Guest Post for Eight Arms: Debugging 10 Web Design Definitions

Do you know your CMS from your SEO? Here we explain a few of the terms that we use throughout website projects.

Within the digital world it is really easy to throw acronyms and techy terms around without a second thought. These terms might make sense to us as a studio but what about a client who may not be so tech savvy? Below we’ve created a list of words that we use frequently here at Eight Arms.

1. API

An API or Application Program Interface can be considered as an alternative user interface that makes requests for or use of information from another computer, operating system, or another application.

Many websites these days are huge databases of information. We can use APIs to “get the information out”, for example automatically displaying tweets on your website without the need to upload each one manually.

2. CMS (CONTENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM)

A content Management System is the system that you can use to manage the content of your website. There are hundreds of Content Management Systems available for your use at a range of prices. Many of the most popular ones are open source, such as WordPress or Drupal.

3. SEO (SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMISATION)

Search Engine Optimisation is a process of upgrading the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s organic (or un-paid) search results.

4. WIREFRAMES

A website wireframe is a visual guide that represents the skeletal framework of a website. Wireframes will typically contain no designed elements of a website such as branding or imagery, but will show how the proposed content and other website elements will be arranged on a page.

5. SITEMAP

A sitemap is a list of pages that online users have access to on a website. Sitemaps can be used as a planning process when designing a website. They are usually organised in a hierarchy with the top navigation first and then pages sitting below each relevant category.

6. HOSTING

Most websites essentially consist of a number of files. These files need to be accessible over the internet, so for that to happen we need computers that are attached to the internet with a high speed connection. These computers are known as servers, and hosting is an agreement between a company who owns these servers to let space and resources on them.

7. TEMPLATE

The template refers to the design of a page that can be used multiple times across a content managed website.

8. CACHE

When you visit a website your browser downloads the web page, the data is “cached,” meaning that the website is temporarily stored on your computer. Therefor the next time you wish to access the webpage, your browser will access it from the cache so that the website will load quicker.

9. DOMAIN

All the servers in the world have addresses to find them. These aren’t geographic addresses with street names, but something called an IP address which looks something like this — 192.101.123.234

IP addresses aren’t the catchiest or most rememberable website address, so what usually happens is you register a domain name from a service provider like “eightarms.co.uk”, and the provider will ‘point’ the domain name to the IP address, so everyone who types in the name will unwittingly end up on your server.

10. URL (UNIQUE RESOURCE LOCATOR)

A Unique Resource Locator or web address is what you can type into an internet browser to access a website or other resource on the Internet.

 

Guest post written for Eight Arms

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