Web Design Glossary

Web Design Glossary

After asking a couple of questions about ‘CMS’ and ‘brochure’ websites on Twitter recently we had a few responses from people not knowing what either was and so we thought it might be useful if we listed a glossary of standard web design-related words/phrases in laymen’s terms.

Above/Below the fold

‘The fold’ is the area on a web page from which a user is required to scroll down to see more content. Above the fold is the portion of a web page that is visible before scrolling is required and below the fold is the remaining content.


How user friendly a web site is to people with disabilities such as hearing or vision impairment.


Another word for link, sometimes used only to refer to internal links.

Back link

A link coming into a website from another web site. Usually referred to when discussing SEO and link building.


The amount of data that is requested from a web site at any one time. Bandwidth is expressed as kilobits/second.


Short for ‘weblog’ which is a web page usually with regular, short updates like an online journal or news feed. What you are reading is a ‘blog’ post.

Bounce Rate

A percentage rate of how many visitors to a site leave after viewing only one page.


A trail of links which shows a user where they are within a web site. Usually found near the top of a web page.

Brochure Web Site

The typical style of website used by businesses for showcasing their products/services online much like a physical brochure or catalogue.


Computer software used to view web sites and web pages.


Usually found at the end of a form and is used to determine if the form is being completed by a real person and not a computer attempting to spam.


Acronym for ‘Content Management System’ which is a program that allows for content editing and web site maintenance from an online control panel.


The substance of a web page, usually in the form of text, images and videos.

Conversion Rate

Important factor in discovering how effective an eCommerce web site is at selling. It is the percentage amount of all visitors to a web site who purchase a product/service.


A small text file that is stored on a user’s computer which can be accessed and modified by a web site.


Acronym for ‘Cascading Style Sheets’ which is a web language used to create the layout and design of a web site.

Domain Name

A string of letters, numbers and hyphens used to locate web sites by pointing to an IP address of the server which hosts the site e.g. www.ri-web.com.

Dynamic Web Site

A web site that utilises scripts to provide an interactive web site that can alter the user experience automatically.


A web site which sells products and/or services directly via a web site.


A small image file associated with a web site that is usually displayed on the browser tab and the bookmarks/favourites menu.


Acronym for ‘Hypertext Markup Language’ which is the standard language used to write web pages.


Text or image used for link one document with another. These items are usually highlighted in a consistent manner throughout a web site e.g. text hyperlinks are often underlined.


Often used in advertising terms. Each time an advert or a web page is loaded onto a user’s screen, this is called an ‘impression’.

Internal Link

A hyperlink that links two documents within the same web site.

IP Address

IP stands for Internet Protocol. Used for delivering data across networks, specifically the Internet. IP addresses are a string of four numbers separated by dots.


Most often referred to when discussing SEO, keywords or phrases are the words that the author is trying to target for search engines and should represent the theme or main content of a web page.

Meta Data

Information about a web page that is used most often used by search engines in deciphering what any one web page is about. Meta Data is critical to SEO.


Short for “permanent link” and used to permanently bookmark a web page, usually a blog due to it’s ever changing content.


Dots on a computer monitor. The resolution on a computer monitor is measured in dots per inch or pixels per inch.


A digital recording of either sound or video which is sent to subscribers over the internet through an RSS feed.


‘Really Simple Syndication’ – allows producers of web content to distribute content to other web sites which allows readers to stay informed about changes to a web site via a RSS readers. An example of this is subscribing to a blog.


A small piece of code used to provide interactive content on web sites usually written in Javascript.


Acronym for ‘Search Engine Optimisation’ which is the practice of improving a web sites SERP ranking for particular keywords or phrases.


‘Search Engine Results Page’ – the pages on which the results of any search are listed by a search engine such as Google.

Streaming Media

Usually video or sound which is broadcast over the internet e.g. live sports streams or radio shows.


A more specific portion of a domain name which is often used for subdividing web sites and is found before the main domain name e.g. sales.ri-web.com or accounts.ri-web.com.


Checking that a web language meets the pre-defined standard set for it. These standards usually include rules for accessibility.


A unique individual visiting a web site.

Web Designer

The job role of someone who designs web sites. A Web Designer is more focused on the look and feel of a website than that of a Web Developer.

Web Developer

The job role of someone who builds web sites. A Web Developer is more focused on how a web site works than that of a Web Designer.

Wire Frame

Used predominantly during the planning phase of a web site, it is the visual representation of how the site will look in terms of layout and navigation.