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0248 Business Websites

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Welcome to English as a Second Language Podcast number 248: Business Websites.

This is English as a Second Language Podcast episode number 248. I'm your host, Dr. Jeff McQuillan, coming to you from the Center for Educational Development in beautiful Los Angeles, California.

On this episode, we're going to talk about vocabulary related to websites and setting up a business website. As usual, first we'll listen to the dialogue at a slow speed, then the explanations, and finally, listen to the dialogue again at a normal rate of speech. Let's get started.

[start of story]

I was hired to set up a website for a small bookstore and the owner knew very little about the Internet. I tried to find out what she wanted for her business website.

Octavio: Let me show you some websites I’ve designed. I have them all bookmarked. Okay, this is a website for a restaurant. As you can see, the homepage is fairly simple. The menu bar on the left-hand side allows visitors to navigate around the site.

Margaret: I like this layout a lot. Why are these words in a different color?

Octavio: Those are hyperlinks to other pages on the website. If you click on the text or the image, you’ll be taken to a different page.

Margaret: Oh, I see, so for my site, I can list the books I have for sale, and we can hyperlink each book title to a description of that book.

Octavio: Yes, that’s right. You’ll probably also want a search function so that people can type in the name of a book or the author to find out if you carry a specific book.

Margaret: Yes, definitely. Does it matter which browser customers use to look at my website?

Octavio: No, I’ll make sure that it’s compatible with all of the major browsers out there.

Margaret: Will people need to type in “www” before the web address?

Octavio: No, they should be able to just type in the name of the store and the domain, which in your case would be “.com.”

Margaret: Since I know so little about the Internet, do I have to learn HTML or some other type of computer language to maintain the site?

Octavio: No, not at all. Your website will have content management software installed that allows you to make basic changes. Once it’s done, I’ll show you how to use it. Should we look at a few more websites to get some other ideas for your site?

Margaret: That’s a great idea. Let’s do that.

[end of story]

This episode is about business websites. It's a conversation between Octavio and Margaret; Octavio is the web designer. He says he “was hired,” or employed, “to set up a website for a small bookstore.” To set up means to put together - to get working properly.

He began by showing Margaret some of the websites he's designed. He says he has all of the sites “bookmarked.” When we talk about a website being bookmarked, “bookmarked,” we mean that on the web browser, which is the software you use to look at web pages, you have a place where you can go to and simply click on a name and it will take you to that website.

To bookmark, as a verb, can also be used in its original context, which was when you would mark or put a small piece of paper in a book, which is also called a bookmark, in order to know where you stopped reading, so the next time you pick up your book, you know which page to start on. That little piece of paper is called a bookmark. Now we use it in the sort of the same way in talking about the Internet.

Octavio goes on to explain that “the homepage” for one of his websites “is fairly simple,” or very simple. A homepage, “homepage,” is what we called the main page of the website. So, if you go to www.eslpod.com, you will be on the homepage of our website.

Octavio says, “The menu bar on the left-hand side allows visitors to navigate around the site.” A menu, “menu,” bar, “bar,” is a list of options or links on the website, usually to other pages on your website. So, if you go to the ESL Pod website, you'll see links to other parts of our website: information about the podcast, how to subscribe using iTunes and so forth. That list is called a menu bar, sometimes just simply a menu.

To navigate, “navigate,” is the verb we use to mean to go to different places on the Internet or on a website. You might say, “This website is very easy to navigate,” meaning it's easy to find different parts of the website - to know where to go in the different parts of the website. The verb to navigate has other meanings as well; take a look at the Learning Guide for additional definitions.

Margaret says to Octavio that she likes the layout of the website he's showing her. Layout, “layout,” is the same here as design. It's the way you put things on a page or on a website page. We also use that word, layout, in talking about, for example, a magazine - where the pictures are, where the words are on the page, that's all part of the layout.

Margaret asks why certain words on the web page have a different color. Octavio explains that these “are hyperlinks to other pages on the website.” A hyperlink, “hyperlink,” are words that are usually underlined or have a different color on a web page, and when you click on them they take you to another page on the Internet or on that website. Sometimes we just call these links instead of hyperlinks.

Octavio says that “If you click on the text or the image” of the hyperlink, “you’ll be taken to a different page.” To click on is the verb we use meaning to move your mouse so that you can press the button down and that will do something, usually take you to a different web page. We use that a lot in talking about websites - to click on something.

Margaret says, “Oh, I see,” - I understand - “for my site,” she says, “I can list the books I have for sale, and each book title” can be hyperlinked - notice we use that as a verb - each book can be hyperlinked, or linked to another page that has a description of the book.

Octavio says, “Yes, that’s right” - that's correct. He says, “You’ll probably also want a search function so that people can type in the name of the book or the author to find” it on your website more easily. A search function is the ability to type in a word into a small box on a website and have the website show you a list of all the places where that word is found - the different pages. So, for an individual website we would say the search function, or it has a search function. If you are talking about websites such as Google or Yahoo, those are called search engines, “engines.” So, a search engine would be Google or Yahoo; a search function would be the ability to search on a particular website

Margaret then asks it matters - if it is important - “which browser customers use to look at” her website. We mentioned the word browser before, “browser.” A browser, as you probably know, is the software you use to look at websites. Internet Explorer, Firefox - on the Mac, Safari - these are browsers or web browsers.

Octavio says that he will “make sure that” the website is “compatible with all of the major browsers out there.” To be compatible, “compatible,” means to be able to work together - to be able to be used together. “This website is compatible with all the big browsers” - all the major browsers. Major here just means the most important ones. We also use that word compatible in talking about people - people who you may be romantically interested in. You may say, for example, “I went on a date with a girl, but I found out that we were not compatible” - we weren't a good match for each other.

Margaret then asks if people will “need to type in the 'www' before the web address.” Internet web addresses begin with the three letters “www” usually. A web address is the letters and numbers you type in in order to go to website. So, for our website, the web address is http-colon-forward slash-forward slash-www-dot-eslpod-dot-com (http://www.eslpod.com). Notice how I read the name of that web address; we say, “http-colon,” (http:) then “forward slash-forward slash” (//) because there are two of those characters in the web address.

Octavio says that it is not necessary - or will not be necessary - for people to type in the “www,” he says all they need to type in is “the name of the store and the domain.” The domain, “domain,” are the letters that come at the end of the website. For our website, the domain is dot-com (.com). Although actually, if you type in dot-org (.org), “org,” or dot-net (.net), “net,” you will be redirected to our main page - you will be taken to our page for all of those web addresses.

Other domains are government domains: dot-g-o-v (.gov) or dot-gov. For education institutions such as colleges and universities, we use dot-e-d-u (.edu). Most countries have their own domain, so for Japan, it's dot-j-p (.jp); for United Kingdom, it's dot-u-k (.uk) and so forth and so on.

Margaret says that she doesn't know very much about the Internet. Then she asks if she has “to learn HTML or some other type of computer language to maintain the site.” HTML stands for hypertext markup language; it's the programming language that most websites use. To maintain, “maintain,” when we are talking about a website, means to make something stay at the same level - to keep it so that it is at a high quality, for example - to do the things necessary so that the website will function properly in the future.

Octavio says, “No,” she will not need to learn HTML. The “website will have a content management software” - or a content management system - “installed” so she can “make basic changes” to the website. Content management software - or more commonly, content management systems - are types of software that allow someone who doesn't know very much about websites to still do some things on the website to change the website - to maintain the website. We sometimes call these CMS - content management systems.

To be installed, “installed,” means to have a program put on your computer or put on your website. This is the verb we use when you have new software, you have to install it - you have to put it on your computer.

Now let's listen to the dialogue, this time at a normal speed.

[start of story]

I was hired to set up a website for a small bookstore and the owner knew very little about the Internet. I tried to find out what she wanted for her business website.

Octavio: Let me show you some websites I’ve designed. I have them all bookmarked. Okay, this is a website for a restaurant. As you can see, the homepage is fairly simple. The menu bar on the left-hand side allows visitors to navigate around the site.

Margaret: I like this layout a lot. Why are these words in a different color?

Octavio: Those are hyperlinks to other pages on the website. If you click on the text or the image, you’ll be taken to a different page.

Margaret: Oh, I see, so for my site, I can list the books I have for sale, and we can hyperlink each book title to a description of that book.

Octavio: Yes, that’s right. You’ll probably also want a search function so that people can type in the name of a book or the author to find out if you carry a specific book.

Margaret: Yes, definitely. Does it matter which browser customers use to look at my website?

Octavio: No, I’ll make sure that it’s compatible with all of the major browsers out there.

Margaret: Will people need to type in “www” before the web address?

Octavio: No, they should be able to just type in the name of the store and the domain, which in your case would be “.com.”

Margaret: Since I know so little about the Internet, do I have to learn HTML or some other type of computer language to maintain the site?

Octavio: No, not at all. Your website will have content management software installed that allows you to make basic changes. Once it’s done, I’ll show you how to use it. Should we look at a few more websites to get some other ideas for your site?

Margaret: That’s a great idea. Let’s do that.

[end of story]

The script for today's podcast was written by Dr. Lucy Tse.

If you have a question or comment about our podcast, you can email us. Our email address is eslpod@eslpod.com.

From Los Angeles, California, I'm Jeff McQuillan. Thanks for listening. We'll see you next time on ESL Podcast.

English as a Second Language Podcast is written and produced by Dr. Lucy Tse, hosted by Dr. Jeff McQuillan. This podcast is copyright 2007.

Glossary
bookmarked – saved in a list in one’s Internet browser so that one can easily go to a particular website

* When Gisela used Harold’s computer, she was surprised to see that he had bookmarked so many websites about classical music.


homepage – the main page of a website

* This website’s homepage has very basic information about the company, but if you want to learn more, you can click on “About Us.”


menu bar – a list of options or links on a website that lets the user decide which other pages to visit

* To get our phone number, click on “Contact Us.” It’s the fourth link on the menu bar at the top of the website’s homepage.


to navigate – to move between places on the Internet or a website

* This website is almost impossible to navigate because there aren’t any links to return to the most important pages.


layout – design; the way things are presented on a page or on a website

* Our company wants to hire a designer to create a new layout for its homepage.


hyperlink (or link) – an underlined word or words that, when clicked, moves the user to another page on a website

* Most hyperlinks on the Internet are underlined and in blue.


to click on – to move one’s mouse so that the cursor (flashing line on the screen) is over an image or text and then press the mouse button

* In this computer game, you have to click on the people’s feet to make them walk.


search function – the ability to type a word or words into a small box on a website and have the website respond by showing a list of all items that match the word(s)

* People used to look for library books by reading small paper cards, but now they can use the search functions on the library’s website to find the books they’re looking for.


browser – the software used to look at websites, such as Internet Explorer, Safari, or Firefox

* This website doesn’t work with that browser. You have to look at it with this one.


compatible – able to work together; able to be used together

* I’d like to buy this new computer game, but I don’t know whether it’s compatible with my old computer.


www – “World Wide Web;” the first three letters of most website addresses

* If you haven’t been to our website recently, visit us at www.eslpod.com.


web address – the letters and/or numbers that must be typed into an Internet browser to go to a website, usually beginning in “http://www.” and ending in domains such as “.com,” “.edu,” “.org,” “.gov,” and “.net”; URL

* If you want people to visit your website, it helps to have a web address that is short and easy to remember.


domain – the last two or three letters of a web address, such as “.com,” “.edu,” “.gov,” “.net,” “.tv,” “.ru,” “.pe,” and many others

* In general, the domain for companies is “.com,” the domain for universities is “.edu,” and the domain for government agencies is “.gov”.


HTML – “HyperText Markup Language;” the computer programming language used to make most websites

* Students studying computer science have to learn HTML and use it to create websites during their first year at the university.


to maintain – to make something stay at the same level; to add or delete information on a website over time

* The information on this website hasn’t been changed since 2003. We need to hire someone to maintain our website so that the information is updated regularly!


content management software – a computer program that helps people easily change information on their websites

* Nelly uses content management software to easily change the information on her website.


to install – to put a new program onto one’s computer

* Have you installed the new version of iTunes yet?

Comprehension Questions
1. What kinds of browsers will customers need to view the website?
a) Any of the major browsers.
b) Only the browsers used to build the website.
c) No browsers are needed.

2. How will Margaret maintain her website?
a) She’ll learn how to use HTML.
b) She’ll use content management software.
c) She’ll ask Octavio to make changes for her.

Answers at bottom.

What Else Does It Mean?
to navigate

The verb “to navigate,” in this podcast, means to move between places on the Internet or a website: “Soriah is only five years old, but she’s already better at navigating the Internet than her parents are.” The same verb can also mean to find out where one’s ship, car, or plane is or is traveling: “When the computers stopped working, the airplane pilot had to navigate with paper maps.” When riding in a car, “to navigate” means to use a map to find out where one is and in what direction one should go: “When they drove into the city, Daniel had to navigate while his wife drove.” “To navigate” can also mean to find the right way to do something in a difficult situation: “It’s going to be difficult to navigate the new laws about how companies should report their financial information.”

domain

In this podcast, the word “domain” means the last two or three letters of a web address, such as “.com” or “.edu”: “Yuki wasn’t able to find the website because she was typing in the wrong domain.” The word “domain” also means a specific type of knowledge or activity that one is involved with: “Taking care of children used to be the wife’s domain, but now, many husbands have that responsibility.” Or, “We shouldn’t offer to help with that project because the president said it should be only the finance department’s domain.” A “domain” can also mean land that was owned by a person or country in the past: “The domain of the Russian Empire was one of the largest in the world.”

Culture Note
In the United States, copyright protection is a serious problem for individuals and businesses. If a person or company has the “copyright” on text, music, artwork, or something else that he or she has created, then it cannot be used by other people without permission in writing. “Copyright protection” means the things that individuals and businesses do to try to stop other people from using their copyrighted materials.

The Internet has created many opportunities for “copyright infringement,” or using copyrighted materials without permission. On websites, it is easy to copy text (this is known as “plagiarism”) and download music or images. But doing this is “illegal” or against the law. If you see “©2007” or something similar at the bottom of a website, it means that all of the information on that website is copyrighted and you cannot copy it without the permission of the owners.

Some websites give everyone permission to use and copy their work, even though it normally would be copyrighted. For example, there are some websites of “clipart” (small drawings that can be placed on websites or in text documents) that contain text stating that anyone can use their clipart. Some people do this because they want to have many people visit their websites. However, it is more common for clipart websites to have a “license for use” or an agreement about how visitors can use the clipart designs.

The U.S. Copyright Office has a website where you can learn more about copyright and how to register copyrights on your own websites. Its web address is http://www.copyright.gov/.

Comprehension Answers
1 - a

2 - b