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Five common web terms to learn today

Alex Karei, marketing director for Webspec Design, blogs about web strategy.

I’ve been with Webspec for about a year now, and it’s crazy to see how the time has flown. I’ve learned a lot in my position, grown personally and professionally, and rapidly expanded my opinions on websites, search, and social media.

I’ve also learned quite a bit about “speaking the language” of web. Every industry has a language to learn, but as I use mine, it’s occurred to me that our language is one that is often misunderstood, but increasingly necessary for small business owners to understand.

Why? Because the web isn’t an emerging trend - it’s here, and many things throughout it are continuing to emerge in new and different ways. As a responsible business owner, you should know what is going on in technology and how those things will affect how you market your business. Let's start with some basic, but possibly new-to-you terms.

Five common web terms to learn today

  1. Content Management System (CMS) - This is a system that manages the content of a website. Typically, a CMS is built of two parts, one being the content management application (CMA) and the other being the content delivery application (CDA). The CMA allows users who don’t know HTML to update their web page content. Although not appropriate for every website, CMS systems are extremely helpful to small business owners and marketing teams that aren’t able to have access to a developer for updates full-time. Common examples of CMS systems include WordPress and Drupal. 

  2. Site Map - The term “site map” can mean two seemingly different things. One, a site map is a list of pages on a website that is accessible to search engine crawlers. But on the other hand, a site map can be a document used for planning a website design, designed in a hierarchical fashion. More often than not you’ll hear it used in reference to the latter, but the use of a site map for search engine crawlers might be the more important of the two. Without that, you can’t be sure that Google has “found” all your website pages!

  3. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) - Officially, this refers to the methods used to boost ranking or frequency of a website in results returned by a search engine, in an effort to maximize user traffic to the site (Dictionary.com). Sound complicated? It is. But in the end, it all comes down to where your website shows up when someone searches for your company or industry.

  4. Algorithm - When it comes to this term, you might be thinking you know what I’m talking about … until you heard the context. When SEO professionals mention the term algorithm, they mean the formula of how a website is ranked by Google. The algorithm determines a site’s PageRank, which ultimately affects where a website will show up in search.

  5. Responsive - Although a hot-button topic, I’ve come to find this term is also commonly misunderstood. A responsive website is a website that somehow adapts its layout to the size or orientation of the platform a person is using to access it. In essence, it “responds” to the user. This is different from a mobile site, where your users are visiting a separate version of your website that is created to be used exclusively on smartphones. Responsive sites are generally preferred.

What other website or digital terms have you scratching your head?

 

Alex Karei2Alex is the marketing director for Webspec Design, a website design and development and digital marketing agency in Urbandale. Connect with her via:

Email: alex@webspecdesign.com

Twitter: www.twitter.com/alex_karei

Instagram: www.instagram.com/alex_karei

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/alexandriakarei

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