Beginner’s guide to your website

Understanding the basic elements


When we talk about programming languages, server scalability, page structure, architecture of information, browser compatibility (this list only gets bigger!}… we know, for many people we are speaking bananas! It is hard to understand, and if you don’t that’s fine!

Our main objective here is to be as clear as possible with our clients and save them as much brain muscle as we can, to make our collective decisions less stressful and more informed.
analogies between your home and your site

The way we love to talk about websites and computers is through analogies. Building a website takes time, it’s a complex labour of love and patience. Each element, each programming language used on your site, will interact with the others, with you and with your users… stay with me! Everything is happening seamlessly ‘inside the walls’ of your website without you even noticing. This perfect interaction is what gives you and your clients, peace of mind to navigate and interact with your site without frustrations or delays 🙂

You might not be tech savvy at all, and that’s ok. I’m sure you’ve seen a house. Any house. Of course you did, and in this case you passed the test, you will understand a little bit of how your website works.

Let’s dive into the elements of your site’s construction:

Seu-site-sua-casa-anatomia11. Server: the ground where you’ll build your house

Your house will need a place to be right? The server is this place. It’s not very different from a computer constantly connected to the internet. Your server is your ground and as your ground, it must be stable. Instability in your server can cause your website to crash as much as instability on your ground can cause your home to collapse.

{exception: your website is built on your server but it can b moved to another server at anytime. Just make sure you don’t do it by yourself. Asking a developer to do the job is really important to avoid ‘breaking’ your site.}

Seu-site-sua-casa-anatomia22. Framework: the foundation on top of which your house will be built

Your house will need a base. As in your house, there are multiple foundation types on the market to choose from, none of them will determine the layout or the aesthetics of your home, they are structures on top of which your walls will be build allowing freedom, creativity and security.

{exception: in your house you’ll choose the foundation depending on the type of ground you are building on. On the web, we can choose any foundation (framework) you want to use, it does not depend on the ground’s (server’s) performance}

Seu-site-sua-casa-anatomia33. PHP / Javascript: power supply

In your house there are wires, pipes and cables running inside your walls constantly transferring information, electricity, water, etc. We like to think that PHP is doing that on our sites. Like when you turn on a switch and the lights go on, it’s possible to have those smart commands on your site to make it possible to you to turn things on and off, bring new information to the space and change how people see it. Just like when you turn on the light switch.

Seu-site-sua-casa-anatomia44. HTML: the walls

It’s with HTML that we’ll divide the spaces, will decide the areas of your site, what goes where, split the content in pages, design a simple and rigid structure to organize your space. When creating your HTML, your designer will already know what they need to create to accommodate your finishes, decoration, etc (CSS).

Seu-site-sua-casa-anatomia55. CSS: finish

Colours, shapes, sizes, fonts. It’s the CSS’s job to add the finishes to your site, how it’s going to look and feel. It’s the CSS that brings your personality to the site, its though CSS that your identity is built online. As in your house it is important to choose finishes that not only align with you but also that go well with the structure of the spaces, on your site HTML and CSS are always ‘together’. You can completely change the appearance of your site only editing your CSS, as much as you could change feel of your house by changing the finishes In both cases, for a bigger change it is important to change the structure (HTML).

Seu-site-sua-casa-anatomia66. CMS (ex: WordPress): Interior Design

When your house is built you have to put your furniture inside. Your furniture is your content.
You can use a CMS like worpress as an Interior Designer. You can use it to organize and move your furniture (content) for you inside and outside your house (website). You can use WordPress to create on/off switches on your website, smart admin controls and you can use it to input more content on the web.
Don’t forget to talk to your Designer / Developer about wordpress in the beginning of your project, that way you can discuss all the admin control your want in your dashboard.

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