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Glossary & Explanations

HTML

HTML stands for Hypertext Markup Language. It's the language used to create the text and images that you see on a website.

If you're curious about how it looks, this is the code used to create the “On this page” list of links:

        <nav class="page">
          <span>On this page:</span>
          <ul>
            <li><a href="#html">HTML</a></li>
            <li><a href="#css">CSS</a></li>
            <li><a href="#responsive">Responsive Design</a></li>
            <li><a href="#accessibility">Accessibility</a></li>
            <li><a href="#domainname">Domain Name</a></li>
            <li><a href="#webhosting">Web Host</a></li>
            <li><a href="#popups">Interstitial Popups</a></li>
            <li><a href="#wordpress">WordPress</a></li>
          </ul>
        </nav>
      

CSS

CSS stands for Cascading Stylesheets. CSS is the language used for changing the appearance of a website - its colours, fonts, layout, and so on.

Here's a tiny part of the CSS (there are over 600 lines in the CSS used for this site) used to style the navigation at the top of each page:

        nav.site>ul li {
          align-items: stretch;
          display: flex;
          flex: 1;
          font-weight: bold;
          max-width: 7em;
          position: relative;
          text-align: center;
        }
      

CMS

A CMS is a Content Management System. It's a piece of software that allows you to edit a website without having to understand the languages used to create the site.

Some CMSs are better than others. Some are unwieldy and unsuitable for websites (see WordPress below). Some don't do enough. Some are complicated and try to do too much. And some (as Goldilocks would tell you) are just right. A good CMS should be customisable to suit the specific user, and easy to use.

Responsive Design

The goal of responsive design is to build web pages that detect the visitor's screen size and orientation and change the layout accordingly.

Source: WhatIs.com

This is important because:

Accessibility

Accessibility means access. It refers to the ability for everyone, regardless of disability or special needs, to access, use and benefit from everything within their environment. It is the "degree to which a product, device, service, or environment is available to as many people as possible".

Source: CNIB

An inaccessible site discriminates against those who have a disability, and is governed in Australia by the Disability Discrimination Act 1992

In 2015 Coles settled a discrimination case brought before the Australian Human Rights Commission by Gisele Mesnage. Considerably earlier, the Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games was ordered to pay compensation to Bruce Maguire, because of accessibility issues with their website.

I create accessible sites.

Domain Name

Your domain name is a unique address which allows your users to find you online. My domain name is “webdesign.place”. A domain name is made up of at least two parts: the first part (webdesign) is the domain itself; the second part (after the full-stop) is the top-level domain (TLD). After some TLDs is a label which identifies the country (for example, .au).

Once upon a time, the TLD was pretty boring - .com, .org, .net - but these days there are many other possibilities, including .place, .rocks, and even .beer or .coffee.

Note that some TLDs can only be used by a specific type of business; for example, .aero is only for entities in various categories of air-travel, and .archi is restricted to individuals and organisations that can verify participation in architecture industry.

All domain names must be registered with an authorised domain name registrar. There is an annual fee for registering a domain name. The most popular names, of course, tend to be the most expensive.

You can see a very long list of TLDs at ICANN (The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers). Wikipedia also has a list of TLDs with notes showing what sort of entity can use a particular TLD.

As at 17 August 2017, there are 1,547 domain name extensions (TLDs).

Web Host

Web hosts are companies that provide space on a server owned or leased for use by clients, as well as providing Internet connectivity, typically in a data center.

Source: Wikipedia

So essentially it's a company with many fast hard drives, who hopefully spend a lot of time and effort on maintenance and security, and the files that make up your website are stored on those hard drives.

Of course, the hosting company expects to be paid to host your site. And the cheapest host isn't necessarily the best. Factors such as speed, quality of support, and uptime need to be considered.

Interstitial Popups

An interstitial popup is a window that pops up automatically as the user browses your site.

They frequently contain a call-to-action (“Subscribe Now!”)

Yes, you've seen them, and undoubtedly been annoyed by them. So why shouldn't you use them?

WordPress