Glossary of Website Terms

My goal is to make you comfortable with “web-speak”, and help you understand things enough so that you can make informed decisions about your website without being bored to tears. To that end, here are a few basic terms with which you may want to become familiar. Please feel free to ask questions.

Basically, a website is a file or a bunch of files that are created and linked together and made available to the world via a host server. The difference between web files and, say, Word document, is that web files are created in a format that can be read by any computer through its browser.

A program installed in nearly all computers that can read website files such as Windows Internet Explorer, Firefox, Macintosh Safari and Google Chrome.

Domain name
This is the Think of it as a phone number. It’s unique to you and it’s how users on the web can “call” you. ICANN ( is the entity responsible for managing the assignment of domain names and IP addresses but you can purchase them from many places. Once you own your domain it is critical that you maintain your ownership of it. If you don't renew it on time you risk losing it forever. Make sure that your contact and credit card information is up to date. I highly recommend that you own your domain account and strongly advise not allowing a tech person to buy a domain on your behalf. Of course, Lapeer Web Design will walk you through all this when the time comes.

Host (aka Hosting, Host Server)
This is the company with the big computers that store your website files and make them available to the world.

Note regarding domains and hosting:
Lapeer Web Design has preferred domain name and hosting suppliers. There are premiums attached to using a non-preferred supplier as noted in the Rates section.

Static Website
This is a website that can appear to be interactive with hyperlinks. You can click on pictures to enlarge them and add PDF files so that users can download detailed information, and can also include a simple e-mail form. What makes a website “static” is that it is not “dynamic”.

Dynamic Web site
This is a web site that can send and receive specific information to individual users of your website. For example: you have an organization with a lot of members to track. It is possible to have an on-line updating system for each member to maintain with a password and login. Dynamic websites are considerably more complicated than Static sites which is why they cost more.

Hyperlink or Link
A little bit of programming that tells the browser to go directly to another file.

PDF file
This is a picture -type document. It comes from a company named Adobe and has become the universal format for viewing detailed documents on-line. The difference between a PDF file and, say, your Word® document is that the user can only read the information. They can’t write on it and then pretend it’s their own.