A Helpful Web Design Glossary

Whether you’re a designer or someone who just wants to understand their website a little more, there are times you may come across a web design term and have no idea what it means. That’s why our digital marketing agency put together this great little glossary of commonly used words in the web design world:

A

Above the Fold: The part of the web page that is visible on-screen before the user scrolls down.

Analogous Colors: Colors that are directly next to each other on the color wheel. For example: red, red-orange, and orange or blue-green, blue, and purple.

Alt Tag: Otherwise known as an “alt attribute,” an alt tag is simply the text that appears where an image is as the image is downloading.

B

B2B/B2C: A B2B website is one that focuses on selling to other businesses (business to business) while a B2C website focuses on selling to customers (business to customer).

Backend: The code, HTML markup, files and server processes that make the website work.

Breadcrumbs: The navigational path within the website from the homepage to the current page. For example: “Home > Solutions > Social Media”

C

Cloaking: A frowned upon technique where a website shows different content to different users, depending on their IP address.

Content Management System: Otherwise known as CMS, this program gives users a way to edit their website within a browser without having to know HTML.

CSS: Otherwise known as a Cascading Style Sheet, it is a language that determines how the elements of a website look on the page.

D

Dithering: Creating new colors from ones that already exist in an image by interspersing pixels.

Domain Name: A website’s address. For example: pragermicrosystems.com.

E

End User: The person for whom a website is built.

Entry Page: The first page a visitor sees when entering a website. (It doesn’t always have to be the home page.)

F

Favicon: A small icon image (usually a logo) that is associated with a specific website. You’ll see this image in the title bar of the browser.

Frontend: The visual part of a website as opposed to its build elements.

Function: A section of code that can be summoned from another section of code or another page so that the designer doesn’t have to keep repeating it.

G

Ghost Site: A website that is still on the Internet, but isn’t maintained or updated.

Graphics: Another word for images on a website.

H

Host: The company that provides a web server in order for a website to be visible.

HTML: A language used by designers to construct web pages.

HEX Code: A code used in HTML and CSS that refers to a specific color. It usually appears after the pound (#) sign.

I

Image Map: An image on a website that features one or more areas (instead of the entire area) as a link.

Index Page: The page that is served if no page is specified. This page is usually the home page.

IP Address: A series of numbers in blocks that defines a computer connected to the Internet. For example: 231.645.3.76.

K

Kerning: Used in logo design, kerning refers to the gaps between letters. For example: the space between the “n” and the “o” in “no.”

l

Layout: Refers to the way that different elements on a page are arranged and organized.

Lorem Ipsum: A synonym for dummy or placeholder text. It contains scrambled Latin words and begins with “lorem ipsum.”

M

Malware: Malicious software that is designed to infect a system and steal or destroy data.

Markup: Another term for code. (In web design, markup is HTML.)

Mirror Site: A website that holds copies of another website’s files that are usually spread across more than one server to give visitors the fastest download.

N

Named Anchor: A link that links to another area on the same web page. These are often used in FAQs.

Not Found: Usually accompanied with “404 Error,” this means that the page typed into the URL doesn’t exist.

O

Orphan: An opening line, word, or short line that appears alone at the end of a page or paragraph.

P

Padding: A term that specifies the space between the border of an element and the element itself.

Pixels: Tiny dots that make up the images you see on a computer screen.

R

Radio Button: A small circle that when selected, turns black. These buttons are usually used in a multiple choice question when there is only one answer.

Ranking: How well a website performs. Rankings usually refer to where on a search engine results page the website is.

Resolution: The number of dots or pixels displayed per inch (DPI) on a computer monitor.

S

Saturation: How bright or bold a color is.

Sitemap: A web page that lists all of the links within that website.

T

Template: A website that can be bought or downloaded and modified instead of one created from scratch.

Text Link: A hyperlink that has text only. These are usually used in advertising.

Thumbnail: A smaller version of a larger image. These are usually used in photo galleries and expand when clicked on.

V

Vanilla: The simplest version of a website or program.

Visit: When one person accesses a website, regardless of how many pages they clicked on or how long they stayed there.

W

White Space: The unused space between the elements on a website. Also called negative space.

Widow: The text at the end of a paragraph that spills onto the next page or column.

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