There are all sorts of specialized terms related to design and all the technical jargon can be overwhelming. So, we’ve compiled a guide to industry terms that should get you well on your way to understanding what web designers are talking about.
Above the fold ::
The portion of a webpage that’s visible without scrolling. In print, it’s the portion of the paper that’s visible when folded.
Abbreviated form of “weblog.” Refers to a website that posts a series of articles on a given topic, or a given person’s life, on a regular basis.
A secondary type of navigation scheme that helps users keep track of where they are within a website.
- Ex: Homepage > Section page > Subsection page > Subsection page.
Browser refers to the program or application a website visitor is using to view the web site.
- Examples include Safari, Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera, and Internet Explorer.
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.
Content Management System (CMS) ::
A back end system used to manage the content of a web site. It was designed with non-technical website owners to add, edit and manage content on a website without any coding knowledge.
Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) ::
A languages that defines the style of a web site (size, color, etc.) outside of the actual HTML file(s) of the site.
The domain is the name by which a website is identified. The domain is associated with an IP address.
For example: www.google.com.
A small customizable icon, usually 16×16 pixels, that appears in the address bar in most browsers next to the website title.
A font is a set of printable or displayable text characters in a specific style and size.
- Examples: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, Georgia.
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.
Google Analytics ::
A free web analytics service that tracks how visitors find your site and how they interact with it. It is provided to anyone with a Google account.
The area of a website at the top of a page, generally for logos, banners and navigation menus.
Hexadecimal numbers (6 digits or letters) are used for web pages to set colors. The color is defined by its mix of red, green and blue.
- Example: #ff000 (red), #ffffff (white), and #32cd32 (lime green).
Stands for Hypertext Markup Language. It’s the primary language used to write web pages.
The place where your website’s files reside. Popular hosting companies are GoDaddy, HostGator and 1and1.
A hyperlink is a link from one web page to another, either on the same site or another one.
Landing page ::
A landing page is a standalone web page that are designed for a specific marketing campaign.
Navigation is most often thought of in terms of menus and they allow a visitor to move from one page to another.
A plug-in is a bit of third party code that extends the capabilities of a website. It’s most often used in conjunction with a CMS or blogging platform.
Responsive Web Design ::
(a.k.a. mobile-friendly) Is a website that will automatically reformat for all screen sizes so your visitors can easily interact with your site no matter what device they’re using (small or large).
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) ::
A way of creating a website to rank higher on search engines (ex: Google) for a particular set of keywords.
Where less important content is placed either on the left or right side of the main content.
Shows the structure of all content, pages and posts that make up a website.
Stands for Uniform Resource Locator. A site’s URL is its address, which is typed into the browser’s address bar and specifies where on the Internet it can the found.
Usability refers to how easy it is for a visitor to your site to use your site in its intended manner.
Web design ::
Web design is the planning, designing, and creation of websites. It’s the visual aspects of a website – layout, color, images, and typography.
Web development ::
Web development is all the technical stuff that happens behind-the-scenes to ensure a website works properly.
It’s a basic layout that doesn’t yet have design elements.
WordPress is a full content management system with widgets, plugins and customizable themes. It allows you to update and manage your website in real time.
Elma8 years ago
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Ginger5 years ago
Thanks for the great tips! I do have a question however that I think you could probably
answer. I was wondering, Do web development freelancers host the website and database locally while they’re making the website?
Or is it better to host it live? Any insight would be greatly appreciated!
Twingenuity Graphics5 years ago AUTHOR
Hi, great question. The answer is it will vary from web developer to web developer. Generally if a client has an existing site most developers will host the site locally or on a staging site. (This keeps current site active until the new site is ready to go live.) The main difference between the two, is that hosting a site locally means only the website developer can view the site. Hope this answered your question. Thanks!