For anyone unaccustomed to building websites the amount of website jargon that you come across can be intimidating. There are all kinds of names and acronyms for things that at first glance make absolutely no sense to the newbie. Therefore I’ve compiled this list of website jargon in the hope that I can help you to understand what it all means. I’ll keep adding to this list as time goes by but if there is something you don’t understand that isn’t included here, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll be more than happy to answer your queries.
When setting up your website the first thing you’re going to want to do is buy a domain name. A domain name is the web address for your website without the WWW. For example, the domain name for this website is mikehigginswebdesign.com.
You may have heard it said that it is important to get a domain name that is exactly the service that you are offering. For example, if you are a hat maker from Luton the theory goes that buying lutonhatmakers.com should see your website ranked first in google for the search term ‘Luton hat makers’. While this may have had some benefits in the past it doesn’t really matter as much these days, so it is best to stick to your company name.
There are many places that sell domain names on the internet but the place I tend to recommend is Namecheap. I’ve used them to register various domains, I find the prices to be very competitive and I have never had any problems with them.
Buying a domain name isn’t enough to have a website on the internet, you also need somewhere to host it. A website basically is a bunch of files that you download from a server to your computer which renders on your screen recognisably as a website. therefore you will need somewhere to store your website’s files and the place you do this is at one of the many hosting companies. I personally host my websites with Host Gator. I’ve found their prices reasonable and their customer service to be very good.
You’ve probably heard of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) but you may not be totally familiar with what it means. You probably know that it has something to do with getting your website higher up the Google (and other search engine’s!) rankings. For years SEO was a way of describing techniques that could be used to trick Google into giving your website a higher ranking in their search results.
These days, however, with the sophistication of the algorithms that determine the search results, any attempt to trick Google will either not work or will actually have a detrimental effect. These days SEO is about making sure your website is set up in such a way that it is easy for Google to crawl your website so they can determine what your website is about and who it is for by picking up the keywords that you want to rank for. Of course, there is a lot more to it but that, in a nutshell, is what it’s all about.
A CMS is a Content Management System. What this is is a method by which you can edit and update your website. There are many different CMS options, the most famous and most widely used of these is WordPress. WordPress started life as a blogging platform but has now expanded to cater for all kinds of websites. It’s versatility and potential for expansion through plugins have seen it become the internet’s favourite CMS.
It’s not just small businesses that use it either. WordPress is used for websites such as Sony Music, Sweden’s official website and The New York Times.
Businesses are always looking for ways to engage with their customers and one excellent way to do that is to have them sign up to your newsletter mailing list. MailChimp is an excellent way to make this process as pain-free as possible. With MailChimp you can store a list of your contacts and send them all the same email at the same time without having to manually enter each email address fro your email client such as Outlook or Gmail.
But that isn’t the only benefit, one of the best things about MailChimp is the templates that they have which allows you to easily design a great looking email template without knowing how to code. However, if you want something more bespoke to really represent your companies brand you can custom code your email template.
Something I missed?
As mentioned in the intro, I will keep this list updated as and when new terms come to my attention. But if you’ve found some website jargon that you don’t understand, please feel free to send me an email and I will be more than happy to help explain anything you don’t understand. My email address is email@example.com