Content Management System (CMS) – An application or piece of software that organizes content and web pages. Popular CMS’s include WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, and Expression Engine although there are many other options. These applications automate some of the development and offer plug-ins and themes that can improve functionality and add advanced features to websites.
CSS – The styling language of web pages. The modern coding of a website is broken down into content and styling. HTML is used to give the basic structure and content of a website, while CSS is used to give style and formatting. They are kept separate in order to make life easier on web designers. Let’s say you operate a website that has accurate listings of Doctor’s across the country. If you use CSS to style the pages of your site you could potentially have one CSS file handling all the styling for hundreds of pages. Then if you update the CSS file, all the pages linked to that file will have their style updated accordingly. This can be a huge time saver when making cosmetic changes to a site without updating the content.
Domain Name (Web Address, URL) – The actual location of your website on the internet. For example http://www.becomeanidea.com is the URL of this website.
Form – An area of a web page where users can enter information either to be stored or sent to an e-mail. Common uses for input areas are a form where visitors can contact the webmaster.
Exact Match Domain (EMD) – When you have a domain that exactly matches a keyword phrase. For example if there is a keyword “Organic Pizza Recipes” the exact match domain would be www.organicpizzarecipes.com. It is believed that domains more related to their keywords will gain an SEO benefit over those with unrelated domains. I have outlined more Domain Name Selection Tips in my full article.
HTML – The original code of the internet. This is how browsers understand web pages and can translate the intentions of the author into what is seen on your computer. There are many great resources available for free online where you can learn the basics of HTML and CSS. The WC3 is the World Wide Web Consortium responsible for the standardization of code. They keep a very informative knowledge base on their website that is invaluable for learning and referencing.
Keyword – The term or query as it relates to content, domains, or the internet market. You can target specific keywords by creating content and pages geared towards that phrase.
Keyword density – The prevalence of a keyword phrase in an article, post, or any kind of content. You need to have your keyword prevalent in your content, but not so much that it looks blatantly abusive. This is called keyword stuffing and can end up hurting your pages.
Landing Page – The first page a visitor comes to when visiting a website. It can be an inner page or the main index of a website. Many people create multiple landing pages each one optimized for different keywords in an attempt to draw as much organic traffic as possible. Statistics on which pages visitors are landing on can be found from the Google Analytics tool under Traffic Sources > Search Engine Optimization > Landing Pages
Plugin – A piece of code that can be placed into a web page with the intention of providing a useful feature. The value of a plug-in is that as a designer you don’t need to write the code for whatever the plug-in accomplishes, usually you just need to fill in a few details to tailor it to your situation depending on how advanced the plug-in is or how customized you need the results to be. For example you can get a plug-in to automatically update your twitter account every time you make a blog post. All you need to do is download the plug-in and add it you your page and you gain the functionality without worrying about the code behind the scenes.
Search Engine Results Page (SERP) – The page returned by a search engine after a user query has been entered. These are the rankings that influence how much organic traffic you will receive for any given keyword. If you are consistently in the top positions of a SERP, then you will receive a high percentage of the traffic searching for that keyword.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – The study of web page structure, content, and any factor that has an impact on how search engines rank pages. This is a sprawling term that covers many different areas and has hundreds of factors. There are two main areas of focus when looking at a specific web pages SEO: on-page SEO factors and off-page SEO factors.
On-Page SEO factors include content, HTML markup, keyword density, and meta descriptors.
Off-page SEO factors include backlinks, social media, and site authority.
This is a very rudimentary view of SEO and I will be writing about the various topics in more detail.
Search Query – A word or phrase entered by a user into a search engine. This is usually to answer some sort of question or obtain information about a topic. This is how people interact with search engines. It is important to connect with what queries your audience might use and what kind of information they are looking for. You can then tailor your website and content to best fit the audience and their queries.
Server – The physical storage of your web files. Files are stored on a hard drive similar to those on personal computers. There are also similar limitations such as memory, CPU speed, and bandwidth. These issues can all affect the performance of your website especially if you receive high amounts of traffic.
Template – Similar to a theme, but a template is designed for a specific type of web page. You might have one template for blog posts and another template for press releases. Pages using a template inherit all the style and specifications set in the template file.
Theme – A design for a piece of software. In WordPress it means the design for a website that can be used across different WordPress installations.
Web Application – Part of a web page that acts as a tool or functional device. For example an e-mail application or an online music player.
Web Host – The provider of services that holds the files of your website online. This can be a professional hosting service such as Hostgator or Godaddy. Alternatively you can elect to set up your own server if you wish. Information about how to create your own web server can be found here.
WordPress – An free open source Content Management System. It is maintained by a community of designers and developers free of charge. The main capabilities are easy blogging and web page creation, but there are many applications. A growing library of plug-ins and themes along with an easy learning curve make this a popular choice for a content management system.