2.5 Min Read…

Website terminology jargon can be confusing, and there is lots of it!

The most common items we get asked about are:

  • Domain name and registration
  • DNS – domain name servers
  • Hosting – for websites and email
  • CMS – content management system

A domain name is similar to having a landline telephone number registered to you (domain registration – e.g Outbox.co.nz). It does not do anything in its own right, but if directed or hosted elsewhere, it can allow you to have a website online or host your email associated with that domain name.

They all have an extension, and these are varied but include .com, co.nz, .com.au, .nz, co.uk etc. It is not unusual to own more than one for the same domain name e.g. yourdomain.co.nz and yourdomain.nz.

Once you have a domain registered, you need a tool to make it work, a bit like your actual phone. This is called DNS or domain name servers, which allows you to change your zone records. If registering a domain name, make sure DNS is included in the price. Often the cheaper domain names add this on once you wish to use it, which can be more costly than buying from somewhere that includes this.

Now to buy your phone line package so that people can communicate with you! For a domain this is called ‘hosting’. It can be for website hosting or email hosting. They can be purchased together or more often, separately.

Once your website is live or connected like a phone line, you can update it using a content management system or CMS. Not all sites come with this so check before buying. Within a CMS you can update text, photos, links and videos etc.

For your email you can use a different host, GSuite or 365 are examples of these. There will be another ongoing monetary charge here as well.

Just like a phone line, you pay for these as you use them and if they expire, you can no longer use the service, on the web that means your site is no longer visible or your email stops working.

If you have reminders sent to you for renewal, do make a note of the date. Once any one of them expire your site cannot be seen, and in the case of a domain name expiration it becomes available for sale again – so don’t miss those dates. However, do be aware of scammers. Domain Name Records can be public, and many take advantage of trying to send you a false email reminder to pay with a link – don’t fall for these. You may also receive phone calls from people wanting to make a website for you, again these people are taking advantage of online records and will know nothing about you or your business. Keep a record of who you are registered with, hosted by and who pays the bill. Often your web developer will pay these on your behalf to ensure they do not expire and charge you in a yearly or monthly invoice.

Once the basics are up and running, there will be other uses for your DNS such as; redirecting your other domains to your new one, authenticating your Mailchimp account, getting validated on Google, adding an SSL certificate.

It’s exciting to take the first step and own a domain name. It’s the start of many business opportunities.