Common Terms You Should Learn Before Hiring for Web Design

Web designers often throw around terms with their clients expecting them to know what they’re talking about and to be honest I’ve caught myself doing this many times.

The following glossary of web design terms will prepare you for your next meeting with your web developer.

Get to know them well and you’ll be able to decipher their geek speak, show that you know your web jargon, ask the right questions and know if they are covering important aspects in the web project.

301 Redirect – This is simply an entry added to a website which redirects one page to another. If you are revamping your website you may want to implement 301 redirects if web addresses have been changed so you can point the old website page to a new one.

404 Page – This is a page that is displayed when a visitor is trying to reach a page that no longer exists. Typically you’ll see the words “Page not found” displayed.

Accessibility – Refers to the design of a website so that i can be accessible on different devices or browsers.

API – This stands for Application Program Interface. An API is used when one system needs to communicate with another. Examples of API’s can include payment gateways for ecommerce websites or connecting your website to a newsletter software.

Frontend vs Backend – The front end is what the user sees when they visit a website. The backend refers to what goes on behind the scenes of a website such as website code or an administrative dashboard.

Bounce Rate – This is the percentage of visitors who leave a site after visiting only 1 page. A low bounce rate is a good indicator that users are staying on your website. This is an important factor as it can affect search rankings and user experience.

Conversions – When a visitor takes action on a website such as filling out a form, subscribing to a newsletter or making a purchase on an ecommerce website. In short, this measures the goals of your website.

Cache – Is a temporary storage which can take place in your browser or on the server which saves elements of a web page such as images, information and scripts. Caching can improve website performance since website elements don’t need to be downloaded every time you access the website.

Call-to-Action or CTA – Refers to text or an element on a page that urges users to take a specific action on a website. Common CTA’s can include “Buy Now”, “Contact Us” or “Join our Newsletter.

Content Delivery Network or CDN – Refers to geographically distributed high-performance servers which store elements from a website so in order to improve site performance.

Content Management Sysmtem (CMS) – A server software which is used to manage content on a website. Popular CMS’s include WordPress, Joomla and Drupal.

CPanel – This is a graphical user interface which allows a simplified management of web hosting. Through CPanel you can perform functions including email account creation, access website files and database management.

Domain – This refers to a website address or main URL. IE nextoronto.com.

Domain Name System or DNS – This is what translates domain names to IP addresses. Configuring the DNS of a website simply refers to pointing a domain to a server so that when visited it pulls up a website.

File Transfer Protocol or FTP – This is a client or software that is installed on your desktop and used to transfer files from your computer to a server.

Google Analytics – This is a web analytics software provided by Google which tracks and reports website traffic and behaviour.

Google Search Console – This is another service provided by Google which allows site owners to monitor, maintain and troubleshoot your websites presence in the Google search engine. This is important as it lets Google understand your website.

Hero Image – This refers to a large web banner or image that is found at the top of a web page. A hero image can also display special content to a visitor such as product deals on an ecommerce website.

HTML/CSS/JavaScript/PHP – These are common languages often used on websites.

Page Speed – This refers to the amount of time it takes to load a web page.

Plugin – This is a piece of software which can be installed into WordPress in order to add or extend new functionality on a website.

Propagation – This is a term used to describe the amount of time it takes for a domain to point to a new server. Typically the propagation period if 48 hours.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – This is the practice of improving a websites likelihood to be found in search results. This can help search engines understand your website in order to rank it.

Registrar – This is the company used to register a domain name.

Responsive Design – This allows website to adjust to different screen sizes and devices so that a website can be viewed properly on smartphones, tables or desktops.

Search Engine Results Page (SERPS) – are the results displayed by search engines in response to a keyword query.

Server – A server is the hardware or computer which stores server software and website files.

Sitemap – A sitemap is a web page that lists all pages within a website.

Slider – This is a component fo a website which displays a slideshow of images and text, which are often times placed in the header of a website to display promotions with a call-to-action.

Secured Socket Layer (SSL) – This is a security technology that is used to encrypt data that is passed from the browser/website to the server.

Sub Page (or inner page) – These are simply pages on your website that aren’t the home page.

Theme – This is a collection of templates and stylesheets used to define the appearance of a website. Premium themes typically have their own options in the dashboard that control the site appearance and extend functionality.

URL – This is the full web address of a web page.

Web Hosting – This is a service used to allow individuals or businesses to make their website live to the world wide web.

WordPress – Is the most popular content management system in the world that allows site owners to manage content on their website through a secured dashboard.