News & Updates - BY Design

Website Terminology Guide

One of our regular clients asked us to put together a simple guide to some of the common terms used when speaking about websites and related technology. We will add to this over the coming months.

What does hosting mean?



This is the place where the website lives. It is physically stored here. Think of it as a computer that is never switched off.

Domain Name

This is the address of the website. It is what people type in (or search for) in order to be connected to the files that are hosted at that address.


This is the method of pointing a domain name to a hosting account, so that when someone types your domain name in, they are able to access your website.

Chat Bot

A piece of software that can sit on your website to answer questions, either using a traditional logic question and answer format, or the new versions which use full Artificial Intelligence (AI).


A server is the place where multiple hosting accounts can live. A dedicated server is one where only the websites belonging to a specific hosting company are stored.


The opposite being a farm server, where you could have 20,000 websites all sharing the same server, built by different companies, so the server is only as good as its weakest website from a security point of view.


Servers need memory to display multiple websites to different users at the same time. Lack of memory (or over-used memory) can slow it down.


This is similar to memory, however it relates to the amount of traffic a website can handle at a given time. This is why ticket websites sometimes crash if too many people are trying to do the same thing at the same time.


In the most basic sense, a collection of images and text and code, often held inside a content management system (CMS). Websites can have many functions, from shops to online forums.


WordPress and Joomla are two popular CMS. This is a tool for managing the content of a website and an overall framework to keep the design consistent. Shopify is another such platform.


A website which can handle payments, allowing the website owner to sell goods and services online.

SSL Certificate

A method of verifying that a domain name is genuine, and that information sent between the user’s browser (on a computer or phone) and the server, is encrypted in a secure way, preventing interception. This is particularly important for sites where people submit personal data or carry out online payments.


For further clarification on any of the above, feel free to get in touch.

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