A COMPREHENSIVE LIST OF WEBSITE TERMINOLOGY
A unique name [e.g. mycompanyname.com] which people use to access your website. Having your own domain name is highly recommended as it helps to raise your organization's profile. You can use it for your website and email
(e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org), regardless of who your ISP [Internet Service Provider] or website hosting company is, either now or in the future.
Website content [text and pictures] which is updated either by an automatic process, or as a result of input from a site visitor [e.g. search results, login, etc]. Either way, some form of programming is required to enable this. Implementing a website with dynamic rather than static content is more costly, but can greatly enhance your website's functionality.
Form Mail allows you to collect and process information from visitors to your web site.
Using Form Mail Protects your email addresses from SPAM because your e-mail address is hidden.
Upon submission of the form, the information is processed, emailed directly to you, and users are instantly redirected back to a page of your choosing.
Graphic designers are professionals experienced in the art of graphic design, which is the creation of images for things such as :
magazines and books
Web graphics are quite different than for print. For print, quality must
be the best possible. For websites, there is always a trade off between quality
and the speed of loading an image onto a computer screen. Colors are also more
limited. Make sure your graphic designer has experience with creating web graphics.
Hosting / Web Hosting
Your website consists of a number of files which must be stored on a computer [file server] connected to the Internet. Hosting is a service whereby you "rent" space on a file server owned by a hosting company. It is their responsibility to ensure your website is accessible worldwide, 24 hours a day.
Fees are usually paid monthly or yearly, and vary depending on the size of your website and how it is built. Your hosting company should not be chosen on price alone. Future hosting requirements, support provided, and provision of useful web statistics should also be considered.
Hyperlinks / Links
Website links which, when clicked, take you to another area of the same website or to another website entirely.
Hyperlinks can be applied to text, images or buttons. Hyperlinked text is usually underlined or highlighted in some way. All hyperlinks show as a hand when you position the mouse over them.
Interactive websites are those which allow visitors to perform tasks and get a response from the website, rather than just view information. Common examples of this are :
registering for a newsletter
searching for information
ISP [Internet Service Provider]
An ISP provides you with access to the Internet either by dialing up through their server, or with a direct connection. There are a large number of ISPs offering different plans at different rates. Most ISPs provide services such as Email and web hosting. Some even provide free space for a personal web page. This is not usually suitable for business purposes. You do not have to host your website with your ISP.
Navigation is your visitors' means of finding their way around your website. With well planned navigation, your visitor can quickly and easily find what they are looking for. It is even more important than the actual content of your website. Various navigation methods can be used, depending on the nature of the site, including :
page links - buttons or text, usually along the top, bottom, right or left
drop-down menus - enabling visitors to go directly to a topic which they would otherwise have to click
hyperlinks on text or images throughout the main site content, taking you to other pages
site maps - like an index - ideal for large sites
Using password protection, you can place files on the internet and limit third party access to any directory in your website
Password Protection is a process that allows any user the ability to have private content accessible online.
Sets of username/password combinations are unique to each folder or directory. This allows you to have several
directories - one for customers, one for employees, etc. which prevents one group from seeing another group's files.
POP 3 E-mail [Post Office Protocol]
With POP3 e-mail accounts, you can retrieve all emails addressed to your domain on your host's server via your PC.
With multiple POP3 email boxes, you can have multiple addresses, such as email@example.com and
firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also set up addresses for members of your staff, or divisions
within your company, such as email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
POP was designed for, and works best in, the situation where you use only a single desktop computer.
If you choose to work with your POP mail on more than one machine, you may have trouble with email messages
getting downloaded on one machine that you need to work with on another machine; for example, you may need a
message at work that was downloaded to your machine at home.
see also Web Mail
Search Engine Optimization / Registration
As more websites are created around the world, the chances of your site appearing near the top of a search results list becomes less likely, depending on how much competition you have on the Internet.
Some companies specialize in promoting your site via search engines; we do NOT. Whether it is worthwhile to pay for their services or not depends on the nature of your website, and who and where your expected site visitors are.
Search engine optimization means designing and building a website in order to get the maximum exposure in search engines. Among other things, this involves building key words and phrases into the site which aren't seen by visitors.
Search engine registration is the act of registering your website with a number of search engines, either locally and/or internationally. Knowing which engines to register with, to target your audience, is half the battle. Registering with any engine doesn't guarantee that your site will show in the results list. Some allow you to register for free, while others make you pay.
Website content [text and pictures] which is updated manually, as opposed to dynamic content. Implementing a website with static content is generally quite cost effective, and suits websites where information isn't expected to change often, such as a brochure website.
Web designers are professionals experienced in the art of website design. Their services vary, but will include some or all of the following :
discussing and analyzing your requirements
planning site structure - layout, "look and feel", navigation
designing and creating web graphics and animations
designing and building web pages
programming for interactive websites
search engine optimization and registration
web hosting and domain name setup
website maintenance or training you to do it yourself
Web developers are generally more technical than web designers. Although their skills do overlap, developers tend to specialize more in programming for interactive websites. If your website requires a database of information that visitors can search on, you will probably need a web developer.
Web graphics are used to enhance the look of websites. Text on websites can only be displayed in a limited number of fonts, so if you want to jazz it up, you need to turn that text into a graphic image. Other web graphics include photos, pictures, buttons, navigation menus, banner ads, animations.
It is possible for anyone to take a photo with a digital camera, or scan in a digital image. However, these images will usually need to be edited and re-sized for use on the web to ensure they still look good and more importantly, are quick to load.
Web graphics are generally created by a web designer or graphic designer.
With WebMail, you can check your e-mail from anywhere on the globe that has an Internet connection.
Using a web browser, you can log into any mail box on your account and check, send and delete mail.
This feature is useful for trips, multiple accounts using one PC, or immediate access at any location.
Web statistics are reports which give you information on your site's usage. The report format and information varies between hosting companies, but should include things like :
number of hits on your site
number of unique visitors
most / least visited pages
visitor entry / exit points
search engines / key words successfully used to find your site
errors encountered by visitors [e.g. pages not found]
Look for web statistics that will show you a trend [i.e. time of day, day of week, history over several months].
Website maintenance refers to ongoing changes to a site once it is published on the Internet. As things change in your organization, your website must be updated to reflect such changes. There is nothing more harmful to your credibility than having out-of-date information on the Internet for all the world to see.
Maintenance must be planned for in the early stages of your project. You should appoint someone in your organization the responsibility of checking the site regularly, and arranging for updates to be done as necessary.
Decisions must be made about who will manage site content and how. The right option for you will depend on what needs to change and how often. If website maintenance is to be provided by your web designer, an hourly rate or contract fee should be discussed and agreed on.
For website owners, promotion of the site is important. There is no point having a brilliant website if no one knows it exists.
Apart from search engine optimization and registration, it is advisable to promote your website through traditional methods, such as :
word of mouth [staff, customers, suppliers, friends, family]
stationery [business cards, letterhead, etc.]
promotional material [t-shirts, calendars, etc.]
building and vehicle signage
magazines and industry related publications
directory and Yellow Pages listings
Email auto signatures
links to and from other websites
Having an easy-to-remember domain name will help.