Every field has its own jargon. Web design and development have particularly daunting buzzwords that make it difficult for people outside the circle to keep up with conversations. Every day, new technology is being produced that makes the list even longer.
While it would be difficult to know all the terms used by professionals, it’s helpful to learn the basics even just as a regular web user.
From 404 error to WYSIWYG, we’ve listed and defined 45 web design and development terms everyone should know.
1. 404 Error
An error message sent by the webserver when the requested page is not available. This happens when a page is deleted, moved to a different domain, or does not exist. Other reasons for a 404 error are incorrectly typed URLs, a faulty server, or a problem with the DNS (domain name system).
2. 301 Redirect
301 redirect is an instruction used to lead users and search engines to an updated URL. Out of all the types of redirects, this is the best method for SEO because it permanently moves everything to the new link including the ranking authority of your old URL.
3. A/B Testing
A process wherein you show different versions of the same web page to your visitors to determine which variant performs better. A/B testing identifies consumer pain points, boosts ROI, and minimizes bounce rates. It is also called split testing.
API stands for Application Programming Interface. It’s software that acts as a middleman between two applications, allowing them to communicate. An API delivers user requests to the server and sends the response back to the client.
Attributes define the characteristics of an HTML element, determining its behavior. One HTML element can have multiple attributes.
6. Backend Development
Backend development is concerned with programming how a website works and rendering pages on the server-side. Backend developers are also responsible for creating cloud services, file servers, databases, and more.
7. Bounce Rate
A bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who exit a website after viewing only one page without triggering other requests (single-page sessions). It is given by diving the number of single-page sessions by the total sessions garnered by the website.
A cache is a temporary storage location that helps websites and apps load faster. Instead of redownloading everything from scratch every visit, websites can retrieve data from a cache, minimizing the load on the client and the server.
CTAs (calls to action) are short statements used to entice visitors to move further along the sales funnel. They usually start with verbs like Subscribe, Buy, Order, Download, and others to prompt an immediate response.
Short for content management system, a CMS is software that allows website owners to create, publish, and manage web content without in-depth programming knowledge. WordPress is an example of a CMS.
Cookies are pieces of data that allow websites to save your information to provide personalized experiences and smooth session management. They are also used for tracking and authentication.
CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) is a rule-based language that defines page layout, colors, fonts, and other elements related to website aesthetics. A single style sheet may be referenced by multiple web pages so that modifications are done efficiently.
13. Domain Name
A domain name is comprised of the website’s name and top-level domain (i.e., .com, .net, .org, etc). It serves as an address inputted by users on their browser to head to a website.
A 16×16 pixel icon found in bookmarks, tabs, toolbar apps, and web history results. Favicons help users locate a particular website when multiple tabs are open.
Fields are elements in a website’s user interface that allows users to input data. Search boxes, comments thread, and login forms are examples of fields.
A set of tools and resources in developing websites, web applications, APIs, and others. Frameworks are designed to help designers get the job done faster and smarter.
17. Frontend Development
The field in web development focused on the client-side of the website. Using the code built by backend developers, frontend developers create a graphical interface that is visually pleasing and user-friendly.
GUI (Graphical User Interface) features visual widgets as a means to interact with a software or app. Rather than requiring users to input commands manually (as in text-based interfaces), GUIs present a more intuitive way to navigate through a website.
19. HEX Code
The hexadecimal format of defining colors. HEX codes give three values: the amounts of red, green, and blue of the color selected in that order.
HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) is the backbone of web pages and their content. Web developers code HTML into a text file to define the structure of a website. The HTML file is then read and rendered by a web browser.
HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) is a protocol that employs data encryption and authentication to ensure the safe exchange of data between clients and servers. HTTPS is critical for all websites as it is a ranking factor for Google Search.
Indexing is a process done by search engines to quickly pull up relevant content in response to user queries. It involves organizing, ranking, and storing information in a massive database.
23. Information Architecture
The goal of information architecture is to structure content in a way that matches the needs of its end-users and the purpose of the website. UX and UI designers are responsible for developing good information architecture.
25. Landing Page
A landing page is a custom web page that welcomes visitors after clicking an email or ad. It is designed to encourage leads to explore the website or proceed with a transaction.
26. Lazy Loading
A website optimization technique that delays the loading of images and videos that are not visible on the viewport to save bandwidth. Lazy loading is implemented to improve site speed.
27. Lossy/Lossless Compression
Lossless compression is a file size compression technique that preserves the quality of images after manipulation. Meanwhile, lossy compression suffers blows to image quality as it permanently removes data.
28. Meta Tag
Meta tags are concise descriptions of web page content. They are vital to SEO because they help search engines understand what’s in your web pages by providing additional information.
Website navigation refers to all the components of a website that aid users in going from one web page to another. Good website navigation allows visitors to explore a website effortlessly through intuitive and responsive design.
PPI (Pixels per Inch) measures the resolution of a digital image by the number of pixels displayed on a screen.
Plugins are small programs that allow websites and web apps to perform additional functions and features. They are convenient solutions because they don’t add much weight to the original software and often don’t require you to manipulate your original code.
Website propagation comes after uploading content to servers. It is the process of spreading information across the web to make it visible to all users.
A characteristic of an object or display element that defines how such components must appear or be structured.
34. Responsive Design
Responsive web design is a practice that caters to user behavior and, screen size, and gadget resolution and orientation. Responsive websites and apps have flexible grids that adjust their layout based on said considerations.
35. Search Engine
A search engine is a special website that takes user requests and serves a list of other websites that has the answer to the sent query. Search engines rank pages based on relevance, user experience, site speed, security, and others.
SEO is short for search engine optimization. Web developers, designers, and marketers work together to improve website visibility and ranking using varying techniques.
A web server is composed of the hardware and software that stores all of the website’s components and dictates how these resources are accessed by users.
38. Site Speed
A ranking factor that measures page-load time, execution speed, and parsing speed. Site speed tells you how fast your page loads and how long it takes before users can interact with it.
A sitemap is a file used by search engines to quickly find pages on your website. It is essentially the blueprint of your entire site.
A slideshow of photos on a web page. You can create a slider using a plugin and set it to move automatically without user interaction.
41. Static Layout
Static pages have a fixed layout, meaning their structure doesn’t change in response to different browser widths or screen dimensions.
SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) is a graphics file type that is optimized for web use. It is used for two-dimensional, non-photographic imagery. SVG supports lossless compression and transparency.
UI pertains to the user interface, which is what users interact with to control a computer or software. On a website or app, the user interface includes both navigational components, input controls, and informational components.
44. UX Design
UX design is a multidisciplinary field that aims to deliver smooth experiences for end-users. UX designers ensure that all touchpoints on a website are easy to use, relevant, and elicit positive emotions.
The acronym for “what you see is what you get”. An interface within a CMS that gives a quick view of what a page will look like before publishing content.
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