Website Jargon Explained

Don’t know your URL’s from your wire frames? You are not alone!

Whether you are a growing business, a new start up or an established business who wants a design upgrade; commissioning a new website design can feel like a confusing maze. One of the things that bamboozles people most, is the jargon used in the industry. You can soon become overwhelmed by all the web design speak, so here’s a short list of the most common terms and what they mean. That is why we have put together this brief guide to website jargon:

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Commissioning a website can be terribly frustrating!

Website Jargon Explained


This is how your website is viewed by other people and the coding put in place to make it available to as wide an audience as possible. In the context of website design this normally focuses on those with some form of impairment such as hearing or sight difficulties.


This is a link that works internally. It’s often used to move a visitor down a page quickly, from something like a top menu. You will notice a number of bold words in this article that link you to other places on the page that cover that particular topic. That is an anchor.

Back End:

Otherwise known as the dashboard, this is where you can login to access the CMS.


Derived from the term web log, a blog is a chronicle of articles and information usually written in an informal manner. Displayed in reverse chronological order… this is a blog article.


The breadcrumb is the small text that shows the trail you have followed to get to your current location on the website. Usually used in sites with a lot of content like shops and technical pages. A breadcrumb can look like this example, note the blue words are links back the way you have clicked through.

Website Jargon Explained

Broken Link:

A website is a series of files that all link to each other including media and features. You have internal links which points within your website and external links which point to another website. Both of these are fairly important for SEO and user navigation. A broken link is where the previously linked to page cannot be found. Search engines like Google like to see clean sites without broken links.


A browser is the programme you use to surf the internet. I tend to use Google Chrome, but you may use internet explorer, safari or fire fox.


Pronounced ‘cash’ this simply means the view of the page that has been saved by your web browser to enable faster loading time. When your developer updates a part of your site and it still looks the same to you, they will ask you to clear your cache. Most will tell you how to do this, however if in doubt type into your search engine ‘how to clear cache in ….’ add your browser to the last part to find detailed instructions of how to clear your cache.


Content Management System is used to manage the content of a website. WordPress is the CMS used for our website. Using a CMS eliminates the need for hand coding. Most websites are built using a CMS.

CSS (Cascading Style Sheet):

The coding that defines the look and feel of your web page. You will have a different CSS for each page that has a different design. A large site may have several ones depending on the requirements.

Domain Name:

Is the name of your site, for instance our domain name is you can find out more about the different domain extensions available in our handy domain extension guide


The term used for the ability to buy or sell goods or services online. With regards to commissioning a website, do you need a shop function? That is eCommerce.


This is the tiny icon on your browser tab next to the site name.

Fixed Width Layout:

This is a section of a web page that stays the same size no matter what browser is being used. It gives the designer more control if they are designing a site for a specific environment.


The fold is the area of a web page that appears without the need to scroll down the page. This area is important as it is the ‘first impression’ visitors get of your site


This is the code that is largely used to build your website and the latest version, HTML5, is beginning to take over from add-ons such as Flash mainly because it can provide a uniform look and feel across all devices including smartphones.


The server space where all your website files are hosted to, ready to be accessed by your visitors. The most common hosting options are shared hosting, hosting on a VPS (Virtual Private Server), Cloud hosting or Dedicated hosting. To understand the differences visit this enlightening hosting article from Pixel Parlour.

IP Address:

This defines the location of your website, IP stands for Internet Protocol and is a numerical label. You can find out more about IP Addresses through this great Wikipedia article.


A keyword is a word or series of words that potential customers will enter into a search engine to find your products or services.

Landing Page:

A landing page is the page a visitor first enters your website. It is common practice to have a different landing page for different marketing campaigns.

Liquid Layout:

Rather than having a set size, liquid layout allows designers to create pages that reduce depending on the dimensions of the browser and device being used.

Lorem Ipsum:

If you look at your website design before your content has been added, you will see text markers such as Latin content which starts: lorem ipsum which just define a particular place holder so the designer can see how the site looks with text added.

Meta Description:

This is information that appears outside of the main text of a web page but which is important for defining the content of the page. When you search for a particular subject on Google, the meta description is the information you see presented in the search results.

Meta Tags:

Once used and unfortunately abused to indicate to search engines what your website is about, meta tags are snippets of text that describes a pages content.

Mobile Optimised:

Historically websites were viewed on PC’s and whilst screen sizes change the system requirements tend to remain the same. With the increased popularity and functionality of mobile devices more and more people use the internet through their phones or tablets. Mobile optimised simply means the developer has ensured the user is able to access and use your website on mobile devices.


A coding language that enables designers to create more dynamic sites which are run through databases.


A plugin or App adds additional programming to the original software used to build your site. This might be a specific format for a contact form or a feature addition like an image slider.


RSS stands for really simple syndication. Most commonly used on a blog, it allows content to be syndicated from one site to another and can also allow visitors to subscribe to a blog and receive updates via a feed reader.


Stands for search engine optimisation. Search engines like Google list sites in order of how relative they are to the word or words (see keywords above) used to search the internet. The more relevant the website is deemed to be the higher up the list they appear. Developers should optimise the website, each page, post and product for different keywords in order to assist in these search engine natural rankings.


A page on your website that lists all the content and gives search engines instructions about what they should investigate. There are two versions of a sitemap, one that is accessible by the site users, usually only used for larger and complex sites, there is no need for a user sitemap if you have only 6 pages. The other type is accessed and used by search engines to assist it to navigate through your website. Every site should have this kind of sitemap.


A subdomain is referred to as a third level domain. Contained within the main domain it allows you to create a new site within your domain. For example would be a subdomain of


It stands for Uniform Resource Locater and is the full address you see in your bar at the top of the page, this changes depending on what page, post or product you are on within the site.


This is the design process of ensuring that people can navigate your site easily. It includes making sure that links are in the right place and are clearly defined.

Wire Frame:

This is the graph or map of what your new website will be including the pages, features, functionality etc. This is used at the proposal stage so the developer can ensure he/she has understood the website brief and you as the customer have in writing all that will be provided for the price quoted.

Web design is a very technical industry, however, it is the job of your web designer to ensure you as the customer fully understand the whole process and that includes, where necessary utilising clear language. Every industry has its fair share of jargon hopefully this article has a gone a small way to explain some of the most common website terms.

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