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.
Tip: include key information here, plus reasons to scroll down or click on a Call to Action.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Every website needs a domain name – ours is newflatwhite.flatwhitedesign.pw. Read Penny’s blog explaining Domain Names in more detail.
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. firstname.lastname@example.org) – 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.
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).
It’s usually very easy to add these to a website within the CMS, and really helps to clarify your brand.
The Footer is at the bottom of your website, and is the same on every page.
Tip: include your contact details, and an extra menu for useful pages.
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.
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.
A description of an image that fills the screen when you land on a website. It forms part of the Above The Fold content.
Tip: choose a simple Hero Image that works with your written content.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 for pages and posts can be added via the Yoast PlugIn in WordPress.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
A URL (or Uniform Resource Locator) is the same as a Permalink (see above).