Web Site Design: Guide to Technical Terms
Start speaking the language of the internet and learn the lingo of the average web-nerd. Below are common technical terms for web site design and website development along with an easy-to-understand definitions. Still lost? Contact us today and we will help you out!
Animation (Web Animation)
Web animations describe graphics, images, text, elements, etc that move or change over time; either on their own or triggered by a specific event. Flash, jQuery, GIFs, or CSS transition effects are just a few examples of how animations on done online today.
Blogs are similar to a website with a Content Management System (CMS). Normally blogs are used to post frequent material and updates (more then once a week) - often about a particular topic. Normally, websites are more informational and are updated less frequently than blogs. Wordpress (WP) is an excellent example of a common and popular blogging platform used on the internet today.
This is the small icon that displays next to the URL or name in a web browsers address bar, tabs, bookmarks/favorites menu and history. The creation of a custom icon is included with all of our web site design packages.
Browser (Web Browser)
A web browser is any software used for navigating, viewing and interacting on the internet (or World-Wide-Web). Internet Explorer, Chrome, FireFox, Safari, etc are examples of some popular web browsers currently being used online today. Each web-browser functions, reads and renders website content slightly differently but are essentially the same.
Buttons can be the individual main navigation menu links that connect and link the individual web pages that make up a typical website. Buttons can be found in a website header, content or footer. Common button names or titles would be "Home", "About", "Services", "Gallery", "Contact", etc.
Buttons can also be used to submit data to online programs or servers (often for email contact forms, logins, or searches).
Carousel (Image Carousel)
An image carousel is an animated picture slideshow (normally in the header of a web site) often accompanied with descriptive text and relevant links. They are used very effectively to direct visitors to or highlight certain products, services or information about a company. They automatically play when the page loads but can be easily controlled by the user.
They have become very popular recently since they are Flash free which allows them to work on a larger portion of computers in the world without issues (such as on Apple mobile devices).
These are all different coding languages that can be used to run a website. We handle all of the technical stuff like this so you do not have to worry about it.
Email contact forms make it much easier for your web site visitors to contact you. A typical email contact form consists of several fields (or text-boxes) where users can enter their personal details, contact information and/or message. This information can then be submitted (or sent) to you via email while an auto response gets sent to the visitor. Contact forms can be added to any type of web site and can be customized to fit your exact needs.
Content (Website Content)
Website content describes the unique text, images, links, media and information that make up the typical webpage. Normally it can be found below the header and above the footer and is different from page to page.
Content Management System (CMS)
A Content Management System (or CMS) allows an web owner (or administrator) to make changes to a website with no coding knowledge required. A CMS is perfect for a company that is planning on making frequent changes to their web site themselves. A few good examples of commonly used CMS's on the internet today are Wordpress (WP) or Joomla because of their ease-of-use, popularity and versatility.
DNS (Domain Name System)
DNS is a technical term for process that takes easy-to-remember alphanumeric domain names (or URL) and translates them into IP addresses to load a website. Every primary domain name needs to have its DNS configured with specific name servers so it accesses the correct hosting server. Do not worry, we will handle all of the technical stuff for you!
Domain Name (or URL)
A domain name (or URL) is the unique primary address for easily identifying, locating and accessing a website online. Domain names are made up of a series of alphanumeric strings (separated by periods) and include a suffix that indicates which top level domain (TLD) it belongs to (such as .com, .net, .org, etc). No two domain names are the same and they are often chosen because they are easy to remember and relate to the content on that particular web site.
All of our website packages includes a domain name at no cost.
A dropdown menu is the hidden sub-link list that are usually only shown when a user hovers their mouse over the main top-level button link. Typically drop-down menus can be found in the websites main navigation menu in the web site header and often link to different pages on a website. Dropdown menus can significantly reduce cluttering in the main menu navigation (if the website has lots of pages) and improve the ease of use by helping to organize, sort, and group similar pages and content together.
Email (or electronic-mail) describes the digital mailbox where digital messages can be received, sent, and viewed. All of our web site packages include email accounts using the your chosen domain name (firstname.lastname@example.org).
With email forwarding you can still have email@example.com, but instead of having to check another email account any email sent to that email address will automatically forward to whatever email account you are currently using now. This way you do not need to have two separate email accounts. Just give us the email address you would like to use as well as which email address you would those emails sent to.
These are 3rd party code that can be added to your website content so media can be viewed without your visitors needing to leave the website/page. A typical embed would be a YouTube video, Twitter feed, or Google Map.
Field (Contact Form)
A field is a text-box where a visitor can type in their name, email, phone number, message, or whatever. These fields typically get used with our custom email contact forms. All, some or none of the fields can be made required (meaning they need to be filled out before they can be submitted).
Flash is program that creates self-contained web content, animations, and programs. Flash is often used for website intros, headers, assets, and most frequently for playing videos online (such as with YouTube or Vimeo embeds).
Footer (Website Footer)
The bottom section of a website that normally does not change page to page and often contains text, images, navigation links, logos, and a copyright message.
Used exclusively for our semi-custom web sites, these are pre-designed sites that are customized by us to fit your exact needs. You will have the opportunity to choose from a variety of specially selected framework options that are appropriate for the kind of website you requested.
GIF (Animated GIF)
A GIF is an image format frequently used for animations online (often for animated web banners).
Header (Website Header)
The top section of a website that normally does not change page to page and usually contains logos (company logo), main navigation menu, buttons, links, text, and images.
A homepage describes the first web-page a user will typically arrive on when accessing any web site. These landing pages are normally named "index" and loads automatically when requesting the top-level root of a domain URL.
Hosting (Web Hosting)
Hosting is where the data that makes up your website (files, information, text, images, media, etc) is stored and shared with the Internet community on the World-Wide-Web. Without hosting, there would be no place to store all the unique files, information and data that makes up every website.
All of our website design packages includes the hosting for the first year.
Image Optimization (Web Optimized Images)
Image optimization describes the technical process used to reduce the file size of photos (or images) so they load faster and make your web site more efficient. A typical web optimized image has been sized, adjusted, cropped and/or compressed for the web so it can be downloaded quicker while still looking its best.
We review every single image that we add to all of our websites to make sure they have been optimized appropriately and correctly.
The internet is the term that describes the global system of interconnected computer networks that serve billions of users around the world.
jQuery is a coding library and platform used for online programs, event handling, animations, etc.
Keywords and Key-Phrases
These are the custom words and phrases, chosen by you (with our assistance), that get used to improve your websites SEO and increase its traffic. We will integrate these keywords and key-phrases into the content and code of your website so they will get picked up by the major search engines (like Google and Yahoo). Normally your chosen and targeted keywords and key-phrases are mirrored in your web sites content.
Hyperlinks are clickable text, images, buttons or areas that take users to a whole different webpage or specific element within a webpage.
Message Board (or Online Forums)
An Internet forum, or message board, is an online discussion section where visitors can hold conversations in the form of posted messages and threads. Message Boards can be open to anyone or only to approved visitors who have signed up to become members. Visitors can read, create new, or comment on existing threads or topics.
META data is a technical term for a hidden section of the code that exists on every page of a website where SEO keywords and site description are added. While not viewable to the average visitor, the META data gets used by major search engines (such as Google) for determining page relevance as well as displaying the page description in the search results to aid users.
A navigation bar is where the main navigation links on a web site go and can typically be found in a web sites header and sometimes the footer and content as well. Common navigation links are "Home", "About Us", "Services", "FAQ", "Contact Us", etc. Configuring your website with custom navigation buttons/links is included with all of our web site packages.
Page (Web Page)
A web page describes an individual document on a web site where content (such as text, images, links, media, etc) can be added and viewed by anyone online. The content on a specific web page is generally related and can be accessed directly by using an unique address link in a web browser. Several webpages linked together make up a typical web site. In fact you are looking at a web page right now!
A search engine is an online tool used to find websites, information and media on the internet. Users submit keyword and key-phrases queries that result in a sortable list of the most relevant webpages for that specific search. Search engines determine web site relevancy by using proprietary and complicated methods and algorithms; these can be harnessed by trained SEO experts (such as The Rusty Pixel team) to help a web site gain a higher organic search results.
Google, Yahoo!, and Bing are examples of some popular search engines on the internet today.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search engine optimization (or SEO) describe the techniques and methods used to modify the content and code to the individual pages that make up a website to help drive traffic by improving visibility and relevance to major search engines (such as Google). Targeted and relevant keywords and key-phrases are used in this process and are critical to boosting a websites SEO and page rank. Advanced search engine optimization (or ASEO) can be added for the maximum SEO benefit and better results .
A site description is a brief keyword and key phrase rich summary of a website that is normally 1-2 sentences in length. It is exclusively added to the META data portion of the code on every page of a web site and is not seen by the end-user. It can improve a web sites SEO and displays on search engine results to help users by describing what content exists on that page.
Configuring a web site with a custom site description is included with all of our web site design packages.
A social network is a term used to describe an online community where individuals or businesses can connect and share ideas, information, and media with other members (and sometimes non-members). Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, MySpace, etc are excellent examples of some popular social networks currently being used today.
Social Network Integration
Social network integration describes the process of linking a web site to a variety of different social network accounts controlled or managed by the owners of that web site. This process can help drive traffic to the web site and makes it more visible to existing or potential clients.
All of our website pages include social network integration.
A splash page is a portal webpage that serves as a gateway to the main website and is similar to but slightly different from the typical homepage. It is unique from all other pages on a web site and normally contains text, images, links, or media (such as a brief welcome message, logo, animation, video, enter link, etc). In some cases it will allow the user to set their preferences for viewing the web site (such as selecting their preferred language, location, site variation, etc).
Traffic (Web Traffic)
This is a term used to describe the amount and frequency either new or unique users spend on a web site. Web traffic data can be analyzed and used to tweak a web site to help improve SEO.
Validated HTML 5 and CSS 3.0 Website
This is a technical term that means the website will be developed to the current and most up-to-date Internet standards and that there are no errors or warnings existing in the code.
Visitors is the term used to describe anyone using, viewing or navigating a website.
Web-rings Reciprocal Links
This is a proprietary program offered by The Rusty Pixel that helps improve a web sites SEO by adding the link and targeted SEO information to multiple websites. Being included in this exclusive program comes standard with all of our web site packages.
Webmail describes the program that allows individuals to view, send and receive emails through any web-browser. We offer webmail with all of our website packages.
A web site is the term used to describe a group of related webpages linked together on a single domain name (or URL) that can be accessed by anyone online using a web-browser. The typical website is made up of several individual pages that are normally interconnected by the main menu navigation.
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Website Design Technical Terms | Lingo of a Web Site Developer Cocoa
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