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Website Terminology Guide: How to speak site jargon to a website developer

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Website terminology can be just as confusing as learning a foreign language

When you first speak with a website developer, about your web project, you are going to hear words that you have never heard before. The web developer may explain things in detail. Get excited about creating landing pages, and using white space. They may mention a call to action that your customers will simple love. And you will find yourself glazing over, agreeing to things that you’re not quite sure about, because the web developer seems to know what they’re talking about. Of course it all sounds great! You agree because you don’t want to appear like you have no idea what they’re talking about, and feel awkward about not understanding website terminology (jargon).

A website project is a huge task, especially trying to keep up with all the key things that go into creating your website correctly. Just like building a house, or renovating your apartment, there are certain details to tick off the list. A website also needs this type of detail. To build a strong foundation and to guide a website developer on how to build the site correctly.

Suppose your website developer isn’t great at describing what you need, in simple terms, like we do at Caria Watt agency? Where this is the case, it won’t be easy to follow along, and you'll need help translating the technical website terminology. 

That’s why we have written this article - to help you understand website terminology, a little more.

What is Website Architecture? 

The phrase 'website architecture' refers to both the overall layout and style of your site, as well as the finer points; the elements that many small business owners who are just getting started with their first website overlook, yet shouldn’t.

Why would anyone buy what you're selling or bother returning if your website isn't optimised for an easy (and pleasant) user experience? In the long run, having things planned out before you start your website project, will save time and money.

Every website should outline the following, quickly and easily:

  • Make it clear what your business is selling, or offering.
  • Keep it simple to buy or access what you're selling or offering.
  • Provide contact information and links to social media accounts that are easily accessible.
  • Simple sign up to the email newsletter.
  • Have a simple navigation that gets users deeper into the site.

Sounds simple right? But if you don't know what your business goals are or how to achieve them with on site, planning the structure of your website can be tricky, unless you consult a professional website design agency.

Why do I need a Call to Action?

If you have no idea what a call to action is on a website, you will probably confuse it with something else. A call to action (CTA) is just what it describes, it’s to make the user do something. It is a design element on your site that is created for users to take an action on your website. It has a specific intent in mind, to increase leads or sales.

A ‘call to action’ can be a button, sometimes it is an arrow or a graphic element. If you want to make visitors stay longer on your site, a call to action must include more compelling features.

Sometimes it’s the use of guiders that create more inviting features. These help prompt your user to enter their details, like on a form on the website. Guiders help users feel as they are having a real time conversation with you or someone from your team, so they trust your company with their precious information. 

What is the purpose of a home page ?

In website terminology, the home page plays a massive role in attracting traffic. The tricky part is keeping them on your site. The home page has a considerable impact on the whole website, and can often be as simple as a welcome introduction to users about your business. That’s why first impressions matter the most. When your site has a great first impression, it will naturally increase conversions and your profit margins.

When designing a website, your web designer will start with a home page. A business website should have a functional yet eye-catching home page to attract visitors to it. A high performing  home page must have a user-friendly interface, and designed to catch visitors in a strategic way. 

A homepage can include so many eye catching elements such as a video, optimised images, and even audio where possible. Elements can help guide the user to a CTA and  should enhance the user's experience. A CTA is usually introduced on the home page to invite customers to share their details, a click through to learn more and to increase the time spent on the website.

Do landing pages convert into sales?

Every website should include landing pages especially if you are selling products or services. In website terminology, a landing page includes promotional content, and sometimes it has information to direct the user through marketing or advertisements. When a user clicks these advertisements, or any other internal links, they will be directed to another area within the website.

Typical landing pages are unique designs. They don’t always have a standard header or the elements for footer from the whole website. Instead, landing pages contain a specific content and a CTA to focus the user journey. A landing page is usually a page to help generate leads or sales for the business.

Think about it as a sales page to push a promotion. The landing page is highly beneficial, even when it’s located in the back-end of the site. These pages are usually not visible through a website's navigation menu.

What do you mean by drop down?

In website terminology, a drop down has one or two elements. It may be a drop down menu located in the navigation menu of a website, that shows sub-menus and sometimes categories of related content. When you click on these, all submenus and categories  are revealed. 

When your business offers several kinds of services for customers, you can include a ‘service’  option on to your main navigation bar. When a user clicks on this service menu, a drop-down list becomes visible, and the full services list can be shown in one click. 

Drop-down lists can be created to give more options to buy for eCommerce customers. Users can make different choices from this list, and these elements can be incorporated in the entire website.

Why do I need white space on my website?

In a website, white space is something confusing. Most website projects will refer to white space but business owners often confuse it with the colour white. Website designers identify colours as white-colour, rather than white space which is colourless.

White space is something that allows the elements on your website to stand out. If the website designer or developer says they want to use white space on the site, it means that there are too many elements, and they want to reconfigure the site strategically, to give elements more room on the page. This makes it easier for users to understand and it drives a certain action. We agree that having too many elements on a web page can sometimes be a huge disadvantage.

DIY or get a website done professionally?

We’ve touched on a some key aspects of website terminology and how to speak with your web developer. Whether you want to design your site yourself or leave it to the professionals depends on the scope of your project and how tech orientated you  are.

There are several website builders on the market to get your site up running quickly. The drawback of those website builders is there’s less scope for customisation. If you want more control over your site, getting it professional designed and developed is worth the investment, especially to get your site seen by more people on Google search.

At least now you have a quick guide on some of the website terminology to be able to talk to a website developer.

Caria Watt website designer is waiting

When your business objectives are to:

  • Get more customers online, and
  • Design a high converting website that is reliable

Then we are ready to help you build a successful website. 

Contact us here and let’s get started.

About the Author
Caria Watt
With 18 years experience in digital marketing and online growth strategies, Caria has consulted in iconic brands, not-for-profit and the entertainment industry in Sydney and London. As a presenter and a Business Building Expert for the Holistic Entrepreneur Association, Caria has been published in - Thrive Global, The Good Men Project and The Dating Directory Co.
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