Basic Web Terminology

There is a heap of jargon used in website development so here is a list of basic terms that might help you if you are very new to creating an online web presence. 

Blog: “web log” is a part of your online strategy that updates regularly and can include articles, videos, and all sorts of other types of media. A collection of individual blog posts make up a blog.

Blog platforms: places that will host your blog for you. These free sites cost nothing to set up and can get you started blogging straight away. Some popular ones are,, and

Blog Post: one individual blog entry.

Conversion rate: the percentage of visitors that perform a certain action on your website. This usually refers to people submitting contact info or buying something.

Domain or Domain Name: The name that you choose for your URL such as You have to buy your domain from a company that you pay a yearly fee. Domain names expire and are made available to someone else if you don’t continue to pay for them. You need to check to see if your business domain name is available BEFORE you go using the URL address for it and BEFORE you decide on your site name.

Header: The top rectangular shaped area that runs across the top of your web page. Its prime real estate for design and information and its primary purpose is to instantly connect your audience so that they know they have arrived at the right place.

Home Page: the page that will come up when someone enters just your domain name.

Hosting: This is the online real-estate that you rent out so that your website has a place to live. You will need an online company to host your website for you. Its usually a monthly or yearly fee to store all of your websites files so that it can be served up to users on the web. You can store any kind of file on your web host including pictures, audio, pdf, and video.

Landing Page: This is a pages specifically designed for people to “land on” and is often used in relation to advertising directly to your potential clients. It might be specific information that you want to direct clients to or you might use it to see how effective a marketing strategy has been.

Metadata: a set of data that describes and gives information about the content of your web pages. It improves searchability. It can include descriptions of the pages content, keywords, and tags and will help browsers to find information or resources. It’s very important because the web pages description and summary are often displayed in search results by search engines to let a person know what that page is about and it’s what they use to index your site.

Navigation: this is how visitors will get around your site. Usually in a menu form, navigation will help visitors to find and discover different areas and info contained in your site. You can have different navigation in different areas. For instance you main navigation would be easy to find and to get to what you’re looking for whereas the footer navigation might be things more like contact us, terms and conditions etc.

Redirect or Domain forwarding: When one domain name is re-routed to bring users to a different domain. With redirects you can direct several domain names to one website. Great if you think people might misspell your domain or if you want similar names redirected. You can create redirects by logging into your account with the company you purchased your domain name from.

Responsive design: Web design that strives to provide an optimal viewing experience across a wide range of devices from desktop computers to tablets and mobile phones. The goal is to be able to easily read and navigate with minimum resizing and scrolling. The goal is to make anything you create responsive.

SEO: Search Engine Optimisation is the process of optimising the organic results for your site when your audience is trying to search for you online.

Sidebar: An area that runs adjacent to but not part of the main content or articles on your website. It can contain navigation, links to other parts of your site, social media stuff, or special promotional info.

Squeeze page: This is a page that gets your potential clients contact information. Also called a landing page or a lead capture page. It is a very simple page that contains no navigation or any other distractions, just information design to get info to build your database of potential clients.

URL: the address that people type into their browser to get to a specific page on your website such as: Keep in mind that every page on your site has its own URL.

User Experience: this refers to the how a person using your product or service feels, behaves, believes, perceives, and responds to your offering. User experience design focuses on how to enhance customer and user satisfaction by focusing on the ease of use, the experience and the emotional impact for the user. This is all about your ideal client.

Web browser: the program that you use to access websites on the internet such as safari, Firefox and chrome.

Web Designer: someone who’s focus is on the look and feel of your website to execute the overall vision and brand of your online presence. This can sometimes also be split into user experience design, interface design, graphic design and SEO(Search Engine Optimisation).

Web Developer: A professional programmer that develops and codes what a web designer designs. The technical person that builds the site and focuses on the way a website works over and above how it looks.

Portfolio site: also called brochure or static website. A site that does not have a blog or any other interactive features.

Email marketing: the software that allows people to sign up for your email list and allows you to send out emails to many people at once. This is a service that you pay for if you have enough people on your list. Some popular options are aweber, getresponse and mailchimp.

Auto Responder: an email that is automatically triggered by an event like someone signing up on your site. It can be as simple as a welcome and thanks for signing up when someone signs up for your newsletter. It is sometimes also used when referring to your email marketing.

Broadcast Email: this is an email that you send to your list from your email marketing provider such as a newsletter.

Shopping cart: an online service that you pay for so that you can do sales online. Shopping carts usually include things like product descriptions and a way to organise and store what you have for sale.

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