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New website project survival kit: Terms to know, F through L

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Web Survival Kit

As we mentioned in our first installment of this blog series, your website project survival kit needs to be constantly updated. The terms to know are always changing, and, sometimes, being reimagined due to new technologies and innovations.

In part two of our website terms to know series, we hit definitions from F through L.

Here are some more terms to put into your starter website project survival kit from our friends at the web design dictionary, along with some tips from us to put a few of them into context.

Frames

A feature of HTML whereby the designer can subdivide the page into separate windows. Frames can improve navigation in certain instances, but the drawbacks are significant and numerous. Most notably, framed pages cannot be bookmarked, some browsers cannot display frames at all and search engines might have a hard time indexing framed content.

Tip: When interviewing web design agencies make sure to press them on their knowledge of responsive design and search engine optimization. You don't want to hire a web design "artiste" that produces a beautiful, slick site that no one can find.

Graphics Interchange Format or GIF

A popular image format for the web. The GIF format is limited to 256 colors and supports transparency, which makes it suitable for simple graphics such as logos or buttons, but not for complex graphics such as photos.

Hit

A hit is a request for a file on a web server - any request for any file, so opening one HTML page which contains 10 images and 1 Flash animation will register as 12 hits (1 HTML file + 10 + 1). Hits are not the same as visits, contrary to what some web marketing schemes would imply. 10,000 hits may sound impressive, but if every page loads 100 images then 10,000 hits translates to less than 100 actual visitors.

Tip: The definition and commentary above is a prime example of why business owners seeking website services need to know enough to be dangerous. Hits sounds simple enough, but like the term leads, numbers can be manipulated depending on how you define the category. You need to know what you're being sold, and, even more importantly, what you might be buying.

JavaScript

JavaScript is a client-side scripting language used to create dynamic behaviour in HTML documents. The primary use and benefit is that actions can be performed on the page without the need to reload the page. All the major browsers support JavaScript, but the user usually has the option to turn JavaScript off. For this reason JavaScript should not be used for essential content on your web site - such as menu navigation.

Kerning

The gaps between letters. In the word "in", the kerning is the small space between the "i" and the "n". Used extensively in logo design, it is used to a lesser extent in web site design to aid legibility.

Tip: Kerning will not be something to worry about during the web design agency interview process. However, thinking about your target audience when it comes to typography choices and font size is important. For example, if a significant portion of your audience are seniors, a larger font size--or a font size increase/decrease button on your web pages--makes sense. You want to select a web designer and developer that can help you think through the small yet important details.

Link Authority

Link authority is a measure of the effect or power of a link. A link to your web site from a "free-for-all" site will have little value (low link authority). A link from a high ranking site in your industry will have a lot more value (high link authority).

If you're looking for a website development partner, reach out to us. We have strong expertise in website development, design and deployment.

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