Your business needs an online presence. And one of the practical ways of going online is by creating a website. That way, you can market and sell your products; and keep your customers engaged. But, we still meet business owners who struggle to keep up with web development lingo.

So in this post, I’ll touch on the terms that you should know before employing a web developer or designer.

You’ll come across the first four, for instance, when you put your website online. The next three involve optimization (for search engines). And the last three are about design.

On publishing

Domain – This is your site’s identifying name and maps onto an IP address. A suitable domain does more than just add on to the branding. It also makes your website look credible and professional.

So, buy one that is creative in its use of letter combinations, numbers and hyphens. You also have a choice of extensions such as .com, .org and .net. But note, sites that end with .com and .org are more popular compared to those ending in .net, for example.

Hosting – This is akin to renting space on a computer (host) from where your site will be accessible online. Some also call it Webhosting, web hosting or website hosting.

Besides housing your site’s pages, hosting also serves and maintains them.

You could do the same – but it would be too expensive. That’s unless you’re content with a basic service (from the likes of America Online). Otherwise, for a professional website, paid hosting provides the bandwidth necessary for fast connections.

CMS – This is short for a Content Management System. A CMS creates a separation between your content and page designs/setups. Thus, you could organize content into a tree hierarchy today and change it to one based on date/time tomorrow. And that’s without affecting other assets.

Other than allowing you to play around with the organization of your pages, a CMS also manages user interaction. It can accommodate user comments, chat or forums.

And with practice, CMS can enable even non-techies to maintain a website.

Web analytics – There’s no point in getting and keeping your site online if you can’t measure its impact. Enter analytics. You get to see the number of visitors – both new and repeat. And even monitor how traffic lands on your site. Like, you’d want to know whether the visits originate from link redirects. Or from direct address input, for example.

On optimizing for search

PageRank – This is what Google uses to determine which result comes out on top after a search query. It’s quite complicated. And apart from Google insiders, no one can boast that they know how Google ranks search results.

SEO – This is short for Search Engine Optimization. See, PageRank brings up results according to a user’s search terms. If those words match (or closely relate to) your keyword usage, Google lists your content as a likely result. If you would like to learn more visit our Search Engine Optimization page.

What that first does, is direct more traffic to your page. Second, it improves your website’s ranking thus giving your business a competitive edge. And that’s what SEO ultimately seeks to achieve. Good SEO practice ensures that your site remains relevant and visible to search engines.

Meta description – After a search engine brings up results after a query, the meta description offers more information about each listing. It’s also known as meta data and can tell the Search of the relevance of your content.

On design

UI and UX – These terms refer to closely related elements: User Interface Design (UI) and User Experience Design (UX). UI deals with the look and feel of your site while UX works to make your customers get a pleasant user experience. You could say that UI handles the graphical designs whereas UX overlooks the content strategy and development.

Dynamic/Static content – A dynamic page contains updatable content. Such a page doesn’t need web development expertise since the content can be updated using a CMS, for example. But a static site contains content that’s coded into the page. They are simpler to put up, yes. But static content is usually stagnant and non-interactive.

Responsive design – A responsive page adapts to the size of the device’s screen used for accessing your website. Responsiveness is a crucial design element. That’s because your visitors will not only use desktops and laptops to read your content – they’ll also use mobile devices. Responsive design ensures that the navigation and layout of your site are enjoyable regardless of the screen size.

Balancing art and functionality

Web development is a broad profession. But one thing is for sure, web developers and designers enable your business to engage better with its target audience.

A basic knowledge of the practice can assist you to communicate better with your web development agency, no doubt. Yet, you need to choose an agency that gives your website the functionality it requires, infused with the art it deserves.

Call us on +1 844 733 8164 or contact us and we’ll create an elegant and professional website for you today.

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