lesson is dedicated to giving you the technical lingo tools
and a few tips to begin the process of getting your business
website up and running.
have provided a helpful metaphor to explain website terminology
– the techie lingo associated with getting your
Think of a
website as your new apartment. It has:
address (domain name)
A physical location with enough space (hosting)
Different rooms like a kitchen or bedroom (the web pages)
Big french doors to let people in and out (bandwith
A landlord / gardener (website designer / maintainer)
You and your
visitors will also need:
sports car to get there (ISP-internet service provider
like Telus, Shaw, etc)
you may wish to have at your new apartment are:
mailbox (email using your domain name)
An answering machine (autoresponders)
A mailman (cgi scripts to process forms)
relaxing furniture (web usability)
Floor plan / directions for visitors (site map / good
If you have
a business there (online store) you might also need the
baskets (shopping cart)
register (merchant account)
security system (secure certificate)
Good advertising (SEO - search engine optimization)
on your door (banner ads)
Opening Notification (PR - direct promotion / press
We could go
even further and say . . .
(the world wide web)
buttons to the next floor (portal)
den / conference room to have meetings in (Intranet)
in apartment building entrance to be allowed in (firewall)
with a dumbwaiter (database)
(hyperlinks within your site)
line (hyperlinks to other sites)
for people to sign when they visit (cookies)
on your bookshelf (FAQ's - Frequently Asked Questions)
may need to hire a moving company (FTP - File Transfer
and Pictures on your wall (GIF, JPEG, PNG)
to your apartment (password)
/ Hostess to formally greet your visitors (Netiquette)
noisy drunk who lives down the hall (Spam)
but not least, every apartment building has that gossipy
neighbour that you can find out just about everything
from (Search Engine)
that we have the technical lingo out of the way, you can
relax now when you interview potential webdevelopers since
now you will know the process and speak the lingo.
Website Design Mistakes
a world of information overload, your website must grab
your visitor’s attention: provide them with the
information they need clearly, tell them where they are.
Make it an inviting door to your business by avoiding
these common website design mistakes:
Excessively large graphics that make download time slow.
Too many animations that confuse and overwhelm a user.
The Blink Tag. It’s annoying!
Plug-ins like FLASH that require a download by the user
“Under Construction” signs.
Bad Color Choice. Choose colors that fit your audience
(Read my article on choosing
colors for your website).
Grammatical Errors. The website speaks for your services
– no one will hire you if you cannot spell!
Text that is too small or too large.
Horizontal scrollbars along the bottom of your website
to view the right-hand side of your webpage. Users automatically
know to scroll down on a website but scroll across too?
This is inefficient from a usability standpoint.
a domain name that is too long or can't be remembered
Audio clips that play automatically. I recommend no
sounds as they increase download time but if you absolutely
must have music playing in the background, give the
user the option to shut it off.
Broken images. Square boxes with missing images? Very
Broken links. Enough said.
Too little blank space between sections. Give your reader
some “white space” to rest their eyes!
Overuse of UPPERCASE. This screams “yelling”
at your user and is against netiquette (net etiquette).
Having your website on a host that never seems to stay
online. Choose a reliable
host for your website that is online 24/7.
Too many advertising banners!
Slow servers or oversized pages because of un-optimized,
large, graphics. Either one will send your user elsewhere.
Patience for websites to download is scarce nowadays.
No text navigation option. Always provide text navigation
at the bottom of your website or a sitemap to help users
find their way should they get lost at your website.
Last but never least, remember the KISS principle: Keep
It Simple Stupid!