Solution Chicago Website Builder Week 1: Gathering thought and focus toward your new website
Welcome to the most intuitive guide on the Internet with planning, beginning, and implementing your new website. We will cover everything that enables someone to have a working website tailored to their own niche. Please remember, creating a new website especially for someone first starting, will require extraordinary patience, time, and most importantly dedication. If you are not ready to commit to these three motivators, it is not the right time to start your website.
It is important to stay committed to your website at the start. Taking required time for research, planning, and content writing/editing will need to take place on a daily basis. Falling off track shifts focus on valuable content you might be missing or overlooking. Pacing yourself is equally as important.
Next…some definitions of words being used in this guide. We want you to get extremely familiar with these terms before going any further in this guide. These terms are important because they will come up during your web design journey and after. Flashcards are an awesome way to quickly learn and memorize something. Familiarize yourself with the terms below – it will significantly help you when you create your site.
Niche Site: is a website focused on a very specific term or target. Generally, because of Google and Bing and all the other search engines this is referred to as a keyword or keyword term. And you want to make sure that the keyword term that you use for a niche site is very focused.
Accessibility: ability of a website to be used by people with disabilities, including visually impaired visitors using screen readers, hearing impaired visitors using no sound, color blind people, or those with other disabilities. A website with low accessibility is basically going to be impossible for those with disabilities to use.
Anchor Text: any text in a link that refer to your website.
Site Back End: a website back end is typically an administrator’s area and portal. This is where admin of a website is done including content and media updates.
Backlinks: any link from another website that links back to your own website. Backlinks are critical for website traffic explosion. Backlinks are covered extensively in this guide.
Bandwidth: the rate at which data can be transferred or the total amount of data allowed to be transferred from a web host
Bounce Rate: the percentage of people who leave the site from the same page they entered the site, without clicking through to any other pages. This can be a good indicator of how good a website’s navigation is, as well as an indicator of the quality of the site’s content
Breadcrumbs: the navigation menus appearing, generally, at the top of a website. Example might be: Home > Blogs > Reviews > Contact Us
Browser: a web browser is what’s used to view websites. The most popular web browsers today include Google Chrome, Firefox, Apple Safari, and Internet Explorer
Cache: cache is web content browsers and web servers store to increase speed and optimization of page rendering.
CSS or Cascading Style Sheets: files named with extension .css that are used to define look and feel of particular website pages. The benefits to using CSS are many, but some of the most important are the simplification of a site’s HTML files (which can actually increase search engine rankings) and the ability to completely change the style of a site by changing just one file, without having to make changes to content.
Client Side: client side references “scripts” that run in client’s browser (user’s browser) versus on the web server.
Content Management System (CMS): one of the most valuable pieces of web development – a CMS backend system. Today, nearly all websites are built with a CMS to make updating of content much easier and management of this site cleaner. CMS systems feature built in tools including tracking webpage hits, google tracking, and options for plugin-ins and modules to give your website more features. Below is a list of popular free CMS software.
*Open Source CMS – try nearly all open source CMS systems for free
Domain Name System (DNS): converts an Internet Address (i.e. 126.96.36.199) to a text string (i.e www.google.com). The purpose of DNS is to make it easier on users to remember text rather a number when they want to reach a website. When you host your website, it will need DNS to covert your providers IP address to your website address.
Doctype: tells what version of HTML is being used. This will affect the way your HTML will validate at W3C
Domain: a domain (name) is the website name you buy. For instance, www.google.com is a Top Level Domain (gTLD). You can learn and read more on these at ICANN
E-Commerce: basically, if your website offers any kind of electronic commerce like buying and selling of good or an electronic transaction, you have an “e-commerce” site. Products can be digital or physical.
External Style Sheet: is a CSS file that is written in a separate and external document.
Favicon: a small piece of graphic art in .ico filename extension. A site favicon is displayed in the web address bar next to the web address of a website. It is a unique way of identifying a website. Typically, favicons might be a websites logo.
Site Focal Point: the definitive point on your website that the eye is naturally drawn to. Generally, this is the most important part of your website.
Front-End: refers to the front side-facing of your website. This is generally everything your users will see visiting your website. In essence, it is the opposite of “backend”.
Hit(s): hits are requests for your webpages. It is important to note a hit isn’t necessarily generated from unique visitors. A user can request multiple pages from your site (hitting) it more than once. Hits should not be used to base your real traffic. It is possible for one page to generate more hits because it might have other pages/files linking to that page as well.
.htacces: this is Apache’s root configuration file for the root of your web directory. You might not touh this file. However, for advanced features being used today, such as url rewriting, cache optimization, and more, this file serves for authentication of your site as well.
HTML: Hypertext Markup Language is the primary language used to write web pages.
HTML Tag: tags specify html things including headings, paragraphs, and links. HTML Tags typically describe how a web page will be formatted.
HTTP: what you commonly see first before a website domain. This can include http://google.com or http://www.google.com. It stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol and it contains a set of rules for transferring web requests in browsers.
Hyperlink: is al ink from one page to another page. These links a are commonly highlighted on page for a user to click through.
LAMP: stands for Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP. It defines the standards or specifications for a web server. In detail, this describes an Operating System, Web Server, Database, and Scripting Language, too. Notice too these are all examples of open-source (free) software.
Landing Page: the page users first see when visiting your website. This is typically a “homepage”.
Meta Data: this is descriptive text contained in a web page. It isn’t viewable by a user on your web page directly; however, search engines see it and will review meta data and place it in their databases accordingly see you can receive “organic search traffic” from it. There is a lot to learn about meta data and google and it will be covered later in this guide.
Non-Break Spacing: this is spacing that HTML will not condense on it’s own. Sometimes this kind of spacing is inserted to help forma a table better or create spacing for viewer creativity.
Open Source: any software considered open-source is available to public and is free. It is also updated and maintained by volunteers and typically businesses working on the side.
Pageview: any request for an entire web page from a server as a result of a visitor’s browser.
Permalink: these are links on a web page that aren’t expected to change. For example, www.becomethesolution.com/blogs/this-is-a-permalink is a link that a blog admin wouldn’t want changing since it’s being shared in places such as social media, and the being shared by more users. Changing the link what render that link dead and non-functional to everywhere it was shared. Essentially, it would require the blogger to manually fix the link everywhere or inform users of the new link (which nobody does).
Plug-In: a third party piece of cade that extends or adds website functionality. You will typically add plugins to open-source CMS systems for added features, such as being able to embed a PDF to a website.
RSS: is Really Simple Syndication. It allows for any website content to be mirrored on one site to another. There are RSS feed readers where someone might have multiple website RSS feeds and can scroll through them.
Resolution: usually in reference to pictures and describes the sizing of a picture by defining the amount of pixels displayed on screen.
Server-Side: a loosely used term that means anything running on “server” versus in a user’s browser. Server-side scripting
Template: are typically used to “start” a website versus from scratch. Templates provide easy usability to update/manage a website because of it’s pre-configurability. Typically, templates come preconfigured with CMS software so to bring up a website out of the box is extremely easy.
URL: is a Uniform Resource Locator and is the leading text to specify where a website can be found on the Internet.
Usability: refers to how easy the elements of your website are easy to use including content, navigation, and images.
Valid: any web pages that do not return errors based on the type of HTML/XHTML specified in the doctype declaration. Commonly, this is checked through validation service known as W3C
These definitions will give you tremendous insight into the Web Design world.