Web Site Terms Everyone Should Know

Here are some website terms to help you differentiate the different parts of a web site and how they are constructed.

…What is Web Design?

The process of planning and creating a website. Web designers utilize markup language, most notably HTML for structure and CSS for presentation to develop pages that can be read by web browsers. It’s a purely visual presentation of the data and the development process that passes to your browser. Content such as Images, text, digital media and interactive elements are shaped by the web designer to produce the page seen on the web browser.

…What is a Website?

A website is a collection of related web pages that incorporate text, graphics, sound, animation and other multimedia assets which is hosted on at least one web server, accessible via a network such as the Internet or a private local area network through an Internet address known as a Uniform Resource Locator (URL), and publicly accessible on the World Wide Web.

…What is a Web page?

A document or a collection of documents typically written in HTML/XHTML that are connected to one another using hypertext markup language that web browsers use to interpret and compose text, images and other material into visual or audible web that allows you to move from any page to another web page that are connected to the World Wide Web and viewable by anyone connected to the internet through a web browser.

…How Web Pages are organized on a Website

The home page is the first or top page of any website. A website can be composed of dozens or even hundreds of pages or it can be just one single page. The home page acts as a table of contents. Much like a book, the contents helps users find the information available. Highlighted or underlined hyperlink text is often embedded in the home page. The hyperlinks serve to connect the top of the pages with other pages throughout the site. The related documents usual reside together on a web host computer to make up the website. Documents within the site can be linked to other documents on the site or to documents to other website’s.

Good web design principles suggest that the pages throughout the website link back to the home page. This enables users to always find their way back to the top of the website so that the user can navigate to other directories. Most website’s are designed as an outline structure or a pyramid that gives the users a visual model to understand how information is arranged and how to find and navigate through the documents on the website.

Website’s are typically organized in one of three ways; an outline of a tree structure which arranges information hierarchically, moving from general to specific data. The second method is a linear method where one page leads to another and so on. The third structure is a random structure that really lacks structure. These website’s are connected to one another randomly something like the Web, clearly why the web is called the Web.

…In a nut shell how Website’s are constructed

Content and raw materials are collected for the web page. This can be any number of things such as text of any kind, photos, sound and movie clips, multimedia and graphics. The home page is then created by well-chosen images, colors, text and so. The graphics are optimized and the media is trimmed to decrease the file sizes for faster downloading. The designer will then utilize markup language, most notably HTML for structure and CSS for presentation to develop pages that can be read by web browsers. They are then arranged to facilitate the look of the website. Not all web pages will look presentable in every browser, therefore the web designer must tweak the page so that the page will look the same in each browser. The web pages are then uploaded to the clients’ web hosting service or an ISP that provides the space for doing this. The files are then uploaded in the correct folders so that the live pages can be viewed and publicly accessible on the World Wide Web.

So your website has been developed, your are happy, it looks great…Wait! There are often many other little details that are simply ignored or forgotten that you should consider before you become too eager to announce it to the world. We’ve compiled some important and necessary website resource checks before your websites official launch.

Proofread

Read it, read it again, then read it again, and then have someone else read it and then read it again. Keep your text specific and reduce the amount of texts. Have clear headings and break up large amounts of text.

Favicon

A favicon brands the tab or window in which your website is open in that users’ browser. When the user saves your page in their bookmarks, it saves the favicon as well thus allowing the user to identify your site quickly.

Titles and Meta Data

The title is the most important element for SEO (an acronym for Search Engine Optimization – which is a process of improving the visibility of a website or a web page in search engines, thus increasing traffic to your website). This lets users know what’s on the page. Meta description and keywords should relate to the pages content as often search engines will display the search results in the description of the search.

Functionality Check

Always check and test your website to make sure everything is functioning properly such as a contact form. Test a copy for yourself and see that it functions the way it’s supposed to. Get family and friends and neighbors test your website. You will be surprised how others interact with your site which could be completely differently then you.

Links

Never assume that all your links will work. Test and test some more. You may find that some of your links don’t work. It just may be that there is a spelling mistake in the hyperlink which may be causing it not to work. Another thing to consider is how you want that link to work such as how they open up in the browser when clicked. Do they exit from your web age or does the link open in a new window? Never, ever underline text that is not a link. This will only confuse your users, especially to new users.

Validation

Validation is the process of checking your website against standards such as World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) for HTML and XML derived web documents. The benefits of validating eliminates things such as browser correction which slows down the loading times of your pages. Browsers will auto-correct your code but each browser deciphers and corrects code differently , for example, if you forget to close a tag, in one browser it may ignore it and load the page, but in another browser, it may show up as a broken link or page. When your code is valid, it take less time for the browser to think, thus quicker loading times. Search engines prefer valid code, as they will pick up and index your site with the valid code over the rest of the website. If your website has valid (X)HTML you are preparing your website for future technologies.

404 Error Pages

This happens when a user requests a page that doesn’t exist. This happens for a variety of reasons such as a website linking to a page that no longer exists, or a page that has been removed, or there is error with the validation. This is the most commonly overlooked element.

Cross-Browser Checks

It is very important that your website works across all browsers. Just because you use Firefox, and your website looks and works fantastic, doesn’t mean that it will work in Internet Explorer, this is because different browsers and different operating systems use different browser techniques (i.e. Windows vs Mac.) to decipher your website.