Tech Terms Every Small Business Owner Should Know

If you’re a small business owner, you of all people know best that you are expected to be a jack of all trades. But you might not have expected to know all kinds of technology terms that IT professionals are experts in. Surprise! You should know a bunch of them if you want to run a successful business.

Here are some of the most important terms to learn if you’re a small business owner just starting out in the world of tech terminology.


Bandwidth, by definition, is a range of frequencies used to transmit a signal. So what does this mean for you, Joe Business Owner? It refers to how fast your website will run on your server.

Server, for that matter, is another term you should know. It’s the provider of your website. It’s how your website actually ends up on the Internet, accessible to millions upon millions of people worldwide.

High bandwidths are ideal, as it means your website will be more powerful and run more quickly than a server running on low bandwidths. Make sure you have a good service provider and plenty of bandwidth to keep your site running to its full potential.


If you work in the tech world, you often hear the term “IP,” but if you’re a small business owner just starting out, you may be curious as to what these two little letters refer to.

IP stands for Internet Protocol, and it’s just a fancy term used to identify your computer’s location on the Internet. Just like how your house has an address so people can identify where you live on a map, an IP address is just an address for your computer so that the Internet people can identify your computer when it’s online.

3G and 4G

If you have a smart phone, you may know these terms already, but if not, they can be greatly useful to your business. 3G refers to the third generation of standards for mobile phones and mobile telecommunication.

3G allows you to make wireless phone calls, send text messages, access the Internet, share videos and more all over a mobile device.

4G, on the other hand, refers to the fourth generation of standards for phones and mobile telecommunication. 4G allows you to do the same things as a 3G network, but 4G will generally be much faster, as the standards for speed are much higher than those for 3G.

If you have any plans to mobilize your website at all, familiarize yourself with the 3G and 4G networks.


The general term ecommerce refers to any business done over the Internet.

As a small business owner, it’s important for you to understand what ecommerce is and how it works, especially if you plan on selling any products or services through your website.

There are government standards for ecommerce sites that you need to be sure your business meets before you begin doing business online. Do some research, find out what you have to do to become a certified ecommerce site, and make sure your transactions with customers are safe online.

Static Web Content/Dynamic Web Content

Static web content is any content on your website that stays the same for an extended period of time. This kind of content generally refers to things like the overview of your company on your site’s home page, your contact information and any “About Us” sections you may have included on your website that introduce the people on your team.

Dynamic web content is exactly the opposite. It’s content posted to outlets like Facebook, Twitter or blogs – it’s constantly being updated and new information is always being added. Combining both static and dynamic web content is an important part of maintaining your business’ online presence and continuing to bring in traffic to your site.

Know when to use each one and how to balance out the two.


Abbreviated for search engine optimization, SEO is a way of promoting your website in search engines and trying to improve which position your site ranks at in search results.

Think about it this way – if you are a lawyer in New York City, what would people be searching when they find your website? There are different combinations of words that they might use, but whatever their search query, you want your website to rank above your competitors when potential customers do a search.

That’s where an SEO comes in (yes, an SEO is a person – a job, actually). An SEO analyzes your keywords and what people are searching for when they come across your site on a search engine, and they work to help move your site up in the search results.

SEO is something you cannot overlook as a small business owner. If your competitors are doing SEO work on their website, you should be, too. If you aren’t, you’ll only be left behind.


Speaking of your website, understand that a domain is the actual address of your site, whereas the term “website” is often used to refer to the specific design and content on your page.

Some business owners choose to strictly differentiate between the two, while others use the terms interchangeably. Just understand that they are, technically, two different terms that refer to two different things, but both refer to your company’s website and web address.

Say your website is “” That is your domain –

While these terms simply scratch the surface of tech terminology that every business owner should know, they should give you a jump start on learning all you can about the world of technology, as well as give you a good starting point for operating and understanding your company’s website.

Karen Walder is a freelance writer for several business and technology publications. She works closely with a company that provides colocation services to small businesses and works regularly with small business owners to help them understand the service she is providing and why it is beneficial to them.

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