• web design
  • optimization
  • strategic links
  • website promotion
  • internet marketing

More Info on Web Development

Greetings Fellow Coaches,

Here is a list of terms and definitions that are commonly used by people who work on the web. I know, it's wikked geeky and full of techno-speak. If it's not relevant to you, feel free to pass it by. It's not comprehensive either, there are thousands of books that go into much more depth than I do here. I just covered some of the more essential ideas and terms. Also, please go to my design basics page at Acadian Web Design (linked below) and read that. These two pages will give you enough of a background to fill in some of the blanks. First some links and resources, then the definitions.
I hope all this is useful.
Best Regards,
Carmine Leo, CEC, PCC
Emotional Intelligence Development Services

Useful Links

Here's a link to Jacob Neilsen's website. He is the grand poohbah of web usability and design.

Here is a page I wrote about the basics of web design that you may find helpful. The more you know about how it works and why things are done the way they are, the more likely you will be to end up with a site that works the way you want it to. Whether you learn to do it yourself or you pay someone else to do it for you, knowledge is power. Some parts of this page will be very relevant to you, other parts won't be. Take what you need and disregard the rest.

This will take you to one of my two current websites. This is a Life Coaching Resources page where you will find some links to some of the resources I talk about in this class.

Here is the website and contact info for Richard Merrill, the developer who created the new iPEC Coaching web site and who rebuilt LifeCoaching.com for me. He's brilliant and meticulous, and his prices are quite reasonable compared to the industry average. :-)

Domain Purchase and Registration

This is the company I use for my Registrar. The Zero Domains domain registration fees cost a bit more than some registrars, and are way cheaper than others, $13.50 per year for a domain (versus Verisign who charges $35 per year.) The primary reason I use them is that they are a long term, stable business and their account management system is very easy to use, even for novices.
If you want to check to see if a domain you want is available, just click the "whois" tab at the top of their home page screen.

Hosting Companies

There are tens of thousands of hosting companies. Here are two I've used, but feel free to find your own. I've heard good things about GoDaddy.com also, but have never used them myself.
OLM: (co-locations in Connecticut and Chicago)
Hurricane Electric: (On the MAE West digital backbone in California)

Additional Resources

A free graphics crunching utility that will make your gif and jpg files smaller, helping to make your pages load faster and save you bandwidth. You can also download and buy the stand-alone versions of this software.

Find out how many other websites have links that point to your site.

SitePoint is a one stop site for webmasters with articles, resources, tools, tips, techniques and newsletters. Much of this is quite technical but there is also a ton of good info for beginners.

Web Position Gold is really very useful for understanding optimization and working to improve your site ranking.

Planet Ocean
publishes the 'Search-Engine News' and the monthly updated version of the 'The UnFair Advantage Book on Winning The SE Wars'

Here's an extremely useful tool that is free. This site also sells optimization software - see Web Position Gold above.

Check your pages for keyword density, a critical element in search engine optimization.

Make sure the code in your pages meets the international standards for compliance.

Pick your website color palette using a web utility. (all websafe colors) You can also buy these as laminated reference charts.

Here is a page with links to many anti-fraud and consumer protection sites, including links to web cops. The second link is on the same site but has some useful tools for merchants trying to verify a sale. Scamfreezone has popup windows to sell a lot of stuff but the links and tools make it worth the trouble. If you don't want to see the popups, just close them as soon as they appear or use a popup killer.

A few final comments:

What I share with you in the teleclass shouldn't be regarded as the last word or the ultimate truth about working on the web. Other people may have different ideas and experiences, and there are as many different ways of doing things online as there are people who do them. We each have our own methods and shortcuts, and I have complete faith that you will figure out yours.

The 8 general steps to a website:

  1. Keyword research - check your competitor's sites, view source, make lists of relevant words, anything a surfer might use to find you on a search engine
  2. Choose a domain name, use the whois function to see if it is available for sale,
  3. Buy your domain name (through 000domains.com or any other registrar you like)
  4. Choose a hosting company such as OLM.net and set up an account
  5. On your Registrar "manage domain" account, set the IP address so that their nameserver points to your hosting company nameserver
  6. Get your website built, including search engine optimization along the way
  7. Promote your site to the search engines
  8. Work to increase your link popularity


ISP - Internet Service Provider, this is the company that connects your computer to the web. It may be AOL, Earthlink, AT&T, or any one of thousands of smaller companies and generally costs between $10 and $50 per month depending on speed.

Dial-up - a type of connection to the web through a modem inside your computer, usually 56K or 28.8k, generally costs less than $25 per month.

Broadband - a type of connection to the web through cable, satellite or DSL, usually very fast, able to download entire web pages in just a few seconds or, in the case of very large files like application programs or music mp3 files, a few minutes. generally costs more than $25 per month.

Client - your own (or anyone else's) personal computer - also called "user". The term "client" can also be applied to small applications (software) that reside on your machine to help it work with a larger application on a server somewhere else. An example is if you've ever downloaded and installed software that allows your machine to login to a network, your machine has the client app and the host has the rest of it.

Server - the computer systems out on the web where your web site lives. These computers deliver pages to the clients (users or surfers) that request them. A server can have anywhere from one to hundreds of web sites on a single machine. How many sites the server can hold depends on the size of the sites and the amount of traffic (incoming hits) each site has. It is also possible to run your own server at home but you need broadband and this is generally only for someone very technically inclined.

Host - this is the company that owns the servers where your web site lives. A host will cost you between $10 per month for a small site, and up to $200 per month for a large site. You pay incrementally for additional services and increasing bandwidth.

Logs or Stats - This is software that lives on your host computer (server) as part of your website and keeps track of your inbound traffic. NetTracker is one of the best, but it costs $499 per site and because it is a perl script, someone very knowledgable has to install it for you. Logs are critical for you to understand where your traffic comes from, how long they stay, what they do on your site and where they go when they leave. Careful study of your traffic logs can help you continue to improve your site for as long as you own it. Most hosting companies provide log analysis software for free but it is often not very effective in giving you the info you need. It's usually better to buy and install your own.

Hits - There are actually three words here: uniques, page views and hits. Uniques are the total number of unique surfers (counted by IP address) that land on your site. Page views are the total number of individual pages everyone looked at. Hits are the total number of files downloaded. Here's an example to illustrate all that. Let's say you have a 6 page site and every page has text plus 9 graphics, so each page has 10 files total. If 5 different people come to your site and view every page, your stats will show 5 uniques, 30 page views and 300 hits. When someone says their site is getting 1000 hits a day, you need to find out if they mean uniques.

Bandwidth - the volume of data passing between your server and all people wanting to look at your pages, Think of this in two ways, both the size of the pipe and how much water passes through that pipe.

Measuring Bandwidth - A bit is a single character, 8 bits = one byte, bytes are measured in increments of thousands, so 28.8k is 28.8 thousand bytes, a Megabyte (meg) is one million bytes, a Gigabyte is one thousand megabytes. Because the real world performs slower than machine specifications, a typical 56k modem on a phone line will download an 80k web page in 3 to 5 seconds. A cable modem can have download speeds as high as 1 meg per second so that 80k web page will appear on your screen in a blink. A website like Google or Yahoo has a very large pipe (like an OC3) that can handle millions of user requests per second.

IP Address - this is the actual numerical address of a single specific machine anywhere in the web. All connected machines have one when connected, both client machines (users like you and me) and servers. This number lets individual machines communicate with each other. As I write this, my IP address is and is unique to my computer. IP addresses can be dynamic or dedicated. In my case, the number I have right now is dynamic and will be different the next time I log on. Someone else will have that number after I sign off. In the case of web sites, servers and people with DSL or cable modems, the IP address is static, or dedicated and remains the same permanently.

URL - Uniform Resource Locater - this is like an IP address except it is in text. When you type in the address for a website into your browser and click enter, the mapping system of the web will translate that text address into a numerical IP address and send the request to that specific machine.

Domain - this is the text name of your web site. When you buy a domain and have it hosted on a server, the text domain name becomes the URL that people will use to find your site. The IP address for your domain name remains invisible and is used only by the machine translators.

Registrar - the group of companies who keep track of who owns which domain, also the company from whom you purchase your domain name. You will have an account where you register and pay for your domain, and keep track of your contact and hosting information. There are hundreds of registrars, all of whom charge varying amounts per year. These can be sleazy to reputable, hard to use or easy.

Whois - this is a search function of most registrars that let you search for and identify the owners of domain names. When you choose a domain name for your website, use the whois search to see if it is available for you to purchase or is already owned by someone else.

HTML (or the variants XTML, DHTML etc) Hyper Text Markup Language - This is the language or code that web pages are written in. The viewer never sees the html, only the result. The html code in your web page is read by your browser and translated into the text, images, colors and format,layout that you see as a completed page.

Platform - When someone talks about the platform, they are referring to the operating system (system software) plus the hardware of a particular machine or group of machines. Generally, this is either "Wintel" meaning Microsoft Windows for software and the Intel Pentium for hardware, or Macintosh, with the Mac OS for software and the IBM/Motorola Power PC chips. Both of those platforms can also use either Unix or Linux as an operating system.

Cross Platform Compatibility - This is achieved when a website is designed to be fully functional for viewers on Linux, Windows PC and Macintosh and in any of the browsers currently in use. Browsers include Microsoft Internet Explorer, Netscape Navigator, Safari, FireFox, AOL, WebTV, Opera and so on. There are also multiple versions of all those browsers from very old and buggy to new and buggy. Every browser has quirks and any web designer worth their salt tests every page they build to make sure it's cross platform compatible. It can be very costly, to you as a site owner, to ignore an entire market segment that uses a platform different than you do.

Name Servers - When you buy a domain name and get a hosting company, you have to tell your registrar what the IP address of your hosting company's name server is. The hosting company's name server will then direct url requests for your site to your specific machine IP address. Name servers are part of the mapping system for the web and no one can find your site until this is done. Name server changes take from 24 - 72 hours to propagate throughout the web.

SEO - Search Engine Optimization, this is the process of making web pages friendly to search engines. Google has well over 3 BILLION pages listed in their index. If your page can't be found, no one will ever know your site exists unless you tell them personally. SEO can be a one shot deal, done when your site is created or it can be an ongoing process. SEO can cost thousand of dollars per month and there are many sleazy firms that will spam on your behalf, which can get your site banned from search engines. The thing about SEO is that it's not for the faint of heart. The process is arcane and complex, somewhere between a high art and rocket science. It requires a significant investment of time if you want to learn and do it yourself it yourself, or it requires a significant investment of cash to hire someone to do it for you. If you want to get this done by someone else, my first recommendation is to start by talking with Richard Merrill at Autograff.com.

Page Ranking - where your site is listed on a search engine for a specific keword or keyphrase, among the list of all similar pages that are relevant to a user's search. For example, my site, LifeCoaching.com used to rank #5 out of 611,000 pages on Google for the keyword "life coaching". It ranked #4 for the keyphrase "find a life coach". It's disappeared from the index within the last month or so, but then, I haven't done any optimization updates in over two years.

Keywords - the primary search terms users will type in at a search engine. The presence of these keywords in the title, headings, metatags (in the html code), text and links on your pages determines the relevancy of your pages to the search the user is performing. This can make the difference between being found and being invisible. Before you buy your domain name, study your market niche carefully. Look at the websites of your direct competitors and figure out what your primary keywords and key phrases are or should be. If possible, buy a domain name with your primary keyword as part of your domain name.

Link Popularity - this is a primary factor in search engine relevancy algorithms, it counts the number of other websites that have links pointing to your site. For Google, link pop is the single most important determination of relevancy and thus, page ranking. The more links you have from other sites, the higher your page will rank. Google also weighs the importance of the site that links to you, so for example, a link from Yahoo! will count more than a link from johnsgolfshop.com.

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Acadian Web Design
1642 East Ridge Road
Cornville, Maine 04976