Jargon is rubbish, isn’t it? Website jargon can be as confusing as any other kind! I really appreciate it when more knowledgeable people break down a subject into layman’s terms, and there are few things that annoy me more than when people use unnecessary technical terms in order to sound like more of an expert than they may already be.
So, I thought I’d provide a breakdown of some of the more common web design terms.
Web accessibility standards mean that people with disabilities can access the web, but ultimately an accessible website is usable by anyone. For websites this comes in many forms, including alt tags on your images for blind users and responsive design to name just two.
The backend is the side of your website that your visitors don’t see. It’s where all the data is stored and organised. Your webpages are displayed as a result of conversations between the backend and frontend of your website.
You probably use a browser every day, but you might not know it by this name. A browser is what you view any website on. I.e. Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox… and even Microsoft Edge, but please don’t use that, it’s truly rubbish.
CMS – Content Management System
A Content Management System is the system that manages all of your website’s content… obviously! More specifically, it is software that allows you to create, modify and manage content on your website without specific technical knowledge. I use WordPress as the CMS to create my websites.
Stands for Cascading Style Sheets, and is therefore responsible for how your website is styled. CSS determines the page layouts, colours, fonts etc of your website.
A domain, also known as a url, is the name or address of any website – e.g. smarrswebdesign.co.uk
Dynamic content is a component of web page or email that changes depending on data including the time, user and location.
Elementor is the most popular WordPress page builder plugin. Elementor allows you to create complex, responsive websites using a structure of sections and columns, and a variety of widgets to design to design your web pages live on the frontend of your site.
The small version of a company’s logo that appears in a browser address bar.
Basically, the frontend of your website is what visitors see when they view your website on their chosen browser.
Web hosting is where the files of your website live. Web hosting companies provide space on their servers to store your websites files, this is effectively space on the world wide web that you rent. Siteground and Hostinger are two hosting companies that are highly recommended.
HTML is the language used to create web designs, allowing you to create and structure sections, paragraphs, headings, links etc for webpages and other applications. If your website was a house, HTML would be the foundations.
Keywords, or SEO Keywords, are the keywords and phrases within the content of your website that make it possible to be found on search engines. Keywords are only one part of good SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) for your website.
Clear, well thought out navigation allows your site visitors to easily find their way around your site. This can have a massive impact on conversions, sales and bounce rates. For me navigation starts with pen and paper and a structured site plan.
A Plugin is something that adds functionality, or extends functionality to your website. This can be small amends or massive changes – right up to making your website a fully-functioning e-commerce site.
Responsive Web Design
Responsive web design creates changes to the appearance of a website depending on the screen size and orientation of the device that is being used to view it. My websites are designed with desktops, tablets and mobile phones in mind.
SEO – Search Engine Optimisation
SEO is the practice of increasing the quality and quantity of traffic to your website through organic search engine results.
Websites with SSL are protected from various security threats including phishing scams, data breaches and other threats. Without SSL protection your site visitors and customers are at higher risk of having their data stolen.
Static content stays the same unless you specifically change it.
A Theme is a collection of files that customise the appearance of your website including the layout, and design elements such as typography and colours – generally though a collection of page templates. The Theme I normally use called Hello, and is designed to be as basic and light as possible in order to take advantage of the design capabilities of Elementor, without slowing down your website.
Typography is the use of type in design. The choice of font, colour, size and alignment can be used to provide meaning to a design or a hierarchy of content on a page. When starting your website you will save a lot of time, and create consistency across your site by creating specific settings for size and spacing of your body text and headings.
If you’re looking to start a website then my Website Essentials blog post should be of interest to you.