Website Basics: Terminology
Are you looking to build your online presence with a custom website but aren’t sure where to start?
The overall process and terminology of building a new website can be overwhelming and unclear. I’ve put together a little “Websites 101” so you can get a better understanding of some common terms you might encounter with a website redesign. Likely if you connect with me for your new website project, I'll say at least one or more of these words! So this will help you know what the heck I'm talking about!
The list of terms can be endless but here’s a few basic website design and development terms that can help you out!
I’m assuming you probably know what a website is since you’re looking at one, but I’ll pop it in just in case. A website is a location on the World Wide Web (Internet) that’s a collection of pages, files and documents accessed with a domain name.
A landing page is a standalone web page, created specifically for the purposes of a temporary page, a marketing or advertising campaign. For example, if your website was in the process of being built, we might want to have a "Coming Soon" landing page where users can get primary information about how to contact you along with social media information while your site is being built. Landing pages are often temporary and not the permanent site.
A wireframe is essentially a skeleton of your website, or a blueprint. It’s a visual guide that represents the framework and key functionality on your site. For websites that require quite a bit of custom functionality (like online builder tools, etc.), starting with wireframes is a key first step. It saves oodles of design time since you can nail down the key structure of the site in a simple way.
A website ptototype is essentially a mock-up or demo of your website design or wireframes that give you a good indication of what your site will look like when it goes live. Typically, when I build prototypes, there are some clickable elements that give you a good understanding of where buttons and actions take users. This part of the process helps make sure the elements on the page are acting the way both you and designer envisioned.
Website design relates to the actual look and structure of the page. When we talk design, we’re looking at things like the buttons, headings, images, text, etc. and how they match into an organization’s visual brand.
Website development is the work involved in preparing a website to be put onto the internet. This contains non-design elements such as writing markup and coding. Not all developers are designers, and not all designers are developers. Developers typically come from a computing-science background.
A domain name is a set of words that we use to connect to a server and visit a website we want to visit. Think Google.com, Edmonton.com or even just NatasiaDesigns.com. In order to have your website online, you’ll need a domain name that’s unique to your business so your customers can find you!
A URL (Uniform Resource Locator) is a specific website address that contains a string of characters that leads you to a specific resource on a site. (Think ‘https://creativemornings.com/’)
Website Hosting is a service that allows you to post your website onto the internet. Websites are hosted or stored on computers called servers. When a user types your website address (URL or Domain) into their browser, their computer connects to that server and loads that web pages. Website hosting can either be done by business owners themselves, website designers or web developers. For my clients, I like to set up your hosting for you on your own accounts so you don't have to deal with the setup, but you own it and can access it anytime!
CMS (Content Management System)
A CMS is a software application or set of related programs that your website and it’s content lives on. It allows its you to edit, delete and manage the content of your website from a visual interface. A successful CMS requires no knowledge of programming languages, CSS or HTML to easily update a website. A CMS can be open source or built from scratch depending on the budget of your web project and the needs of your organization. Some common open source examples are WordPress, Drupal and Squarespace.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
SEO is the act of planning out and writing a website’s content to improve the likelihood of it showing up for relevant search terms in search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing. Successful SEO typically contains a mix of the following tasks:
- Keyword Research: Which keywords you’d like your business/organization to be connected to on search engines
- Content writing: Creating optimized text for your website
- Website design: The overall design and layout of your site will help you be more optimized
- Website development: Having cleaner code and a more efficient site helps you rank better
- Blogging: Search Engines love new content, so having new posts helps improve your ranking
SEO can be done by website designers, website developers or digital marketing superstars like Karly at Influence Media!
Now you're a web whiz!
Hopefully that wasn't too overwhelming for you. These terms will help you get a better understanding of some of the terms you might encounter with a new website design.
Did I miss something? Let me know in the comments below or contact me! :)