Author Website 101: Technical Terms Explained

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Domain name – the address of the website to be entered in a browser (Internet Explorer, Mozilla, Google Chrome).  Starts with www. and ends with .com/.net/.org suffix.

Hosting – web server to keep your website files on, which allows other people access the public part of website (you have administrator’s access and controls when logging in).

URL – Uniform Resource Locator, resource being the website.  Another name for domain.

FTP – File Transfer Protocol which lets you transfer files using FTP Client (like Filezilla). It is fast and often used to transfer website files to web server.

WordPress – Content Management System that is widely used and saves time for people who want to have a good looking, modern, flexible website. Easy to manage and maintain.

WordPress Theme – a specific design that can be applied to your WordPress site. Some are free, some are premium. Most of the premium themes come with a lot of flexibility, options for different designs and layout (placing different elements in design in multiple ways). Biggest resource for WP themes is ThemeForest.Net (our theme, called Avada, is also from there)

HTML – HyperText Markup Language is the main programming language used to create websites.

Analytics – software that lets you track the amount of visitors, pageviews, time on site people spend etc. Example and probably most popular one would be Google Analytics

CSS – Cascading Style Sheets, a programming language that let’s you style your website and control it’s looks from one file.

Blog – Initially called Weblogs, they used to be for personal use but these days, they are much more complex and used for anything from Video blogging, to text blogging on certain topic, to newspaper sites like Huffington Post, etc.

CMS  – Content Management System. Software that lets you easily control and manage your website content (articles, videos, audio, posts etc). Examples would be WordPress, Squarespace, Joomla, Drupal, etc.. No need to code separate pages, posts, etc, usually, you can create them with one push of a buttom and pasting the text in.

Mailing List – most valuable asset an author can have. The bigger the mailing list, the more book sales will happen. Direct communication and updates from author to fans results in increased trust and interest from fans.

SEO – Search Engine Optimization, means finding and optimizing your website for keywords that are entered when someone is searching Google, etc. If you’re a non-fiction author writing about fitness, you want to be found when people search for topics related to it (diet, weight loss, fitness exercises etc.). SEO helps you be more visible and get traffic to your website from search engines.  

Simon WhistlerAuthor Website 101: Technical Terms Explained