Website developers sometimes use technical language they think everyone knows but comes off sounding like a foreign language to their customers.
Because of this, I felt it was a good idea to present the top 10 terms that potential web development clients should know to be able to understand and better communicate with their web developer.
1. Content Management system (CMS)
A Content Management System is an online tool that is used for managing everything you want to put on a website. Many websites use a content management system to help manage varied and complex website content. Popular content management systems include WordPress, Drupal and Joomla. Chrisp Media uses the WordPress CMS.
In addition to a domain name, a website must have a host. This is where website information is stored. A web host provides the technologies to allow people to access your website content. Think of the host as the physical space where your website resides. Oftentimes, domain names and the web hosting are provided by the same company. Popular web hosting companies include Godaddy, WPEngine, and Siteground.
A domain name is a website’s name. It’s where people are directed to access your website. This is your web address. It is of the format yourdoman.com where yourname is usually your company/organization name and .com is the domain extension. There are over 100 domain extensions but the most popular are .com, .org, and .net. The domain of this website is chrispmedia.com.
4. Development server
Before a website is made available to the public, developers sometimes like to create the entire website on a development server. A development server is usually a environment that is hidden from the public. The server allows you and the web developer to work out any changes before making it available to the public.
5. Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a free service that analyzes your website traffic. Google Analytics can provide valuable information such as how many people visit your website, what devices they are using and the most popular pages on your site. Google analytics is also good for measuring the effectiveness of different website campaigns. With a paid Google Analytics subscription, you can access even more features.
6. Website maintenance
All websites need to be maintained and managed. Web developers often offer website maintenance services. Maintenance services can include things like backend updates, site monitoring and security enhancements. Generally, website maintenance does not include content updates unless specifically stated.
7. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Major Search Engines like Google or Bing rank search results based on what they think is most relevant. Search Engine Optimization is the process of making a website rank higher in search engines for a specific terms. This is done to increase website traffic and visibility.
8. Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)
SSL is a standard security protocol that establishes a secure connection between a website and a person’s web browser. An SSL certificate verifies that you are accessing the the website you intended to. It also helps protect important information like passwords and credit card information. A website that has a SSL certificate is usually denoted with a lock icon in the browser address bar.
E-commerce is the process of buying and selling things online. Mathluv.com is an example of an E-commerce site.
10. Web Database
A web database is where online content and data is sometimes stored. Content Management Systems like WordPress are connected to a database to retrieve information and display them on a webpage.
Bonus: WordPress specific terms
At Chrisp Media, we develop websites using the WordPress Content Management System. Here are a few WordPress specific terms that you need to know.
WordPress is currently the most popular Content Management System. About one-third of the world’s top 10 million websites are using WordPress. WordPress is free and the code is publically available. Chrisp Media uses WordPress.
The WordPress dashboard is the first screen you see when you log into the WordPress administration area. The Dashboard gives you a snapshot of your website and gives you access to most of the content available to edit.
A WordPress theme is a collection of files that control how your site looks and functions. Themes are available for free and for purchase.There are thousands of themes available. Chrisp Media generally creates custom themes on a per client basis.
A WordPress plugin is a piece of software that attaches to WordPress to extend functionality. Plugins are available for free and for purchase.There currently over 50,000 plugins. Plugins range from adding e-commerce functionality to adding a calendar to your website.