What Clients Need To Know About Web Site Design:
An outline for dialog between designers and clients

© M. Blair Ligon, all rights reserved world-wide
updated 2010.02.12


Body: The most ordinary text in a document or web page

Browser: Software that allows a user to view web (and other html) pages (e.g., Firefox, Safari, Navigator, Explorer).

Content: Concepts, words and images.

Client Copy: unformatted text supplied by the client.

Contextual: a graphic, text, menu or link that changes according to the users' needs.

Copy: unformatted text.

Google™ PageRank™: scale from 10 to zero that reflects the likelihood that a web page will be reached by clicking on links from other web sites. More links from higher-quality sites increases page rank. Higher page rank means higher placement for a web page on Search Engine Result Pages.

Hierarchy: Levels of organization, e.g.:
Books> Chapters> Sections> Heads> Subheads> Body> Captions
OR Site> Page> Header> Subhead1> Subhead2> Body

Hypertext (hyperlink): text that allows links from one text to another text or page. Hypertext on a web page can be highlighted and copied as editable text.

Metafiles: Key word lists, titles, descriptions and phrases that are embedded in a web page, visible to search engines, but not visible to a user. Every word in the metafile should appear in the visible text and in the same word order.

Navigation: A system for accessing a web site and understanding its structure and hierarchy.

Ornament: graphic elements that are not necessary to content or navigation. Ornaments and pictures may be useful to help differentiate one web page from another.

Search Engine: a web site or application that indexes and catalogs Internet web sites.

Search Engine Result Pages (SERP): web page generated by a search engine for a particular computer, browser and user that lists links and synopses of pages that match search terms.

Search Index: Numbered position of a web page in the list of returned pages for a specific set of search terms on an engine such as Google, Yahoo or Webcrawler (e.g., #16 out of 11,387 hits.)

Robots: Software agents used by search engines to map and index the internet. Spiders are a form of robot.

Site Map: graphic representation of a site as a collection of pages and links that resembles a flow chart.

Spiders: Software agents used by search engines to map the internet. Spiders start at a few huge institutions' sites (such as government or IBM) and follow their links out across the internet, indexing what they find.

Structure: The physical arrangement of elements on a page, publication or web site, and specifically how that arrangement expresses hierarchy and content.

User: customer, employee or anyone else who is allowed legitimate access to yourcompany.com

Virtualization: the delivery of a software tool or system over a local network or the internet, rather than permanently storing it on a user's hard drive.

WHOIS: A protocol for contacting an official internet database that records information about the owners and addresses of web site domains.