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What on earth is your web designer talking about?

posted on Thursday 27th August, 2015


Getting your business online is a must, but it can be quite daunting when choosing a web designer who uses terms you’ve never heard of. So to help you out, we’ve summarised some of the main bits of jargon you will hear when discussing a project with a potential website designer. Read on and you will be able to embark on your new online project with confidence.

Analytics
Analytics help you track the amount – and quality – of visits to your website. Using data gathered relating to visits, clicks, location, display size and operating system, you can effectively measure not only the amount of traffic to your website but also how effective your website is and what areas could be improved to increase success.

Browser
A browser is a piece of software on your computer, mobile or tablet (or TV, or games console etc etc) which you use to view websites. You’re probably reading this on one of the main four browsers – Chrome, Firefox, Safari or Internet Explorer.

Content Management System (CMS)
A CMS is an application built in to your website, which enables you to add and edit the content of your site. CMS is useful for those with limited technical skills, as it makes editing content as simple as using a word processor. The most popular CMSs are WordPress, Drupal and Joomla.

Domain
Simply put, a domain is your web address – be it a .co.uk, .com, .net or one of the many other available types. Your website needs a domain so people can locate and visit it, and you’ll be using the same one for many years so it pays to put some thought into this.

E-commerce
E-commerce normally refers to a special type of website designed to sell goods and services directly to customers without the need for a physical shop or showroom. Clients browse your offering, add products to their basket, make payment and receive an order confirmation all from within the website.

Hosting
Web hosting is where your website ‘lives’. If you imagine a big underground computer which stores all the files needed to display your website on a user’s browser you’d not be far off. Space on these computers is finite and therefore needs to be paid for, and web hosting is often paid for on a monthly or yearly basis.

Plug-In
Plugins are existing pieces of software which can be added to a website in order to save on development costs.

Responsive Design
Responsive design refers to websites in which the layout adapts to fit the screen of the device being used to view it. With over 50% of web visits now coming from mobile devices, almost all new website are being built responsive from the outset, but it is possible to ‘retrofit’ responsive design to older sites.

Template
A low cost alternative to a bespoke design, template websites enable businesses to get a quick online presence for less, but do so at the expense of individuality and can negatively impact search rankings.

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