A Lucky 13 of Website Design Terms to Know During a Website Redesign
Every industry has got its share of industry-specific lingo and web design is no different. If you’re thinking about redesigning your company’s website and want to be up to speed on web-design speak, then continue to read on to learn some of the most common technical terms we use or what we anticipate you’ll hear thrown around during meetings with your website design team.
Analytics refer to the collection, analysis and reporting of data for the number of visitors that go to your website. Using analytics, you can track how many people are looking at your site, which pages are the most popular, where people are visiting from and a whole slew of other information.
The backend of your website refers to the site’s content management system or server. It’s where you login and make changes to your website’s content, write blogs or review pages.
Browser testing occurs after your designer has turned the mockup into a template via code. The template needs to be tested using different browser combinations to ensure that the site shows well on various browser versions and on different operating systems.
Essentially, before your website goes live browser testing double checks that your website renders properly on all possible devices, browsers and operating system combinations – so that your website doesn’t look wonky.
Call to Action
Call to Action is a request or direction that encourages your website’s visitor to take an action – usually via clicking a button, graphic or text link that takes them to the next step you desire – whether that’s making a call, subscribing to your email list or requesting further information.
The graphic design for your website is only a fraction of the full website design process. Writing content and providing images is another important part of the process that often gets overlooked. The words and images used to “fill up” your website constitute the content of your website.
Content Management System
A content management system (CMS) houses all of your website’s content and is a program/web application that allows you to edit, add and manage your website’s pages easily. Non-techie users are capable of tweaking the content on their website through the CMS and it is here that your written copy and images are stored.
The domain name is your website’s address typically ending in .com or .ca. Domain names point to the web servers that contain your website. Think of your domain name as a shortcut to your website, otherwise people would need to remember a series of numbers (i.e. an IP address) to view it.
The front end of your website is what people see when they visit your website on a computer, smartphone or tablet. When a designer creates the front end of your website, they are creating the graphic design and layout of what site your will look like for the user.
Hosting or ‘web hosting’ refers to the activity or business of providing storage space and access for websites via a server. What this means is that your website is available on a web server i.e. a computer that is always hooked up to the internet thus making your site accessible on the web.
Your website designer will provide you with a mockup that lets you see what your website will look like on a computer’s screen. It is a picture of what the website will look like, not a working version that you can click on and navigate through. This step precedes programming the site and once a ‘design’ is settled upon, then programming commences.
Responsive web design is the technique of designing and coding your website so that it is mobile-friendly. It allows your website to be responsive to the device it is being viewed on and scale or reformat itself to the proper screen size. Responsive design ensures that your website is readable and useable on all devices – desktops, mobiles phones and tablets.
SEO stands for search engine optimization and SEO is the practice of optimizing your website to increase your website’s traffic and ultimately move up in the search engines result pages.
A sitemap is a model or outline of your website’s content that is typically in a hierarchical structure -showing what pages will live under what headings. Think of it as the skeleton or scaffolding of your website. It shows your websites organizational structure and also helps search engines navigate when they crawl through your site.