Complete Castus Glossary of Web Design Terminology (For Beginners)
This 'Castus Glossary' is primarily written for internal purposes, for people who are going to work at Castus. It introduces lots of the technology and ideas related to our industry and the overlapping disciplines that you'll need to know about. We're publishing it in the hope that it will benefit others starting out in our industry. It's pretty comprehensive but by no means complete, if there's anything we should add just let us know. It's not an entertaining read, but hopefully, it will serve a purpose.
Here are all the terms, technologies, ideas and concepts that you should know about.
Technology & Web Development
Basically a computer, usually in a datacentre (a big building with lots of servers), which stores a website's files and runs the software that enables a website to function. If you're going to have a website you'll need a server to host it on, which means getting your own server or using a hosting provider.
All websites need to be hosted somewhere. This is where the website is stored and made accessible to internet users. There are thousands of hosting providers out there. Hosting prices and packages vary wildly.
For example, "castus.co.uk", usually the address of a site's homepage. Different parts of the domain name can be referred to; the top-level part (.co.uk), the naked domain (castus.co.uk) and subdomains (priority.castus.co.uk). Domains can be bought from sites like 123-reg.com for as little as 99p.
The web address of a single web page. URL stands for Uniform Resource Locator and is a human-friendly identifier for a webpage such as "https://www.castus.co.uk/portfolio". It can be divided into several parts, the "protocol" ("https://"), the "domain" ("castus.co.uk"), the "URI" or Uniform Resource Identifier ("/portfolio")
Code that runs on your computer, in the browser, that basically defines what a webpage looks like to the user.
Code that runs on a server that defines how a site works.
Code that holds the content of a webpage, and tells the browser about images, or anything else that the page should display.
CSS styles the HTML. So, it sets font colours, sizes, spacing, layout etc. Stands for Cascading Style Sheet.
CSS has a finite number of 'attributes' that can be used to control all elements of webpage styling. Padding, margin, font-size are all CSS Attributes.
Code that manipulates items on a webpage.
Every time you connect to a website, there is a computer program that runs, generates the website files, and sends them back to your browser. PHP is a popular language used for this purpose - around 80% of all websites use it. Castus only use PHP.
A framework is a useful backbone on which a website can be built, with thought-through structuring and useful functions that developers might otherwise have to rewrite themselves for every project. Laravel is a popular PHP framework.
E.g.: priority.castus.co.uk - a secondary domain that does not need purchasing as it is a child of the main domain. Could be used to host a whole different website to the main domain. But for SEO purposes it will be seen by Google as a totally different site, so won't benefit from any domain authority from the parent domain.
A directory that sits within another directory, in web terms this means castus.co.uk/services - a section within the site that lives within the root domain.
The CSS attribute that controls the amount of spacing on the outside of an element (something on the page).
The CSS attribute that controls the amount of spacing around the inside on an element.
The CSS attribute that defines the amount of space between lines of text.
The space between letters, controlled by CSS. '0' is standard, anything below this makes the letters closer together, positive values increase spacing.
A text file on a website that lists all the pages/URLs on that website to help search engines find and index the whole site.
Think Microsoft Access or Excel - big tables of data that is quick to read, save and update with code. Databases are divided into "tables" (think excel worksheets), "columns", and "rows" (like excel again). Asking a question about a database is called "querying". Most of a website's content is stored in a database and can be edited via a CMS, frontend website functionality often saves data to a database (think form submissions or editing account details.)
Content Management Systems exist to enable non-developers to easily manage and maintain a website. Most modern websites are managed via a CMS. Castus work with WordPress, Joomla! ProcessWire and Magento.
The world's most common CMS (also the most targeted by malicious actors!). It's a great all-round CMS, great for basic publishing, easy to work with, and very adaptable in terms of adding functionality such as ecommerce.
A modern, open-source API-driven CMS that's great for websites where ecommerce functionality is not required. This is our go-to CMS for any type of brochure website. It's super easy to use and intuitive for admin.
A PHP based CMS that's designed for ecommerce websites. It's extremely powerful in terms of functionality but can be difficult to work with.
A digital bridge between a website and the third party used to process payments. This gateway allows secure communication between both to exchange transactional information.
An API (application programming interface) is a list of things something allows you to do when interacting with it. The buttons on a vending machine are a physical form on an API. They dictate what you can and can't do with the machine. APIs are used to integrate a website with an external website or software. This could be to feed enquiries taken through a website into a CRM like Salesforce, or passing an order status to a website from a stock/order management app.
Like a phone number - a unique number for an internet connection. Servers have IP addresses and local networks do too. Castus’s IP is "18.104.22.168", most IPs are "v4" and look like that, at some point we will move to "v6" IPs which look like this: "2001:0db8:85a3:0000:0000:8a2e:0370:7334". Most websites tend to have a single IP.
A Records match a domain name to a server IP. These tell the DNS service when to send your request.
Like a phonebook, it will convert a name (domain) into a phone number (IP address).
Saving a hard copy of stuff that is time-consuming or complicated to fetch or load afresh each time it's needed. Caching can be used to speed up slow webpages but could mean that the page is not totally up to date.
A system of creating updates to websites in small snippets, which can be merged/collaborated on/easily rolled back/switched between. It allows for safer updating of a website in that mistakes can be undone easily.
A version of something (on GIT) that is different from the most up-to-date version.
How fast a webpage takes to appear/finish loading in the browser
Time to first byte - This is the time taken from the browser sending the request to the server until the server responds with the data. This doesn't include the time it takes for the browser to load the page.
Time to Live - the time it could take for your browser to start showing a new result when DNS is changed, e.g. when a web domain is pointed to a new server. This comes into play when changing hosting provider or launching a new website.
A WAF (Web Application Firewall) inspects traffic coming to your website to make sure it doesn't contain anything malicious.
It is a simple whitelist of URLs that a webpage is allowed to load. This works as a security feature to mitigate the effect malicious code can have on a site. Malicious code would be unable to load (or send data) to any URL that's not in the whitelist.
Two-factor authentication - Use a one-time pass on your phone
SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is a way of encrypting information transmitted a network so others cannot see it. A website needs an SSL Certificate in order to use SSL. The little padlock you see in your browser address bar indicates that a site uses SSL and is therefore secure.
Code is written as cleanly and efficiently as possible, without unnecessary repetition. Clean code can easily be built upon to create extra functionality and helps towards a site being quick loading for users.
A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a network that is created to keep information private to those outside of the network. It is a way of accessing hidden services and encrypting information on public networks.
A session is a record of the current activity of a computer connected to a website. The session is usually identified by a long chain of characters. Using this string, the website can keep track of who you are between requests, without having to login each time you go to a different page.
A tiny file stored on your computer when you visit a site, so that the site can check for the file on subsequent visits and do things like track visits, remember your login, etc
Databases are usually user-edited, but sometimes a programmer will need to restructure or edit them as part of a task. Instead of making notes on what changes to make and carefully doing them by hand, it's possible to code the changes into a special program that only runs once, called a migration.
Turns some code from being in a human-readable format into something more useful for a machine. Can take a long time and a lot of processing.
The configuration of a server is the set of rules it follows when dealing with requests.
Hard coding is the process of writing things in code that cannot be changed from outside the code. This is generally bad practice as it means any changes must be done by developers. A better way is to be able to define information in a datastore that can be altered from outside the code, such as via a CMS.
An easy way of changing some server configuration settings. Will have a login.
The bit of a web address that comes after the domain. E.g. castus.co.uk/blog/this-article
Customer Relationship Management. Businesses often use CRMs internally to facilitate the running of their business. Websites often have to integrate with CRMs.
The small graphic that displays in the browser tab when on a website.
Right-click on any website and click 'inspect'. This allows you, amongst other things, to see the page HTML and CSS which is great for debugging etc. Also, click the device icon and you can see what the website looks like on different devices.
Content Delivery Network - a third-party hosting solution, usually for images, media and third-party scripts, served faster/separately from the main site. Used to speed up sites or store large amounts of images.
SEO & Digital Marketing
Search Engines & Results
Google, Bing, Yahoo etc. Google has over a 90% market share at the time of writing so when we use 'Google' we usually mean all search engines. Search results are the list of links with descriptions that you see when you perform a Google search. If you don't know this already, give up!
Stands for Search Engine Results Page - the page in Google etc where search results show in a list.
Search Engine Optimisation - the process of controlling what search terms you rank for and elevating wherein the results you appear.
Your site's position in the search results.
These are the terms/phrases that users type into Google, and site owners/businesses want to be found for, such as 'web design', 'web design sheffield'. If you don't have a page on your site where you talk about web design in sheffield, it's unlikely you'll feature in the results for a search for that term. But don't abuse this or you will be punished, Google doesn't like being manipulated. Your webpages should focus on providing good information that's genuinely useful to users who are performing those searches. Think about why users are searching for a term... what information or answers are they looking for. Fill your site with info like that and Google will reward you by sending users to you.
This is the process of researching what keywords and search terms have value for a given website... What are your potential customers search for, what are all the variants of those terms and phrases, what do you want to be found for? This includes both short and longtail terms. Of all the terms that have value for you, which are most valuable, which are more competitive, which are less so? Keyword research should inform a website's structure, content and SEO strategy.
Longtail Search Terms
"bespoke Magento web development sheffield" is an example of a longtail search term. These are the highly specific terms that users search for in Google, usually when they know precisely what they're looking for. When it comes to SEO, longtail terms are much easier to rank highly for but get fewer searches.
This just means the links on your pages that link to other pages on your site. Good internal linking helps Google to understand what pages on a site relate to what subject matter. Don't confuse Google by having multiple pages on your site all about 'bespoke Magento web development sheffield', that you link to with that term - your pages will compete against each other for Search Engine relevance, which is bad.
This is the name for the SEO benefit your site gains when sites link to you. Sites with better domain authority pass more link juice.
Search engines constantly 'read' all of the content on all of the websites they can find, and they maintain a ranking for every site out there. This is called domain authority and many factors contribute to it. The age of your domain (older is better), how often new content is added, volume, quality and relevance of backlinks, how good your site is at satisfying users... all these things are tracked by Search Engines and improve your Domain Authority.
Information about a page that's not visible to users, it's contained within the HTML of a page. It's there to help search engines understand what a page is about. Meta Keywords are largely redundant in modern search but page titles and meta descriptions are still used.
Every page should have a page title for SEO purposes. It tells users and search engines what a page is about. Page titles should be short and direct. They should only target one 'keyword' or phrase. Page titles are visible to users in the tab of the browser window.
Backlinks & Linkbuilding
Backlinks are links to your site from other sites. The process of acquiring backlinks is called link building. Search engines view backlinks as a vote of confidence in your site, so they're great for SEO. In general, the more backlinks you have the better, but the quality (and context) also matter. A link from a major news network site is more valuable than a link from a food bloggers site. Relevance also matters, a link from an industry-related site will likely benefit you more a non-industry related site. Some backlinks are bad. Sites that have a history of manipulative SEO techniques will actually damage your SEO ranking.
This is content that when published to a section on your site, a snippet or intro of that content automatically shows on other pages in other sections of the site. This is handy because Google likes to see content being updated on a site.
This just means putting new words, images, pages on your website. This is one of the most important factors that Search Engines use to rank a site for search terms that are aligned with the subject matter of the content in question. Be warned, you cannot cheat the system! Your content must be of good quality and written with users in mind. Forget putting keywords in white text on a white background on your page, search engines will punish sites that do this, see Blackhat SEO Techniques.
Stands for Pay Per Click, a form of online advertising via search engines. Essentially this is a way to acquire traffic, where you pay the search engine a given fee (10p to £20) per user that clicks on your advert. Adverts appear at the top of the Search Engine Results Pages.
A free Google tool that allows web admin to check the Indexing of their site, check for search ranking issues and check keyword search impressions and clicks.
DoubleClick for Publishers (Google Ad Manager)
The platform through which admin can run paid adverts on their site. So, if a website sells banner advertising space, they can use this platform to manage this.
MOZ is an SEO company that provide tools and advice to SEOers and people like us on all things SEO. They're a great source for good, clear information.
Search Engine Friendly URLs
This means URLs that are readable and make sense to users, in contrast to URLs like www.castus.co.uk/asdf=sdft&ret&=true. It's really important for SEO that URLs are readable as they're a major factor in search ranking.
A 301 Redirect is a way of permanently rerouting any visitors (and Google) from an old page to a new page. It's a way of saying, the old page www.castus.co.uk/our-team no longer exists, so please send all users to www.castus.co.uk/about-us instead. When we replace an old website with a new one, we will often change the basic URL structure, if you want to retain any SEO ranking that the old pages had, make sure 301 redirects are in place.
All links on the internet are either follow or no-follow. By default, links are 'follow', this means that when one site links to another, Google views that link as a vote of confidence in the site being linked to, so the site benefits in terms of their Search Ranking, from being linked to. No-follow links do not count in this way whatsoever. All links from social media are no-follow.
Google is very secretive about the precise calculations and measurements it uses to rank websites and webpages. Every now and again they make a major change to how they do this. These Algorithm Updates can have a major impact on a site's position in search results. Remember, Google is always changing in order to serve the best and most relevant results to users, so focus on making your site as good as it can be for users rather than search engines, this way your much less likely to fall foul of an Algorithm Update.
Blacklisting is when a site is deemed to be a security threat and is removed from the Google index, meaning it will not appear in any search results.
Black-hat refers to the naughty techniques that some SEOers use that are disliked by Google. These include things like keyword stuffing (overuse of keywords on your site/page), using invisible text (white text on white background), and bulk-buying backlinks. Google will punish sites that use these techniques by moving them down in their rankings or even Blacklisting them.
The new data privacy laws that came into effect in 2018, dictating how companies store, share, acquire and dispose of customer data. This means directly asking for permissions for certain activities when capturing user data.
This is an error code that users experience when a page does not exist. Links that send users to these pages are called Broken Links.
These are used in the Html of a webpage to tell Google what language a page is in. It comes into use when multiple language versions of a page or site exist and ensures that the correct page/version of a page is shown in search results.
Canonical URLs are used in the case of duplicate (or very similar content-wise) pages and tell Google which page should be Indexed. This is to stop duplicate pages from competing with each other in search results and to prevent any punishment related to duplicate content which is associated with some Blackhat SEO techniques.
This is a file we use to tell Search Engine Robots what areas of a site not to Index.
Alt-text is a form of Metadata that provides a description of an image, primarily for screen readers, and for displaying if the image itself can't be loaded for some reason. Alt-text is also read by Search Engine Robots and contributes to Google's reading of a page, so can impact SEO. Alt text should be descriptive and genuinely useful for anyone who can't see the image. Use keywords but don't abuse them, focus on usefulness for the visually impaired etc.
Image File Names
Images should ideally have descriptive names, according to the content of the image. This helps search engines to understand the content of the image and in turn the page it's on.
A Landing Page is any page that a user arrives at a site on, so any page of a site can be a landing page. Landing Pages are also targeted destination pages when marketers are in control of the entrance point of a user, such as via a PPC campaign.
Indexing, Spiders/Robots & Crawling
Google uses spiders/robots to 'crawl' the internet, in general, the pages they find are added to the Google index, which means they can be returned as a search result on Google.
Design & Webpage Anatomy
UI (User Interface)
This is the thing that the user sees and interacts with. In web this usually means all aspects of a website that the user can see.
UX (User Experience)
This is the experience that the user has when accessing and using the website. So how easy and pleasing a website is to use.
Layout describes what is on a page and where, the page structure.
A diagrammatic representation of all the sections and pages within a website, which shows where the areas/pages exist within the website and the navigation structures.
A line and box representation of a webpage, which serves as a record or plan for what content and functionality will exist on a given page. At Castus we produce wireframes for all of the unique pages or 'templates' within a given site.
A page on a site exists as a template. Multiple pages can use the same template. So a 100-page site might only have 2 templates.
All of the text, images and videos on a given webpage or site.
Usually the top area of a website, containing the company logo, main navigation, phone number
Usually, the bottom area of a webpage, consisting of links to internal pages including legal information etc, Copywrite info etc.
Most websites have many pages that are organised into sections according to the subject matter, each section being comprising several pages. Links to these sections and pages usually exist in the same place across all the pages of a website, to help users access information efficiently, this is the site's navigation.
The primary list of links that allow a user to navigate through the main sections of a website.
The secondary list of links that allow users to browse a site often found at the top of the Header somewhere.
Banners tend to be found on important pages such as homepages and are found immediately beneath the Header. They're often combined with a company's lead marketing message or important website functionality. There has been an overreliance in webdesign to use Banners, with little evidence to suggest that they improve site performance/user experience.
Call to Actions
A Call-to-Action is anything on a website that asks the user to take an action. Usually, this is something such as 'buy now', 'call us today', 'order now', 'don't see what you're looking for? Call us now on xxx', 'ready to give it a try? Start a free trial now'.
These are elements on a page that are not the Header, Footer or Banner, and are contained within a limited space, box, or area and contain more than one item e.g. a box with some text and a button inside.
An element for capturing data from users, consisting of various types of Input Field, and a way for the user to submit/save/send etc. their inputs.
A type of HTML element that a user can use to type in information or make a selection. Types of field include text field, text box, checkboxes, radio list.
Checkboxes and Radio Buttons
Both are types of an input field, they differ in that checkboxes allow users to select multiple items in a list, whereas radio buttons will only allow a single list item to be selected.
A standard website function consisting of a text field and a search button. More advanced searches will include additional fields.
A Lightbox is an element that opens of top of a webpage and usually involves darkening the below page with an overlay of transparent grey or black, with a panel on top that displays content. Think of how image galleries show on Facebook.
Accordions & Expanding Content Areas
Sections that are user expandable and collapsible to show or hide content.
A large Dropdown that presents many navigation options to a user, that opens when a Main Navigation item is hovered over or clicked. It's different to a Dropdown in that more options are present and it's larger on the screen.
An element of a page that temporarily holds a fixed position within the browser window.
An element that is permanently fixed in position relative to the browser window, such as a background image that doesn't scroll out of frame, or a live chat button (that are often fixed in the bottom right of the browser frame.
When page elements scroll at speeds faster or slower than normal scrolling items.
The (usually) multistage process of completing a purchase or order.
The page where users can see all the items they're buying/ordering.
Responsiveness is when a website changes its structure/appearance/layout/content in order to give an optimal experience to users, whether they're on a desktop computer or phone. This means users don't need to pinch and zoom a website on a phone to read it properly. It usually means the website text will changes sizes, and the pages will narrow, and menus change layout in order to fit in small screens.
Breakpoints are the specific sizes of a Viewport, at which a websites structure, layout or content changes in order to optimise the user experience. They're defined by CSS Media Queries, and a typical responsive site will have several breakpoints. Normal breakpoints tend to follow standard device resolutions i.e. 320, 375, 550, 768, 1024, 1200px (width in pixels).
Media Queries are used in CSS to check things like browser width and height, in order to change the CSS of a page according to size etc. This is the basis of Responsive Website Design.
This is the frame through which a user views a webpage, so could be the safari window on your phone or your chrome window on your desktop. Viewports can be almost any size these days.
This is the main design application we use to design websites for clients. www.sketch.com
This is for sharing designs internally and with clients. It syncs with Sketch and allows for commenting so clients can leave feedback. Also allows the developer to extract assets such as icons and images.
Usability is the ease with which a user can use a site. It's a scale, not a binary thing. It's wide-ranging, covering text sizes and contrast, copywriting, and functional processing such as how errors are handled on a form.
Accessibility is the practice of making websites accessible to all users, that means users with vision problems (partially sighted, colour blind, or generally poor vision), physical disabilities such as tremors, users who require assistive technology such as screen readers, deaf users, or users on slow internet connections (very common in certain parts of the world.)
The small links under the Header that show the containing sections of a given page, usually displayed as 'home > category > subcategory > current page'. These exist to help users navigate and understand site structure.
DPI & PPI
Dots per inch and Pixel per inch indicate resolution (how detailed an image/print/screen is. Traditional printing is done at 300dpi, whereas screens were traditionally 72ppi. Modern screens are much more detailed than 72ppi but images for use online should typically be saved at 72 or 150 ppi.
JPGs and PNGs are the most used image types online. PNGs have the advantage of supporting transparent pixel and do not lose quality, JPGs do and can't support transparency.
JPGs and PNGs and GIFs are raster filetypes, this means they are composed of pixels and lose quality when enlarged (they become blurry), vector files (svg, ai, pdf) are not composed of pixels and can be infinitely scaled up without any loss in quality, they can't, however, contain detailed colour information, like a photo, can. Vector file types are most commonly used online for icons and logos.
Copyrights mean that we can't legally use images that don't belong to us. So, you can't just use an image on your site that you find in a Google image search. Creative Commons licensing is a legal system of licensing that dictates what images can/can't be used.
Screen readers are electronic devices used by blind/partially sighted people to assist with using computers and browsing the internet. Accessibility is the practice of making websites that are accessible to Screen Readers.
We use this to describe a page whose layout can be fundamentally modified by website admin via the CMS.
Images that can be purchased for use online/offline.
We use this to describe a website without complex functionality, that serves as an online brochure for a company. These websites usually have pages like Services, Case Studies, News, Contact us, and don't have any ecommerce functionality.
An iframe is something we can use to show a part of a different page or site on a given page. It's like a window we can put into a page, and in that window, we show another or part of another page.
A list of links of options that displays when a menu item or field is hovered over or clicked on.
The use of page numbers to navigate through pages of articles/products etc.
Analytics & Conversion
A conversion is the successful completion of a desired action on a website, such as buying a product, sending an enquiry, subscribing to the newsletter etc.
Conversion Rate is the number of successful conversions expressed as a percentage of the total number of visitors in that same timeframe. For example, if your site had 1000 visitors last week and you got 15 enquiries, your conversion rate is 1.5% ((15/1000)*100)
Conversion Rate Optimisation is the process of making changes to a website in order to increase its Conversion Rate.
Google Analytics is a free online tool provided by Google. When set up on a website it allows website owners to see data about the website and its visitors, such as how many visitors there are, what pages they look at, or don't, how long they stay on the site, right through to what type of devices they were using, the size of their screen, and the browser they used. It's useful in helping us or website owners understand where their site is succeeding and where it's failing.
Metrics are the type of measurements and data that Analytics track. Examples of these are Bounce Rate, Visitors, Unique Visitors, Time on Site etc. etc.
Bounce rate is a metric in web analytics that means a user that visits your site then leaves before looking at a second page. A typical bounce rate is around 30-40%, although this can change drastically from site to site. It's possible to do much better than 40%.
Time on Site
Time on site is an analytics metric that means the total duration of a given Session, usually expressed as an average.
Traffic just means users that visit your site.
A Session is basically the same as a Visit, it begins when a user lands on your site and ends when they leave. A single user can have several Sessions of Visits.
Pages Per Session
The number of pages viewed during a session, usually expressed as an average.
Average Order Values
This Analytics metric is the average value of purchases made on a site over a given timeframe. Increasing the Average Order Value of a site is a great way to improve the performance of a site without increasing the Conversion Rate. Better product recommendations during checkout are an example of how you could increase the average order value. This would have no effect on Conversion Rate.
Revenue Per User
This is the amount of revenue taken per visitor to a site. It's a key metric for any ecommerce site because it takes into account both Conversion Rate, and Average Order Value. For example if you double the Conversion Rate of a site but Average Order Values drop by half, the site is generating the same value of orders at it was before so the Revenue Per Visit has not changed, likewise if you double the Average Order Value but halve the Conversion Rate.
AB Testing is a method of measuring the effect of any given change to a website or page. It involves using a tool like Google Analytics to show two different versions of a page/site to users. 50% of users are shown Version A (a 'control' version, usually the current live site), and 50% are shown Version B (a redesigned page). The performance of both of these versions is measured against agreed Metric, and a winner declared when the results are conclusive.
User Testing is a very effective method for diagnosing problems on a website. It involves a moderator observing real users perform given tasks on a site. The sessions are usually recorded or directly observed by multiple interested parties/stakeholders. It's a key component of Conversion Rate Optimisation.
Google Data Studio
Google Data Studio is a free tool that can be used to compile simple reports based on Google Analytics data. It's really useful because accessible Analytics are useful Analytics. Data Studio makes data more accessible so is a great tool for website owners or anyone with a stake in the success of a website.
Google Tag Manager
This is a platform that allows marketers and site owners to put 'tags' on their site to enable various things such as Google Analytics and Facebook tracking. It's a platform that needs some training to really get value from.
Analytics Events can be used to track something that doesn't get tracked by Google Analytics as standard, such as a certain user interaction such as a button click. The site basically 'pushes' an Event to Analytics when the given action takes place on the site, then includes this data in Analytics reports.
Hotjar is a subscription-based online tool that allows us/website owners to view screen recordings of real user sessions, run polls and surveys. These can be useful when diagnosing website issues or monitoring the effectiveness of fixes or changes.
Common Site Functionality
Newsletter Signup Integration with MailChimp
When users subscribe to a newsletter mailing list, their email address needs to be saved somewhere. This is usually passed/given directly to a third-party provider such as MailChimp (a tool for creating and sending e-newsletters). We have lots of experience with MailChimp and usually recommend it to clients.
When users fill in an enquiry form, the website needs to process that form. Usually, that means either saving all the data they submitted to the CMS of the website, so admin can login and see all enquiries, or sending the enquiry by email to website admin. GDPR has some impact on how this data should be handled. Sometimes clients might want enquiries to be fed automatically into their internal system or CRM.
This is what we call a website that takes payments from users. This is usually when buying products, making bookings or buying access to something such as an eLearning subscription.
Saving Job Applications
Just like enquiries, these are usually saved to the CMS or emailed to the client. Sometimes clients might want applications to feed automatically into their internal on online systems.
Orders are usually saved to the CMS and emails might be sent to site admin. This is standard functionality in ecommerce platforms.
These are standard functions for sites/platforms that sell products or take orders.
Private Login Areas, with Registration and Reset Password Functionality
It's really common for us to build sites with private login areas that users might register or pay to access. Keep in mind that you usually need password reset function/page, and possible automated emails to enable this functionality.
This is a really common functionality. Methods of taking payments usually include debit/credit card and/or PayPal. If a site is going to take payments it will probably have to generate receipts, send automated confirmation emails, save orders etc. This is all standard ecommerce functionality.
Searching information is very common Frontend functionality. This could mean searching for products by product name, searching for a listing such as a job, or a general site search, which searches all content on a site for a match of the search term. When thinking about searches, consider what information should be searched e.g. product names, product category names, product descriptions, product ID numbers etc.
CRM integration would usually mean that the website needs to pass certain data (enquiries, applications, orders etc) to a CRM such as Salesforce.
Project Management & Castus Processes
The process of cataloguing, auditing, and migrating content from an existing website to a new website. This is a tricky process to organise, clients often (rightly) have lots of questions about how this process will work. If it goes wrong, it can lead to huge project delays or serious SEO issues.
Client Acceptance Tests
This is when we hand a site over to a client at the end of a project, in order for them to check everything to make sure they're happy and to confirm that we have delivered on our commitments to them for the project in question.
Project Start Date
This is the date that we either sign the Statement of Works or issue the first project invoice.
Project Completion Date
This is the date that the project is complete for billing purposes, defined as the Client Acceptance Test being passed, the site being put live or used for any commercial purposes by the client, or if two weeks elapses from when the Client Acceptance Tests begin and we don't hear from the client.
Statement of Works - A document that is the formal record of the task/project, including what's been agreed, what we're obliged to deliver, what's not included, and what we'll charge.
The Scope of a project is defined in the Statement of Works, it describes exactly what we are delivering to the client within that project, and it defines the limitations of the project.
A billable change to the agreed Scope of a project or task.
Terms of Service
These are the terms that apply to all Castus projects. These are agreed to when signing the SOW. They can be found on our website via the Footer Menu.
A project management methodology based around prototyping and 'sprints'
The traditional process of scoping and planning a project in detail, then designing and building according to those fixed requirements.
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