Annette Fowler

Terms you need to know for your website redesign (updated)

Est. Reading Time: 4 minutes

A couple of years ago, I posted my first “Website Redesign Terms You Need to Know“, but it could use some updating based on new technologies. Please enjoy!

Accordion– Specialized content area that opens to display information in expand/contractible rows.

Bucket– Specialized content area to display information in boxes with headings and specifically sized photos.

Business Requirements– This document defines the high-level needs and features of the project by focusing on the capabilities needed by the Stakeholders of the project and the Target Users.

CMS / Content Management System– CMS is a term for software that allows you to maintain the content of your site without affecting the graphical templates and/or having to know HTML code. There are many packages in this space, in a wide range of price points, but Beacon has selected “Cascade Server” for its content management system and is a close partner with its developer– Hannon Hill. Several members of Beacon’s staff work closely with Hannon Hill on product reviews, suggestions and enhancements and Justin Klingman speaks annually at their user conference.

Content– All text, images, tables, photos, etc. that make up the web site, but not the layout or graphical elements such as the background or navigation links.

Content Matrix– This document itemizes every page in the new site and its relationship to other pages in the navigational structure as well as the source of the content to populate the new page (usually either a URL of the current website page OR a Word document containing rewritten content).

Features– Specific functionality available within one or more templates. For example, the ability to display an interactive Google Map is a “feature” available in the standard and landing page templates.

Graphical Design– Graphics and color scheme that make up the visual appearance of the website.

iFrame– An HTML page or application embedded within the content area of the new website design. Allows content editors to display information or data housed outside of the CMS within the website.

Layout / Page Layout– The way the different elements on the page are arranged, including header, footer, content areas, navigation, etc.

Responsive Design– Used to address the ever-changing landscape of devices, browsers, screen sizes and orientations, responsive design incorporates flexible, fluid and adaptive page layouts that adapt to almost any screen size.

Site Hierarchy– A design document representing a general organizational structure of the top two or three tiers of the site in a hierarchical / flow-chart type format.

Spectate– Software that integrates with Cascade Server that allows content editors to create web-based forms to be displayed on their web pages.

Template– A unique page layout available within Cascade Server. A template is the basic shell with some standard and optional features for a page. It is used to create specific pages while maintaining a consistent “look” across the internal pages of the site.

UAT (User Acceptance Testing)– Also known as “end user testing,” this is the phase of the project where the client tests the site in a “real world” environment. We have specially designated test servers at Beacon that allow you to view the site exactly as it will appear in Production, without opening it up to the public yet. Depending on the size of the project, we try to reserve at least a week (and usually two or more!) for this process, to make sure that we have met your expectations for the project.

Widget—A reusable feature of a template that can be created in a shared location and used on more than one page. For example, an administrator could create a video widget (including the text title, thumbnail image and Youtube video id of a specific video) in a folder and multiple website editors could select that widget from a list to display it on their page as well, without having to provide all the previously mentioned text, image and video id information.

Wireframes— Also known as “conceptual page layouts,” this is a visual representation the skeletal framework of key elements of the website, including arrangement of the website content, navigational systems, header, footer, etc.