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What every website owner should know

Basic information for website owners

Information for website owners

Your content management system may hide the complexities of web design and remove the need for any coding skills, but you still need to ensure you are up-to-speed with some basic knowledge.

File Types

You can identify the type of content a file holds by it's suffix, typically 3 to 4 letters after a period (e.g. photo.jpg). You may have the option to save a file in various formats. The following list will help you make the best decision:

.jpg or jpeg - A compressed image. The best choice for photos. You can usually set a Quality value. The lower the Quality value the smaller the file size, but the poorer the photo quality. You can generally get away with 85 for a photo. Higher values may be required if you have text in the image that looks blurred.

.png - A lossless compressed image. The best choice when you plan to upload the image as a logo, clipart or an image that includes small text. The file size of a png file will be larger than a jpg but it will not loose any of the detail.

.pdf - Use this type of file when you need to upload or email documents, e.g. brochures, instructions, invoices etc. If your software doesn't provide an option to export files as a pdf, try using the free LibreOffice software to create your documents. Do not use Microsoft Word files. PDF files cannot be edited by the recipient and can be viewed on the vast majority of computers.

.mp3 - A compressed sound file. Typically used for music or podcasts.

.avi, .wmv, .mov or .mp4 - These are types of video files. There are many others, but these are probably the ones you will come across. You can upload these files to YouTube for free and then embed them in your website, or link to them.


Here are some terms you may come across.

Link or Hyperlink - A link is the term used for text or graphics that you click on to navigate between pages on the Internet. Links typically start with http:// or https://. Include links in your website to make it easy for visitors to navigate to the content you refer to in your text.

Search Engines - This is the term for websites like Google, Bing and Yahoo, where you can search for websites.

S.E.O. - Search Engine Optimisation. This is the process of tailoring the content of your website to improve its position in the results of search engines.

Link Building - The processes of linking to your website from other websites to increase your traffic and your position in search engine results. Some companies will offer to sell you dozens of links to improve your rankings. DO NOT buy links - you may be banned from search engines.

Google Analytics - This is a free tool that allows you to track important statistics about the visitors to your website, such as how many visitors you get, how many pages they view and how they found you. Sign up to Google Analytics to learn more.

Social Media - A general term for websites that encourage social interaction. Popular websites include Facebook, Twitter, Pintrest, Google+, LinkedIn. There are many more. Businesses use these websites to interact with the general public, develop their reputation, and drive traffic to their website.

By Brett Jackson

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