I’m going to clear up a few web terms today, but first, I want to share a tech-related revelation I had this weekend.

You know how much I love technology. I feel like I’m constantly surrounded by it because I really enjoy it. But sometimes my eyes get so tired of looking at one kind of screen or another. I’m sure you know what I mean.

no pictureThis weekend, my husband was out so I had the house to myself. I was sitting on the couch with my cat Imogen on my lap (that’s just how I sit on the couch anymore) and I was surrounded by entertainment options. I had my phone, ipad, a book, tv remotes, and probably my kindle, just in case.

But instead, I took a minute to just sit there. It was so nice and peaceful to just sit with her and enjoy some quiet time. I reached for my phone to take a picture of how pleasant it was. I planned to share it on Facebook to encourage people to take time out.

But then it hit me — if I did that, I would be back at work and I wouldn’t be enjoying that moment anymore. So, I put my phone down.

(Of course, I’m writing about it now, but in that moment, I just took the time to be still and enjoy myself.)

We are often so excited, moved, or inspired by what we’re doing that we think we have to share it with the world in order for it to be meaningful.

Instead, just be in that moment. Don’t take a picture — just look. Don’t make a video — just dance.

Now for some common web terms

Why? In order to get what you need (and not pay for anything more), you should know what these terms mean. You shouldn’t pay for hosting when all you need is a domain name.

Domain name – the unique name that identifies a website. For example, terramilo.com is my domain name. Websites are stored on IP addresses, but those are impossible to remember, so we use a domain name to make it easier to remember and access our websites.

Subdomain – separate “folders” that are related but not connected to the main domain name. For example, I store my courses on a subdomain called courses.terramilo.com. (Notice it doesn’t include www at the beginning.) Using a subdomain is rare when you’re just starting, but you could use it to offer something outside of your regular website, like detox.terramilo.com. You only pay for the Domain name, and you can have as many subdomains as you want. Pretty cool!

URL – Uniform Resource Locator, is the specific address of a website or webpage. The URL includes http://www.terramilo.com > the whole address. (You don’t have to buy a URL – it’s basically the same as a domain name.)

Hosting – where your information is stored. It doesn’t include any of the information like colors or words — it just provides a place for that information to be stored. For example, Squarespace includes hosting because they store all the information in one place. If you move to a different platform like WordPress, you need to pay for hosting in addition to your domain name.

Theme/Template – how your fonts, colors, images, and content are displayed. Different themes have different features, so find one you like and start playing with it. You can always change it later.

All of this is like your house:

  • “home” is equal to the domain name
  • the street address is the URL
  • hosting is the physical structure that holds all the “stuff” that represents home
  • the theme is what your house looks like – is it a mid-century colonial, a ranch, or an apartment?

I hope that cleared things up a little and makes you feel more confident to talk about these things.

Where should you buy and how much should you pay? Those are entirely up to you. I would search around and compare prices, and make sure you get good customer service.

Take action now — Quiz time! Post a comment with your URL and tell me if you had to pay for hosting or not.