Industry Definitions

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To hear a designer discussing all the possible options for your site can be incredibly overwhelming; so here I aim to explain in layman’s terms some common terms used by a designer.

GRAPHICS:  Are the images used to convey the information you wish to display on your site. They need to be coordinated with printed or online media to ensure all match and convey one seamless message. Bad graphics ruin a site.

SOCIAL MEDIA GRAPHICS SUITE: Is a collection of images that uses your branding and logo in graphics used on your social media sites which varies according to your needs.  Example: a background and avatar for Twitter, a Facebook userpic and Timeline Banner or a profile graphic on yelp.com. 

SITE HEADER:  Is the most important part of the graphics on your site, this is the main image on the top of your site that must list the name of your site in large bold letters and should include a contact phone number, email address, or catch phrase for your business.

PAGE:  Think of your site like the pages of a catalog. Each Page has different information, and websites are organized in a similar fashion for ease of use.  Choosing what information to put on what page is an important step in publishing a web site.

LINKS:  Are clickable words or images that take the user from one page or site to another. You have links within your own site, but can also link to other outside sites.

NAVIGATION MENU: Is the group of links that take the user to each page of your site. They should be larger and have high contrast between the text and background of the navigation menu to be easily readable for everyone. Think of it as the Chapter Contents listing at the beginning of a book.

COPY: is the words used in an article, website or an advertisement. Used in journalism and marketing.  Providing a back-story or raw data to a copy writer will allow them to write the copy used in the content for a website.

CONTENT:  Is the specific information you choose to publish on your site. Text content is called Copy. Content also consists of graphics or photos, whole articles etc et. Professional copy writers provide the best content.

ACCESSIBILITY: is taking special measures which allow those with disabilities to effectively access your site by ensuring technological compatibilities between your site and their personal computer. 

LOGO: Is included within the Header of your site. A Logo can include Text or a graphical Icon. Should be unique and have high visual appeal as well as be easily readable. Is necessary to create a identity branding that is needed for all businesses or organizations to define who they are and what they do.

IDENTITY BRANDING: is the overall concept of coordinating all forms of media both online and in print with matching graphics, phrases, fonts, images and ideas to ensure your company is always represented in a professional manner. Great Identity Branding is what sets organizations apart from their competition and allows them to gain notoriety through public recognition of their brand.

HOSTING: Is what you have to have to keep your site online. Your Hosting account is what stores your website on a server computer that is always online. Think of it as storage rental in cyberspace. Advanced websites must have more expensive hosting accounts to ensure speed.

ORGANIZATION: Is how you decide to organize your content after research of the competition and careful consideration of how you want to present your information, services or company. Bad organization kills a site. Must consider both the Links to put in the Navigation Menu as well as information presented on your Page.

CMS:  is short for Content Management System. It is a piece of software that creates well organized sites that enable the site to be edited by anyone with a basic working knowledge of traditional text editing software.

STYLE GUIDE: A style guide or style manual is a set of standards for the writing and design of documents, either for general use or for a specific publication, organization or field. The implementation of a style guide provides uniformity in style and formatting of a document.

WEBSITE THEME: is a collection of graphics and coding that tell your website how to look.  A professional site has a custom created theme and there are many kinds for many different kinds of websites.  Also known as a "skin" or a "template". 

SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION (SEO): is a specific combination of techniques a professional web designer employs to allow a website to stand out and stay high on search engine results. 

Erica Burrell

Erica specializes in Small Business Media and is currently taking new clients.

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