It’s One of the Most Frequent Questions Festival Organizers Ask

The conversation begins like this, “I need a website but I have no idea what to do. How do I go about creating one?” It’s helpful if this person is open to learning new things, receptive to technology and has the time available to understand the fundamentals and to oversee the project.

An Overview and Definitions
To begin, it’s important to define a few frequently used terms. To help in understanding, I’ll compare key elements to familiar real estate and home building terms.

Domain Name
A website has a domain name, like a house has an address – 123 Main Street. Each website also has a corresponding IP (Internet Protocol) address which is a series of numbers separated by dots. This is very similar to a piece of land which has a parcel ID (numbers) and a block lot (numbers) and how government agencies identify the location of the land. Land or property records or documents are filed with a government agency such as a county recorder of deeds or county clerk’s office. Domain names are maintained by a domain name registrar. Unclaimed names can be “renter” for an annual or multi-year fee.

Websites are hosted on a server. A server is much like the land or lot where a home is built. It is a location where something will be built or placed.

This is a monthly fee. It is charged by the server vendor for hosting your website on its server.

This is free software that can be installed on a server. This may be your event’s server or someone else’s server (a dedicated server or shared server) for a monthly hosting fee. WordPress software allows someone to create the framework of your website.

Consider WordPress like the outer framework of a house. It’s the basic structure of a house on which you’re going to add everything else. WordPress is what will house themes, plugins and extensions.

Themes can either be free or paid. A theme can be added to WordPress. A theme will allow someone to add the basic design to your website, which will include the navigation – elements such as the Home page, About Us, Contact Us, etc. – and how the pages look.

As a comparison to real estate, consider this like the bricks or siding added to the exterior walls of a house as well as where the interior walls, bathrooms and kitchen are located.

Page Builder and Contact Us Forms
The name is self-explanatory. It provides ease of use when creating webpages. Not all Contact Us forms are versatile or include the level of detail an event or project may need.

Plugins and/or Extensions
These two words are basically the same thing. Plugins and/or extensions can be added to WordPress. They can either be free or paid. Plugins add additional functionality to the theme and/or WordPress such as a “page builder” that makes designing a website much easier.

As a comparison to real estate, these are similar to painting the interior walls, carpeting the floors, adding the furnishing to the house and installing landscape.

Note:  Companies label their products either a plugin or an extension. For example, the shopping cart WooCommerce is a plugin but the company labels it an extension.

For more information on this topic:
It’s One of the Most Frequent Questions I’m Asked
An Explanation: Hosting, Servers and Tech Support
What’s The Real Cost of Cheap Hosting and Its Impact on SEO?
So What’s This Thing Called WordPress?
Let’s Get Started Building Your Website Pages
The Combo Package: A Theme and A Page Builder
Online Merchandise Sold Here: Shopping Carts

To learn more about event and festival management, check out “Secrets to Successful Events:  How to Organize, Promote and Manage Exceptional Events and Festivals.” For those with event planning experience, consider, “Secrets to Successful Events Resource Guide: 42+ Easy-to-Use Tools and Resources.” Both are written by internationally known author and speaker Lynn Fuhler and are available on Amazon and at major booksellers.

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