Website terms to master for your first meeting with a designer

Website terms

Websites terms can be very intimidating at first. Then there is the first meeting with your web designer – you just know that the geeky terms and acronyms are going to leave you in a complete brain fog. To stack the odds in your favour, here are a few terms that are bound to sneak into that conversation.

Let's first cover the basic website terms

  • Domain refers to the name you give your website i.e. “mywebsite”. Remember domain names are unique. It is a good idea to reserve a preferred name. I don’t want someone else has beaten you to the post and force you to rethink the name.
  • Hosting refers to the place where your website is stored so that other internet users can access it.
  • URL refers to the website’s address that is displayed in your browser. It looks like this
  • HTTP vs HTTPS refers to the programming code that allows your browser to receive the coded text from an internet server and to display it as a web page on your computer. HTTPS means that the text is being transferred over a secure and encrypted connection.
  • CSS is an acronym for “cascading style sheets”. These are files that control a website’s design elements such as colours and fonts. So if the website’s font needs to be changed from Arial to Times Roman, it only needs to be changed in one file and not on every individual page.
  • SEO stands for “search engine optimisation” and refers to the keywords that are included in a website’s content or added to website’s metadata to improve the way in which search engines rank the site. A high ranking increases visibility on the internet. A site with very good SEO will appear among the first ten websites listed in a Google search.
  • Meta tags and metadata refer to keywords and phrases that are most likely to be used in interest searches. These words then added to a website’s coding and are visible in a browser.

Website terms and design elements

  • Responsive design allows website pages to adjust to the different screen sizes of mobile phones, tablets and desktops. A website with a fixed-width layout will for instance not adjust to the smaller screen of a mobile phone and only show a section of website page at a time.
  • Hero image refers to the large image with and text that sits at the top of a website page.
  • Slider is a term used to refer to a carousel of images that can be swiped to reveal additional images. Sliders can also be programmed to move automatically through the gallery of images.
  • Hamburger is the term given to a menu shortcut that sits in the web page’s menu bar and is visible as horizontal lines. Hamburger menus are often seen on the smaller screens of mobile phones. When clicked the hamburger menu opens a drop-down menu to navigate between the site’s pages.
  • Favicon refers to a small logo-like icon that is displayed in the browser’s address bar next to the website’s URL.
  • CTA is an acronym for “call to action”. It is a link that invites the site visitor to interact with the web page i.e. click to download a document or to send an email.

FTP what?

Once you have approved all the changes and updates to your newly designed website, the designer will upload the site to your host’s server. FTP stands for “file transfer protocol” and refers to the method used to move all your website’s images, coding and content to your domain.

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