Parts of a Website: A Guide for the Less Tech-Savvy

parts of a website

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One might think that looking for a web design agency is the difficult part. But wait until you find a reputable web designer and not understand anything they say. Website terminology can be pretty confusing. Unless you have some experience with web design or development, you will float throughout the consultation and the entire web design process. Marvel Marketing understands that not all of our clients understand website jargon. This is why we have taken the initiative to compile a guide on the different parts of a website and explain common terminologies. Our goal is to help you learn the language of website technology so that you can express your interests better. 

The Basic Anatomy of a Website

Header

The header doesn’t need much explanation because it’s easy to identify. The header is the upper part of the website that often contains the name of the site, logo and navigation menu. This part remains the same as you navigate through various pages. Website headers have witnessed various trends, from only containing promotional messages to contacts and CTAs. 

Navigation Bar

At times, the navigation bar can be separated from the header. It’s also known as the main menu, and its purpose is to direct you to various pages that contain different information. In the navigation bar, you can find icons on the about us page, contact and services pages. 

If you get web design solutions from a professional company such as Marvel Marketing, we often optimize the Navigation Bar to respond better on mobile devices. On such devices, the navigation bar crumbles into three stacked lines that trigger a vertical list when clicked. 

For websites that contain many categories, we often use a mega menu. This drop-down menu is triggered when you hover over a link on the navigation bar. When creating your website design, you have the freedom to choose between the mega menu or the typical listicle menu. 

Feature Image

This part is also referred to as the hero image. It’s the image displayed on the top part of the website. The goal of the featured image is to grab the audience’s attention. Depending on your web design, this picture can cover the entire width of the website and may contain CTAs or headlines. 

Slider

These are a set of pictures that slide from one direction to another. Quite often, you will find sliders on the homepage. But they can be used on other pages. Sliders showcase products or services offered by the website. Pictures used in sliders ought to be attractive. This part plays a pivotal role on a website. The problem is that they can slow down page speed. This is why some website owners prefer not to have them. 

Website Content

This comprises all types of content displayed on your website, from text to audio, video, and images. Website content is also known as body copy. 

Sidebar

Sidebars contain a wide range of information such as advertisements, call to action or links to other content. The sidebar is often positioned on the right side of your website content. These days, sidebars aren’t necessary since most website owners prefer to have all the content on one page because it’s more aesthetically pleasing. With that being said, it doesn’t mean sidebars are entirely irrelevant. They can serve as a great tool to display additional website content. The decision to have a sidebar or not is entirely yours. 

Footer

If you have been keen on this list, you will realize that we started with the top going down. Footers are located at the bottom, and just like the header, they also contain information about your website. The footer contains contacts info, links to terms of use, social media icons, and other important pages within the website. 

Landing Page

Landing pages have become a must-have for websites these days. These pages are slightly different than ordinary web pages. They are much simpler because their goal is to convert traffic from Google or Social Media ads. When a person clicks on your ad, they are directed to a landing page. Landing pages often contain one piece of information: the action you intend for the visitors to take. It could be to make a purchase or sign up to an email list. 

Home Page

All websites require a home page. It is the central part of your website linked to other pages. The Home Page contains your name, logo, feature image and other vital elements of your website. 

Blog

Blogs are more of a type of website than a part of it. They are usually merged with websites to form one thing. You may find it hard to differentiate between websites and blogs if you are new to website development. Content published on a website is known as a web page. Web pages are limited to service, contact, about us and home pages. On the other hand, content posted on a blog is a blog post. Blog posts often contain a wide range of topics that revolve around the website’s niche. 

The primary purpose of a blog is to increase user interaction and engagement. Beneath a blog post, you can find a comment section. But you won’t find a comment section on web pages. The other key difference is that website content is usually more formal. Blog posts have a touch of informality. 

Tile Design

This is a trend that was popularized by Pinterest. The Tile Design entails sorting content into chunks of data separated by a grid. This design makes your website mobile-friendly, easy to read and graphically appealing. You can be creative with this design and use it to sort features, products, services and much more. 

Call To Action

A CTA is a direct link that requests your visitors to perform a specific action. Examples of a CTA include ‘Get a free proposal’ ‘contact us today’ ‘click here’. CTAs can be in the form of text links, slide-ins, ribbons or popups. 

Popular Web Design Lingo

WordPress

WordPress is a popular content management system that runs many websites on the internet. This CMS enables website owners to add, remove or update content on their websites. If you want a website, your designer can recommend WordPress because it’s easy for you to use and has plenty of themes and plugins. 

On WordPress, your designer can help you choose a theme that portrays your brand. These themes can be customized and personalized to suit your brand image. This CMS is a much better option than building a site from scratch. Besides themes, WordPress also has many plugins that you can use to add various functions. 

WordPress Pages and Posts

WordPress pages and posts are just like web pages and blogs. On WordPress pages, you will post vital information related to the website’s objectives, such as who you are, what products/services you offer and contact information. WordPress posts are informative pieces that include articles such as how-to’s and guides. WordPress posts have a comment section and can be categorized. 

Hosting

As you consult an expert web design agency, they will also talk about hosting. This is a service that enables an individual or organization to post a website on the internet. For you to have a functional website, you must have a host. At Marvel Marketing, we prefer WordPress web hosting services since they are the most reliable. There are other web hosts such as Bluehost and HostGator. 

Domain Name

marvelmarketing.ca is a perfect example of a domain name. Websites are identified by unique IP addresses. However, websites are best known for memorability purposes by their domain names. These domain names are linked to the IP addresses. 

Domain Registrar

You will need to register your website domain from a registrar the same way you get license plates from the transportation ministry. 

DNS

Another popular web design lingo is DNS. It stands for domain name server. You can think of these as the phonebook of the internet. Internet users usually use domain names when searching for websites. When you key in these domain names in web browsers, DNS translates the domain names into IP addresses so that the browser can direct you to the website you are looking for. 

Google Analytics

You may not come across the term analytics in the initial stages of web design. But, later on, analytics is a crucial aspect of running a website. This is a service offered by Google which enables you to check site performance. Through analytics, you get to track your visitors’ data. This information is pivotal in implementing SEO, marketing or advertising strategies. 

Email Service Provider (ESP)

Building an email list will help you with marketing your business. Email is an excellent communication tool that you can use to pass news about the company, products, services and promotions. Designers might ask you to choose an email service provider when setting up your website. These are platforms that help you manage your email subscribers. Popular ESPs include Aweber, MailChimp and GetResponse

ESPs make it easier for website owners to manage subscribers in various ways. First, it automates the user’s actions. They can subscribe or unsubscribe from your email list without you having to do anything. Through these providers, you can send mass messages. These ESPs ensure that your messages are compliant and not flagged as spam. An ESP can also inform you about the actions your receivers took. For instance, they can tell you whether your subscribers opened your email or not. 

HTML

This is a markup language for the internet that defines a web page structure. HTML is used to define how pages are displayed in a web browser. It stands for hypertext markup language. 

CSS

We decided to list CSS next to HTML because they are related. It means Cascading Style Sheets, and it defines how HTML elements are displayed on your PC or mobile device. CSS makes your web pages look more aesthetically pleasing. 

Website Builder

Website builders were created to make it easier for people to build websites. Before the invention of website builders, one needed to have an in-depth understanding of CSS and HTML. These days, website builders have a drag and drop feature that doesn’t even require knowledge of coding. 

Mobile Responsive

When you contract web developers and designers from Marvel Marketing, they will talk a great deal about mobile responsive sites. These are websites that have been optimized to fit mobile screens and PC. A website that isn’t mobile responsive will retain the layout of PC on mobile devices, thus affecting user experience. 

SSL

Known in full as secure socket layer, SSL are certificates that encrypt information sent from web servers to browsers when installed on a website. This keeps the data safe from hackers. If a site features SSL certificates, you should see a padlock at the beginning of an address bar in your web browser. You should also look for an ‘s’ at the end of HTTP. That means your website is secure. 

SEO

Search Engine Optimization is a popular term used by our web designers. It refers to techniques that aim to improve a website’s ranking on search engine pages. The main goal of SEO is to boost website rankings. You will be glad to know that our web design solutions incorporate practices that ensure your site is SEO-friendly. SEO works better with content. 

Final Thoughts

A professional web designer or developer should tone down the technical jargon so that you can communicate more effectively. However, it would be much better to familiarize yourself with website terminology as this information will come in handy later. Hopefully, our guide above has caught you up to speed on the basics of web language and different parts of a website. With time, you will learn more things.

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