Learning the Language: Anatomy of a Website

I am a huge fan of using google to find answers.  Or watching instructional videos on YouTube to learn how to do something.  They are both great services, but only if you know what question to ask.

Recently I’ve been working on my company website.  I know what I want my website to do, but I don’t know what anything is called. Consequently I spend a lot of time figuring out the name of a certain feature or option so I can ask a question about how to achieve it.  As we become more enmeshed with technology, the expectation is that we automatically come equipped with the right vocabulary to ask the right question at the right time.

For example, googling something like “How do I get the name bigger on my website?”  is pretty useless. First of all, name is a generic term and therefore subject to varied interpretations. Second of all, which name and where?  What kind of website?  What platform is being used?

So while Google can be amazing for searches, if you don’t know how to ask the right questions, finding answers on the internet can turn into an exercise on how to manage frustrations.  If only website templates could provide users with a diagram pointing and naming the different elements, I’m sure it would help users to ask the right questions.

I’m still in the dark:

  • about what to call certain features that I want; and
  • what the features I have do.

Once I figure out the proper terms for what I want to accomplish, then it’s another process to find the answers.

When I installed my website template this ended up in my control panel:

With the exception of Ultimate TinyMCE, I don't actually know what any of these things are.

With the exception of Ultimate TinyMCE, I don’t actually know what any of these things are.

I have a vague understanding of what a slider is, but only because I’ve been working on my website for a couple of weeks.  And I appreciate that at least I know the names of a few things, thanks to options appearing on the backend control panel, even if I don’t yet understand what they do.  This means I will be able to search with the proper vocabulary to ask the right questions.

In short – stay tuned.  The website’s coming!


6 comments for “Learning the Language: Anatomy of a Website

  1. James
    15 October 2013 at 12:34

    your not an HTML designer, so of course your having an issue. It’s not a matter of staying update with the latest terms of a specific type of technology, it’s know that technology that you are using. Google is your friend, but you have to know what your talking about. I suggest that you spend some money on a teach yourself HTML or whatever language your doing your site in. The book would be both your bible for the terms and a reference for whatever your trying to do. The good thing about this is that the book will give you some examples. With these examples you can then research and even find code already done.

    Good Luck

    • The Deletist
      16 October 2013 at 00:37

      Thanks for the tips! I agree Google is my friend, if I know how to communicate with it properly.

  2. Anonymous
    16 October 2013 at 20:43

    And I thought a slider was a type of hamburger. Thanks for the thoughtful and challenging deletist blog.

    • The Deletist
      21 October 2013 at 18:24

      Yes. Just to add to the google confusion, a slider is also a type of burger. How does google know which slider you’re trying to find?

  3. Zanna
    21 October 2013 at 13:57

    Try to go to http://www.w3schools.com
    It provides you with free tutorials on HTML. Hope this helps

    • The Deletist
      21 October 2013 at 18:23

      Thanks! HTML is not necessarily the problem. It’s knowing what everything is called so I can look up the right information.

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