Web Lingo Dictionary
A Guide to All Those Crazy Web Terms
- .jpg: JPG format creates small files by using compression and therefore the files are quick to upload and download. JPGs support millions of colors. Most digital cameras and smartphones save your pictures as JPGs. A JPG is “lossy” meaning it that when it is saved as a JPG unnecessary information will be deleted. That means that some quality will be lost or compromised forever when any file is converted to a JPG. So when should a JPG be used? This file type is ideal for photographs, so for your website images, it is a good choice and it is the best choice for social media channels. Exceptions to that rule are if the image needs transparency, the image has text in it, or the file will be animated.
- .gif: GIFs are “lossless” – meaning that a GIF retains all the data contained in the file when saved, but they are smaller than JPGs because they only accommodate up to 256 indexed colors. So when should a GIF by used? Simple illustrated images or logos with just a couple or a few colors are often saved as GIF’s because the quality will be better and the file will be smaller than a compressed JPEG. Also, with the right software, you can create animated GIFs, where you place together a series of GIF images and it creates a short animation.
- .png: PNG was created as an improved replacement for GIF, and allows for image compression (smaller image files) while not losing quality. But unlike GIFs who only support 256 indexed colors, PNG-24, like JPGs, can support up to 16 million colors. Like the GIF, PNG is lossless, so you do not lose any data during compression. So when should a PNG be used? They’re ideal for detailed graphics with text, or when you’re working with files that are still being edited. And it’s the only file type for detailed images, like photographs that also supports transparency!
- Pixels are used to represent the width and height of an image on the internet or on your computer screen. Your computer screen uses 72 pixels per inch to display content. If you were to magnetize, zoom in on an image you would see tiny dots of light of different colors representing the image on your screen. The measure for digital images is “dpi” or dots per inch. Each dot represents a pixel.
- Website domain is an address that people will use to find your website, normally it is your business or product name or something similar (for instance my domain is LissaSandler.com). You purchase for a yearly fee your website domain from a web solutions provider like Godaddy.com or any other website that sells domains. You will need a domain for any type of website you create, no matter what the platform: WordPress, Squarespace, Wix, Weebly, etc.
- Hosting is needed when you have a website. You can build a WordPress website on WordPress.com and they will include hosting in the package. But many experts, including me, advise if you are building a WordPress website that you go with a self-hosted platform like Siteground.com or Bluehost.com and install WordPress into your account as you will have more control over what you can do with your website. Both of Siteground and Bluehost have one-click installs for WordPress, so they make it very doable and easy. Another way to explain it is if your domain is the address of your website, then hosting is where your website lives, the house. Platforms like Squarespace, Wix, and Weebly (all in one platforms) have their own proprietary website builders…so the “hosting” is included in the monthly fee they charge for you to have access to their website builder.
- Search engine optimization (SEO) is the strategies you implement with the hope of increasing the amount and quality of traffic to your website through “natural” or unpaid keyword searches on search engines. SEO can target different kinds of searches, including image, local, video, news, academic, and industry-specific search engines.
- SEO Strategy considers what people search for, the search terms or keywords typed into search engines and also which search engines are preferred by their targeted audience. An SEO strategist will help you optimize your content to be found by search engines through keywords. Your website has an address that anyone can use to find your website (your domain name, for instance, my address is lissasandler.com) but how do people find that address if you don’t give it to them?…mainly through search engines. Most people use Google for their search engine but a smaller amount also uses Bing and Yahoo. So you want to make sure your website is listed with these important search engines. And that your pages are optimized for search engines to index your content. So what are the first things you should do to make your site easy to find on search engines? set the meta tags (more on this below)
- Meta tags are tags used in HTML or XHTML documents, they provide data about a Web page. Meta elements can be used to specify page description, keywords and any other metadata. All of these will be set in the WordPress dashboard panel using a plugin like Yoast or in settings for a Squarespace website.
- Website Navigation: A website navigation is like a roadmap which allows webpage visitors to explore and discover all the pages and information contained within a website.
- Mobile responsive: A responsive website will change automatically to fit the screen you are viewing the content on. Generally, there are 4 screen sizes that responsive design has targeted: widescreen desktop monitor, laptop, tablet, and mobile phone.
- Website title: Your site title is whatever you decided to name your site when you created it, and it will show on your site by default. Your site title appears at the top of every page of your site, and is different from a page title. In a WordPress site you set the website title in the settings>general tab. Also if you install the plugin Yoast, you will see an area in Yoast settings for website title. In a Squarespace site, the website title is also in the settings.
- Page title: Title tags are often used by search engines in their results. The title will be used in the preview snippets for a given page (that little description you get of the page), on both search engines and when sharing on social. The title is meant to be a concise description of what you will find on that page. Getting your page title right is important both for search engines and for user experience. If you keep your titles under 55 characters, you can expect at least 95% of your titles to display properly.
- Page description: Much like the title, the page description is a summary (length should be 155-165 characters) of what you will find on that page. Google will sometimes use the page description meta tag as the snippet it shows in search results instead of just page content if they feel it gives a better picture of what to expect from that page. Accurate meta descriptions can help your click-through rate from search engines and social posts.
- Page keywords: Meta keywords are a list of the important themes of your page. Use the following guidelines when creating your keywords:  use about 10-15 keywords;  separate the words or phrases using a comma (you do not need to leave a space between words separated by commas);  do not repeat words or phrases;  put your most important word or phrases at the beginning of your list. It used to be that keywords had a heavyweight in the search results and winning you good results, but because people have abused them, trying to trick search engines, now they have less weight in the search results.
- Call to action: A call-to-action (often abbreviated to CTA) is a button, image or set of words that encourage your visitors, leads, and customers to take some action on your site. Often that button, image or set of words are linked to the next step or page you want them to visit. It is, as the name says, a “call” to take an “action.” The action you are encouraging your visitors to take could be anything such as attend a webinar, receive a coupon, download an ebook, join a mailing list, attend a workshop or event, purchase a product etc. It is important to have a clear overarching purpose or CTA for your website and then a main CTA for each page. A CTA can be added anywhere in your online marketing such as on your web page, in a downloadable ebook, in a marketing email, or in a blog post, usually at the end.
- Hyperlink, often shortened to just “link” is an element in a digital document or web page that links to a different place in the same document or to a different webpage. You click on the “link” to activate and then it sends you to the webpage or different area in the document. You can make an image, a button or text hyperlink.
- Brand is the “name, term, design, symbol, wording, visuals or any other feature that identifies one seller’s product or services distinct from those of other sellers.” Brands are used in business, marketing, and advertising. The name “brand” comes from the practice of “branding” cattle to differentiate one man’s cattle from another.
- Visual brand is a visual representation of your business’s personality. Clear, consistent use of your brand’s graphic visual identity reinforces a business’s reputation with whoever experiences it. Using a consistent visual brand also provides cohesiveness across our many communications efforts including social media, website, logo, seal, and colors.
- Voice: in the world of marketing and business “voice” refers to the company or business’s “tone” in their written documents. A business or company’s “tone of voice” will influence all of its written text/copy, including its social media, website, email and marketing media.
- Copy: refers to all the written media of a business, as opposed to the photographs or other layout elements. This can include magazines, books, ebooks, website, emails, social posts, etc.
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