Website Terminology: Web terms for Beginners. Part 1

Mar 12, 2016
Website Terminology: Web terms for Beginners. Part 1

Imagine that you want to create a new website or simply redesign the old one. You already have a nice picture in your head how would you want your website to look, and you contact a web development company. Now, it’s time to explain everything to a web developer or designer. But how will you do it if you have no idea how to communicate in web-speak? To help you function in this brand new environment you should be acquainted with a glossary of website terminology, and over time, you will definitely start to feel more comfortable with website terms.

Let’s Move to Website Terminology

Here are some specialized terms for all sorts of website aspects. It can be useful for someone just getting started in IT as well as for someone looking to have a site created.

Backlinks are links from other website pages to yours. Backlinks are used to increase a site’s popularity with search engines and to get more people to visit your site.

Bandwidth is the amount of information your connection to the Internet can carry, usually measured in bits per second.

Backup offers protection in the case of a web site, server, or software problem. With website backup, your website files are safe from most errors.

Cache is a space on your computer where web pages that you have visited have been stored, allowing quick access when you return to those pages.

Cookie is a piece of data sent from a website and stored in the user's web browser while the user is browsing.

Compression makes files smaller for faster upload or download times, and less disk space usage.

CMS (Content Management System) is a computer application that allows publishing, editing, modifying, organizing, deleting, and maintaining content from a central interface, without the need for HTML knowledge.

DNS (Domain Name System) translates URL text addresses that we use (like into a numeric Internet address.

E-commerce (electronic commerce) is the buying and selling of goods and services, and the transfer of funds, through digital communications.

Error 404 is an HTTP standard response code indicating that the client was able to communicate with a given server, but the server could not find what was requested.

Favicon (website icon or tab icon) is the little image that appears in the browser window next to your URL, or in next to the meta-title if you're using tabs.

Fold is the line past which someone has to scroll to see more content. Everything that shows up when a page first loads is "above the fold" and "below-" or "after the fold" refers to the content further down the page.

Form is a document form used on a web page to, typically, submit user data to a server. It defines and labels text-entry boxes, checkboxes, radio buttons or drop-down menus to create simple ways for someone to collect information from users directly on the site.

FTP (File Transfer Protocol) is a standard network protocol used to transfer computer files between a client and server on a computer network.

Hexadecimal is a numbering system which uses a base of 16. The first ten digits are 0-9 and the next six are A-F. Hexadecimal numbers are used to determine (and standardize) colors on the web. For instance, the hexadecimal equivalent for the color white is #FFFFFF, while black is #000000.

Hosting is a type of Internet service that allows individuals and various organizations to make their webpage accessible via the World Wide Web. If you want to pick the best hosting for your Drupal site, we encourage you to read the article “How to Choose the Best Drupal Hosting”.

HTML (HyperText Markup Language) is the standard markup language used to create web pages.

Image map is a list of coordinates related to an image, so that clicking certain areas of the image takes the user to different pages. With a normal image link, the entire image would link to one single page.

ISP (Internet Service Provider) is an organization that provides services for accessing, using, the Internet.

JavaScript is a dynamic, оbject-oriented programming language. JavaScript makes web pages more animated and dynamic in terms of graphics and navigation. Some of the most common graphic JavaScript effects are mouseovers, rotating sliders, and Javascript navigation, commonly created using drop-down menus.

JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group) is a commonly used method of lossy compression for digital images, particularly for those images produced by digital photography. It means you can make them smaller (though at the cost of clarity).

Masthead is an identifier at the top of a webpage, which is typically a graphic image with navigation links. Mastheads can contain photos, text, or image maps.

Metadata is data providing information about one or more aspects of the data, such as: means of creation of the data, purpose of the data, time and date of creation, creator or author of data. 
Mouseover is a graphical control element that is activated when the user places a cursor over a button.The actions can be anything from a simple change in color to an intricate animation.

Navigation is the process by which users accesses information on the Internet. It usually refers to menus, links, icons and buttons on your site, along with where they are and where they take a use.


Phew… this all might be overwhelming for you, but it’s only a tiny bit of information developers carry in their heads! You will probably encounter many of these terms, and we hope our small vocabulary will give you a handle on web-speak. Drudesk will share the next part of “Website Terminology and Website Definitions” article soon so you can become an expert in this sphere, so follow our updates!

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