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Demystifying Essential Web Jargon: A Beginner's Guide Part 1

make money online May 13, 2024

There are a lot of acronyms and names for things to learn when you become a digital entrepreneur. Knowing these will help you understand all the tools you’re using and give you more confidence when you’re talking to a contractor or looking through help articles to get something done yourself.


This is a beginner's guide. I'll break down some essential terms that every online entrepreneur is sure to come across and might want to know.


Web Hosting

Web hosting is where your website is kept. Your web host is what you login to when you need to edit a page on your website. There are some platforms that just do web hosting and some that do web hosting as well as other things. I use Kajabi, which does web hosting as well as many other things on this list. 


Domain Host

This is one that gets confused with web hosingt. The Domain Host is where you buy your domain name, which is basically your URL or website address, it’s not where your website is kept. 


One of the reasons this gets confused, is that most domain hosts will also offer web hosting services. Which makes sense because you don’t need a domain name if you don’t also need a website.


Your domain name will probably only cost 15-20 bucks a year and when you buy it you can set up auto renewal so you don’t even need to be aware that you are paying it, so it is easy to forget about who your domain host is or what they do.


The domain host keeps your domain name for you and make sure it is registered to you and not someone else.


Domain Name

Your domain name is the “name” part of your website's address on the internet. So for my address, www.thecoachsupport.com, the domain name is “thecoachsupport”. When you buy this you have to decide which domain: .com, .net, .co, etcetera to get it in. 


DNS Records

DNS (Domain Name System) is like the internet's phonebook. It translates domain names into IP (Internet Protocol) addresses, allowing you to access websites using human-readable addresses  instead of a bunch of numbers.


The DNS records are important to you because it lets you connect things to your domain, like your website or email address.


Your DNS records are generally managed by your domain host. So if you have to add a record to your DNS, you will want to log into your domain host for that.


Name Servers

Name servers are specialized servers responsible for managing DNS records for a domain name. To make it easy to connect your website to your domain name, some web hosts have pre-configured name servers that can be used instead of the default name servers that your domain host provides. Using these name servers saves you the trouble of having to configure your DNS records yourself.


SSL Certificate

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificates encrypt data transmitted between a user's web browser and your website's server, ensuring secure communication and protecting sensitive information such as login credentials, credit card details, and personal data. Having an SSL certificate is really important for your site's security and SEO ranking.


You know that you have SSL on your site when you see the ‘s’ in your http, like this https:// instead of http://. You will probably have to click on your address bar in your web browser in order to see this, a lot of web browsers will hide this part of the address of the website you are looking at.


If you have ever gone to a site and your browser gave you a warning that this site isn’t secure, it is likely because the site didn’t have an SSL certificate and you can see that by looking for the ‘s’ at the end of the http. If you are using Kajabi, you don’t have to worry about doing anything to set up your SSL Certificate and make your site secure, Kajabi takes care of that for you automatically.


Email Hosting

Email hosting is a service that allows you to create and manage custom email addresses using your domain name (e.g., [email protected]). You would do this to avoid using a free service like gmail and having your business email address end in @gmail.com


Email hosting is only an option if you own a domain name. Once you do, you can connect it to a service like google workspace or Office 365 and start using your domain name for email addresses.


Do you really need to know all this?

These terms are going to be floating around and it is good to know what they all mean. Once you’ve bought a domain name and set it up in with your website and email provider, you aren’t really going to need to be thinking about any of these again, it’s kind of a set it up and forget about it type of thing.


One recommendation I have is that its good to know who your domain host is, in other words, where you bought your domain from. Occasionally you will need to make some addition to your DNS records, ie. Meta will ask you to put a txt record in your DNS to verify your ownership or something like that, and you will need to know where to go to access those records.


Another reason to go into your domain host is if you are changing your web host. If, for example, you have a website with wix or similar web host and you are switching to Kajabi, you would go to your domain host and change the name servers to Kajabi's name servers to connect your domain name to Kajabi so it now uses your domain name and not your prio web hosting provider.




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* Disclaimer: I am not an employee, agent or representative of Kajabi, LLC. Kajabi does not in any way endorse my products or services. I am an independent Kajabi Partner and I receive referral payments from Kajabi in this role. All opinions expressed herein are my own and are not official statements of Kajabi or any party affiliated with Kajabi.