The Secret Web Design Jargon Revealed

Have you every approached a web design company only to get an earful of meaningless jargon and buzz words?

Sometimes web developers can find it difficult to explain the technical aspects of a website development project and result to jargon and buzz words that only make sense to other developers, not small businesses.

Here is our easy definition guide to those secret web design buzz words that other web design agencies don’t want you know.

  • Static Website – A website that does not get updated regularly.  Any updates must be done by a web designer or web developer.
  • Dynamic Website – A website that uses a Content Management System to store content in a database and that can be easily changed and updated by a website owner.
  • HTML = Hyper Text Markup Language – The programming “language” code that web pages are created from.
  • CSS = Cascading Style Sheet – Applies formatting such as layout, colours and font sizes to an HTML page.
  • CMS = Content Management System – A web application that allows you to easily update the content of your website without going back to a web developer.  Content is usually stored in a database and served to the web browser upon demand.
  • Traffic = The number of people visiting your website.
  • SERP = Search Engine Results Page – The listings of web pages returned by a search engine after you have searched for a keyword or key phrase.
  • SEO = Search Engine Optimsation – Getting your website to rank higher on Google, Yahoo!, Bing and other search engines.
  • SEM = Search Engine Marketing – Using paid adverts like Google Adwords to drive more people to your website.
  • PPC = Pay Per Click – An online advert where you pay a small price to the advertiser every time a person clicks or sees the advert. This is part of SEM.
  • SMM = Social Media Marketing – Using social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube to connect with customers and boost website traffic.
  • CRO = Conversion Rate Optimsation – Increasing the number of website visitors that complete (convert) a website goal such as subscribing to a mailing list or buying a product.
  • Front End – Your website as it appears to visitors.
  • Back End / Admin Dashboard – The content management system interface to your website.
  • PSD = Photo Shop Document – A file containing your website design in graphical layers as produced by a web designer using the Adobe Photoshop application.
  • PDFPortable Document Format – A published document file containing text and images that cannot be changed without its source file.
  • JPG / JPEG = Joint Photographic Experts Group – Often pronounced “Jay Peg”.  A popular web graphics file format that uses compression to reduce file size at the expense of quality.
  • GIF = Graphics Interchange Format – A popular web graphics file format that supports compression, transparency and animation.
  • PNG = Portable Network Graphics – Often pronounced “Ping”.  A newer web graphics file format that supports better compression, transparency and animation.
  • FTP = File Transfer Protocol – A method of uploading and downloading files from a server on the Internet.
  • Meta Tags – Part of the HTML code of a web page and were used in the 90’s by search engines to categorise web page content.  The most import tags at the time were  Keywords, Title and Description.
  • Meta Keywords – List of keywords used to indicate what your web page is about.  Used in SEO but no longer being used by Google to categorise web page content.
  • Meta Title – Used in SEO to give our web page a title.  It is not clear how important this is for search engine rankings.
  • Meta Description – Used in SEO to give a short description of your web page.  Google uses this to display a summary of your web page, underneath the title, in the search engine results page.
  • Analytics – The Google Analytics application.  It allows you to track website statistics such as number and country of visitors, search keywords used, top content etc.
  • Sitemap – An index of all the pages that make up your website.  Can be used visually and submitted to search engines.
  • Fixed Layout – Your website has a fixed width.  Resizing the browser makes no difference to the width or content inside your website.
  • Fluid Layout – Your website has a relative width usually measured in percentages.  As the web browser is re-sized, so is the width of your web page.  The content will adjust to the new size.
  • Brochureware Site – A one or two page web site usually built for a marketing campaign.
  • Nav / Navigation – The menu system used by your website.  Most web sites have at least one primary navigation menu and several secondary or sub menus.
  • Breadcumbs – A trail of where you are in the hierarchy of your website e.g. Home ► Blog ► Web Design ► Secrets
  • Hosting / Hosting Plan – The rented space on on Internet server where your website files live.

If you found this useful, or perhaps we missed something out, leave a comment below.

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Wil is a dad, WordPress consultant, WordPress developer, business coach and mentor. He co-organizes the WordPress Sydney meetup group and has been on the organising committee for WordCamp Sydney since 2014. He speaks at many special events and contributes to the WordPress open source project. His likes are chillies, craft beer and electrogravitics.