Websites seem overwhelming. There are so many different terms to learn. What is the difference between a domain and a hosting provider? What is HTML and what exactly do developers do? Aren’t developers coders? Everyone says you need good “SEO” but what even is that? There are A LOT of terms, and people who are passionate about web development love to nerd over their jargon.
I am here to, hopefully, take away some of the fear and trepidation associated with creating a website and make it easier for you to understand.
If you ever stumbled across a 404 you’re probably just annoyed as me. A 404 is just a fancy way of saying the page is no longer on the server. Probably because the typed URL is incorrect or the page does not exist.
Accessibility is having a clear website that can be used and accessed by everyone.
Alt text is text only seen if your image doesn’t load. It is commonly used in SEO to help the search engine understand the context of the page and make your page accessible to screen readers for those who are visually impaired.
Analytics help the website admin understand how the website is performing. This usually includes data such as page visits, audience demographic, etc.
Security, structure, code, transferring information ─ basically everything going on behind the scenes of your website.
Backlinks are when one website links to another website (usually through a button or text that links you to their page). Usually the more backlinks a website is featured in, the better SEO ranking that site has. However, if your backlinks are from websites not associated with your industry then Google may consider them irrelevant and penalize your site.
Blogs are usually a series of posts that can be read by anyone accessing your site. Blogs are a great way to connect with your target audience and let Google know that your site is active.
common ones are Google, Safari, and Firefox. Fun fact, Pinterest is also considered a browser.
A CMS, or Content Management System, refers to an online platform in which end-users can create, change and edit website content without coding knowledge.
Sometimes these cookies are great like biting into a chocolate chip cookie, but other times they’re more like being surprised with oatmeal raisin cookies. Website cookies enable your website’s server to store information on the user’s device. Cookies are great when they remember what’s in your shopping cart or login info, but they can be a security breach if you’re not careful who you give access to.
Cascading Style Sheets are the most common way of telling the server how you want your website to look. HTML tells the browser what goes on the page. CSS tells the browser how it should be presented (colors, fonts, layouts, etc.).
Call to Actions are something that marketers love to talk about. There’s a lot of psychological science behind CTAs, but basically, they are anything used to point your audience to the next step of action (buy now, read more, call today, etc.).
Just like your physical address, it’s just an address on the internet that specifies where your browser should go to look for information. The terms URL and Domain are many times used interchangeably. The domain is the name of your website that usually links to your home page, but the URL leads to pages within the website.
Navigation menus often use dropdowns to organize information. They appear on click or hover over the main title to show more options (usually links to other pages).
Ecommerce capabilities allow you to sell and accept payment on your website.
Favicons are the icon featured on the top left side of your browser tab. They usually feature a simplified version of the website’s logo.
Above the fold is usually where your most important information goes since it is all of the content you see when you first access a website. Once you start scrolling you access all information below the fold.
The front-end is the design and information your users will see and interact with when they click on your website link.
A hosting provider shares server space so your website can be accessed worldwide.
Hover states change designs when scrolled over by a mouse. Usually, these are featured on buttons and links.
Hyper Text Markup Language enables developers to specify content for a web page. It consists of tags and attributes that tell the browser what content the web page contains.
Navigation (Nav) Bar
The Nav Bar features the links to other pages that appear on the top of your website’s pages. These help your audience to move from one page to the next easily.
Parallax is a design style that layers content so as the user scrolls down, part of the page appears to move at a different rate from the object behind it.
Pixels (Picture Elements) are what make up all of the graphics you see on your screen. The higher the pixel count the better quality the graphic, but beware because without compressing pixels your site’s load time will be slower.
Search Engine Optimization generally refers to the entire practice on and off-site actions that will lead to a higher or more targeted ranking on a Google web page.
The web server is a big computer that exists just to host and run websites.
User Interface is how your website is designed.
User Experience is how the user interacts with your website and how easy it is for them to navigate.
Whitespace is the empty space on your screen that allows the site to “breath”. Whitespace is a design choice, but it’s almost always a good idea to have white space that helps divide information on a site.
If you have any questions about website design or if you need help designing your own custom website please feel free to contact me!