Designing and launching your business website is an exciting project that can open up new opportunities for you.
However, when you work with a web design agency on your site, you may start to encounter terminology you're unfamiliar with. So what does all this Website Jargon actually mean?
To put you on a more even footing with web designers, and to give you a better idea of what's going on with your site, the following are 25 bits of website jargon to help you communicate better with your Sydney web design agency:
- URL. Short for "Uniform Resource Locator," URL is the address for websites and other items available through the World Wide Web. For example, it's a link you'd click on or what you'd enter into your browser bar to go to a specific website (like https://www.google.com.au). URLs combine two elements: the protocol identifier and the resource name. For a website, the protocol identifier could be "HTTP or HTTPS" and the resource name would be the site's domain name.
- Domain name. This is basically your site's name on the Web. You have to claim it in a registrar to keep control over it. (The top-level domain would be the ".com" or ".com.au" component of the website's name.)
- IP Address. Computing devices connected to the Internet each have a unique identifying number known as the IP address. Websites are associated with particular IP addresses, because they're hosted on web servers.
- DNS. DNS servers work as a translator between your website's domain name and IP address. For example, when someone enters your domain name into a browser bar, the DNS servers make sure the Internet browser is connecting with the right web server where your site is hosted; otherwise, your site won't show up. When launching your website, it's critical that your DNS settings accurately link between your domain name and appropriate IP address. (As for what DNS stands for - the "D" and "N" means "Domain Name," and the "S" can stand for Server, System, or Service.)
- PHP. A kind of programming language frequently used for website development.
- CMS. Your website's Content Management System, or CMS, is a set of software tools that lets you manage and alter your website behind the scenes. If your CMS has a user-friendly interface, you can make changes to your site (like uploading a new blog post or changing a font color) even if you don't have much coding experience.
- WordPress. This is a highly popular, freely available CMS.
- Plug-ins. Software developers will often come up with additional bits of code that contribute to your site's appearance and function; for example, plug-ins can add new security features to your site or social media icons that people use to share your content. You can install plug-ins through your CMS.
- Bandwidth. To function well, your website needs a certain amount of bandwidth - a measure of your site's capability for transferring data and accommodating Web traffic. Your web host will set limitations on bandwidth (never believe any claims about "unlimited" bandwidth - there's always a limit). How much you need depends on your site's content and the amount of traffic it's receiving.
- HTML. Short for HyperText Markup Language, HTML uses various elements to display and format your site's content and appearance (e.g. paragraph structure, numbered lists, and font colors).
- CSS. Cascading Style Sheets offer a clean, efficient way of defining a site's look and managing all the HTML elements.
- Template. Templates give your site an overall structure and consistent design; WordPress, for example, has numerous templates to choose from. You can continue building off a template and customizing it to make your site look unique.
- Webpage. Sometimes people make the mistake of using "website" and "webpage" interchangeably, when really a website is built out of multiple interlinked webpages.
- Responsive web design. This ensures that your site remains functional and attractive on various screen sizes, including Smartphones and tablets.
- Hyperlink. If you click on a hyperlink, it will take you to a particular website. Hyperlinks can get embedded in text (like this) or in images.
- Permalink. The permanent address of any given web page or blog post on your site. It's what you or other people bookmark or use in a .
- Internal link. These are links between pages on your site. (External links would be to other sites outside your own.)
- SEO. Search Engine Optimization improves your site's performance on search engine queries, giving you a higher ranking in search results.
- SSL. Short for Secure Sockets Layer, SSL encrypts communications between an Internet browser and web server. Obtaining an SSL certificate is a basic step for e-commerce sites; SSL better protects sensitive information, like credit card numbers, entered into your site.
- Meta data. Each page on your site contains descriptive information about its contents. This information generally remains hidden from website visitors. However, search engines can pick up on this information and display some of it as a description in search results.
- Scrolling. This is how your visitors will travel down any given page on your site. There are different possibilities, including infinite scrolling (as in a Facebook feed that keeps showing new items as you scroll down) and pagination (dividing content across multiple pages, with a discrete amount of content on each page).
- Below the fold. After your site shows up on an Internet browser, any content that visitors would have to scroll down to see would be described as "below the fold." In good website design, certain content will ideally appear above the fold, immediately visible to visitors.
- Site map. A site map will serve as a kind of table of contents or index for your site. It allows search engines to crawl through your site more easily and pick up on your content.
- Malware. Malicious code that cyber criminals attempt to introduce to your site, allowing them to access sensitive information, bring the site down, or use it for other nefarious purposes.
- DDoS attack. Short for "Distributed Denial of Service" attack, it's when cyber criminals attempt to make your website unavailable by flooding it with more traffic than it can support.
If you have any additional questions, please contact us. When working with our clients, we make sure they understand everything we're doing to help make their site professional, reliable, and secure.