happy to help.

Here’s a list of everything we’ll be covering. What is:

  • A responsive website? And is it the same as an adaptive website?
  • A web domain?
  • A URL?
  • An IP address?
  • Web hosting?
  • Email hosting?
  • RSS?
  • 404 and 301 pages?
  • Caching?
  • Website cookies?
  • Website backend and frontend?
  • CSS? Is this the same as HTML?

What is a responsive website? Are adaptive websites the same thing?

Every website should either be responsive or adaptive. Both types of websites adapt themselves to whatever device the person who is viewing your site is using. It’s easy to spot when a site isn’t responsive or adaptive as the text, images and videos will run off the side of a mobile or tablet screen, there will be annoying pop-ups and buttons won’t work.

So, what’s the difference between responsive and adaptive websites? A responsive website is one web page created to adapt to any device. An adaptive website has specific pages built for every device.

Allhours Plumbing responsive website built by Localsearch

Both are very important for improving search engine optimisation, however, adaptive websites can be faster than responsive designs. This is due to the website not having to work as hard to retrieve the right format on an adaptive website for the device.

You’re probably asking, “So, do I want a responsive website or an adaptive website?” It really depends. While responsive websites are more difficult to build and have slightly slower loading speeds, they work with any screen size. Adaptive websites having faster load speeds, but require regular maintenance and may not work if a new screen size is released without the website having been updated to suit.

What is a URL?

A Uniform Resource Locator, AKA URL, is the location of your website on the internet. More specifically, it is the file containing your website, including all the images, text and more.

You probably use URLs on a daily basis without even knowing it. www.google.com.au, business.localsearch.com.au and https://localsearch.com.au are all forms of URLs. It is broken up into a protocol, domain and a path.

What is a web protocol?

The web protocol is how your web browser (the program you use to view websites) speaks to the website server (where the website is stored). A https simply means the network is secure to protect personal information, such as payment details.

Web protocol of business.localsearch.com.au

What is a domain name?

Your domain name is your website’s identity. When you purchase a domain name, you are owning the web name for your business. It is how people know how to find your website.

business.localsearch.com.au domain

What is a path in a URL?

Lastly, is the path. This identifies the resource the person wants to view, such as a specific page.

path for business.localsearch.com.au blog

What is an IP address?

Consider an IP address your device’s ID card. Websites also have their own IP address. It’s one of the ways search engines can identify users, and how online review platforms eliminate duplicate reviews. You won’t ever really need to know your IP address unless you have to look into network troubleshooting or other technical matters.

What is website hosting?

Your web hosting is how your website gets viewed on the internet. It’s a little like a filing cabinet with all your website information. So, when someone searches for your domain (see above), your browser pulls the website information from the ‘filing’ cabinet AKA server.

See: Localsearch Web Hosting Services.

Is email hosting the same as web hosting?

The principle is the same, but instead of a website, emails are stored on the server. Having your own email hosting (rather than using a third party, such as Google or Hotmail) provides more security and reliability.

What is an RSS?

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. It’s basically a digital mailman. An RSS is what allows people to subscribe to a blog or website and anytime new information is published, it’s sent straight to you. The orange logo below is the recognised symbol for a recognised RSS.

If you want to receive RSS subscription, you’ll need to have an RSS feed reader. Nowadays, most blogs and websites have newsletters to send this info to you, instead of you having to download anything.

What is a 404 page? Is it the same as a 301?

Have you ever gone to visit a web page and received a ‘404 error’? It’s essentially a page to let you know the page can’t be found. This could happen for many reasons, such as mistyping the URL or the page has been removed by the website owner or server. If you come across one, check how you’ve typed the URL. All good? Looks like the page no longer exists for the moment.

A 301 redirect page takes users from the URL they typed in to the new location of that web page, if it’s been changed. For example, if a blog name has been changed from Cindy’s Blog to Cindy’s News, the website owner would change the URL from www.cindysblog.com.au to www.cindysnews.com.au. They may setup a 301 redirect so if people type in www.cindysblog.com.au, they are taken to the new site.

What is caching?

Caching refers to the process of temporarily storing data for faster future access. There are many different types of caching, but we’ll be focusing on web browser caching.

We’ve all been frustrated by slow internet speeds interrupting our online activities. Web browsers speed up the process of loading web pages, even with slow internet, by caching images and information. The next time you visit the website, granted you haven’t cleared your cache, it should be faster.

How do you clear your cache? It varies differently for each device and browser, but there will be an option where you clear your browsing history under setting. You may need to clear your cache if results or features aren’t showing.

What is a HTTP cookie?

Now, these obviously aren’t the delicious baked good with oozing choc chips. Computer cookies can also be known as web cookies, browser cookies or just cookies. Hungry yet? Bear with us.

A cookie is information a website captures and sends to your computer. They keep track of different things, but cookies can allow you to add items to a cart and continue to browse or store login information. Generally these are wiped when you leave a website but you can clear them in your browser history.


What is a website backend and frontend?

The frontend of a website is what you see as a user. So, the backend is what allows this to happen, such as the database, content manager and development environment. Pretty simple, right?

What is CSS? Is this the same as HTML?

Both CSS and HTML are types of languages. HTML is short for Hypertext Markup Language, which basically lets someone tag (or markup) wording to turn it into headings, hyperlinks, etcl On the other hand, there’s CSS, which stands for Cascading Styling Sheet. While HTML uses the content to change the view, CSS takes care of all the styling of the page, such as the layout, colours and visual effects.

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