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Blog - Web Design & Development

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Web Design Glossary

Web Design Glossary

When you are in the industry, you talk like the industry. We understand web design is complex and many of the words used by web designers can complicate the process. That is why we have pieced together a glossary of common web design words and misunderstood phrases. Utilising this resounse will allow everyone to further understand web design. No more unexplained words and more understanding about your website.

Accessibility - The website’s usability for users with certain impairments.


Address Bar - The input field which shows the current website URL.


AJAX - Asynchronous JavaScript and XML - Used to provide a more fluid user experience. From features such as adding items to your shopping cart without refreshing the page.


ALT Attribute - Alternative Attribute - An alt attribute is a small field used on an image which helps describe what the image is to search engines and also screen readers for accessibility.


Anchor text - The clickable text within a hyperlink connected to another web page. Commonly highlighted by an underline and coloured to show it has a linking feature.


ASP - Active Server Pages - A server-side script engine for creating web pages.


Attribute - A section of information which defines the properties of a field or tag.


Backbone - A core section of a computer network that interconnects information.


Backend -

1: A system that describes a separate area of a website used to manage content, customers and settings.

2: Backend code is code contained on the website server. This is invisible to the end user and used for features such as sending emails or storing customer details.

3: A backend developer is someone who specialises in writing code to make features work.


Backlink - A link from a referring domain targeting back to a specific web page.


Bandwidth - The frequency range within a given band for transmitting electrical signals.


Black Hat -

1: Computing - Someone who has malicious intent to harm a website

2: Marketing - A tactic to increase SEO using false actions to cheat Search Engine’s algorithms.


Blog - Written expression, informal and less technical.


Bounce rate - The percentage of visitors to a website who navigate away from the site after only viewing one page.


Breadcrumbs - A secondary navigation system providing information on the user’s location on a website and back steps.


Broken Link - A hyperlink which leads to an error page as the corresponding page does not exist anymore.


Cache - A hardware or software component within a computer that stores data about a specific website so future requests for the data are retrieved faster.


CTA - Call-to-action - An instruction which relates to a specific function.


Carousel - Otherwise known as slideshow or slider. This is a set of images which animate automatically in a loop to display one image at a time.


CSS - Cascading Style Sheets - A feature added to web pages to provide more control on the display of pages.


Code - A set of instructions interpreted by a computer.


Conversion -

1: The rate individuals enquire and complete the target process of the web page (e.g. a sale).

2: A set of targets referring to customer completing a call-to-action.


Cookie - A small file stored on a user's computer by a website to recognise and track preferences.


Closed-source - The coding for the website is inaccessible to external visitors. Resulting in enhanced security as black hats cannot see the coding.


CMS - Content Management System - An application supporting the creation and altering of digital content.


Domain - The name associated with the IP address.


Download - To export data from the internet to a computer.


DNS - Domain Name System - The internet's conversion of alphabetical names into numerical IP address'.


eCommerce - A website type which completes electronic transactions in exchange for a product or service.


Element - A singular component of a web page (E.G. Image, text, section).


End User - The individual using the web page (the customer).


Favicon - An icon associated with a website, shown in the address bar.


Forms - A collection of input fields such as name, address etc. Once inputted are sent to the server.


Frame -

1: Highlighted section around a specific element.

2: Area of a web page which loads a different web page (e.g. Instant twitter feed displayed on the website).


Frontend -

1: All visible features of a website.

2: A front-end developer makes the visible side of the website.


Graphics - Use of images in a design.


Homepage - The main page and commonly the first page you will enter on a website.


Hosting -

1: Web hosting - Storing a website's information on a server to be accessed via the internet.

2: Email hosting - Storage and distribution of emails (E.G. Gmail).


HTML - Hypertext Markup Language - A system for tagging text files on web pages. Text which a web browser reads to load web pages.


Hyperlink - A direct link between a specific element to another web page. A link between two pages.


Impression - Marketing - The singular display of an advertisement. Referring to the number of people to see an advert.


IP Address - Internet Protocol Address - A unique sequence of numbers relating to the identification of a computer using the internet.


Javascript - A programming language used to create interactive effects and validate website forms.


Keyword - “A word or concept of great significance” - commonly used in the targeting of a web page in search engines.


Landing page - The entry point into a website.


Layout - The structure and presentation of a website’s content.


Load Time - The duration it takes for a webpage to display.


Meta Data - A set of data that provides information about other data. Used to make it easier to context content. Summative information of relating data.


Meta Tag - Tags within the head section of internal coding to define the contents of a web page.


MYSQL - My Structured Query Language - Open-source database management system such as web-hosting applications.


Navigation Bar - A selection of linked pages shown at the top of a web page.


Open-source - The coding which creates the website is accessible to anyone.


Optimise - Make more effective by rearranging or rewriting. Manipulation of content or features.


Outsourcing - Directing work to a third party under the original company's name.


PHP - Hypertext Preprocessor - A scripting language for web design.


Pixel - A basic unit of programmable colour on a display screen.


Plugin - A software component which adds additional features to a specific program.


PPC - Pay-Per-Click - A type of advertisement campaign whereby you only pay when a user clicks on the advert.


Ranking - The placement of a website within a search engine results for specific keywords. Dependable on the search engines algorithm for websites.


Referring Domain - A website which has an external link to your webpage.


Resolution - The number of pixels.


Root - Hosting - The content shown to a user when they enter your web domain into a web browser. The start point of a domain.


SEO - Search Engine Optimisation - The process of altering the ranking of a specific webpage in a search engine's results for specific keywords.


Script -

1: A list of commands that can perform without user interaction.

2: Language - A simple programming language used to write scripts. Enabling something that runs to perform certain actions.


Server - A computer which centralises website information and sends the content to requesting devices.


Sitemap - A model of a website to make navigation easier for users and search engines.


Subdomain - A subdivision of a primary domain. (e.g. pics.website.co.uk will also retrieve the same information as website.co.uk/pics).


Tag -

1: A keyword assigned to a piece of information with the aim to assist with describing a feature within a search engine.

2: A piece of information relating to an element. Used to distinguish the type of the element.


Thumbnail - A small representation of an image.


Traffic - The volume of visitors to a specific site during a timeframe.


UI - User-Interface - How a user and the computer interact with each other.


Upload - The transfer of data from a computer onto the internet.


URL - Uniform Resource Locator - A specific location of a domain within the World Wide Web. The path to a specific web page/resource.


UX - User Experience - The overall feel towards a website involving visual and interactive elements.


White Hat - Marketing - A tactic to increase SEO using actions within the rules of a Search Engine’s algorithm.


White Space - The unused space around an image or within a web page also known as negative space.


WordPress - A website creation platform - commonly associated with blogs.


WWW - World Wide Web - also known as the internet.


Xamarin - Application development tool which produces cross-platform apps.


XML - A metalanguage - Typically used to format data transferred between web pages.

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