A-Z of Web Design Terminology

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By Gemma Forster

Web design can be a scary subject that uses a lot of jargon which not everyone can understand. It can be off putting and daunting when you come across words or phrases that you have never heard before. It may even put you off getting in touch with a web designer. Have you ever wished you had an A-Z of Web Design Terminology?

I try not to use jargon where possible but occasionally you may hear me use a word you’ve not heard before…don’t be afraid to stop me and ask me to explain. There’s nothing worse than just nodding along awkwardly (we’ve all done it!), so to help you along I’ve written this A-Z of web design terminology. Basically they are words you may hear me use every now and then.

A-Z of web design terminology

Anchor Text

Anchor text is the clickable text in a hyperlink. In this example the anchor text is About Me

Backlink

Backlink is a link one website gets from another website. Backlinks make a huge impact on a website’s prominence in search engine results. 

Bounce Rate

A website’s bounce rate is the percentage of people who leave the site from the same page they entered the site, without clicking through to any other pages. Simply put, we don’t want a high bounce rate. We want to keep visitors on your site.

Call to Action (CTA)

A Call to Action is a button, image or line of text that prompts your visitors to take action. Examples could be to download an ebook, sign up for your newsletter or attend an event.

Cache

Cached files are those that are saved or copied (downloaded) by a web browser so that the next time that user visits the site, the page loads faster.

Cookies

Cookies are very small text files placed on your computer by a web server when you view some sites online. They’re used to store data about you and your preferences so that a web server doesn’t have to repeatedly request this information, potentially slowing down load time.

Domain Name

The domain is the name by which a website is identified. 

Ecommerce

Short for electronic commerce. It’s the buying and selling of goods online, through websites. Products sold through e-commerce can be physical products that require shipping, or digital products delivered electronically.

Favicon

Favicons are tiny (generally 16×16 pixels, though some are 32×32 pixels), customizable icons displayed in the web address bar in most browsers next to the web address. 

Footer

The term footer usually refers to the bottom section of a website. It usually contains information like copyright notices, links to privacy policy, credits, etc.

Hexidecimals

Also referred to a “hex” numbers, they are a base-16 numbering system used to define colors online. 

Hero Image

A hero image is a large web banner image, prominently placed on a web page. It is often the first visual that a visitor to your site encounters.

JPG

JPG or JPEG is a digital image format which contains compressed image data. Most images you send me will be a JPG file.

Keyword

A keyword basically defines what your content is about. In terms of SEO they’re the words and phrases that visitors enter into search engines.

Landing Page

A landing page is the page where a visitor first enters a website. Oftentimes, a special landing page is created to elicit a specific action from the new visitor (usually in connection with an advertising or marketing campaign).

Meta Data

Meta data is the data contained in the header that offers information about the web page that a visitor is currently on. The information contained in the meta data isn’t viewable on the web page (except in the source code). Meta data is contained within meta tags.

Navigation

Navigation refers to the system that allows visitors to a website to move around that site. 

Permalink

Short for “permanent link.” Generally used only on blogs, a permalink is a link that is the permanent web address of a given blog post. By default, a permalink might look like this:

http://www.example.com/?p=113

However, by changing the permalink you can make it more user friendly like this:

http://www.example.com/webdesign-terminology/

Plug in

A plugin is a piece of software containing a group of functions that can be added to a WordPress website. They can extend functionality or add new features to your WordPress websites.

Responsive

A responsive web site basically resizes itself when viewed on other devices such as tablets and mobiles.

SEO

SEO or Search Engine Optimization is a term used to describe practice and methods to optimize a web site for better representation in search results. These practices and methods are usually based on the rules and best practices provided by the major search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo! and other major search engines. 

Sitemap

A sitemap is a list of pages of a web site. Having a sitemap can be beneficial for SEO purposes as Google can find essential pages of a website faster.

Traffic

This refers to the visitors that come to your website.

Theme

In WordPress a theme is a collection of templates used to define the appearance and display of a WordPress powered website

URL

Stands for Uniform Resource Locator. A site’s URL is its address, the item that specifies where on the Internet it can the found.

Usability

Usability refers to how easy it is for a visitor to your site to use your site in its intended manner.

WordPress

WordPress is a content management system (CMS) and is basically the platform on which a site is built. There are other Content Management Systems but I mainly use WordPress as I believe it to be the most flexible and easiest to use for beginners who want to manage their own website.

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