The A to Z of Web Design Industry Jargon and terminologies decoded

By March 22, 2016Web Design

It’s often exciting times when you are looking to get a brand new web design ,or do a reno of an existing website for your business, but for most people unfortunately the excitement quickly gives way to feelings of confusion and overwhelm! Where do you start? How do you communicate with your web designer? Is your web designers jargon and glossary all Greek to you?

Get in the know with our very useful A to Z guide of the most commonly used web design industry Jargon and terminologies so the next time you speak with your web designer; you are indeed speaking the same language!



This allows screen readers to spot abbreviations and read out the full title rather than trying to pronounce the abbreviation. It’s used in HTML together with the title attribute to signify the use of an abbreviation.


An important aspect to consider when designing any site,Accessibility is particularly important for sites providing information to those with disabilities (healthcare sites, government sites, etc.) as this is the ability of a website to be used by people with disabilities, including visually impaired visitors using screen readers, hearing impaired visitors using no sound, colour blind people, or those with other disabilities. Creating a website with low accessibility will make it impossible for those with disabilities to use it.


The visible part of the website on a screen, one that a user would see at first instance when landing at your web address without having the need to scroll down. A user would only proceed to scroll down further if the content ‘above the fold’ is interest capturing enough.


An abbreviation for Asynchronous JavaScript and XML, AJAX offers a way to harness the power of JavaScript and XML to enhance interactivity in web pages or dynamic web applications without having to reload the page a visitor is onor way of developing Web applications that combines: XHTML and CSS standards based presentation, Interaction with the page through the DOM, Data interchange with XML and XSLT, Asynchronous data retrieval with XMLHttpRequest and JavaScript to tie it all together


A process where the edges of images and fonts have pixels added to blend the edge of the item into the background. A feature of many design programs such as Photoshop and Corel Photopaint, the main goal is to provide a smooth transition from one colour area within the image to the next colour area in the same image. Whilst Anti-aliasing can make fonts and GIF images with rounded edges appear smoother, they can often result in a feathered or fuzzy halo around the image and make fonts harder to read on the screen where the crisp edges are reduced.


ADN services are carried by a leased or rented line carrying 56k bits per second designed to be used with one connection power point which enables it to be used more efficiently.Comprising of various features; non-consistent speed modes, a network reconfiguration that is controlled by the subscriber, network control as well as network diagnostics, it conveys synchronous serial information that is private of nature and depends on a private digital service line.


Also Known As: bookmark, internal link, hyperlink, link, Anchor text is basically text a link uses to refer to your site and can make a big difference in your site’s search engine results.


ADSL is popular with home networking subscribers since the average user is likely to be downloading from the Web and P2P networks more frequently than uploading. The manner in which ADSL operates is by giving or distributing existing telephone line frequencies to favour downstream traffic overriding the conventional modem.


An application server effectively hosts software applications coupled with transmitting applications to linked computers. It further manages most of the applications for business logic as well as the data access applications of your computer.


Many modern internet-based technologies could be classified as “automagical”; something that has a complex technical process hidden from users, so appearing as if to work by magic.


A small Java program that has no independent use and thus offers a very narrow function given its dependent on other software. Applet software is inseparable from the context of another program, such as the Web browser


ASCII is a standard for code numbers applied world-wide by computer programmers. ASCII encodes all the upper and lower-case Latin numbers, letters, punctuation and more. A set of 128 standard ASCII codes present a 7 digit binary number: 0000000 to 1111111


An alt attribute is used to specify alternate text for an image. Specified inside the IMG tag in HTML, the alt attribute contains the alternate text that is displayed inside the image placeholder while the page is loading.


A method of organizing a large amount of data into logical groups or categories by way of writing the title of each page on a post-it note and sticking them on a wall till this data is moved by team members in logical groups. This is especially useful when planning out the navigation and structure of a large web site.


Used by Web designers to make their pages audible and accessible to visually impaired customers by using aural style sheets.


An array is an index of data values. In PHP, an array contains a number of variables.


The horizontal or lateral angle of sound in aural style sheets, with the computer in the centre. Setting the azimuth for different voices creates a natural way to tell voices apart, as stereo and 5-speaker audio set ups will place the sounds in different locations, spatially.


The Apache HTTP server is an open source free software compatible with Unix systems as well as Microsoft Windows and Novell NetWare. Apache is built to accommodate configurable error messages and negotiate databased content.


An anonymous FTP server allows visitors access to files stored on the server. These anonymous visitors may download or upload files to and from the anonymous FTP server.


Active Server Pages is a Windows-based server-side scripting language used for creating dynamic content.



The backend of a web site refers to the information structure, applications, HTML markup, code, files, server processes and the CMS controlling content on the sitethat make the web site work and are hidden from view of regular website visitors. The backend is what the web designer builds whereas the frontend is what the web site visitor sees.


Backlinks are links from other sites back to your own. Sometimes referred to as “trackbacks” or “link love” (especially on blogs), the number and quality of the Backlinks have a huge impact on a websites search rankings as some search engines provide significant weight to the backlinks of a site. Lots of backlinks from high-ranking sites can greatly improve your search engine results, especially if those links use keywords in their anchor text and many web developers offer a link building service where backlinks are obtained on the client’s behalf. If you are working on an SEO campaign, you should include efforts to get links to your site on related sites with high ranking in search engines for the terms you are targeting.


A bad neighbourhood on the Web is any website that uses dirty tricks to try and increase their site’s rankings or do harm to customers reading the site. A site hosted on a server that hosts other sites that spam or use black-hat SEO practices can end up penalized by search engines solely because of their proximity to those sites. When choosing server hosting service providers, be very careful about which web host you choose, what their terms of service are, and how strictly they enforce those terms if you want to avoid being penalized These include:


Quite opposite to Above the Fold, “below the fold” refers to the content that is generally going to be positioned on a web page where the majority of browsers viewing the page will begin to scroll. The location of the fold differs depending upon the screen size and how big the browser window is.Some people believe that it’s important to design web pages that don’t scroll, or that keep only less important information below the fold.


These are elements that create blocks or large groupings of text with specific distinctions from inline elements and can contain text, data, or other block-level elements.


A website’s bounce rate is the percentage of people that come to the site and only view one page and leave 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


The breadcrumbs term comes from the fairy tale “Hansel and Gretel.”In web design the term refers to a navigational element that shows where you are within a site’s Web page hierarchy and in relation to the main page. Also known as a breadcrumb trail or depth path, it is usually found near the top of a Web page. Each page in the trail is laid out horizontally and often separated by a greater-than sign “>” indicating the path progression.For examples, on a blog, the breadcrumbs might look something like: Home > Category > Year > Month > Post.


A once popularblack hat Internet marketing technique where web designers would create two versions of a web page; one for search engines and another for the end users, Once the search engine indexes the first webpage,the webmaster switches the pages so the webpage create for users now lives at the URL of the page the search engine indexed first.


Refers to the phase after in-house testing and right before the launch of a website that allows a web developer to gather error data and user feedback for final tweaks before the launch.


An error or malfunction that impacts and impedes the normal and expected performance of a website.


Regards to SEO techniques that whilst in the short term ay generate results for clients but in the long term, are known to have adverse effects on the performance and rankings of a site. These are techniques where an SEO company may employ incorrect strategies to deceive search engines in ranking a webpage higher than what it should be.


Or better known as a 404″ error (not found) when trying to access a webpage in a site or a website itself.



Cached files are downloaded and saved by a web browser which allows a web page to load faster when a user visits the same page again.


Is a field or part of a web form, designedto reduce the amount of spam received by forms by making the letters unreadable to bots (robots), but readable to humans


Also referred to simply as CSS, Cascading Style Sheets is a language for the Web to define the style (look and feel) of a Web pageoutside of the actual HTML file(s) of the site. Cascading Style Sheets can define: fonts, colours, layouts without having to make changes to content or each individual web page on the site, and allows for 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. That is, it splits the content from the presentation.


A library of CSS files that are used to make development of standards-based XHTML and CSS Web pagesquickly and painlessly.


Also known as Common Gateway Interface is a program or script run on the server designed to add functionality and dynamic actions to a web site.


As opposed to server-side scripts, these are scripts that run in a viewer’s browser, and whilst they take longer to load initially, they are generally faster to interact with than server side scripts.


Cloaking is a technique where the web site serves different content to different users, based on their IP. When detected, a cloaked site is usually penalized and may be even be banned from the search results.


Also known as a CMS, the Content Management System is a backend tool for managing a site’s content that sthat separates the design, interactivity, functionality and content from one another to make it easier for content authors to provide content from within a browser-based interface, without any HTML skills required. This is a feature often built into a web site by the developer, allowing the web site owner to add, remove or change the content themselves.


Where the design elements (navigation, images, text) are bunched together so tightly that the user has trouble finding what they came looking for.


Comments entered or Information contained in a site’s HTML or XHTML files ignored by the browser to make the code more human-friendly. It allows the Admin editing your (X) HTML to understand the different parts of the stylesheet document.


Conversions are important to web design and ecommerce. Thisrefers to the percentage of web site visitors that take the intended action as desired by the website owners or the number of conversions your site gets measured against like the number of page views or impressions.Ideally every element of the web design, such as choice of colours and navigation architecture, should aim to increase the web site CR.


The process of how people move from being first time visitors of a website to finally converting into customers of the site.


Continuous media is content that is not split into one or more discrete pages. It is different from paged media because it can scroll forever without page breaks, page numbers or other aspects of printed media.


A line of text that is saved to a computer’s hard drive that can be accessed and written by websites to store information about that user. On the user’s next visit to the same web site, the web site retrieves the cookie to access the information.



Dynamic HyperTextMarkup Language or DHTML fuses, the DOM, JavaScript (or other scripts), and CSS (or other presentation definition languages) to create and dynamic interactive web content.


Interspersing pixels to create new colours from ones that already exist in the image especially GIF Images. In GIF and certain other image formats, there is a limited colour palette used for each image. Because of this, not all colours in an image are presented. Dither is used to approximate these colours by combining pixels of different colours


A declaration at the top of an HTML document specifying the syntax used in the rest of the document. This specifies which version of HTML is used in a document and directlyimpacts the validation of your HTML.It is possible to publish an HTML document without declaring the DOCTYPE, but doing so could cause serious display problems especially if CSS is used.


Stands for Document Object Model, It’s a language-independent, cross-platform convention for representing objects in XML, XHTML, and HTML documents.It is the API that binds JavaScript and other scripting languages together with HTML and other markup languages and allows Dynamic HTML to be dynamic.


A name by which a web site or web server is identified and is mapped to a number called an IP address.


One of many SGML and XML schema languages that provides a list of the attributes, comments, elements, entities, and notes in a document along with their relationships to each other.


A web server used to host one web site onlyin contrast to shared hosting. All the resources on the server are exclusive to the web site.


Linking directly to pages within a site, other than the homepage.


As opposed to a static website, a web site where the content changes based on user inputs.



An elastic layout is a style of Web layout design that uses percentages for widths paired with a max-width style to allow the site layout to stretch when font sizes are to ensure that the content is not too long. Elastic widths stretch when font sizes are increased or decreased. This is what makes them elastic – they flex to accommodate the browser width and the reader’s font preferences.


The first page the user sees when following a link to the site. These are the pages where people are linking to or search engines have ranked highly on your site. This is often the homepage but can be different from the homepage.


In XML, an element is the central building block of any XML document. Individual elements can contain text, other elements, or both.


A method for testing the effectiveness of a web pageused by the web designer to improve the page layout.An eye tracking device monitors the movement of the pupil to determine where on the page the subject looks first.


“Electronic publication” or EPUB is a free and open-source ebook publishing platform where the EPUB content is written in XML and XHTML.


A CSS or cascading style sheets style that is written in an external document and can be referenced by multiple documents.


Otherwise known as XML, XML is a mark-up language for writing other custom markup languages. XML is sometimes called a “meta” language because it describes how to write new languages, allows for the creation of applications that are streamlined for the use of the owner andserves as a basic syntax that allows different kinds of computers and applications to share information without having to go through multiple conversion layers.


Web page that readers leave your Web site from. It is important to evaluate exit pages to determine how you can improve your site and make it more valuable to your readers thus ensuring a higher conversion rate.



A favicon or favourites icon is a small graphic customisable icon image generally 16×16 pixels, though some are 32×32 pixels that is associated with a page or web site displayed in the web address bar in most browsers next to the web address. The favicon is either 8-bit or 24-bit in colour depth and saved as “favicon.ico” and uploaded to the server along with the rest of the files that make up the web site. The favicon allows the web developer to customize the site in the web browser, both in the tab bar that is displayed in many browsers as well as in the bookmarks when a site is saved.


A feature of HTML whereby the web designer can subdivide the page into separate windows to improve navigation.


Fixed layouts are layouts set by the designer that start with a specific size, has a set width (generally defined in pixels) and they remain that width, regardless of the size of the browser window viewing the page. Fixed width layouts allow a designer more direct control over how the page will look in most situations across platforms and allows for minute adjustments to be made to a design that will stay consistent across browsers. They are often preferred by designers with a print background, as they allow the designer to make minute adjustments to the layout and have them remain consistent across browsers and computers.


A fast and easy way to upload a large number of files to a web server.


The spot on a web page that they eye is naturally drawn to. This could be an image, a banner, text, Flash content etc.A focal point is the most important part of the page or the part of the page that is the most dominant. Good design uses a focal point to create a page that has a purpose. The focal point of the Web page should be the element that is most important on the page.


A section of code that can be invoked from other sections of the code or from other pages that would otherwise be repeated and can be invoked when needed. This makes for neater code and easier maintenance.


A group designation that applies to a set of typefacesused in CSS documents.


The components of a website that a visitor to the site can see (pages, images, content, etc.)



Graceful degradation is a strategy of handling web page design for different browsers where a website has the ability to have elements that may take advantage of the capabilities of newer browsers done in a way that allows users with older browsers to still view the site in a manner that at least allows access to basic content.


Also known as Graphics Interchange Format, a graphic format suited for flat colour images and drawings limited to 256 colours and supports transparency, which makes it suitable for simple graphics such as logos, animated images or buttons, but not for complex graphics such as photos.


Also referred to as the Front End of a website designed with the intention of allowing user to interact with a web application without having to enter code.



Hexadecimal numbers or “hex” numbers are a base-16 numbering system used to define colours on Web pages. A hex number is written from 0-9 and then A-F.Hexadecimal numbers are written in three sets of hex pairs. Because screen colours are RGB (Red, Green, Blue), the first pair defines the red hue, the second pair defines the green hue, and the third pair defines the blue.


Heuristics are the rules surrounding usable Web pages. Heuristics are most often considered “rules of thumb” when designing websites because they are so well known and understood.


A hit is actually a request for a single file from your web server. So opening one HTML page which contains 10 images and 1 Flash animation will register as 12 hits.Beware of some SEO Companies trying to mislead by quoting hits to unknowing consumers as the number makes their site sound like it’s getting a whole lot more traffic than it actually is.


The host is the company that provides the web server for your website to be ‘hosted’ on in order for it to be online. Setting up your own hosting server is an option, but that is costly and time-consuming compared to hosting your web site with a third-party host.


A configuration fileon Apache servers using multiplefunctions like redirects, URL rewriting etc.that influences the directory where it is located. Within the .htaccess file things like authorization and authentication, rewriting of URLs, cache control and customized error responses can all be specified.


Stands for Hypertext Markup Language,is 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.


Also referred to as an HTML element, an HTML tag is the bit of code that describes how that particular piece of the web page it’s on is formatted.HTML tags are defined by the characters < and >.


Link from one web page to another, either on the same site or another one which more often than not is text or images, and is highlighted in some way (text is often underlined or put in a different colour or font weight).Web designers should create linking strategies for their websites to make sure that they are linking to the best information for their customers.


On Web pages, hypertext is any text that is “clickable”.Hypertext can also include presentation devices like tables or images, in addition to plain text and links.



An iframe is used to display one or more web pages within another normal web page (one that isn’t a frameset page).


The ICO format is used for image icons, like the favicon (favicon.ico) used in web design.


A single image used in XHTML on a web site where one or more area of the image has been turned into a linkto become a clickable element. This allows Web developers to define only portions of the image as clickable while others are not, or to define specific areas of the image to point to different URLs.


This is used as a metric in web advertising as an indication of the number of times a specific advertisement was viewed.


In CSS, elements that don’t have a pre-defined style will take on the style of their parent element within the document tree.


Also sometimes called text level elements, Elements are found in the text of the HTML document.


A CSS or cascading style sheets style that is written directly on the element it affects instead of in a separate style sheet or header style.



A client-side scripting language used to create dynamic behaviour in HTML documents.


JPG (Joint Photographic Experts Group) format is an image format that is commonly used in web site design. It’s best for images that use gradients or that contains a large number of colours, such as photos.



Referring to messy, unorganized or poorly commented codes when designing a website.


In SEO, the keywords or keyword phrase is the phrase that the SEO specialist is trying to target for search engines by way of determining the common phrases or keywords potential visitors to a site may be looking for. Understanding what keywords users are most likely to use is a crucial component of planning a search engine optimization campaign.



In web marketing, a landing page is a page that is specifically designed to attract visitors and direct them towards the desired action.Any page on a web site is a potential landing page in that the user could follow a link from another site or from a search engine directly to any page within the site.


In web design the layout of a page refers to the way that the different elements on the page are arranged. The position of the logo, navigation bar, page text etc. are all part of the layout of the page.


Link authority is a measure of the effect or power of a link. A link from a high ranking site in your industry will have a lot more value (high link authority).


A stand-alone piece of software to find broken links in a web site and give the user a list or report when broken links are found.


A Link Farm is a web site that contains many external links, where the purpose is to direct a link (and PageRank) to the linked pages. Link Farms are setup specifically to increase the link popularity of other websites by increasing the number of incoming links to that site. While some link farms are single pages listing unrelated links, others consist of networks of sites that contain multiple links back and forth to one another. Linking from your site to a link farm can however be harmful to you as search engines routinely weed link farms out and are believed to penalize sites that link to them.


Link rot describes the phenomenon of links on unmaintained web sites gradually “dying” as their target pages are deleted or moved.


In SEO terms, keywords or key phrases that few people search for, typically very specific key phrases. These can be lucrative as the competition for these key phrases are much lower than for more popular search phrases.


Synonym for dummy text or placeholder text usually seen as part of websites under construction.


Stands for Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP (or sometimes Perl or Python),It is a Web development platform that defines the Operating System (Linux), Web Server (Apache), database (MySQL), and scripting language (PHP, Perl, or Python).


Liquid layouts are layouts that are based on percentages of the current browser window’s size. They flex with the size of the window, even if the current viewer changes their browser size as they’re viewing the site.Liquid layouts take full advantage of a person’s browser width, optimizing the amount of content you can fit onscreen at one time.



A generic term referring to code. In web design, the markup would be the HTML code. This refers to the coding applied to a text document to change it into an HTML, XML, or other Markup Language document.


Similar to a regular blog, but the blog posts are very short, frequent text updates rather than long articles.


Contained within Meta Tags and often used for search engine optimization (SEO), Meta data is the data contained in the header that offers information about the web page that a visitor is currently on. Meta data is usually information that is more useful to programs and scripts than to the customers reading the page. So, meta data is stored in meta tags that are hidden in theof the HTML document.


A mirror is a site that holds a copy of another site’s files. Mirrors are usually set up in an attempt to spread server load over several servers where the site content is very popular.


A meta tag is an HTML tag that contains meta data specific to the web page. The most common meta tags are the meta description and meta keywords tag.They are used to provide additional information about the page either for databases and search engines or for the author of the site to keep a record of the pages.


MAMP is an acronym that stands for Macintosh, Apache, MySQL, and PHP (or Perl or Python), is a Web development platform that defines the Operating System (Linux), Web Server (Apache), database (MySQL), and scripting language (PHP, Perl, or Python).


In HTML, a marquee is a small section of the browser window that displays text that rolls across the screen.


Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions type tells the browser or user agent what type of program various file types and extensions are.


In web design and development this refers to the process of removing unnecessary whitespace and other characters from HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to make them download more quickly.



Navigation refers to the system that allows visitors to a website to move around that site.Nav bar design is an important consideration in web design as it consists of links to the most important pages and sections of the site. A well-structured, well-designed nav bar will considerably increase site usability.


Nesting refers to putting one HTML element within another element. When two tags are opened, they must be closed in the reverse order.


A non-breaking space is a white space character that HTML will not collapse.Its primary function is to hold open table cells or add spacing between words


A named anchor is a link that links to another section on the same page. Named anchors are often used in FAQ pages, where clicking on a question near the top of the page will jump to an answer further down the page.



Open source refers to the source code of a computer program being made available to the general public. Open source software includes both web-based and desktop applications.


In SEO terms, an organic search is a search that generates results that were not paid advertisements.


A web page is said to be built on-the-fly when the page is “constructed” as the user loads it in their browser. Usually this involves dynamic content, where the page is built up of content pulled from a database, depending on the user’s actions.


In SEO terms, optimising a web page commonly refers to the action/process of improving its search engine ranking.



A page view is a request for an entire web page document from a server by a visitor’s browser. A page is loosely defined as all the requests required to build one Web page and can include many hits, as the page is built with CSS, scripts, and images.

Pageviews are a good unit of measure in Web analytics.A single visitor accessing 10 pages on a web site would generate 10 pageviews.


Padding is used in CSS to specify the space/gap between the border of an element and the contents of the element.


Short for permanent Link, this is generally used only on blogs, which is the permanent web address of a given blog post. It allows users bookmark and link to a page where the URL of the containing page might change.Permalinks are usually indicated by a pound-sign (#) or the permalink at the end of the post.


Stealing the source code of a particular web page and re-publishing it somewhere else.


A plug-in is a third party code that extends the capabilities of a website when used in conjunction with a CMS or blogging platform. Plug-ins are a way to extend the functionality of a website without having to redo the core coding of the site.


PageRank is Google’s proprietary measure for link popularity measuring the number and quality of links pointing to a site and uses it as part of its ranking algorithm. The higher the PageRank of a site, the better it performs in search engine results pages


Advertisements usually displayed alongside or above regular or “organic” search listings.


Progressive enhancement is a way of designing web pages so that the more features a user agent supports, the more features the web page will have.

It is the opposite of the design strategy graceful degradation. This uses web technologies in a layered fashion that allows everyone to access the basic content and functionality of a web page, using any browser or Internet connection, while also providing those with better bandwidth or more advanced browser software an enhanced version of the page.


Property is a CSS term and is roughly equivalent to an HTML tag.These are the items that define how the styles should look on the Web page or elsewhere.


PHP (recursive acronym for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor) is a server-side scripting language that is typically embedded into HTML pages to add features that HTML can’t do by itself. In order to run PHP, you need to have a web server with it installed. It’s used extensively in web development to produce dynamic and database driven websites.


CSS selector that selects a portion of another element that would not otherwise be defined by the document tree. In other words, it adds a special effect to certain selectors.


PPC (Pay Per Click) is an advertising model where the advertiser pays only when a user clicks on his or her advertisement.


Like pseudo-elements, pseudo classes are used to add special effects to certain CSS selectorsthat select part of a document based on some characteristic other than the element name, attributes or content.



RSS (Really Simple Syndication) is a variation of XML that allows web site owners to syndicate their content for publication on other web sites.It’s most commonly used on blogs.


A broad term that describes how well a site performs. Most commonly used to refer to search engine ranking,


A redirect occurs when a web page automatically sends users to another web page.his indicates that the page you are looking for has permanently moved to the new location. It’s handy for when you want to change your company domain and want to make sure people who enter your old URL still arrive at your site.


Refers to the physical number of pixels displayed on a screen (such as 1280×1024).


In the context of web design, reach refers to the percentage of the total audience that the site reaches.


Replaced element is any XHTML element where the contents of the element are replaced by something else. The element only defines the location of what is to be displayed and basic dimensions.


A reciprocal link is one from web site A to web site B, in return for a link from B to A. The two web site owners agree to exchange links as both web sites gain a small advantage in search engine rankings.


Used in a web form, a radio button is a selection element. It’s a small circle that the user can click on. Radio buttons are commonly used where there is an either/or option. When multiple options can be selected, checkboxes are more commonly used.


Schema is XML documents that describe other XML documents. These are used in place of a DTD


A small bit or Portion of code that enables web browsers on an HTML page to do something rather than just displaying static results. Scripts are used in web design to create dynamic pages and DHTML. Scripts can be written in a variety of languages, including JavaScript and ActiveX


Link to a page shared on a social networking site.


Also known as Search Engine Marketing, this focuses on ways of marketing a web sites on search engines, including SEO and PPC marketing.


Small advertisements displayed on social media sites which may or may not be clickable to transfer the user to the actual website of the advertiser.


In CSS, the selector is the item a style will be applied to.


A messy and “tangled” code that it is virtually impossible for a human reader to make sense of.


A large dictionary of terms related to search engines and search engine optimization.


A specification is a document that offers an explicit definition and requirements for a web service or technology. Includes how to use the technology, the tags or elements, and any dependencies.


The process of creating or changing web pages to influence their ranking in search engine results.


Semantic markup is XHTML that has been written to define the context of the content enclosed in the markup. Basic semantic markup refers to using items like header and paragraph tags, though semantic markup is also being used to provide much more useful context to web pages in an effort to make the web as a whole more semantic.


A spambot operates much like a spider, predominantly to collect email addresses for spam email campaigns.


HTML code, PHP code, JavaScript code etc. are all that make up a source code of a website allowing it to work. It could also include external files used in the site, such as images, Flash animations etc.


A sitemap is a page within a web site that offers links to all the pages within that web site – or.


Server-side refers to scripts run on a web server. Server-side scripts often take a bit longer to run than a client-side script, as each page must reload when an action is taken.


A blog that would really do more harm than good! A blog of little or no value that could potentially contain stolen contents and ultimately rather than improve rankings of a webpage, causes Google to penalize them.


It’s a program that surfs the Internet, jumping from one page to the next by following links to store all the information it finds. A search engine like Google makes use of spiders to collect information from and about web sites to facilitate its web search.


A black hat SEO technique that relies on search engines indexing multiple pages that are almost identical.


Stands for Simple Object Access Protocol. SOAP is an XML-based protocol to allow you to activate an application or object within an application across the Internet.


A Web site where the content gives users an incentive to revisit often


A fancy introductory page to a web site, usually containing Flash animation.


A markup language used to define and describe the structure of a document and is the basis for both HTML and XML.


A third-level domain that is often used to organize information categories on a web site in the same way as directories.


The SERP is the page that a search engine displays in response to a search by a user.


A staging area where tests can be conducted before a system goes live.


A tag that doesn’t have a required end tag. In XHTML, they are closed with an ending slash in the same tag.



A visual representation of the important tags/words on a particular web page. It helps focus the page content for SEO purposes.


A tag is a set of markup characters that are used around an element to indicate its start and end. These indicate the start or end of an element – but not the element content itself. Tags can also include HTML or other code to specify how that element should look or behave on the page. The information between HTML tags is displayed on the web site.


Top Level Domain- is the most generic portion of a domain name. It is found in the rightmost position of a domain name that goes right at the end, for example “.com” or “.net”.


Tracking is a form of micro whitespace that allows you to control the legibility of text on Web pages.


Refers to the amount of activity and/or the number of users on a web site.



A count of the number of unique users that accessed a site or a page within the site.


Stands for Uniform Resource Locator. A web site address in essence, the item that specifies where on the Internet it can the found.


Web site content that is generated by the people using the site, rather than the owner(s) of the site.


It is the address of a persistent object on the Internet. The name of an object would not change, while the location, or URL.


Process of making a website easy for customers to use. Are navigation, content, images, and any interactive elements easy to use, functioning the way they were intended? The study of usability is critical to e-commerce, where the aim is to make the customer’s path to the order page or sign-up page as clear as possible.



Valid web pages are those that return no errors based on the type of HTML/XHTML specified in the doctype declaration at the beginning of the file. While it is useful for a document to be valid, it is not vital.


The simplest possible version of a program or web site void of any fancy or even dynamic frills.


Vector graphics are fully scalable but rarely used in web design, but are very common (required) in graphic design. They rely on computer algorithms to define paths and shapes.


It’s a type of web site that functions much like a traditional portal, but the content has a much sharper focus.


A tag that does not require a closing tag to be valid HTML.



A single document, generally written in HTML/XHTML and meant to be viewed in a Web browser on the Internet In many cases, web pages also include other coding and programming (such as PHP, Ruby on Rails, or ASP). Web sites are generally built from multiple interlinked web pages.


White space is the empty spaces or lack of graphics or text in the layout in a design used to separate disparate design elements and group similar ones.


A Web server is a computer that is set up with software and networking capabilities to host web sites and deliver Web pages on the Internet.


A document that meets the minimum criteria for XML processors and validators to read the document.


A Web page that has short, frequent updates made to it.


Standards are specifications recommended by the World Wide Web Consortium for standardizing website design. The main purpose of web standards is to make it easier for both designers and those who create web browsers to make sites that will appear consistent across platforms.


A visual representation of a website that allows designers and developers to present proposed functions, graphic elements, structure, and content of a website with simple line drawings.



XHTML (Extensible HTML) is basically HTML 4.0 that has been rewritten to comply with XML rules.


Stands for Extensible Markup Language that is a specification for creating other, custom markup languages.