Here’s some stuff I have no idea about:
- Farming turnips
- Why anyone would ever put themselves through the sheer torture of baring their nether regions and getting a Brazilian
And while I don’t need to plant turnip seeds (or whatever it is) or get waxed to have a successful business, I do need to deal with taxes, and I dread that shiz every single year. There’s payroll, W-2s, 941s, UTC-6s, and legions of details to attend to. I’d rather read about the history of the radish.
But here’s what I know: the more I understand what these inscrutable documents and terms are, the easier a time I have, the quicker I can take care of it, and the sooner I can go back to pretending taxes and accounting don’t freakin’ exist.
So if you’re befuddled by terms like “FTP,” “hosting” or “web development,” I’ve got a treat for you, sister.
Grab a steaming cup of vanilla rooibos and let’s get to it. I’ll keep it light and snappy, Website Superhero style.
Mini glossary of common web design terms (in alphabetical order)
Branding (+ web design + web development + graphic design)
Head on over here for a whole shiny blog post about these terms and their cozy-as-spooning-your-boyfriend-on-the-couch relationship to each other.
This is simply your website address or URL, which may or may not have “www” in front of it. For example, mine is website-superhero.com.
Email management system
This is just the software you use to build your email list and send out emails to your subscribers. It’s a system that manages your contacts (subscribers) and tracks the emails (newsletters) you send out (plus who opens them and clicks on your links) and all that list-building related jazz. Popular email management systems include MailChimp, Aweber, Ontraport, and Infusionsoft. Psst… click here to learn to keep from pissing off your subscribers and avoid $16k in fines.
FTP stands for “file transfer protocol” and is used to transfer the files that make up your website (everything from your theme to your blog comments). It’s possible you’ll never have to use it, especially if you have a web designer/developer creating and caring for your epic website, but if you’re DIYing, you might eventually need to access your FTP to upload files to your site, download backups from your website, or install something manually. It’s accessible via your hosting account. Important: don’t use your FTP unless you have to, because all changes are permanent (if you delete the wrong file, you’re screwed unless you have a backup).
Here’s my favorite analogy: your website is your car, your domain is the paint on your car, and your hosting is the parking garage. It’s where you “host” or store your car (website) to keep it safe from floods and car thieves (hackers and viruses!).
Speaking of which, I recommend you try Liquid Web. And for god’s sake, stay away from Go Daddy, Dreamhost, Bluehost, and Hostgator. Why? Their servers are slow (your website will be slow to load = your visitors may get bored = click away before your compelling design and copy can pull them in to love you forever!), sometimes glitchy, and not all of them provide phone support.
This is a.k.a. an email signup form. It’s a box that asks for your name and email and has a “submit” button (that often reads something like “Sign me up”). It’s what you use to integrate with MailChimp/Aweber/Ontraport capture your elusive readers’ emails so you can send radness to their inboxes and turn your new subscribers into warm leads and eventually customers. Check out point #4 in this blog post on how to turn your website visitors into customers for optimal opt-in form locations (where on your website to get the most subscriber bang for your handsome buck).
It literally stands of “search engine optimization” (doesn’t that explain everything? HA. NOT.). All you need to know is that the better your SEO, the higher you’ll show up in Google when people search for you and your services, or for terms related to you and your services = more people finding you = more subscribers and clients = BOOM. Here’s a free, easy, AND (!) quick way to boost your SEO (for WordPress). Get ‘em, cowgirl!