If you're getting to the point where you think that online talk is becoming like another language then this post is for you. When researching a new web site design or web development project you might come across some technical terms or buzzwords. This glossary can help you as a quick reference guide.
Testing two different versions of the same website page to evaluate which one performs better.
Taking into consideration people with disabilities in the initial stages of the web design project. It involves the optimisation of the web site. For example, a text-only version of a web site will make it easier for a visually impaired person to listen to its content using special software.
The actual text of a link to a page. On most websites, this text is usually dark blue and underlined, or purple if you’ve visited the link in the past. Anchor text helps search engines understand what the destination page is about.
An online journal that is regularly updated.
This is the software we use every day to view web sites. Popular browsers are Microsoft Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox.
CSS or Stylesheet
This is short for Cascading Style Sheets. Written in HTML, this is commonly used to style web pages. Styling options, including page layouts, colors and fonts, are typically preset to help control cohesiveness and an overall professional look and feel for your website.
The canonical URL is the best address that a user can find a piece of information on. Sometimes you might have a situation where the same page content can be accessed at more than one address. Specifying the canonical URL helps search engines understand which address for a piece of content is the best one.
Content management system (CMS)
A web-based way for people without extensive technical knowledge to update content on their web sites.
A site that uses database technology is more dynamic than flat, static-sites, as certain changes to content and design can instantly be applied across the entire web site. A popular type of database technology is MySQL (pronounced ‘My sequel’).
Your web site address (such as www.studiowide.co.uk).
The buying and selling of goods and services via the internet. Examples include Play.com or Tesco.com and Amazon.
Technology that tracks where people’s eyes travel across a screen, used to optimise web site design.
This is the small graphic, typically your logo or other representation your website, which appears in a browser’s address bar, favorites or bookmark lists.
An online message board that allows visitors to create conversation ‘threads’ and reply to other messages.
Images that instill trust and show credibility.
HTML (HyperText Markup Language)
The underlying computer code used to display web sites.
The organisation that stores your web site and keeps it online.
A dedicated website landing page, usually containing a form or call-to-action that is used for lead generation. This page revolves around a marketing offer, such as an ebook or a webinar, and serves to capture visitor information in exchange for the valuable offer.
How the web page is designed. For instance, a form or sidebar can be placed on the left side of the page, while the description or main body is in the centre.
A web page element, usually located at the top, with links that help visitors to navigate through a website.
Short for picture element. The smallest element of an image. Graphics are often measured in pixel width.
RSS (Really Simple Syndication)
Often known as news feeds. RSS technology allows the syndication of content found on blogs and news sites. It saves subscribers having to visit each of their favourite sites, as their latest headlines and content can all be viewed via a news reader.
A web site such as Google or Bing that searches other web pages.
Search engine optimisation (SEO)
The art of optimising your web site content so that it appears high up in search engine results pages.
Search engine results pages. These are the pages that are displayed to you when you undertake a keyword search via a search engine.
Web sites like Facebook and LinkedIn that make it easy for like-minded people to make friends, reacquaint with old colleagues and create and share messages or other content with them.
A key description applied to a piece of information such as blog entry or image.
The measure of individual visitors to a web site.
How easy it is for people to find what they are looking for when moving around your web site.
User-centred design (UCD)
Web site design process that focuses on identifying and meeting the needs of the end-user.
The latest generation of web sites whose technology makes it easy for users to create their own content, such as Facebook and Flickr.
The World Wide Web consortium, a group that develops and agrees on technical web standards.
A visual reference point that outlines where the main design elements will be placed on a web site. It may be as simple as a sketch on paper, or designed in something like Microsoft Word.
Extensible Mark-up Language. Computer code that describes how data included on a web page, document or other file is structured (as opposed to how it’s displayed). This allows particular content to be intelligently used by other web sites or applications.
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