If you are planning your first ever website, you might be wondering what all the technical terms mean. At The Web Designer Group, we like to make the process as simple as possible for our clients, so here’s a brief guide to some of the technical terms you might see or hear.
Responsive website – a site which looks good on both large screens and small devices.
Domain name – the unique, human-readable internet address of a website. For example, coca-cola.com is the domain name of the Coca-Cola website.
URL – A URL is the long string at the top of the website which denotes its address. For example, https://coca-cola.com is the URL for the Coca-Cola website. It originally stood for Uniform Resource Locator, although that is widely unknown today. You may notice that URLs start with either https or http. Https uses encryption and is more secure than http. Therefore, it is essential for websites that hold personal data or take payments. Newer websites tend to be https by default.
SEO – Search Engine Optimisation – modifications to a website which make it more attractive to to a search engine (such as Google or Bing). These modifications might include adding keyword tags to content or creating titles which make clear to search engines crawlers what the content is about. The aim of SEO is to increase the ranking of the content in search engine results. The higher the ranking, the more visitors to the site.
SERPS – Search Engine Results Pages. If your web page ranks number 2 in the SERPS for a particular keyword or phrase, that means it is listed in 2nd place when you type that keyword/phrase into a search engine. Paid adverts may appear higher than these natural (organic) results. We don’t count adverts when calculating position in SERPS.
Paid Search – online adverts which you pay to have shown to users who search for those keywords. For example, there are usually 3 or 4 paid adverts at the top every page in Google.
Organic Search Results – websites which are selected naturally by the search engine’s algorithms for their relevance and quality.
DA – Domain Authority. This is a ranking score used to predict how well a website will rank in the SERPS. It was developed by Moz, industry experts on SEO, and is scored from 1-100, using a partially disclosed logarithmic scale. Most websites start off with a score under 10. It’s easier to grow your score from 20 to 30 than it is to grow from 30 upwards. One way to increase the score of a website is to get more high-quality websites to link to it.
PA – Page Authority. The same as DA, but for single pages rather than a whole domain.
404 – Have you ever landed on a page and seen an error message that the page cannot be found? This is a 404 status code (HTTP) indicating the server could not find the requested website page. In other words, your web browser can connect with the server, but the specific page you’re trying to access can’t be reached.
301 – A 301 redirect is used when the site’s URL is changed for any reason. It sends visitors and search engines to a different URL than the one they originally requested — without them having to actually type in a different URL. E-commerce sites use this a lot when a particular product sells out. They may redirect it to a similar product which is still in stock or to a category page.
302 – A 302 status code is a temporary redirect. This means the page you want has been temporarily moved to another URL (users don’t notice a 302 redirect). For SEO purposes, it’s usually best to use a 301 redirect as opposed to a 302, because with a 302 redirect you lose the SEO link authority of the old page.
We hope that this short list of technical terms will help collaboration on your first website project to go smoothly. Generally-speaking, web designing can attract geeks and technology lovers who are so familiar with the jargon that we forget to explain it! We look forward to working with you on your first web design project.