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Web Development Terminology You Need to Know to Sell Online

One day you wake up and decide your company needs to sell products online. If your company is large enough, you can approach your IT team to and have them help walk you through the ins and outs of how to get started. If your company is smaller, you may not have a dedicated programming function and you will need to outsource your eCommerce project. As you start talking with a programming company they may use some unfamiliar terminology such as: A/B testing, search engine optimization, responsive web design, user interface design, and social media integration. Pretty soon you realize that you don’t understand the tech lingo being thrown around and you need to do some basic research to get up to speed.

It is important as a business owner for you to understand high level concepts associated with web development but it’s also beneficial to get into the weeds a bit and understand the details such as hypertext markup language (HTML) and cascading style sheets (CSS). It is essential to build upon these and understand the web development process, not only to better manage your projects, but also to allow for the use of the planning process, such as an e-business plan, to determine the appropriate amount of time to achieve the results that you are seeking.

What is A/B Testing?

There are many terms that you should know which are connected to the web development process. For example the term “A/B testing” refers to a process of sending two emails with slightly different content in order to determine response rates between the two (“A” or “B”). A/B testing can also be used to determine which version of your home page performs better. Looking to increase sales of a particular product? Split test your traffic to version ”A” of the home page by sending 50% of your visitors there and then compare it to version “B” for the remaining 50%.

Responsive Web Design and Adaptive Web Design

Adaptive web design (AWD) and responsive web design (RWD) are terms that describe how your website is viewed across multiple devices such as laptops and mobile devices. AWD utilizes multiple variations of each web page, each formatted manually to provide optimal page layouts for the different screen resolutions of any device that could be used to access the website. With RWD, your website automatically alters the size of various elements on each web page based on a percentage of the screen resolution or browser window size, enabling proportionally dynamic resizing of all content on the page. One non technical term that you should be familiar with is content marketing, which involves posting informational and educational content on your site to drive visitors to your website. The content published on your website can be any of the following: articles, blog posts, how to guides, reports, white papers, product descriptions, Q&A or even expert content. All of this content should be part of an overall content marketing strategy that is designed to attract your core audience. This helps you to become an authoritative figure on the products that you sell.

All About HTML and CSS

One of the most basic concepts that you should familiarize yourself with, regarding web development and design, is HTML coding. This type of coding is based on a series of tags that refer to different types of content that appear on your web page. The way the tags are established and arranged will affect the way that your website appears. You should consider HTML as the foundation to your web page design, from which development takes place. You should understand that even with the existence of templates for web design, the amount of customization that will need to go into creating the web experience you want for your customers’ needs to be carefully planned. RWD, as mentioned above, automatically adjusts the appearance of your website across multiple devices by proportionally adjusting the size of all content on each page. This is accomplished with JavaScript, a great way to create interactive objects on your website, and cascading style sheets (CSS). The use of CSS defines how HTML elements appear online. These HTML elements represent different types of content that combine together to form a complete web page or document, such as blocks of text, images, or navigational sidebars. Each element can be manipulated using CSS to follow a style that is defined by the programmer or selected from a menu of pre-loaded style sheets. Take the time to learn fully about programming and the relevant terminology to get your company selling online. You will be better equipped to work with your technology provider if you have some foundational knowledge about the web development process.

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