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Web@Work Tutorial Series: 01. Your Website and Basic Terminology

by Scott Prindle

Introduction

This is the beginning of an article series that is focused on teaching you how to use the backend of our websites. We’ll be starting out with the simple tasks of editing content and moving to more advanced tasks as the series moves forward as part of the educational process. If you’d like to subscribe to these articles, please sign up for our Web@Work newsletter.

Some of the topics may address newer aspects of our websites such as responsive design layouts and content templates. Not all of our websites are capable of some of the newer fancy features and I’ll make note of this in each article so that you don’t needlessly read something that doesn’t pertain to your website.

If you’ve made a website with us in the past year or so, however, most likely all of these features will be available on your site. If a specific feature isn’t available with your site’s version, we’d love to discuss updating your CMS with the latest and greatest that our platform allows.

Our first article will be focused on introducing you to the basics of our websites and some of the terminology that as a web geeks use.

Your website and gaining access to under the hood

Your website is built on a content management system (CMS for short), a platform that allows non-technical users to manage a website and its content without the needing coding/programming knowledge. It operates much like a program on a computer does, but operates entirely in the browser from your website’s server and has features that make content editing easier for the layman.

When using a content management system, there will be a separation between what the public sees of the website and what you, the website manager, will see. This is what we term as the frontend and backend of a website.

The frontend of your website is any part of the website that is publicly viewable. Your website pages, blog articles, etc are all part of the front end of the website.

The backend of the website is the centralized part of the website where you manage it. It is not a publicly viewable area of the site, and is password protected in almost all cases. This term also refers to more of the backend that most clients don’t see (the server, the database, etc.), but whenever I’m referring to it, I’ll be referring to the behind-the-curtain application of the CMS.

Most of the time the backend can be accessed by going to a specific address in your browser (such as www.yourdomain.com/admin) and logging in using the account access information for your website. This will be specific to your website, and you can refer to your website records for this.

WYSIWYG Editors

Most content creation/editing on our platform will be made in what is called a WYSIWYG editor. WYSIWYG stands for “What You See Is What You Get”, and these editors purpose is to interpret how you interact with its interface and output it as best it can into code that will display as if you’d written the code yourself.

TinyMCE is the specific editor that our sites use and most of our articles will be focused on teaching you how to adequately use this feature, as most of a client’s time will be spent working in it.

Conclusion

On our next lesson, we’ll introduce you a little more on the backend of the websites, what the different sections of the backend are, what they do, and how you can utilize them. This is a beginning series, so if you have any suggestions for things you’d like explained, please feel free to email me, and I’ll make sure to incorporate your feedback into explaining things down the road as this series flourishes.

Thanks for reading and I’ll see you in the next installment.

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