Jargon You Should Know: Website FAQs

Building a website can feel like a very technical process if you’re not familiar with the lingo, but that’s what we’re here for! If you’re not sure what a domain name or a DNS is and why they’re important for your site, read on for our website FAQs.

Website FAQs – Here’s What You Need To Know

What is a domain name?

A domain name is the address of your website, also known as a Web Address or URL (Universal Resource Locator). Domain names are purchased through a domain name registrar. These are companies like GoDaddy, Hover, Network Solutions and Google Domains. Some web hosting companies are also domain name registrars and will let you purchase your domain with hosting. GoDaddy and BlueHost are examples of hosting companies that also offer domain name registrations.

What is hosting? How is it different from a Domain Name?

Hosting is the physical space your website is accessed from. You can think of it as the files and folders that make up your website. Your domain name is the address for where your site’s visitors can access information about your company and the other is the actual computer(s) that your website lives on. If your domain name isn’t pointed to a hosting computer you’ll get a big error in your browser.

Technically you can host a website without a domain name by typing in the IP (internet protocol) address of the hosting computer. IP Addresses are a set of numbers that computer networks use to locate hardware on the network. The IP address usually looks something like

What is DNS?

DNS connects your Domain Name to your Hosting. Your URL is used by domain name servers (DNS) to look up your website.

DNS (Domain Name Server) records are usually managed with your webhost or a third party like CloudFlare. Name Servers (where DNS records are stored) is basically the phone book of the internet. When you type a URL into a browser it’ll contact the Domain Name Server to access the huge database of domain names to retrieve the IP address of the hosting computer and return a webpage to the user.

Why is image resolution important? What image files do you need?

There are fundamentally two different ways computers can display images, Raster/Bitmap or Vector.

Raster image formats like JPEG, GIF, TIFF, PNG are made up of a grid of colored squares called pixels. Raster Image resolution can be described as the how many pixels are in a given area of an image. Most images used for print are made of images that have 300 Pixels Per Inch and images on screen are anyware between 150 and 72 pixels per inch depending on the screen they’re being displayed on. Raster images are usually used for Photos and images that need photographic details. Pixelization only applies to Raster formats. Generally you can’t make raster images larger.

Vector Image formats like SVG, EPS, PDF*, and Adobe Illustrator (AI) are made using math and drawing lines between points in a document. These types of images are generally used for type and illustrations of shapes. The benefit of Vector graphics is that they are infinitely scalable. Logos and logo marks should be created in a vector format so they can be scaled down and up without losing quality.

What’s a payment gateway?

Payment gateways are how you connect your e-commerce site to your bank account. They are probably the most important part of your ecommerce site. Some examples of popular payment gateways are Autorize.net, Braintree/Paypal, Stripe, and Square. Payment gateways allow you to utilize your payment processor on your website and authorizes the transfer of funds from your buyers account to yours.

What is an SSL Certificate?

An SSL or TLS certificate is a way to encrypt your websites content while it’s being transferred between your server and your visitors computer and vice versa. SSL certificates are required to keep user data safe and required to keep payment information secure on an ecommerce site.

Ready to get started building your website? Click here for a convenient checklist of everything we need in the website onboarding process before we can start working.

Have a question about the website process that wasn’t answered here? Get in touch!