Web design, like every niche occupation in the world, comes with a series of words that are specifically related to the field. If you are looking at your first design, hoping to redesign your website, or are working to join the ranks of the top web designers, you will do well to learn and understand these terms.
Here is our list of the top terms and definitions you should know if you own or want to have a website.
Let’s start with actually defining Web Design and Web Development – they are not the same thing.
Web Design and Development
Web design looks at the aesthetic appeal to the website that is built. Web designers spend most of their time in design applications like Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and Dreamweaver to make sure that the website looks its best once it is developed.
Web Development builds the functions and structure behind the design of the website. Developers put their focus and efforts into writing code to make the website flow and function the way it is supposed to.
One of the more common website types, blogs are designed for the purpose of communicating written content through the website. The best bloggers use their writing skills to entertain, educate, and inform their audience.
Content Management System
A Content Management System, or CMS, supports building new posts and pages. Common content management systems are WordPress and Joomla. Learn more about content management systems.
The domain name is the unique identifier assigned to a website. Learn more about domain names.
Ecommerce is another type of a website for a company that focusses less on communicating information. Rather, it focusses on the sale of products and services. Learn more about Ecommerce Websites.
Frontend and Backend
The front end of a website is, simply put, what the user sees. Once the content has been created and designed on the back end of the website, the front end translates the code, text, and images, to act as a canvas for users to see the final product.
The back end of a website refers to the location where the website’s content is produced and design changes are made. These changes can be made by either editing the code documents or through a Content Management System. Visitors to the website cannot see this area for your website.
While there are several data analysis tools available, Google Analytics is worth calling out specifically because of its popularity. If you want to see just how well your website is performing in terms of how much traffic you have along with the demographics and behavior of that traffic, you will find Google Analytics a useful tool.
A hosting service provider stores all of the data for your website. Learn more about Website Hosting.
A landing page is a single page built into a website that gives general information about a specific product, service, or business practice. The benefit of a landing page is that they can be used to communicate significant content without forcing the user to navigate through multiple pages on the website.
Links and Backlinks
A link is the name of a specific word or usually short text (called anchor text), or an image that directs users to a new location when clicked. Links traditionally appeared as blue, underlined text. They can transport users to new websites or web pages, or can initiate a file download.
Backlinks are links, placed on other websites, pointing to your website. Their function is to create a path back to your website and bring visitors back to your pages. Backlinks are commonly used in blog articles and images. These are incredibly valuable for Search Engine Optimization.
Plug-ins are small programs to perform a specific function within the website. These could be calendars, contact forms, photo sliders, and so much more. Plug-ins are very commonly used with content management systems such as WordPress.
We can redirect a visitor automatically from one page URL to another. For example, if you got a new website, you want your visitors who still going to your old pages to arrive to your new website pages seamlessly. This is when a permanent redirect is helpful. The other term we use for this is 301 Redirect or Permanent Redirect.
Responsive web design
Every website needs to work flawlessly on huge monitors and on tiny cell phone screens as well. We need to adjust the text size, image size, arrangement of element and many other things to be able to do this. The result is that the screen adapts to the size of the visitor’s device.
Search Engine Optimization
Despite the name, we do not optimize any search engine but we optimize the website for the search engines. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an activity that improves search engine rankings of a website. When a search page lists the pages, it considers how relevant and authoritative that website is. Relevancy can be improved by adding lots of high quality content to the site, and authority can be increased by placing lots of backlinks on other websites. It sounds simple, but this is a very deep subject. There are dozens of different techniques need to be implemented to make the search engine optimization efforts successful.
A site map acts as a layout, or guide, of every page and post on your website. The site map is important for SEO development as it lays out the information about the website for search engine crawlers. Site maps are usually laid out in documents or a single page of links organized through the hierarchy of the website.
Website Template and Theme
Themes, or templates, are frequently used with a CMS to build a wireframe for a web design. Themes will commonly have built-in functionality and are pre-designed to fit generic needs.
A URL is the address of web pages stored on the internet. When we type a URL into the address bar the browser will navigate us to that website.
Any other terms you want to read about?