Church Website Glossary

Domain Name – A short-cut to your webpage that is administered by a quasi-governmental agency. These are the “” kind of webaddresses. It is well worth the few dollars a year to purchase a domain name. Your ISP or webhosting service can help you register a domain name.

Internet – The internet is a network of local computers all over the world that share information through a common interface. When you sign on to the internet with your home or office personal computer, you are connected to this network though an Internet Service Provider (ISP) and gain access to a variety of internet services including the world wide web and newsgroups (chat rooms). This document is concerned only with the component of the internet known as the world wide web or “www.”

Internet Service Provider (ISP) – This is a company that provides dialup access to the internet to users via a modem and the telephone system. Many ISPs also offer additional services such as webpage hosting, e-mail, and other internet services. Typical prices run from $9.95 -$24.95 per month. They provide the local telephone number that you dial to gain access to the web. When choosing an ISP it is important to check where you will be dialing to avoid long distance charges.

Server – Basically a server is a large, highspeed disk drive that stores computer information and makes the same information available to multiple users at a time. Companies rent space on these servers to customers for their webpages and other internet business. While it is possible for a local church to have a server, they are relatively expensive and require a great deal of technical support to keep them running 24 hours a day.

URL (Universal Resource Locator) – The URL is the address of any particular page on the www. This is not to be confused with the “domain name.” The URL can be very long and complicated. Others can be much longer depending on the file structure of the website and other factors. Many churches in an effort to save money use the URL instead of purchasing a domain name. This makes it very difficult to promote and advertise.

Web Browser – Software used to view webpages. While they are generally compatible, some web pages may not display the same way on all browsers.

Web Hosting Services – A host service provides the hardware and technical support for the servers that webpages are stored on. See “server.” Unless the Host service you choose is located within your local phone calling area or the host service has a local phone number in your area, it will be necessary for you to also subscribe to an ISP. (See the longer explanation and recommendations concerning web hosting services.)

World Wide Web – This is the part of the internet that most people are familiar with. Millions of pages of material are available through the internet and are viewed by using a piece of software called a “web browser” which allows for viewing and interaction with a vast variety of textual and graphical information.


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