A useful explanation of everyday web terms to help you get to grips with managing a website.

Web Server

The big computer that stores your website files and allows other people to view your website. Whenever someone types your web address into their web browser your Web Server sends the files to those users. Usually housed in large specialist data centres, the location of your files is identified by a long number called the server address. In theory you could host your website on your own computers hard drive, but you would be opening yourself to some serious security risks and you’d need a very powerful computer to handle all the traffic a busy website receives.

Hosting Provider (Web Host)

Companies that sell you space on their servers to host your website files and allow other computers to access the files and see your website. Costs vary depending on what type of website you’re running, how much file space you need and how much traffic your website receives.


A domain name is your websites address: www.your-domain-name.co.uk. When you purchase a domain name you register your right to use that name for your website. The registration will need renewing every few years. Your domain name is set to direct people to your websites server, without it people would need to know the very long number that identifies your websites server. It’s a more convenient and memorable way of directing people to your website.


Search Engine Optimisation. SEO is the process of adjusting various aspects of a website to make it appear as high as possible in search engine listings for a specific keyword, or collection of  key words/phrases. The process involves an understating of how search engines rank websites. The level of success is determined by how competitive the keywords are and how much time is invested in optimisation.

Search Engine

Websites such as Google and Bing that present a selection of website listings based upon your chosen search words. Search engines are continuously evolving in an attempt to try and display the most ‘relevant’ websites. They use sophisticated algorithms trawl every website and determine which websites should be displayed first.