Part 2: Common web design industry terms
Puzzled by tech jargon? This second article in the series is for you! If you’re hiring a web designer or building a site yourself, know these common web terms.
My previous article covered the A – G of web tech terms, this article covers H –Z.
The Home page is like the front door of your website, it’s the page people land on when they type in your domain name. Oftentimes people land on many different pages within a website, but the Home page is the start page.
Websites (or virtual real estate) are physically housed on servers. Basically, it’s where the data is stored. If you do not own your own server at home or in the office, then you can rent one from many different hosting companies for a monthly fee.
HTML stands for HyperText Markup Language and you can think of it as a foundational code for the internet, or World Wide Web. A man named Tim Berners-Lee sort of created it and first used it in 1980. A designer uses HTML, and everything it is capable of, to lay the foundation for how a website will look, feel, act and move. Recently a new form called XHTML has been evolving. The X stands for Extensible. It’s a modern progression of the language.
When formatting text in the web environment, for example in a blog, it helps to break the copy apart using headings. The most common are H1 for big titles and main headings. Then, you’ve got H2 for sub-headings and H3, H4, H5 and so on.
"A designer uses HTML…to lay the foundation for how a website will look, feel, act and move."
Hyperlinks are text that have been encased in a link, which when clicked on, takes you to another web page (using HTML coding).
Most often the hyperlinked words are a different color, usually a bluish tone. However, other things can be hyperlinked too, like images, flash animation, photographs and video (usually placed inside the screen). Just about anything that’s published online can be hyperlinked so that it does something when your mouse hovers over it, or when you click on it.
In terms of web content, keywords are signifiers that tell search engines or indexing programs what the web page, blog, photograph, video is about. An example of keywords could be ‘dog collars’ or ‘leather dog collars’.
Want more articles like this? Check out the business websites section.
Like keywords, a title tag is an element within the code of your website that tells the internet what each page is about. An example of a title tag is: Leather dog collars: studded & cargo patterned.
The meta description is basically a few sentences that describe what your website, or particular pages of your website are about to search engines. A meta description is where you place your most important keywords.
Using the Title tag example above, a meta description for that page could be: Looking for dog collars that are comfy, sturdy and attractive? We supply cool leather collars that are studded and cargo patterned.
Navigation is how you move from one place to another when on a website. For example, from the Home page you may want to navigate to the Contact page or blog. Navigation can come in many forms, from drop-down menus to specially-designed buttons and graphics. Navigation must be clear though. In fact, perfecting navigation is a good conversion optimisation technique. The easier a site is to use/navigate, the better the user-experience.
A search engine, like Google or Bing, searches the internet constantly so it can index the information, and provide it to people who are searching for it.
The term can also refer to search engines within a website. Flying Solo has a search box located in the top right of this page. If you type in ‘tax tips’ it will search the content within the site and present articles and content related to that topic.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
SEO is the process of optimising your website so that it’s adored by search engines such as Google, and placed high in Google’s search results. For example, if you have a website that sells dog collars, you’d want to optimise your website so that when someone Googles ‘dog collars’, your website appears on the first page, and preferably as high up as possible so that people click through to your website. There are many ways to optimise your website.
As stated in my previous article, knowing these web tech terms won’t make you an expert, but they’ll help you navigate your way through the website design process. Good luck with your website!
Do you need another term defined? Or can you add your own definition for a term I’ve missed?