Category: Demystifying Websites

Plain English: Tips Guaranteed To make Your Website better

What is plain English?

Plain English is writing that people can understand the first time they read it.

The Plain English Campaign started in 1979 to challenge the gobbledygook and jargon of government and public bodies, but the good sense principles apply to your website too:

  • no padding;
  • no waffle;
  • no unintended repetition.

The advantages for your website?

  • it’s easier to read, so it’s better for your visitor;
  • faster to write, so it’s better for you;
  • you get your message across in a friendlier way, which is better for you and your visitors.

Improve your website content in with our 5 top tips.

1 Use we/you

Using first person (I/we) and second person (you) makes your writing more conversational and easier to understand.

Gobbledygook:

The backing up of the websites is undertaken on a 24-hourly cycle.

Plain English:

We back-up your website every day.

Example 1 of Plain English

2 Avoid Jargon

Jargon is a language that is only understood by a particular group of people. It can be a useful form of shorthand, but try to avoid using specialist jargon on the general public.

If you do use a specialist term, explain it the first time you use it.

Gobbledygook:

Pre-notification correspondence regarding your bank charges

Plain English:

Letter about your bank charges

Example 2 of Plain English

3 Avoid over formal language

If you wouldn’t use a word in normal conversation, think twice about writing it.

Gobbledygook:

Going forward, we’re visiting the cafe to choose an appropriate beverage.

Plain English:

We’re off for a flat white.

Example 3 of Plain English

4 Use commands

It’s the most direct and clearest way to give instructions – “you should do this” is less helpful than “do this”.

Gobbledygook:

Alt tags should be added to photographs on the website.

Plain English:

Add alt tags to photos on your website.

Example 4

5 Use short words

Long words will not impress your customers or help your writing style, so swap them for shorter words.

Gobbledygook:

We will endeavour to provide additional particulars on request.

Plain English:

If you need any extra details, just ask.

Example 5

We’ve shared more tips to improve your website copy here, and check out our Instagram for more website wisdom.

12 Inspiring 404 Page Examples from real websites

Error 404 image for 404 Page blog

A 404 Page might not be at the top of your To-Do List when you are setting up your website. But, we all make mistakes. And, if you have a missing page or broken link on your website, visitors will see this error page automatically.

Use this to show your visitors that you’re a friendly, real person:

  • Include links to other helpful pages
  • Give them ways to get in touch – include an email address, or your Social Media links
  • Best of all, add in some humour – make the visitor pleased that this accidental page appeared!

Here are our favourite 404 Page examples to inspire you

1 Pixar

Pixar 404 Page

Pixar chooses just the right character to express sadness and frustration – sweet and on-brand. And, if you’re an animation studio, it’s a perfect place to showcase your skill.

2 Bret Victor

Brett Victor 404 page, showing pipe

Simple as can be – but clever, too. Our intellect is appeased because we like recognising the nod to the painting by Magritte that is the inspiration. Perfect showcase for a clever computer programmer.

3 Victoria Spicer

Victoria is a set designer. Here’s a 404 Page image is a mini-set which manages to tell a story, and immediately showcasing her talent.

4 Spotify

Perfectly on-brand – re-load the page if you can’t see anything moving!

5 Marvel

What do you do when you’re spoilt for choice, like Marvel, with so many different characters? Answer: randomly load different pages with different characters.

6 AirBnB

Is it wrong to have a favourite 404 Page….? This hits the spot, just as the ice cream hits the floor.

7 Lego

Lego 404 Page

Everything is Awesome – of course! (But it would be even more awesome if the soundtrack played too.)

8 Nasa

Nasa 404 page

Nothing fancy – just an on-brand message, and a rather stunning image. Great example of simplicity.

9 Mailchimp

It’s not just the animation that works here. The message is bold and clear: we’ve done something wrong, but we’ll help you find the right place. Seems like Mailchimp are friendly, helpful people, doesn’t it?

10 Figma

Figma create design tools. Here, the 404 itself demonstrates what they offer. (Warning: visiting this page can be seriously time-consuming….)

11 Slack

You might not have wanted to go to Slack’s 404 Page, but, as you’re there, you can explore a magical world by moving your mouse.

12 Sprout Social

Sprout Social 404 page

A reminder that you’re not disadvantaged because you don’t have your own animation team. Use a simple message, choose a clear image and include a Call to Action.

More 404 Page inspiration

Canva have written a helpful blog demonstrating how to construct an effective 404 page. And check out their own error page too.

Ready for your own 404 Page?

We have designed a 404 Page Extra Shot that can be added to our multi page Macchiato or eCommerce Flat White websites. It’s simple for you to add an image and tailor your message.

How to publish your first blog post in 5 steps

5 steps to your first blog post

Guest Blog Post by Ruth Buckingham, Kandu Marketing.

I have been running my own business for almost five years now – I launched as a content marketing consultant after many years of working in corporate marketing roles, mainly on the sales enablement side. 

The reason I share this is that I still get scared and overwhelmed when I press publish my on next blog post – what if something I have said is incorrect?  What if no one wants to read what I have to say?  What if, what if, what if?

If you have recently launched your own business, you may have heard about the power of content in building the “know-like-trust” factor with clients and potential clients. However, it can still seem like an enormous task to start “creating” content, never mind sharing it, especially if you are busy getting all your business fundamentals in place too.

I want to reassure you that everyone feels the same. 

The joy of digital marketing also is that you can always edit or update your blog if you learn something new or want to make changes. 

5 steps to help you write your first blog post
Five steps to writing your first blog post

Why should you be blogging for your business?

There are a range of benefits to blogging.  In addition to driving valuable traffic and potential leads to your website, below are just three:

  1. Improves SEO (the way search engines find you and show your content to your audience)
  2. Positions you as a thought-leader so that your clients understand your value to them.
  3. Provides you with a juicy bank of content that you can use on your other channels such as social media or email marketing.

How on earth do I get started with my first blog post?

It’s all very well deciding to start writing blogs, but I am sure we have all sat and stared at an empty page and felt overwhelmed. 

I have created this five step list to help you get going and write and publish your first blog.

Step 1 – Brainstorm

Some topics to write about:

  • What do you want your audience to know about you?
  • Why did you start your business?
  • What are the trends in your industry?
  • What are the most common questions that people ask about your product or service?
Brainstorm topics for your first blog post
Brainstorm topics that your audience would find useful

Step 2 – Research

Once you have decided your blog topic, take some time to research more detail and background:

  • Use your audience if you have one. Ask questions and ask for feedback about what they would like to find out about.
  • Check out what others have written on the subject.
  • Have a look at sites like Buzzsumo or Reddit for sources.
  • What are you competitors saying, how does your point of view differ?
  • Note down some key takeaways that you want your audience to remember.

Step 3 – Plan your blog post

  • How will your blog structure look?
  • What key points do you want to make?
  • What do you want your readers to do at the end of reading the blog post aka what will your “Call to Action” be?
  • Do you need any further information or quotes?
  • What keywords will you include to help with SEO?
  • What images will you need to make your post stand out?

Step 4 – Write and edit

If you have the time, I always recommend writing on one day and then returning to the copy the following day, or at least after a break.

  • If, like me you are a person that is easily distracted, please set a timer, perhaps for 25 minutes? Get writing, with all your notifications turned off.  You will be amazed how much you can get written in 25 minutes.  Have a 5-minute break and then start again and repeat the process until you are finished.
  • Check that you have broken up text with subheadings and short sentences. If you have a WordPress site (from Penny and Fred!) then Yoast has a brilliant free plugin that can help highlight long chunks of text that are difficult to read.
  • Read your copy out loud, this is a quick way of spotting typos or sentences that don’t scan well.
  • Are your key words are included? You can go back and do this as part of your first edit.  It is recommended that they should be in your Heading, first paragraph, at least one sub-heading, Snippet (the part that the search engines use) and the alt-text of the image you use.

Step 5 – Publish and Promote

This is the bit that often makes the nerves come on, but if you have followed the steps above you can be confident that you have created a useful piece of blog content and your objective now should be to help as many people as possible get to know you, your business and what you have to offer.

Be proud of your efforts!

  • Publish your blog post – once you are happy with the post, hit publish.  You can choose to schedule it if you prefer so that it goes out at a day and time that works well for your audience.  There are often good posts on Pinterest about the right time to share a blog post, depending on your industry.
  • Share it – it would be lovely if people magically came across your blog but it simply isn’t going to happen, so it is down to you to share the good stuff – social, email, your auto-signature, really wherever you think your audience are hanging out.  In addition, check out some of your social media groups that you are part of as they often have a promo thread on a weekly basis.
  • Re-purpose – see what you can use from the blog post, perhaps record a video, an Instagram Live! Or offer to do a guest talk in a membership group and so on.

I hope that you found this explanation useful.

If you would like to ask any questions or discuss further, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me.  I have a handy checklist to help you get started with your first blog, click to receive a free download of the Blog Brilliance checklist and sign-up to my mailing list to be the first to receive new offers and marketing tips.

Ruth Buckingham - guest blogger for First Blog Post
Ruth Buckingham

We are so pleased to have Ruth’s advice here.

You can blog with either our Macchiato Multi Page Website or our Flat White eCommerce Website – click the button below for full details of what each package includes:

Website Fonts: 5 Top Tips on Choosing Great Combinations

Combining Website Fonts blog

Choosing website fonts can be daunting.  

But the choice you make matters. The fonts you choose on your website need to reflect the style of product or service you are selling, as well as being clear and readable on any size screen.

Here are my 5 Top Tips on to choose the best combinations of website fonts.

1 Choose the same font family

If you want to guarantee that different fonts you choose for your website match, choose two from the same family.

Roboto has three main styles, which all work together, and have a clean, contemporary feel.

PT Serif offers a great contrast to PT Sans, but, because the fonts have the same fundamental proportions, both still work together.

Combinations of Website Fonts using families
Website font families

2 Combine a Serif font with a Sans Serif font

Serif fonts are designed for reading in volume – the serifs help encourage the eye to move along the line, a bit like joined up writing.

Sans Serifs fonts, which were first designed in the  19th century, are, as the name suggests, without the little serif lines. The clean looking fonts became key to modern design

The classic choice for written content is Sans Serif font for headlines, which is combined with Serif font for body text.

Examples of serif and sans serif website fonts
Serif and Sans Serif font combinations

But why not mix it up? I really like using a Serif font for headlines and Sans Serif for body text, for an more modern style.

Font Pair is a great resource to see how different Serif and Sans Serif fonts work together.

3 Choose website fonts with maximum contrast

Add real character to your website, and choose a loud bold display font for your main titles.

Display fonts are designed to be used sparsely, with just a few words, which means that these fonts are suited to Site Titles and Page Titles, rather than blocks of text.

For maximum impact, combine with a super-simple font for the main body text.

Use it as large as you dare!

Maximum contrast in Website Fonts
Use a display font for maximum impact

4 Make use of free Font Combination tools

The web is full of typeface devotees who have made fabulous websites to share their love.

Scroll through and find some inspiration on choosing typefaces:

  • Typotheque: extremely quick and easy to use – just drag and drop different fonts to see how they look.
  • Typespiration: a huge range of examples, with filters to help you find what you need.
  • Typewolf: a carefully curated selection – great if you don’t want too many choices.
  • Google Fonts: hundreds of fonts, available for free, with popular combinations to test out.

All our Flat White websites come with the complete set of Google Fonts, so their tool is a great way to try out combinations and recommendations.

5 Find inspiration with other website fonts

Look at other websites for inspiration.

Have a good look for websites that use combination of fonts you like, then find out what fonts have been used.

Use the Inspect Element tool in Google Chrome. Firstly, right click on the website page, then highlight one or more words in the font you are interested in, and finally scroll down the right hand panel to find “font-family”.

Cabin Condensed is the font we use for both Headings and Body Text on our website.


Read more top tips for website branding in our guest blog by branding expert Vardeep Edwards.

Ready to take the next step on your journey to getting your website?

Find out all the options we offer – from a Landing Page website, which is the quickest way to get up and running, to a full multi page website with SEO analysis, Google Analytics, and full Stripe integration to sell goods and services.

Website Photography Tips: Using Natural Light by Katie Vandyck

Website Photography Blog: pot in shadow

Transform your photography skills by following a website photography expert’s top tips – Guest Blog by Katie Vandyck, of Katie Vandyck Photography

Your website photography will improve immediately if you take advantage of natural light, so try and take your photos on a sunny day.

Website Photography Tip 1:

Place the object you want to photograph in the shadow area next to the brightest spot you can find.

Let’s have a look at these keys. This bunch of keys present several challenges to photograph: the shine of metal, the range of materials and the numerous bright colours. Bright sunlight is too harsh, and solid shadow is too dull.

Photographing keys in bright sunlight

The extreme contrast of bright sunshine is unattractive, it washes out colour and exaggerates flaws.

Website photography: keys in shadow

For a better result, place your object in to a shadow area that’s directly adjacent to a patch of bright light.

Website Photography Tip 2:

Place a reflector next to the object on the shadow side.

To give your photos extra glow, put some reflecting material, white paper or card on the shadow side of the object.

Photographing keys with reflecting material on shadow side

What happens when you use reflecting material?

  • Light spilling into the shadow area from the the bright area is then reflected back into the shadowed area by the white reflector. 
  • This reflected light lightens the darkness/shadows on the side furthest away from the bright light.
Keys with reflected light resulting in rich colours


Result: rich colours, and metal that has a soft sheen.

Here’s another example using a pot of coriander:

Bright sunlight, which is harsh and drains the colour.

The pot is in shade, with a reflector balanced alongside.

Final photograph.

The combination of diffused light and a white reflector makes the coriander look much more appetising than when it’s lit by direct unfiltered sunlight.

Now I’ll show you through some examples of website photography using natural light.

Example 1: Photographing food in natural light

Food will look much more vibrant and appealing with diffused natural light.

The photos below were all shot beneath the perspex roof of a courtyard at the Italian restaurant, which immediately diffused the bright sunlight. The reflectors on either side of the food reduce any shadows and allow the wonderful colours of the food to come through.

Sunlight through the perspex roof, combined with reflectors on either side of the food, soften the shadows.

The bright, diffused light from overhead is particularly good for food, making everything look fresh.

Food website photography: Italian salad on wooden board

The closer you move the reflectors towards the food, the softer and more appealing the light.

Insider tip: I used insulation tiles as my reflectors, propped up by whatever came to hand.

Example 2: Photographing silver jewellery in natural light

The challenge with photographing jewellery is to capture the detail of the craft.

The first shot is in bright sunshine. It looks a bit cheap and garish – more of a snapshot than a photograph.

It’s a very sunny day, so I made a makeshift structure from wire and grease proof paper – essentially a homemade light tent.

Earrings inside light tent.

Shot from above, the silver glows, and the details are gently rendered. And it’s always worth trying out different backgrounds for one shoot.

Example 3: Photographing pottery in natural light

Strong sunshine coming through a window creates a bright shadow. I’ve used a sheet of coloured card as a backdrop.

I placed the pottery inside the shadow. I then placed a polystyrene tile on the shadow side of the pot, seen on the right of the photograph.

Result: a soft but directional light bringing out texture, allowing a richness of colour and luminescence.

Copyright: Katie Vandyck Photography 2020.


Check out our blog for more useful tips on websites, or get in touch if you have any questions.

What is the difference between a Single Page and a Multi Page Website?

Single or Multi Page Website mock up for Flat White Websites blog

Every business needs a website. But not every business needs a complex  website.

It is easy to add unnecessary content to pad out a website with the mistaken idea that this will make your business look more professional. And it’s just as easy to miss out the really essential content users need because you over simplify – especially as you know all the ins and outs of your business and might forget that new potential customers might not.

Below we guide you through the main features of Single versus Multi Page Websites, the Pros and Cons, and examples of the functions that a business needs that would suit the different types.

What is a Single Page Website?

A Single Page, or One Page, Website is where all the content is accessed from a single page.

Users progress through content by scrolling. Although there might be navigation included, this takes users to another section of this page, not a new page. (Our Flat White Single Page websites, for example, include in-page navigation to an About section, a Services section and a Contact section.)

Click on the video below to see how the scrolling and in-page navigation works:

What is a Multi Page Website?

A Multi Page website offers unlimited options: from pages and blogs to eCommerce and portfolios.

Multi Page websites have one or more menus to navigate the content. Different content might suit different users, so a range of experiences can be offered. An existing client might simply want contact details, for example, whereas a potential client may want to find prices and examples of options.

Because of the greater options, a Multi Page website is suited to any scale of business, including a start-up. The video below demonstrates a Multi Page website with the main navigation:

Pros of a Single Page:

Quick to set up

A Single Page Website has less content and therefore takes less time to set up. As you are focussing on the core elements of your product or business, being concise about what you offer is key – no room for waffle!

No navigation to plan

Getting navigation right can be one of the hardest elements of setting up your own website if you have no experience. Some Single Page websites have in-page navigation to take users to more important sections of the page, but not a full navigation. Our websites, for example, include in-page navigation to an About Section, Services Section and Contact Section.

Ideal for mobiles

All of the content on a Single Page website is accessed by scrolling. Scrolling is easier and more continuous than single clicks, which might take users away from the journey. And we all know how instinctive it is nowadays to scroll on a device.

Keeps user engagement

Some users prefer to keep on scrolling, rather than clicking to another page.

Cheaper

Cheaper hosting is available for Single Page websites because they take up less bandwidth, and templates are simpler and cheaper too.

Cons of a Single Page:

Only one url

When sharing content on social media, for example, only one link is available, rather than dedicated content for, say, your Workshops or your About Page.

Limited content

The other side of the coin – if you have several services you want to promote or several projects you want to showcase, the single page format is too limited.

Limited SEO

Content from only one page is available for search engines to rank, which means that, unless your content is very finely tuned, it will be harder to drive traffic to your website via SEO.

Difficult to expand as your business grows

The beauty of a Single Page website is it’s simplicity, so adding too much content to one page starts to defeat the object.

Pros of a Multi Page:

Full range of content

A Home Page that operates in a similar way to a Single Page website, but with the added bonus of linking through to more detailed information on separate pages.

Full navigation

A user can either be guided to different areas of content through Calls to Action, or can find their own way to the content they want via Menus.

Blogs

Blogging is the best way to improve your SEO rankings by adding regular new content to your website.

Selling direct through your own website

Products or services can be sold directly through your website, rather than sending traffic elsewhere.

Cons of a Multi Page:

Can get unwieldy

Navigation menus can all-too-easily get out of hand. If a user has to click too many times to find what they want, they will go elsewhere.

Unnecessary content

Surplus content is unhelpful. Just because you can add lots of pages doesn’t mean your website will be better.

Takes longer to set up and keep up-to-date

Good content takes time. The more pages you have, the more content you have to add, and the more content you have to keep up-to-date.

Slow loading

More pages will result in a website taking longer to load. If your images are optimised and chosen carefully, this shouldn’t be a problem. But if too many pages contain large images, your website will load more slowly. And users are notoriously intolerant of slow-loading – much longer than a couple of seconds, and they will look elsewhere.

How to decide on the right website for your business?

Spend time right at the beginning planning – in broad sweeps – the purpose of your website.

  • Is it to sell products?
  • Is it to get people to sign up to your newsletter?
  • Is it to provide a point of contact for customers?
  • Is it to demonstrate your skills with examples of your work?
  • Is it a glorified business card for people to check out your work and get in touch?

When would a Single Page Website work?

If your business has a clear, limited focus, a Single Page website is a quick and efficient place to start:

  • Practical details – a cafe, for example, could feature a few menu items, with opening times and location.
  • A single service such as workshops, with external link for bookings.
  • Consultancy business, when the main selling point is you.
  • Credibility – a legal firm, for example, where you need to show your professional credentials and contact details. 
  • Sign-Up for a newsletter or event, for example, with a simple Call to Action for an email address on the page.

Check out this fashion website, where the main focus is a Sign Up.

When would a Multi Page Website work?

If your business has several elements that you want to share with potential customers, a Multi Page website will provide the plenty of options:

  • Blogging about your business
  • Selling multiple products or services
  • A range of services that you offer – rather than overloading the home page with too much information, take users to individual pages where they can find out more.
  • A portfolio of projects e.g. garden designer

Have a look at this Social Media Specialist website, which details a range of services and workshops.

To get an idea of the difference between a Single Page and a Multi Page website, take a look at the different options we offer.
Any questions? Just ask – we are happy to help.

How to clear your cache (and why would you?)

Graphic for Flat White Website blog Clearing Caches

One of the oldest computer support suggestions (and one that quite often works) is, “Turn it off and then turn it back on again”.

(If only we could do that with the real world).

When someone is trying to work on their WordPress website and can’t log in, the first thing I will generally suggest is that they clear their caches. Most people haven’t a clue what I mean, so I will explain in this blog.

A brief history of browser caches

In the olden days before we had fast broadband, it took ages for big files on websites to appear on our desktop browsers. So the browser designers decided that, when a website had information which appeared on several pages,  a copy of the information from the website could be kept in a cache on your computer. It would then be much faster to use that cached copy rather than download it every time for every page.

The whole caching idea is really clever. Unfortunately, it can cause glitches when the caches display old versions of files that have since been updated on the website. So sometimes we have to delete all the old files and start again – ie – clear the caches.

Reasons why you need to clear caches

Logging in to your website can be affected by caches because you might be logging in to a cached page, rather than a live page.

If you are updating your website, you may not see changes you have made, such as changing colours or fonts.

How to clear a cache

Below I have listed some of the most common browsers – If you can’t see yours, get in touch with details of your browser and I will add details or send them to you.

To clear caches in Chrome:

On Mac – Click on Chrome in the menu bar (otherwise click the three dots on the top right of the browser window and go to settings, advanced, privacy and security, clear browsing data)

Next – Click on Clear browsing Data

Make sure you have ticked the boxes you want to clear (at least cookies and cached images and files) then click on “Clear data”

To clear caches in Safari:

Click on Safari in the menu bar

Next – Click Preferences

Click on Advanced and tick the box at the bottom that says “Show Develop menu in menu bar”

When you click on Develop – you will see “Empty Caches” – simple as that – go ahead and empty caches.

To clear caches in Firefox

Click the menu button (at the top right of the window) Fx57Menu and choose “Preferences”.

Select the “Privacy & Security panel”.

Scroll down to the  “Cookies and Site Data” section, click “Clear Data”

On the next screen, tick both boxes then click on “Clear”

To clear caches in Microsoft Edge

In the top right, click the three dots.

Next – Click Settings which will open a new page and on the left click on Privacy and Services

Click on Clear browsing data – tick Cached images and files (you may also need to tick Cookies and other site data) then click Clear Now.


Any questions? Get in touch. We love sharing our knowledge.

Glossary of Website Jargon

Website Jargon Glossary Blog

If you have your own business, you will know how important it is to have your own website.

But it can be a daunting process when so much that is written about websites is full of confusing jargon.

So here is our Glossary of the most common Website Jargon. And we’ve included tips about how to maximise your website’s potential too.

Above the Fold

All the content that is visible when you first land on the page, before you start scrolling. The phrases comes from newspapers, when the most important content was put on the section that was, literally, above the fold.

Above The Fold content graphic for Website Jargon blog

Tip: include key information here, plus reasons to scroll down or click on a Call to Action.

Accessibility

All websites must be accessible for people with disabilities. When websites and web tools are properly designed and coded, people with disabilities can use them.

Content needs to be accessible, as well as website design. Images, for example, need “Alt Tags” are descriptions added that describe the image in words, and will be used by screen readers.

Accessibility graphic for Website Jargon blog

Alt Tags

Alt Tags are descriptions added to images that are used by screen readers to describe the image to website visitors with limited or no sight.

Example of best Alt Tags content

Alt Tags have to be manually added to every image you upload to your website.

Below the Fold

Below the Fold is all the content on your website that visitors see when they start scrolling. Scrolling has become normal behaviour for anyone checking a website, so Below the Fold content is now as important as Above the Fold.

Tip: Include content that expands on the Above the Fold introduction – examples of your latest blogs, or some tasters of your products or services.

Blog

A Blog is dynamic content that is published regularly, as opposed to static content that makes up most website pages. A Blog can be separate from a website or form part of a website.  Penny’s blog goes into more detail about the difference between a blog and a website.

Tip: If you do include a blog on your website, make sure you publish new content regularly – weekly or monthly. 

Browser

A Web Browser, or Browser, is the software used to access and view websites. Google Chrome, Apple Safari and Mozilla Firefox are the most popular, and each offer slightly different functionality.

Cache

Caches are used by computers to store information and speed up the loading time of a website. The very first time you visit any page on our website, for example, the browser downloads the logo, and several other items, into the cache, and then displays it as part of the page you’re viewing. For each additional page you visit, as long as the same logo is displayed, it doesn’t need to be downloaded again — it’s already on your hard disk.

Sometimes, caching prevents a website page displaying the most recent information.  If this happens, you can “clear the cache” – this blog gives excellent instructions for each different browser.

Call to Action

Whether it’s “Contact Me”, “Get A Quote”, or “Make a Donation”, a Call to Action is the best way to encourage your visitors to delve deeper in to your website. It can be a Button or a Link.

Call to Action example for Website Jargon blog

Make sure that any Call to Action is clearly distinguishable on a page, and make sure it’s clear what happens when someone clicks on it.

Code

Every website consists of a combination of different content – words, images, animations. This content is displayed by a web browser that interprets the different programming languages, or Code.

Content Management System (CMS)

Behind every website is a good Content Management System, or CMS. This is where you edit all your content – images, blogs, contact details – and make sure that your website is always up-to-date. We use the WordPress CMS for all our websites.

WordPress Dashboard for Website Jargon blog

Read Penny’s Green Ginger Design blog on the WordPress CMS.

Cookie

Cookies are small files that are stored on a user’s computer, and are designed to store a small amount of information specifically relating to a website and the user of that website.

If you use Google Analytics, you will be using cookies on your website. Anyone that visits your website needs to know that cookies are being use, so you need a banner asking a visitor to accept cookies.

Domain

Every website needs a domain name – ours is newflatwhite.flatwhitedesign.pw. Read Penny’s blog explaining Domain Names in more detail.

Email

We are guessing that everyone knows what an email is. Here are some extra points:

  • Make sure that you have a personalised email address that matches your domain name (e.g. hello@bright.website.flatwhitemultisite) – it looks much more professional.
  • Make sure your email address is really easy to find on your website. Don’t just include it on your Contact page – add it to your Footer too.
  • Set up all your emails to come into one folder – it’s much more efficient that checking all your email addresses read Fred’s blog that gives step-by-step instructions how to do it.

Favicon

A Favicon is an icon that appears alongside your website name in the tab of your browser window in Chrome and Firefox (favicons are not used in Safari).

Favicon graphic for Website Jargon blog

It’s usually very easy to add these to a website within the CMS, and really helps to clarify your brand.

Footer

The Footer is at the bottom of your website, and is the same on every page.

Footer example for Website Jargon blog

Tip: include your contact details, and an extra menu for useful pages.

Gif

A Graphic Image Format is an image file which is compressed to speed up loading time. It’s designed for images with only a few colours, such as logos, rather than photos.

Header

The Header is at the top of your website, and includes your Site Title and your Navigation. The Header will include the same information on every page. Depending on the design of your website, this content may stick to the top of the page and be visible when you scroll, or disappear.

Header example for Website Jargon blog

Hero Image

A description of an image that fills the screen when you land on a website. It forms part of the Above The Fold content.

How to Choose a Hero Image for Website Jargon blog

Tip: choose a simple Hero Image that works with your written content.

Hosting Company

Every website needs a Hosting Company to save your website files on a Web server connected to the internet. A hosting company hosts these files, and ensures that your website is visible anywhere.

A Hosting Company might also be your Domain Name provider, but you can also buy your Domain Name from a different company.

Namecheap is the Hosting Company we use to host all our Flat White websites.

HTTPS

HyperText Transfer Protocol is the agreed procedure for transferring information on the World Wide Web.  HTTPS is Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure – look out for the little padlock symbol alongside the website name in the address bar.

HTTPS graphic for Website Jargon blog

Google now warns any visitor to a website that doesn’t have HTTPS that the site isn’t secure. Make sure that your website host provides HTTPS.

JPG or JPEG

An image file – the best choice for photos on a website.

Image Sizes for websites for Website Jargon blog

Keyword

Keywords are the words and phrases that people enter into search engines. If you boil down all the content on each page or post on your website down to simple words and phrases, those are your primary keywords.

As a website owner and content creator, you want the keywords on your page to be relevant to what people are searching for so they have a better chance of finding your content among the results. Keywords for this page, for example, are “website jargon”.

Tip: make sure you use keywords naturally in your content to help your SEO – “keyword stuffing” will de-value your content.

Link

Links – short for “Hyperlink” – take visitors to another place on a website. An Internal Link takes a visitor to different pages or sections of the same website. An External Link leads to another, separate website.

Tip: Always make sure that the link text is clearly distinguishable in your text – ours are red.

Meta Data

Meta Data is used to describe individual pages on a website. This data allows search engines to understand what each page is about, evaluate the relevance of the content, and determine whether a page will or will not be displayed within search results.

Meta Data for a page or post consists of two parts:

  • Page, or SEO Title, or Title Tag – maximum 65 characters.
  • Meta Description – up to a maximum of 150-170 characters.

Meta Data graphic for Website Glossary blog

Meta Data for pages and posts can be added via the Yoast PlugIn in WordPress.

Permalink

A Permalink is the permanent URL for a page. This appears in the address bar – for this page, it is flatwhitewebsites/website-jargon. When you add a page or blog to your website, you will usually have the option to edit the permalink – in WordPress, this option appears at the top of any page or blog:

It is best for your SEO to make this as simple as possible – for this blog, for example, I changed the default wording, which comes from the title, “Glossary of Website Jargon” to “Website-Jargon”. Shorter permalinks are preferred by both search engines and users.

Tip: remove “stop” words e.g. and, to, from your Permalink – but make sure the meaning isn’t altered.

Pixel Tag

A tracking pixel, or Pixel Tag, is a graphic with dimensions of 1×1 (a single pixel) that is loaded when a user visits a website or opens an email.

Pixels are typically used to track certain user-based activities. Popular tools like Facebook, Google Analytics, and MailChimp all use pixel tracking to provide campaign analytics.

Plug In

A Plug-In is a piece of software that adds extra functions to an existing computer programme, such as a website.

WordPress offers a huge range of Plugins. Like phone apps, these can be either free or paid-for, and add all sorts of functionality to WordPress websites, including Google Maps, Monster Insights (for Google Analytics) and Yoast (for SEO).

Responsive Layout

A responsive layout means that a website adapts to different screen sizes. If a website isn’t responsive, the content that is designed for a desktop screen will be much too small to read easily on a phone screen.

Because the majority of website visits are now done via a mobile, search engines penalise websites that aren’t responsive.

Search Engine

A search engine is software that searches the databases of the world wide web according to a user’s query.

Google is the best known example, but Bing and Yahoo carry out the same function.

SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the rankings of a web page (or website) in a search engine, such as Google. Good quality SEO allows a website to maximize its visibility in a search engine result page (SERP), resulting in “free” or “organic” traffic.

Tip: top quality content, written for humans, is the best way to ensure great SEO for your website.

URL

URL (or Uniform Resource Locator) is the same as a Permalink (see above).


Any website terms you are still confused about? Get in touch, and we will add them to this Glossary.

Why Alt Tags matter for your Images

Ranunculus in vase for Alt Tag blog
Alt Tags describe the image on a website page for screen readers.

If anyone is using a screen reader rather than seeing the content on a screen, an Alt Tag ensures that the visitor still has full access to the content. It is therefore really important to add useful Alt Tags to all your images to ensure that your website is fully accessible.

Website Images and Alt Tags

 

Key point: Alt Tags describe an image for anyone using a Screen Reader.


Why is it important to use Alt Tags?

 

 

Key Point: make sure the Alt Tags are accurate descriptions of your images to maximise your SEO.


How to Add Alt Tags to existing images

 

 

Top Tip: go through all your images in your Media Library, and add descriptive Alt Tags.


Adding Alt Tags when you upload new images

 

Top Tip: make sure that you Alt Tags include relevant keywords that also describe the image.


Google gives a great example of what you should – and what you shouldn’t – include in Alt Tags:

Example of best Alt Tags content


Read this blog for information about how to help your SEO even more by editing your website Meta Data.


Pin for later:

 

Yellow Ranunculus for Alt Tag blog

Why is launching your website so scary?

Nasturtiums and keyboard for launching your website blog

It may not seem as though launching your website requires an act of bravery but, for many of us, it does.

We think that when we press the button and the website goes live, the whole world will be able to see our tiny imperfections.

Trust me – they won’t.

We also have this bizarre belief that the minute it’s live, we will be inundated with demands – the whole world has been waiting for our launch in the same way as people wait for the latest iPhone.

Don’t worry. Unless you have spent a fortune on hyping it all up on every social medium and TV outlet, you will be able to cope with the demand.

For most of our prospective clients, a website is a cross between the online equivalents of Yellow Pages and Who’s Who.

Website visitors want to know three main things:

  • what you are offering,
  • who you are, and
  • how to get in touch.

If you have some testimonials on display – even better. If your colour scheme and fonts all stack-up and you have some nice pictures, they will feel comfortable and like your style even more.

One of our all-time, favourite poems is:

“Come to the edge. We might fall.

Come to the edge. It’s too high!

COME TO THE EDGE!

And they came – And he pushed – And they flew”

Christopher Logue (often misattributed to Guillaume Apollinaire)

If your website has enough on it to be “good enough” (not perfect) then, be brave – and fly.

We set up Flat White Websites because we know how scary it is to launch your first website. We’ve been there! So all our websites comes with a Home Page, an About Page and a Contact Page. You can then choose the best colour and font blend for you.

Check out what we offer here. And you can read more about how our websites work here.

What’s holding you back from launching your website?