The Internet is a global community with its own jargon and language. While you may have certainly had your share of Internet experience, the amount of technical terms you need to understand before getting your website designed (or redesigned) may lead to
reasonable confusions and frustration.
Web Tips for Overwhelmed Newbies
While it’s possible to get a website designed without understanding the basics of web jargon, it certainly will help you to make a more educated guess when choosing a web designer/developer. Thanks to the variety of website development companies, web designers, and other content marketing agencies and freelancers, you can easily outsource your online marketing campaign to seasoned individuals without spending a fortune. For web newbies who are thinking about starting a business, ecommerce, or personal website, here are a few common web vocabulary you should know to effectively communicate with those in the web design and content marketing industry.
Domain vs. Host
Before you hire someone to design your website, you need to have a domain that is hosted on a server. Your domain name is simply a fancy way to say the "name of your website." It is a unique title that identifies who you are and what you do. Web hosting, on the other hand, is the service that provides the Web space you need for your website. If you were to translate these abstract concepts to a shopping mall setting, your domain will be the name of your store, and the host will be the space you rent.
Web Developer vs. Web Designer
Yes, there is a difference between the two. A web designer is concerned with the actual look and layout of the website. Whereas a web designer primarily focuses on the user experience and aesthetic appeal of the website, a web developer brings the designer's vision to life with the right structure, layout, and construction.
When you are considering a potential web design company, it is important to check whether the website will be built from scratch or from an existing platform like Wordpress. If "from scratch" is the answer, other terms you might run into may include:
- HTML (HyperText Makeup Language)
- CSS (Cascading Style Sheets)
Freelancer VS Full-Time web designer/developer
What is the difference between a freelancer and a full-time web designer/developer and why does it matter? This could actually be a whole post in itself (and maybe it will be), but the main differences are support and longevity. We have redesigned and taken over many websites that were built by web design freelancers that built sites and then up and disappeared. Traditionally, a full-time company that builds websites everyday for a living will have more longevity than a freelancer. There is nothing wrong with freelancers, just make sure you learn a lot about them before hiring them to build a website for you.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
It's impossible to talk about website design and development without mentioning search engine optimization. Also known as SEO, search engine optimization is an online marketing strategy that enables your website to be found by your target market. By using keywords and key word phrases to create relevant, compelling, and authoritative content for existing and potential customers, those who master SEO usually enjoy a steady organic traffic and investment return.
As you can see, there is a lot to learn when it comes to understanding the language of the web. However with time and experience, you will certainly become a pro in reconciling your business vision with your online marketing strategies.
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