FAQ – Web Terms to help you

Web Terminology Changes daily – here are some key terms to know:

The internet provides a wide array of ways to connect digitally with customers, researchers and other businesses. The information online continues to outpace print and for business, a website can help increase your visibility, credibility, and assist visitors in finding your business and helping themselves 24/7.

Content

The “MEAT” of your website. The text, images, interactions that are included in a website. When planning or creating content, important to categorize into related groupings, if there is enough info, divide into pages within those groups. Content can be wide (a variety of topics) or deep (gradually greater detail about more specific groups or items). See Static and Dynamic below for more info.

Domain Name

The word or phrase used in the address line of browsers to find a website, often ends with .com, .org, .net or a number of new forms recently added. The domain name has no spaces and can use -, _ , or numbers and letters. It is also called: URL, web address, and when it is hosted on services that allow email or webmail, can become me@domainname.com or similar.

Dynamic Content

Information that automatically changes (the date on a web page, for instance), or may allow interactions of what you see; interactive content could be in this category, or forms that take you to database items. May even be a form that indicates how far you are in the process – like a shopping cart that shows the stages to purchase items.

E-Commerce

Comes in all forms now. PayPal, Square Market, Exchange or other Cart Plugins provide a way to show your products or services and allow them to be purchased online. Security is a HUGE consideration. Breaches can mean damage for your brand and financial implications too.

Print Options

When a web page is printed, there are some ways to control the width and overall look, however, web users use a variety of printers, browsers, and some customize their print settings. Therefore, you have limited control over what will print for everyone. There are two common ways to maintain a “controlled print” — with Acrobat PDF files. Sometimes the page can be printed the way it looks – similar to a screen capture, otherwise, they may print a long collection of the various parts and pieces of the page.

CSS for print is another possible way to control some of the factors in users printing a page. Think about your audience, what do they come to your website to do? If printing information is a frequent need, make it as easy as possible for them.

Secured Server – SSL

Required for transactions like E-commerce, shopping carts, or protected interactions online that need privacy or encryption. Example of the technology: SSL Certificate. Indicated by a Lock symbol on the browser.

Social Media

Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, … places that allow you to connect with others for community or sharing ideas, photos, info about you or your business.

Static Content

The content does not change unless revised by the web designer or client. No interactions are involved, except navigation to other pages or links. Email links may be active but are not like forms.

TWITTER

Social Media allows user to send comments up to 140 characters in length to followers. Important to determine plan for making “Tweets” valuable and of interest to your followers. Great way to share blog posts or articles that are relevant to your audience.

Web Design

The “look and feel” of a website. A website’s visual identity, branding or layout – great way to carryover your branding from print or signage that you may already use.
Often begins with a “mockup” or image of what the website (page) might look like and when design is approved, moves to creation of a “live” web page with text and images as determined necessary.

The process of web design is multi-layered, the look and feel are driven by the purpose, options, branding, audience and how the client/customer wants to work with the website and web expert in the future. For instance a “hands off” client may want to leave all the updates to the web designer. A client that wants to make frequent updates – like blog posts, may want to be able to add content themselves.

You may have a beautiful design for your website, but if the content is lacking or written poorly, or if the design cannot be made to function – then a part needs to be adjusted or perhaps hired out. There are a variety of experts who can help create content or edit content, and make designs work.

Web hosting

The location that stores your website – this is like your home (but digital). A company is leasing space on their server to you for your website. The servers and types of “pipelines” or technology connecting those servers to the internet help determine the speed and availability of your website. If you choose WordPress for your website, there are important requirements that need to be kept current by the hosting company.

Website

The actual files that contain your content and are located in the space allocated to you by your web host. The technology may be HTML, PHP, CGI, FLASH, HTML5, or many other types of languages and file types. Caution: FLASH can be a problem to users visiting your website from an APPLE product – at the time of this writing.