The Zinc Support desk is one of the busiest parts of the company on a day-to-day basis. Our phone rings more than 200 times a week, bringing us questions about passwords, security, site changes and everything in between. With this many calls, it’s natural that we find ourselves saying the same things over and over. Sometimes it’s a frequently asked question and sometimes it’s simply a technical term that isn’t commonly used. Our Service Desk wrote up a helpful guide to make sure that there’s no such thing as technical jargon.
Back End & Front End
In the online world, there are two ways to work with a website: the Front End or the Back End. Using Zinc Digital as an example, the website itself is what is referred to as the ‘front end’, and our Content Management System Admin247 is what is referred to as the ‘back end’. If one of our Support Team tells you they’re making changes to the back end of the system, it means they’re working on the part of the site that the user doesn’t see. These changes tend to be reflected on the front end in a more user-friendly way.
A browser is the tool you’re using to access the internet. There are a few that are commonly used: Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari and Firefox. We’ll often ask what browser you’re using, as websites often behave differently depending on the browser you’re using. If you’re not sure, check on www.whatsmybrowser.org
Clearing the Cache
As you use the internet, the browser you’re using stores information about the sites you visit. To keep loading times at a minimum, the browser remember parts of a website so that the next time you go to that site, it can provide the information quickly. If we’ve made a change on your website, or something isn’t loading correctly, we might ask you to clear your cache to make sure that your browser is loading the most recent version of the site. If you’re not sure how to clear your cache, take a look at our quick guide here.
The best way to describe a DNS is by imagining a phone book. When we type in a website address, there’s another address which is known as your IP, which is what shows your computer where to go. Just as we find it much easier to read zincdigital.com, a computer finds it easier to read an IP. A DNS is the place where the two are matched together, making it easy to know which IP address leads to which site.
It’s common to confuse a website with a domain. Your domain is the name and address you’ve chosen for your website, but it’s possible to have a domain without having built a website. This simply means that you now own the name you’ve chosen, and could operate a website or emails from this domain if you wished.
Just as you might be asked to clear your cache, we’ll often ask our callers to do a hard refresh. This will clear the cache for the page you’re currently on, loading the newest version so that we can see if there are any issues with it. To quickly do a hard refresh, press Ctrl + F5 on Windows or Cmd + Shift + R on Mac.
Domain or DNS propagation is the process of transferring a domain to its new location. This can take a while to complete as every server in the world is updated with the new information. Usually we’ll ask for a day or so to make sure that everything is fully propagated and that your site loads correctly every time.
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. It’s a way to add an extra measure of protection to your website by encrypting the information it transmits. Our Service Desk are responsible for installing these and ensuring they are functioning properly. If you’d like to learn more about SSLs, take a look at our blog here.
There are many types of server – for websites, emails, networks and more. Put simply, this is a powerful computer located elsewhere that is responsible for providing your computer the data it needs to function. When you visit a website, you’re asking your computer to access the server that stores that website so it can load on your end. In the event that there’s a problem on the server, there may be a problem loading the emails or website that it stores.
It’s more common than you’d think to lose an email. The first port of call should always be to check in your Spam or Junk folders to make sure that your email provider hasn’t automatically categorised the mail as malicious. Usually, this can be found beneath the Inbox, Outbox and Sent folders in your email client.
Your URL is essentially your address on the internet. The URL bar is usually located at the top of the browser, and is the place that you’d usually type in an address such as zincdigital.com or google.com. If we ask for a URL, we’re asking for you to highlight the link in this bar and send it to us.
Uptime & Downtime
Uptime and Downtime are terms used to describe when a server is functioning or isn’t. In an ideal world there wouldn’t be any downtime, but in the event of a server issue or an attack there can be time when the site isn’t working. If this happens, we’ll let you know how much downtime there was.
Our Support Desk will be happy to help if you have a technical issue with a site, an SSL, or any other service we’ve provided to you. Give us a call on 01604 598999 for help.
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