tb 37 p.113It’s easy to be bamboozled by web design jargon when you’re considering investing in a new website. To help you get to grips with the terminology, lead web designer at Daisy Group, Geoff Hoyle, talks you through the programmer’s alphabet.

A IS FOR ACCESSIBILITY

Websites need to be designed and developed for the use of as many people as possible, including those with disabilities. Good websites remove any barriers that hinder the blind, partially sighted or deaf from accessing information.

B IS FOR BOUNCE RATE

Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors that enter and leave (bounce) your site via the same page. A high bounce rate indicates that users aren’t inclined to navigate around the rest of your site.

C IS FOR CSS

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) are used to determine the look and formatting of a site. They separate content from its design, ensuring you can easily change the aesthetics of your site in the future without compromising its content.

D IS FOR DATABASE

Basically, a collection of information stored in a computer in a systematic way. The main use of a database in web design is to power a content management system, storing the content and options of the website.

E IS FOR E-COMMERCE

If you’re a retailer, you’ll probably want your developer to build you an e-commerce website. The term refers to the buying and selling of goods electronically, over a network such as the internet.

F IS FOR FRONT-END

The parts of your site that visitors can directly access, such as web pages, images and content. Unsurprisingly, the opposite of front-end is back-end – the part which is developed to support the site.

G IS FOR GOOGLE ANALYTICS

A powerful tool that analyses your site and its performance. Metrics, such as site visits, content interaction and bounce rate, are just some of the measurements available to you.

H IS FOR HTML

Hyper Text Markup Language (HTML) is the online language, which web developers use to create your website. It’s a way of editing how text and images are displayed to a visitor on a site.

I IS FOR IP ADDRESS

Every device connected to the internet has an Internet Protocol Address (an online version of a home address) that identifies its location on a network.

J IS FOR JAVASCRIPT

This is just another computer language that web developers use to add an element of interactivity to your website. Dynamic examples include pop-ups, dropdown menus, and sound effects.

K IS FOR KEYWORD

The word(s) people enter into a search engine to find the topic or web page they’re looking for. A good website will contain the keywords that your intended users are looking for to help them find your site.

L IS FOR LANDING PAGE

A page where a visitor first accesses your website, either through a PPC (pay-per-click) advert or a search engine result link. Used to effectively direct users to what they are looking for.

M IS FOR META TAG

A meta tag is a sentence or two of text, which provides information about a web page, including author, content description and keywords. Search engines use this to determine rankings and index your site appropriately.

N IS FOR NAVIGATION

How easy is it for a visitor to navigate around your website? These are a set of links (maybe a drop-down menu) that allows users to move from one page to another. The easier the navigation, the better the site.

O IS FOR OPEN SOURCE

Open source is code or software that is released to the public for their own use – free of charge. Mainstream examples of open source software include WordPress (CMS) and Magento (e-commerce).

P IS FOR PAGE RANK

This is part of the algorithm used by Google to determine a web page’s importance; your site will be ranked on a scale of one to ten. There are many factors that affect the position of your site in search rankings, for example the amount of quality links it has.

Q(A) IS FOR QUALITY ASSURANCE

QA usually refers to the testing phase of the development process. Your web team should carry out testing and bug fixing.

R IS FOR REDIRECT

This is basically a method of redirecting browsers and search engines to a page that has been moved or relocated for one reason or another. Maybe your URL (see below) has changed.

S is for SEO

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the art of affecting your website’s ranking in a search engine’s results. There are many aspects to SEO, such as building links to your website or inserting copy containing keywords.

T IS FOR TESTING ENVIRONMENT

This is where your development team will make a copy of your website – separate from the main site – to develop extra features or test existing issues without the risk of affecting the main site. This is considered good practice when developing a live website.

U IS FOR URL

This stands for Uniform Resource Locator. This is your websites address or what people will type in to find content on your website, for example: http://…

V IS FOR VALIDATION

Validation is part of the testing process to make sure there are no errors or sections of outdated code in your site. Search engines look favourably on validated websites.

W IS FOR WEB SERVER

Web servers are the hardware that do the leg work to find the web page you requested. Every website is hosted by a web server; the more powerful it is, the faster the website speed.

X IS FOR XML

Stands for Extensible Markup Language. XML is a specification for creating other, custom markup languages. It’s an extensible language because it allows the user to define the mark-up elements.

Y IS FOR “YES WE CAN!”

The beauty of web design and development is that there is a huge community that loves to share information. If your developer is struggling with a problem, chances are a quick internet search will bring up an appropriate resolution.

Z IS FOR ZIP

ZIP is a way of storing data in a format that requires less space than usual – basically a computer file that has been compressed. ZIP files are commonly transferred over the internet because they are quick and easy to download over email.