25 Web Design Definitions You Need to Know …

Feeling flustered and frustrated by the sea of techy terms being used by your web designer?

Once again, just like graphic designers, us web designers have our own language. So, to help smooth over the endless techy details of the entire online process, here is a short list of terms and definitions to help you get through your next conversation …


This relates to web design/coding standards and to how easily it is for people to use your website, including people who are visually impaired or in any way physically handicapped or even limited by age or technology.


This refers to the calculations about various issues that search engines use to find the most relevant search results for a search query.


This term means “online journal” and is a very popular method of sharing your thoughts with the world. IT is also very popular as a marketing tool.


Bounce Rate:
A website’s bounce rate is the percentage of people who leave the site from the same page they entered without clicking through any other pages. This can be a good indicator of the website’s navigation and quality of the site’s content.


Every time you do anything on a computer, it stores this in memory so that the next time you try to so the same thing it happens quicker than having to wait from scratch. The place where it stores all this information is called the “cache”.


Content Management System:
This is a back-end tool for managing a site’s content that separates the content from the design and functionality of a website. This tool makes it easier for pages and images to be added to the website for people who are not programmers.


This is an organization’s unique space on the internet. Meaning it is commonly used to host the name of your website.


These are a tiny customizable icon displayed in the web address bar in most browsers next to the web address. They are usually 8-bit or 24-bit in colour depth and as a PNG file format.


Font Family:
This is a group destination for defining typefaces (mainly used in CSS documents). The font family tag generally lists multiple fonts to be used and usually ends with the generic font category (such as serif or sans-serif).


FTP Client:
This refers to a software program that one may use to upload their website to a host server.


This is a request for a single file from one’s web server meaning … one page can generate multiple hits, as each page generally has more than one file and each one is requested from the server whenever the page is loaded. Some users like to quote hits as the number makes their site sound like it’s getting more traffic than it really is.


This is a method used to transfer information on the internet and normally precedes the “description” of the actual resource being accessed and transferred (also known as “hyper-text transfer protocol”).


Like HTTP, adding the “S” creates a set of rules for transferring hypertext requests between browsers and servers, but this time it is done over a secure, encrypted connection (aka. SSL).


This refers to a link from one web page to another, either on the same site or to a separate on. Generally, these are text or images and highlighted (e.g. text is often underlines or put in a different colour or font weight).


This refers to an operation used by search engines to crawl the web, to scan web pages and to store information about them.


This is an internet marketing terms that refers to the main topics or subjects of your web pages in relation to how people would phrase them when searching for your products and/or services on the internet.


Landing Page:
This 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 a marketing or ad campaign).


This relates to how a web page is structured (both code and content) with regard to search engines. A well optimized site is search engine friendly.


This refers to a third-party code that extends the capabilities of a website. It is most often used in conjunction with a CMS or blogging platform (like in WordPress). They are a way to extend the functionality of a website without having to redo the code coding of the entire site.


This is in relation to search engines. When someone searches for something online they will receive pages upon pages of results where specifics of what they searched appears within those results. That is a “ranking”.


This refers to a piece of code that creates or enables a specific function on a website. The possible uses are endless, as there are different types of scripts that can be used and written in a variety of languages including JavaScript.


Search Engine Ranking:
This relates to exactly where on the list the search appears. Closer to the top means is has a higher ranking. This is a critical consideration to having one’s website found online.


SEO (search engine optimization):
This simply refers to measures and methods of optimizing online content so that it is indexed and so that search engines can work out how relevant the content is to any particular search query, so that, ultimately, search engines can find it more easily.


This is an index to all the content on a website. It is normally accessible from the front page of the site and is used to help visitors find what they are looking for and to help search engines find all the site’s links.


This refers to a set of markup characters that are used around an element to indicate where it starts (< >) and ends (</>). Tags also include HTML or other code to specify how that element should look or behave on the web page.

Understanding web design terms is just a small step in building a good working relationship. If you’ve reviewed this list and still have some terms you need clarification on feel free to add them to the comments and I will help you discover their true meaning and make your designer/client life a heck of a lot easier!

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Picture of Crystal Kordalchuk

Crystal Kordalchuk

Crystal is an artist, a writer, an organizer, a dreamer, a doer, and down-right proud of it NERD!.

Struck with a love for #AllThings creative at a very young age, Crystal dreamed of a life fueled by her passion for creating and bringing the stories and images in her mind into reality.

As she worked toward her dreams, she earned a diploma as a Computer Applications Specialist then another in Graphic Design and from there began to develop her extensive background in multimedia and the arts. She began her worked in the magazine industry as a layout designer and had a succession of design jobs thereafter. It was her role as a graphic/web designer that gave her the first real glimpse of her future. Soon she began a side job as a freelance designer while keeping one foot in the corporate world. A spark was lit! She turned her freelance gig into a full-time business combining design work with her other passion: creating organization from virtual chaos.

Crystal is one of the most organized individuals on the planet. She is by all means a Zen master of her crafts. She excels at helping others become “untangled” and provides her clients with tools to run their businesses smoothly while she takes care of the details behind the scenes. Thus Virtually Untangled was born. A successful business where her work as a top notch creative in graphic and web — with a twist of virtual assistant — married into one amazing place where clients can come with their virtual messes and become magically untangled. Crystal can always make sense of even the most unorganized chaos and offers a virtual detox of order and peace, so her clients can get busy doing the work that they love the most.

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