After speaking to a few clients recently, I decided that it’s important to cover a few terms that come up regularly around web sites. I’ve tried to break these components down into layman’s terms as much as possible. If you know them, great! If you don’t, don’t stress. If I’ve missed any that you think I should include, please let me know.

Components of Website

Otherwise known as what a developer will usually ask for

URL/Domain Name/Website Address

These are all the same thing. Basically, it’s the written address for your website. So for mine, it’s

Domain Registrar

The company you purchased the domain name from.

Web Host/Host

I tend to explain it as where you rent the space for your website from, like you would from a real estate agency if you were renting a house or business space

Generally speaking, you can have a domain registered to one company and your hosting space with another OR both components can be from the same company.

For example:
I registered my domain with VentraIP but my hosting is with Dreamhost.

Yet, one of my other sites’ domain is registered and hosted with Hostgator.

Other terms that might crop up

These next three can all be the same person or can be separate depending on who you hire for what.

Web Designer

Designs how your website looks but doesn’t necessarily build the site. Often a designer who doesn’t also build a website will work in conjunction with a specific developer.

Web Developer

Most developers are also designers, but not always. These are the people who actually build the website.

Graphic Designer

These are the people who can make kick arse graphics to really make your website pop and will often work with you to develop logos and consistent branding that goes beyond just the website.

This next one doesn’t crop up often, but will sometimes depending on how your web host is set up.


This allows people entering your domain to be taken to the right website. Most of the time it’s explained as being like a phone directory. When you enter the domain, in the background, out of sight, the internet acts like it’s flicking through a phone book to check it’s the right number.

Most of the time, nameservers will be the same as your hosting company but sometimes it’s different.

For example:
A website hosted by Dreamhost will normally be on nameservers such as

But websites on Hostgator can be on nameservers such as

So I hope that these terms and definitions help you out if you haven’t come across them before. The main reason someone building your website will ask you about any of these parts is because they either need a designer to send across the graphics/design concept; or because they need the information to send your website live.

And if there are anymore terms that you don’t understand related to websites, let me know below and I’ll add them to this post!

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