A Quick Guide to Common Web Terminology

Effective communication with your Web solution provider will help ensure your website meets your goals and expectations. Something as simple as misunderstanding common terms associated with Web projects can steer a project off the rails. So we’ve prepared this brief guide of commonly misunderstood terms to help keep you on track.

Read on to ensure that your next conversation with your sales rep, account rep, or tech support effectively conveys your Web needs or gets your problem solved quickly.

Web design consists of the visual elements of a website. These include the colors, fonts, banner images, general layout, and so on. These elements are consistent across every page. Think of Web design as the frame, or template, where you place your content.

Web content consists of everything not included in Web design such as text or images in sections (pages) and the labels and organization of navigation menus. Content can, and typically should, be different on each page of your website.

Content Management System (CMS)
The Content Management System (CMS) is where you make changes to your website content. You can manage every aspect here, from creating new sections, to adding new text, to uploading documents, to removing outdated information. This area is also commonly referred to as the Administrative Dashboard, or simply Admin. The changes you make here will be instantly updated on your live site.

Live Site
The live site is the website that visitors see. It takes all of the content you create in the Admin and displays it according your website design template.

Navigation Menu
This is where the names of all of your sections (pages) are displayed in an organized manner. It will allow your site visitors to efficiently move between sections and easily access the information they need. The navigation menu can be displayed horizontally, vertically or both but must be consistent throughout the site.

Section (Page)
A section can also be referred to as a page as it is one individual "page" of content on your website. As you develop the content of your website you will create many new sections. Each section should focus on one type of content, for example, a section that only has Minutes & Agendas or another that only has Police Department information.

Site URL/Domain
This is your website address. It will most likely look similar to www.anytownusa.com but can be customized to an extent.

The homepage is the introductory page (section) of a website and is typically the main page a visitor will find when navigating from a search engine. The homepage is used to facilitate navigation to other (interior) pages on the site by way of the navigation menus, quick links, promotions, and other elements.

Responsive Web Design
A responsive website is designed to resize and display optimally on any device; desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphones. It resizes dynamically and allows desktop webpages to be viewed in response to the screen size of the device. For example, if you use a smartphone to view a responsive website, the content stacks into a single column, delivering your content in a vertical scrolling layout.

Do these words make sense to you?
Other questions regarding Web standards and communication? Let us know!