Website Terms For For People With No Tech Experience

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Small Business Tips

Are you in the process of building a new site, or are you thinking about outsourcing? Here are some basic concepts, that will help you start the process, whether you’re building yourself or outsourcing.

If you’re a small business owner or an aspiring entrepreneur, then you probably already know you need a website. And whether you choose to build one yourself or work with a developer, there will be a learning curve.

If you have no tech experience, there’s a lot to learn about the ‘backend’ of websites and how they’re built and designed. Understanding some basic concepts will help you start the process, whether you’re building yourself or outsourcing.

In fact, especially when you’re outsourcing, understanding the following concepts will give you a much better base from which to communicate with your developer. Let’s jump into what you need to know.

Website Platform

Thankfully, lots of ‘tech speak’ is actually quite literal. A website platform is literally the platform for your website – ie, what your website is built on. Sometimes, this will also be called the ‘website builder,’ because again, it’s what builds your website.

At the most basic level, websites are collections of files. Your website platform is what organizes those files into the complete package that becomes your website.

Most web developers will use what’s called a content management system (CMS) as their website platform, because they’re much easier to build and maintain. We use (and highly recommend) WordPress, which is the most popular website platform due to its durability and flexibility. Other ones you might hear of are Drupal, Joomla and Weebly.

Let’s get literal again. Remember that your website is a collection of files. When someone comes to your website, they are being given, or ‘served,’ those files. And who does the serving at a party? The host.

So your website host is the company that will store all your files, and serve them up to users when they visit your domain.

Most website hosting providers will offer perks like email and WordPress support to entice customers. But at the end of the day, their main function is to ‘host’ your website files.


Of all these terms, a website’s URL or domain is the one you’re probably most familiar with, since you probably type in dozens of domains into your browser each day. A URL/domain is simply the website address that people use to find you. Without the domain, your website would just be a collection of files sitting unseen in your website host.

If you’re new to websites, it’s quite common to get domain and hosting confused. A common analogy to understand them better is to compare your website to a house. The domain is the street address, while the host is the actual land on which the house sits. And to continue with this analogy, your website platform is the blueprints that your architect uses to structure every part of the house.


If we’re talking about general optimization of your website, then we’re looking at all the ways we can improve it to help generate more traffic, more conversions, and more sales or leads.

Basically, website optimization is first deciding what you want your website to actually ‘do’ – whether that’s sell products, get traffic, increase foot traffic to your store, etc. And then continually testing your site and using best practices to ensure that the website is performing the way you need it to.


SEO stands for ‘search engine optimization,’ and it’s one of the most sought-after and important features of any website. That’s because if search engines don’t understand what your site is about, they won’t show it in their search results. And if your website isn’t showing up in search results, it’s going to be dead in the water.

There are many ways to make your website more or less SEO friendly. Good, regular content, properly tagged images, and following best practices in the development stage are all really important. It’s also one of the reasons we use and recommend WordPress, which is widely recognized as having a solid SEO base.

Note that when people talk about SEO, they’re usually talking about Google optimization, since Google still dominates all searches. But search engines like Bing and Duck Duck Go are also rising.

User Experience

Finally, if you are working with a developer or building your own website, you want to ensure that user experience is front-and-centre. This means that you’re optimizing your website for the user. It’s easy to get caught up with fancy graphics and flashy gimmicks that you, the owner, loves. But you need to keep the focus on what a visitor on your website is actually experiencing.

Some key elements of user experience are how fast your website is, how responsive it is, and how stable it is. Have you ever been on a ‘jumpy’ website, where the content and buttons move around as it loads? That means it’s not very stable, and therefore, not very user friendly.

The good news is that SEO, optimization and user experience all dovetail together nicely. Google and other search engines are likely to favour websites that are generally well optimized. And websites that are SEO and otherwise optimized will also be great for users.

Keep all these factors in mind, and you’re well on your way to a great website that works.

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If it turns out that creating your new website is not something you would like to take on alone, make sure to Contact us for your free 30 minute consultation.

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