25 Web Design Definitions you need to know

Whether its law, medicine or website design, every industry uses their own language. So if you are not familiar with the latest tech and design language, talking to your web designer or developer can be intimidating and frustrating.

In case you are planning to get a new website or to have your old website redesigned, you might want to brush up on your web design terminology.

Here are our 25 most important web design definitions for you:

1. Backend

The back end of a website is the part hidden from view of regular website visitors. The back end generally includes the information structure, applications, and the CMS controlling content on the site.

2. Below the fold

This term comes from newspaper publishing days. In newspaper terms, “below the fold” means content was below the physical fold in the paper. In web design terms, “below the fold” refers to the content that is generally going to be below the point first viewable to the average website visitor in their browser which means, viewers would have to scroll down to see the content.

3. 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. This can be a good indicator of how good a website’s navigation is, as well as an indicator of the quality of the site’s content.

4. Browser

A browser is software that is used to access the internet. A browser lets you visit websites and do activities within them like login, view multimedia, link from one site to another, visit one page from another, print, send and receive email, among many other activities. The most common browser software titles on the market are: Microsoft Internet Explorer, Google's Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple's Safari, and Opera.

5. Call-to Action

A call-to-action (usually abbreviated as CTA) is an image or line of text that prompts your visitors, leads, and customers to take action. It is, quite literally, a "call" to take an "action."

The action you want people to take could be anything: download an ebook, sign up for a webinar, get a coupon, attend an event, etc. A CTA can be placed anywhere in your marketing -- on your website, in an ebook, in an email, or even at the end of a blog post

6. Content Management System

A CMS (Content Management System) is a computer application or database that can be used to create or, as the name suggests, manage digital content. This is done by adding, editing, or deleting content that is to be published on a website. Using a CMS generally makes it easier for content to be added to the site for people who aren’t designers.

7. Cookies

Cookies are small files which are stored on a user's computer. They are designed to hold a modest amount of data specific to a particular client and website, and can be accessed either by the web server or the client computer. This allows the server to deliver a page tailored to a particular user, or the page itself can contain some script which is aware of the data in the cookie and so is able to carry information from one visit to the website (or related site) to the next.

8. Conversion

A website conversion is the most important factor to the success of your online marketing strategy and goals. It means getting your visitors to do what you want them to do, whether that is to buy your product, sign up for your newsletter, register for a webinar or fill out a contact form.  

9. CSS - Cascading Style Sheet

Also referred to simply as CSS, Cascading Style Sheets are used to define the look and feel of a web site outside of the actual HTML of the site. In recent years, CSS has replaced tables and other HTML-based methods for formatting and laying out websites. The benefits to using CSS are many, but some of the most important are the simplification of a site’s HTML files which can actually increase search engine rankings and the ability to completely change the style of a site by changing just one file, without having to make changes to content.

10. Domain

The domain is the name by which a website is identified. The domain is associated with an IP address. Domains can be purchased with any combination of letters, hyphens (-), and numbers. Depending on the extension (.com, .net, .org, etc.), a domain can be anywhere up to 26 to 63 characters long.

11. Favicon

A favicon (pronounced "fave-icon") is a small, iconic image that represents your website. Favicons are most often found in the address bar of your web browser, but they can also be used in lists of bookmarks in web browsers and feed aggregators. Well-designed favicons are styled to match the logo or theme of your website, that way users have a quick and easy way to recognize your website at a glance.

12. Font

A font is a graphical representation of text that may include a different typeface, point size, weight, color, or design.

13. Frontend

The front-end is basically the opposite of the back-end. It’s all the components of a website that a visitor to the site can see (pages, images, content, etc.) Specifically, it’s the interface that visitors use to access the site’s content. It’s also sometimes referred to as the User Interface.

14. Hosting

Web hosting is a service that allows organizations and individuals to post a website or web page onto the Internet. A web host, or web hosting service provider, is a business that provides the technologies and services needed for the website or webpage to be viewed in the Internet. Websites are hosted, or stored, on special computers called servers. 

When Internet users want to view your website, all they need to do is type your website address or domain into their browser. Their computer will then connect to your server and your webpages will be delivered to them through the browser. 

15. HTML

Stands for Hypertext Markup Language. It’s the primary language used to write web pages. HTML is primarily intended as a way to provide content on websites (with CSS handling the layout and stylistic options), though it can also be used to determine how that content is displayed.

16. HTTP / HTTPS

Stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol. HTTP is a set of rules for transferring hypertext requests between a web browser and a web server. HTTPS stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure. Like HTTP, it’s a set of rules for transferring hypertext requests between browsers and servers, but this time it’s done over a secure, encrypted connection.

17. Hyperlink

A hyperlink is a link from one web page to another, either on the same site or another one. Generally these are text or images, and are highlighted in some way. 

18. IFrame

An iframe is an HTML document that is embedded inside another, such document on a website. In other words, an iframe can be used to insert a piece of content from another source into a webpage.

19. Javascript

JavaScript is a scripting or programming language that allows your web developer to implement complex things on web pages — every time a web page does more than just sit there and display static information for you to look at — displaying timely content updates, interactive maps, animated 2D/3D graphics, scrolling video jukeboxes, etc. — JavaScript is probably involved

20. Landing Page

In digital marketing, a landing page is a standalone web page, created specifically for the purposes of a marketing or advertising campaign. It’s where a visitor “lands” when they have clicked on a Google AdWords ad or similar. Landing pages are designed with a single focused objective – known as a Call to Action (CTA).

21. Meta Tags

A meta tag is a tag in the Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) that describes some aspect of the contents of a Web page. The information that is provided in a meta tag is used by search engines to index a page so that someone searching for the kind of information the page contains will be able to find it. The meta tag is placed near the top of the HTML in a Web page as part of the heading.

22. Navigation

A navigation bar is a user interface element within a webpage that contains links to other sections of the website. In most cases, the navigation bar is part of the main website template, which means it is displayed on most, if not all, pages within the website. This means that no matter what page you are viewing, you can use the navigation bar to visit other sections of the website.

23. Responsive Web Design

Responsive design is an approach to web page creation that makes use of flexible layouts, flexible images and cascading style sheet media queries. The goal of responsive design is to build web pages that detect the visitor's screen size and orientation and change the layout accordingly.

24. SEO - Search Engine Optimisation

SEO or Search Engine Optimisation is the name given to activity that attempts to improve search engine rankings. In search results Google™ displays links to pages it considers relevant and authoritative. Authority is mostly measured by analysing the number and quality of links from other web pages. In simple terms your web pages have the potential to rank in Google™ so long as other web pages link to them.

25. 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.

I hope these definitions will help you to get a good start and to understand your developer a little bit better. However, if you need any help or advise with your new website project, please get in touch and I promise you will understand everything.