What's the difference between website 'design' and 'development'?
Website design usually covers the forming of an aesthetic and functional plan or 'mock-up', but doesn't include actually producing the website itself. Think of how an architect will design a building, but won't actually build it.
Website development does cover the actual creation of the website itself, whether that's through coding or page builders. However, it usually doesn't include aspects relating to design. So in the case of a building, it would be the construction according to the design!
What is web hosting?
For a website to be viewable on the internet, it needs to be hosted on a server. There are normally two elements that a business owner will need to think about when it comes to hosting; a domain name and the hosting itself.
A domain name is the 'link' of your website, e.g. yourbusinessname.co.uk. You can buy several, but should only use one per website (or direct the additional ones to the link).
The Hosting is where you put the website files, and will need to be attached to a domain.
For a lengthier look into how hosting works, check this out.
What's the deal with HTTP and HTTPS? Do I need SSL?
In the simplest terms, a website that has https:// rather than http:// at the start of it's URL is encrypted. That means prying eyes shouldn't be able to intercept data transmitted between the end user and the server - which is super important when it comes to sites that have login details, take card payments or deal with personal information.
An SSL certificate, basically ensures that your website is shown using https:// and gives it that nice padlock in the search bar. The padlock helps to position your website as trustworthy, even if you aren't selling or taking personal info.
What is a CMS (Content Management System)?
A CMS is any software that runs behind your website to help you organise pages, create/edit content and do more; WordPress is the most used CMS, but there are plenty out there, even including the website builders on offer by Wix and Squarespace for example. Most are free to install.
They aren't required in every website, but are definitely recommended for websites that are regularly updated. Their purpose is to make your website-related life easier and more manageable!
What is a mobile-ready/mobile-first/responsive website?
At its basic level, a website that is mobile-ready is one that will work the same AND look right on a mobile-sized screen. The slight difference with the term mobile-first, is that it refers to a website that has been designed to fit a mobile screen first, and computer screens second.
Overall, these terms refer to the responsivity of a website - its ability to look and function well across a variety of screen sizes. Doing so benefits your end users, and prevents your website from being penalized in Google searches.
What is SEO (Search Engine Optimization)?
SEO refers to actions that make a website rank higher/found more often by the right people in search engines. It is a complex specialty in it's own right, and takes an ongoing approach - it's not something that is done once during the production of a website, though some elements of SEO should be implemented during this stage.