Your Cheat Sheet for Website Terminology

Learning Academy

To keep the terminology consistent across all our projects we use the follow terms listed in the glossary below when referring to websites and the process of designing, developing, testing, maintaining, and marketing them.

In this glossary of website terms we have included definitions, common acronyms, and a list of synonyms and alternative terms. This is not an exhaustive list of terms but are the most common ones a website owner may come across. These terms may have other meanings outside of the topic of websites but are not included in our definitions as they are not relevant. If you cannot find the term and definition you are looking for, please let us know so we can update our list.

The terminology has been broken into the following categories:

The definitions for the terminology has been organized in alphabetical order:

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401 Unauthorised
An error message received in the browser from a web server which indicates that the user has attempted to access a website they were unauthorised to access or after a failed login attempt.
Category: Website Errors
403 Forbidden
An error message received in the browser from a web server which indicates that the user attempted to access a forbidden directory on a website or means there is no login opportunity on the web page.
Category: Website Errors
404 Not Found
An error message received in the browser from a web server which indicates that the user attempted to access a non-existent web page.
Category: Website Errors
500 Internal Server Error
An error message received in the browser from a web server which is a general-purpose error and can occur whenever an internal problem is encountered by a web server.
Category: Website Errors
A
AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML)
Ajax is a tool used in web development that allows certain part of the pages to send and receive data without the need of reloading the entire page.
Category: Development
Analytics
Refers to software that tracks and reports website traffic. This allows owners to analyze their website traffic using a number of different reports which also allows the data to be filtered on a number of different attributes. Among other things based on time and the date, you can find out how your visitors where refereed to your site, what device type they are using, their general location, and how they perused your website. The most popular web analytics service is Google Analytics.
Synonyms: Stats, Website Statistics
Category: Marketing
Archive
Archive pages are generated by WordPress to organize a list of posts under a specific post type, or taxonomy. For example, a blog where it lists a summary of the posts in type of grid is an archive page. Each summary item in an archive is usually refereed to as a card. While archives are considered pages when viewed on the front end of the website they are found in the back end under templates.
Synonyms: Listing, Item Listing, Loop, Repeater, Grid
Category: Development
Audience
Your website audience is the type of visitors you are trying to attract to your website. A website usually has more than one type of visitor or User Profile. User Profiles are usually based on age, gender, location, interests, job, income level, etc.
Synonym: Target Market
Category: Marketing
B
Back End
This is the administration area of the website where only users with roles of Administrator, Editor and Author are usually allowed to go. This is where you can create, edit, or delete content for your website, change important settings, and add, update, or delete the software you use on the website. The pages in the back end are utilitarian and are not part of the web design process.
Synonym: Admin Dashboard, Admin Section
Category: Development
A link from a web page on one website, to another web page on another website.
Synonym: External Link, Inbound Link, Outbound Link
Category: Marketing
Bad Neighborhood
Refers to websites of lesser quality. These are sites that you do not want your site associated with (like spam or porn). This association can result in lower rankings for your pages in search engines. This can happen in a number of different ways including having similar content to these sites, your web server sharing the same host and IP address, or by these bad neighborhood websites linking to yours (or vice versa).
Category: Marketing
Bandwidth
Is a measured amount of data that can be transferred from one point to another within a network in a specific amount of time. Typically, bandwidth is expressed as a bitrate and measured in bits per second (bps). Some web hosts limit the amount of bandwidth per month for a website.
Category: Development
Banner
Usually a longer rectangle graphic that appears near the top of the page that promotes your brand or call to action. They can also be square and appear in the side bar. Banners can be used for advertising and are called Banner Ads.
Category: Design
Black Hat
SEO tactics that are used to increases a website or a pages rank in search engines through means that violate the search engines' terms of service. If a search engine finds out that you are employing black hat SEO techniques then you risk your website receiving a ranking penalty. An example of black hat SEO includes hidden text or links, cloaking, paid guest posts, buying links, link farms, and other malicious behaviors.
Category: Marketing
Block
There are 2 meanings to this term:
1) In the WordPress Gutenberg Editor blocks are content elements that you add to the edit screen to create content layouts. Each item you add to your post or page is a block. You can add blocks for each paragraph, images, videos, galleries, audio, lists, and more. There are blocks for all common content elements. You could also consider these type of blocks to be the same as widgets.
Related: Widget, Element
Category: Design
2) Refers to just a section of static content.
Category: Design
Brand & Website Questionnaire
An important guide needed for creating the Website Proposal. It asks the potential client many questions about their own business and the products and/or services they sell. Goals of the website are asked along with design questions used to determine what the client likes and dislikes. Features are also asked about along with how the content will be created. Project specific answers are requested which relate to questions about timelines budgets.
Category: Document Types
Branded Email
It is an email address that uses the businesses website domain name instead of one from your Internet Service Provider (ISP) or a free email service like Googles Gmail or Microsofts Outlook. For example: [email protected]
Synonyms: Branded Email Address
Category: Marketing
C
Cache
Refers to a device or software temporary storage space and is designed to improve application performance. When you visit a webpage, your browser will keep a record of the pages you visit, storing the files in the cache. This means the browser doesn't have to retrieve them again over the network, which saves time. This process can happen at other levels as well including the web server itself.
Category: Development
Call to Action (CTA)
A call to action is a specific request asking your visitor to do something. It does not have to be aggressive but can be a nudge to do something like "click here" or call a phone number. A more complex example of a call to action is the Pop up. This call to action usually contain a few elements like an image, header, description, and a button. Other examples can include a Ribbon, Slider, Email opt-in box, Button, and even a simple Text link.
Categories: Design, Marketing
Call to Action Pathway
Describes the guided journey or pathway visitors take on a website to reach a websites goal. This goal can be a sale, newsletter signup, a submitted contact form, or other similar action. This goal can have just one or several steps before it is achieved.
Similar: Sales Funnel
Categories: Design, Marketing
Card
Usually used in layouts with columns or grids (for example pricing information or archive pages that list posts or other items). The card summarizes the content it is linked too. It is a container which usually has some sort of border along with an image, title, and a summary or excerpt of the content. When the user clicks on the card they then are taken to the full page, post, product, etc.
Synonyms: Widget, Cell, Section, Information Block
Category: Design
Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
A style sheet language used for describing the presentation of a document written in a markup language such as HTML. Using CSS offers more flexibility to developers as it allows them to share styling across multiple webpages (among other things).
Category: Development
Column
A column is part of the page layout and can be in reference to a section, container, grid or table. From a content perspective if someone is discussing columns they are usually referring to how the content as a whole is laid out. So, if a web page is multi column then they usually are referring to the main content of the page is located in the larger column while related content is in the smaller column (also called a Sidebar).
Similar: Single Column, Multi Column
Synonym: Sidebar
Related: Section, Container, Row
Category: Design
Container
Refers to a part of a web page which can run horizontally or vertically and can include additional containers or widgets. Examples include the Hero Image and Sidebar.
Synonyms: Cell, Section, Block
Related: Column, Row
Category: Design
Content
Refers to all the elements used to communicate your message. This includes text, and media like images, audio, and video.
Category: Design
Content Workbook
This is a document that compiles all the information that a person needs to write and choose the content for all of the pages of a website. It is based on the interactive mockup of the website. This includes the copy which is text content like headings and paragraphs. Any required images and videos will also be listed. A content workbook needs to clearly and concisely set the expectations for each piece of content. Expectations can include goals, SEO considerations, content length, etc.
Similar: Content Brief, Content Guide
Category: Document Types
Content Delivery Network (CDN)
Refers to a geographically distributed group of servers which work together to provide fast delivery of Internet content to visitors of a website. The CDN contains a cache of the website which it updates periodically.
Category: Development
Content Management System (CMS)
Software that runs on a web server which uses a database to manage the content. This includes creating, updating, and deleting the content. Other core CMS features usually include an easy to use wizard for installing and updating, themes, template system, plugin architecture (to expand functionality), searching, file management, and group based user permissions. Most CMSs come with both a front end and a back end. The front end is where most users access the website content and functionality. The back end is for Administrators and other important user roles and is used mainly for managing the content and the actual software of the CMS. Popular web based content management systems include WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla.
Category: Development
Content Strategist
Someone who does the strategy work behind all of the content on a website. Based in part on audience research, they figure out as a whole how the site should be structured, and what page and each content piece needs to achieve, marketing wise with potential customers. They also need to have some SEO knowledge in how content should be laid out and the writing styles search engines prefer. This person can have several other roles including Copywriter and maybe even a Online Marketer.
Category: Job Roles
Content Writer
Someone who writes blog posts, articles and long form emails. Similar in many ways to a Copywriter but may not be as adept with the marketing aspects of trying to get someone interested in purchasing the products or services of the business, nor the best practices when it comes to writing content in which search engines will favour.
Synonyms: Content Creator, Copywriter
Category: Job Roles
Conversion
A marketing term for when a visitor to a website completes a desired goal or call to action. They convert from being a visitor to a lead (potential client) or, if they purchase something, to customers. They change from a passive visitor to an active user.
Category: Marketing
Cookies are small text files stored by your browser which contain information about the websites you visit. Cookies can be read by websites to help determine who the visitor is (not their actual identity but just to allow the website to distinguish between multiple visitors) and their preferences. For example what you have stored in your shopping cart may be stored as a cookie by the website.
Category: Development
Copywriter
Generally specialize in writing conversion copy for websites, emails, and advertising but also may take on the role of a Content Writer and Content Strategist. Should be familiar with online marketing and how to attract visitors with calls to action. Copywriters should also be familiar with how search engines work and the layouts and writing styles they prefer.
Category: Job Roles
Copy
Refers to the text content of the website.
Synonym: Content
Category: Design
D
Database
This is where most websites store their content and settings. Most databases use SQL as a standardize way to access, insert, update, and delete data in a database.
Category: Development
Deliverability
A term for emails being "delivered" to their destination (recipient) reliably. An email service that has poor deliverability often fail to deliver emails as they get rejected by the receiving email server, or the email itself ends up in the recipients spam/junk folder.
Category: Marketing
Domain Name
Is a unique name that identifies a website. For example "Google.com". Domain names are controlled by Domain Name Servers and each record stored on the server maps back to an IP address of a website. Domain names make it easier to access websites without having to memorize and enter numeric IP addresses. Domains have several types of records that deal with specifying related things like mail servers, sub domains, etc.
Category: Development
Domain Name Server (DNS)
Is a hierarchical and decentralized naming system for computers, services, or other resources connected to a network like the Internet.
Category: Development
Domain Registrar
Is a business that handles the reservation of domain names as well as the assignment of IP addresses for those domain names. Domain names are owned by registries and can only be leased by users.
Category: Development
E
EAT
E-A-T is an acronym and stands for "Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness". It is a concept which comes from Google’s Search Quality Rater guidelines. It became well known in August 2018 after being incorporated into one of Google's search engine algorithm updates called the Medic Update. EAT is one factor that Google uses to evaluate the overall quality of a web page. At a high level EAT's 3 primary components are: The (E)xpertise of the creator of the Main Content, The (A)uthoritativeness of the creator of the Main Content, the Main Content itself, and the website, and the (T)rustworthiness of the creator of the Main Content, the Main Content itself, and the website.
Category: Marketing
Element
An element is a type of HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) document component. In the HTML syntax, most elements are written with a start tag and an end tag, with the content in between. Elements can also include other elements and text.
Synonym: HTML Element
Related: Widget, Block
Category: Design
F
The bottom part of a website page which often contains things like your contact info, social media icons, and navigation menu or links to other important pages on your site like the sites privacy policy, terms of use, and sitemap. Often this section has a different background colour than the rest of the page. For most websites the footer is the same on all of the pages.
Synonym: Illustrator
Category: Design
Front End
This is the main part of the website that is available to all users whether they are logged in or not. If a user logs in they may get access to additionally functionality in the front end including adding content, purchasing a product, etc. Most of the website design and development process deals with the front end of the website.
Categories: Design, Development
G
Google Penalty
Refers to when Google penalizes a website for bad behaviour. Bad behaviour includes Grey Hat or Black Hat techniques of trying to increase your rankings via SEO (for example by artificially creating backlinks). The result of the penalty is a temporary reduction in your overall website rankings until Google determines you have fix the problem. For both automated and manual penalties Google usually notifies the website owner via the Google Search Console.
Synonyms: Manual Penalty, Automatic Penalty
Category: Marketing
Google Search Console
A web service by Google which allows webmasters to check indexing status, notifications, and optimize visibility of their websites. Previously the service was called Google Webmaster Tools.
Synonym: Google Webmaster Tools
Category: Marketing
Google Workspace
Is a collection of cloud computing, productivity and collaboration tools, software and products developed and marketed by Google. Products includes Gmail, Docs, Drive, Calendar, Voice, etc. A competing similar product would be Microsoft 365.
Synonym: G Suite
Category: Marketing
Graphic Designer
Someone who is a visual communicator that assembles together photos, illustrations, videos, typography, and effects to create a design that has a message which is both accessible and memorable. By using a variety of media they communicate a particular idea which is usually used in advertising and promotions.
Synonym: Illustrator
Category: Job Roles
Gray Hat
These SEO tactics belong neither to white hat or black hat since the search engines terms of service or guidelines regarding the tactic is unclear. These tactics are generally less risky than black hat techniques which means the chances of receiving a penalty is relatively low.
Synonym: Grey Hat
Category: Marketing
Grid
Allows you to organize (and sort) content visually by dividing data into rows and columns. Grid designs are visually appealing, easy to read and mobile-friendly. Each section or cell of a grid that contains content is usually called a card. Grids are used in a lot of places including archives and photo galleries.
Synonyms: Table, Grid Design, Card Design, Tile Design, Grid Layout, Card Layout, Tile Layout, Masonry Grid
Category: Design
Gutenberg
"Gutenberg" is the codename for the default editor that WordPress comes with (since December 2018). This editor introduces a modular approach to pages and posts: each piece of content in the editor, from a paragraph to an image gallery to a headline, is its own block. And just like physical blocks, WordPress blocks can added, arranged, and rearranged, allowing WordPress users to create media-rich pages in a visually intuitive way. Right now, the Gutenberg project is in the first phase of a four-phase process that will touch every piece of WordPress. The original default WordPress editor is now called the Classic Editor and is still available by installing a plugin.
Synonym: Gutenberg Editor
Category: Design
H
Header
The top part of a website page which usually contains the logo and the site’s primary navigation menu. For most websites the header is the same on all of the pages.
Category: Design
Hero Image
Usually a feature image near the top of the page that typically spans the full width of the page (or at least the width of the content) and often contains headlines or calls to action.
Synonyms: Featured Image, Billboard
Category: Design
Homepage
Refers to a webpage that serves as a starting point of your website (think of it as a virtual front door). It is one of the more important pages since most likely it is the first one visitors will see, so it needs to wow the user. A typical homepage should clearly answer who the business is, what it does, and what can the visitor do from here. Primary and secondary calls-to-actions (CTAs) should direct visitors to the next logical step. Examples include "Learn More", "Schedule a Demo", "Buy Now", or "Free Trial". The goal of the homepage is to compel visitors to dig deeper into the website and move them further down the funnel. CTAs tell them what to do next so they don't get overwhelmed or lost.
Category: Design
Hypertext Markup Language (HTML)
A markup language for tagging text files to achieve font, color, graphic, and link effects on a webpages. HTML text is sent by the webserver to the browser which then coverts it into a visual version. HTML can be assisted by technologies such as Cascading Style Sheets (CSS).
Category: Development
I
Icon
Icons are usually simple symbols used to represent an object or action. Icons can be found in many places on a website including buttons, on menus, and next to blocks of text. They are meant to catch the eye of the user and give him a quick understand of what either the action is or what the content is about. Icons may be a static image of an illustration or a vector drawing. Icons that have looping animation are also becoming more popular. An example of an icon is the common letter envelop symbol used to indicated sending email.
Category: Design
Image
An image is any static picture. The 2 main types of images are Photos and Graphics. Photos (or pictures) are taken with a camera of a real live scene. A graphic (or illustration) is something more like a drawing by an artist that is created by a Graphic Designer. Graphics usually contains text and other objects built by the designer. Photos can also be part of a graphic. An example of a graphic would be a Logo.
Synonyms: Content, Graphic, Illustration, Photo, Picture
Category: Design
J
JavaScript (JS)
A programming language commonly used in web development that is loading from the web server and executed by the browser. It adds dynamic and interactive elements to websites and can communicate back to the web server without reloading the webpage (see AJAX
Category: Development
K
Sorry, we have no terms that start with this letter.
L
Landing Page
A landing page is like a call to action that has it's own dedicated page on your website. All sections on this page are designed to help reach a specific goal. This goal is getting the visitor to take a specific action so distractions, such as a header or footer or sidebar, may be removed or minimized. A landing page is usually the destination page you create for a marketing strategy. For example when someone clicks on an online ad you are running about your business, or a link found in a social media post or a newsletter email.
Category: Design
Lead Magnet
Refers to a free product or service that is given away for the purpose of gathering contact details of hopefully a future potential customer. This is most often used for gathering email addresses for newsletters. For example a website may give away a guide or e-book related to their industry in return for you signing up to there websites newsletter. Other lead magnets can include free consultations, trial subscriptions, etc.
Category: Marketing
Lightbox
Is a window overlay that appears on top of a webpage (like a popup), blocking most of the content on the page. When it appears, the background is often dimmed and disabled, meaning that site visitors cannot interact with other content on the website. A lightbox displays images and videos, and may include a caption underneath. Icon buttons may be visible which allow the user to close the lightbox or view the next or previous image on the page (if there is one).
Synonym: Popup
Category: Design
Is the process of acquiring links from other websites to your own. This can happen naturally when other people find your content and decide they want to link to it, in their own content (which could be on their website or social media channels). Most search engines discourage website owners from actively pursuing link building by contacting other websites and making a deal to either purchase (with money or by other means like a guest post) or exchange links. This type of link building would fall under a black hat SEO technique. Besides quality content, links are considered an important way to determine the quality of the page. Therefore a page with a large number of quality links will usually rank much higher than a similar page without.
Category: Marketing
Lottie
Lottie is an open source JSON animation file format that's tiny, high quality, interactive, and can be manipulated at runtime. Lottie is similar to Vector Graphics and uses points, lines, shapes and colour fill to display multiple images in real-time like a video. Lottie animations work in any modern browser and on all modern devices. They can be easily scaled without loosing quality.Colours can be updated to match a websites colour pallet.
Synonyms: LottieFiles, Lottie Animation
Category: Design
M
Maintenance Care Plan
A set of bundled services that keeps a website operating properly and efficiently without the owner having to perform any maintenance themselves. Services typically include (depends on the plan level) software updates, security, performance, backups, monitoring, content updates, etc. In most cases care plans are offered as a monthly subscription.
Synonyms: Maintenance Plan, Care Plan, Support Plan, Management Plan, Website Care Plan
Category: Maintenance
Maintenance Care Plan Contract
This document includes our terms of service for our subscription Maintenance Care Plans. It includes what we will take care of and what you can expect from us along with the monthly price and any setup fees. It also includes our cancellation and refund policy.
Category: Document Types
Masonry Grid
A type of grid where one axis uses a typical strict grid layout, of most often columns, and the other a masonry layout. On the masonry axis, rather than sticking to a strict grid with gaps being left after shorter items, the items in the following row rise up to completely fill the gaps (so no fixed row heights). You then create a pattern similar to laid bricks or overlapping tiles.
Synonyms: Grid, Masonry Layout
Category: Design
Media
Refers to the audio and/or visual content of your website like images, sound, and video.
Synonym: Content
Category: Design
Mega Menu
Usually used on websites that have a lot of pages. It is a sub menu that is almost a page onto it self that shows links usually organized by categories. It is not uncommon for images from articles or products to be displayed as well.
Category: Design
Microsoft 365
Is a collection of cloud computing, productivity and collaboration tools, software and products developed and marketed by Microsoft. Products includes Microsoft Office applications like Word and Excel, storage on OneDrive, minutes for calling phones from Skype, etc. A competing similar product would be Google Workspace.
Synonym: Office 365
Category: Marketing
Mobile Menu
A menu that is usually only visible on mobile devices which can be accessed by clicking on the hamburger menu icon (3 stacked lines) which is usually found in the top right hand corner of the page. This menu usually is a compact version of the main navigation menu.
Category: Design
Modal
A modal is like a pop up. It is usually a small user interface element that will appear in the foreground of a website which contains a message or question for the user with a button that allows them to approve the action and/or close the modal. A modal can also be a larger element and contain important content or a form of fields that the user needs to fill out. The content of the modal is important and requires immediate attention so access to the rest of the website is locked until the user interacts with the modal.
Synonyms: Dialogue Box, Pop Up
Category: Design
Mockup
A representation of what the overall page and content layout will look like for a webpage except using minimal styled elements, blocks, and widgets. Colours presented are usually white, shades of gray, and black. Placeholder copy and media content is used. This is a step above a wireframe and is meant to determine the page and content layouts only (not styling).
Category: Design
N
Navigation Menu
Usually part of the header or just below it. These are ordered links that help visitors to navigate the entire website. It is common for these menus to have sub menus (menus within menus). Mega menus can also be a part of the navigation menu. These menus are usually also responsive and have a similar mobile menu version. It is not uncommon for websites to have different navigation menus. The primary one is usually in the header but often the footer will have one as well to display links to other important pages.
Synonyms: Navigation Bar, Primary Menu, Navigation Block, Desktop Menu
Category: Design
O
Online Marketer
Is someone who leverages web-based channels to spread a message about a company's brand, products, or services to its potential customers. The methods and techniques used for online marketing include email, social media, online advertising, search engine optimization, etc. Online Marketers can cover a number of other job roles including Content Strategist and SEO Specialist.
Synonyms: Digital Marketer, Internet Marketer
Category: Job Roles
Organic Search Result
Are the unpaid listings on a search engine results page (SERP) that were derived based on the content of the page and relevance to the keyword query versus all the other indexed content.
Category: Marketing
P
Page Builder
Page builders are tools that can help you create websites visually (WYSIWYG), without having to deal with a lot of code. Usually they provide you with a collection of pre-built elements/blocks/widgets you can add to any of your pages, posts, and templates. Example of WordPress page builders include Gutenberg, Elementor, SeedProd, Beaver Builder, Divi, Visual Composer, Themify Builder, Oxygen, and WPBakery. Page Builders are plugins and are different than Website Builders. Now days Page Builders have a lot more built in functionality and should probably be called Theme Builders since most allow you to manipulate not just pages, but the global styling of the entire website along with the different types of sections including the header, footer and archives.
Synonym: Theme Builder
Category: Development
Page Layout
The arrangement of visual elements on a page. It involves organizational principles of composition to achieve specific communication objectives. At its most basic level a webpage layout is made up of a stack of sections, one on top of another. Each section can have 1 or more rows and 1 or more columns that make up a grid (or table). A cell in these rows and columns can also be called a section (or inner section). Grids can be nested inside other grids so a section can also contain more rows and columns.
Synonyms: Page Design, Page Framework, Template
Category: Design
Pain Points
Refers to a specific problem that prospective customers of your business are experiencing.
Synonyms: Customer Problems
Category: Marketing
Photographer
A professional who takes photos with a digital camera. It is someone who understands how to frame a scene and use light and focus to create a picture which highlights the main object of the scene in an artful way to invoke an emotion.
Category: Job Roles
PHP
A general-purpose server side scripting language designed for web development. PHP stands for Hypertext Preprocessor.
Category: Development
Plugin
A plugin is software which extends the functionality or adds new features to a Content Management System (CMS) like WordPress. Plugins use special function calls so it can hook into the CMS which then enables it to not only share it's functionality, but it is able to use the CMS's functionality as well. WordPress has a vibrant and active plugin development scene. There are over 55,000 WordPress plugins. A lot of them are open source and free. Some may require fees to be paid to receive support and updates.
Synonyms: Extension, Component, Module, Add-on
Category: Development
Pop Up
A pop up is a combination of a modal and call to action (CTA). It is a user interface element that will appear in the foreground of a website which is usually triggered when the user first visits a page or when they are about to leave. The popup will contain a CTA like a prompt for the user to signup for a newsletter. To remove the popup you need to complete the CTA or either click on the close X icon or on some other part of the visible page.
Synonym: Lightbox
Category: Design
Post Type
Refers to different types of content in WordPress. WordPress by default comes with the following post types: Post, Page, Attachment. Revision, Nav Menu. Custom post types can also be registered with the WordPress site allowing developers to expand and create their own custom content types. Taxonomies can be assigned to a post type providing the ability to categorize and create relationships between it's own post type but other custom post types as well. Fields built into WordPress can be associated to post types including title, editor, featured image, and excerpt. Custom fields can also be created and assigned to one or more post types and taxonomies.
Synonyms: Custom Post Type (CPT), Custom Content Type
Category: Development
Prototype
A mockup of a webpage that has been styled using the information from the Style Guide. Content is usually in place (at least the media). Any required functionality has also been added and is working (for example a contact form). A prototype could become the final version of the webpage or may still go through minor design and style revisions.
Related: Wireframe, Mockup
Category: Design
Q
Sorry, we have no terms that start with this letter.
R
Responsive
Refers to how a web page can dynamically change its appearance depending on the screen size and orientation of the device being used to view it. Sections and elements on the page reshuffle, appear, or disappear, and have tweaks applied for their styling as the viewport grows or shrinks. Typically there are 3 break points when this reshuffling occurs and depend on the detected screen size and orientation (also called the viewport). The most common break points take into account the typical screen size for laptop/desktop, tablet, and mobile devices.
Synonym: Responsive Web Design (RWD)
Category: Design
Ribbon
A type of section that usually has a different background color than the main page background which goes across the entire width of a screen, like a horizontal bar. Within the ribbon you can have a call to action, navigation menu, or some text which may be the slogan of the business. On a website either end of a ribbon can be "cut" to look more like a real life ribbon (for example having a horizontal V notch).
Synonyms: Bar
Category: Job Roles
Row
A row is the horizontal part of a table or grid. It can also refer to a horizontal section (or container) of a page layout.
Synonym: Section
Category: Design
S
Sales Funnel
Describes the journey potential customers go through on the way to making a purchase.
Similar: Buying Cycle, Call to Action Pathway, Funnel
Category: Marketing
Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
Is the part of marketing that uses paid tactics like paying for ads in search engines to gain visibility in the search engine result pages.
Category: Marketing
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
The process of optimizing a website in order to get traffic from organic search results.
Category: Marketing
Search Engine Result Page (SERP)
The pages served to users by a search engine after they have preformed a search. Each search result page is unique and depends on a number of factors including the search phrase or keywords the user used, location of the user, the device the user search on, and the history of searches the user has done in the past. Being higher in the rankings and on the first page of the search results is highly sought after since you will exponentially in most cases get more clicks to your website the closer you are to the number 1 spot.
Category: Marketing
Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines (SQEG)
The Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines are what human quality raters use to evaluate websites and the search engine result pages. They don’t directly affect rankings but their judgments are used to improve Google’s search algorithm. These guidelines references all the information about the current search engine algorithm updates and incorporates them into how EAT and YMYL is understood. From a SEO standpoint, these guidelines only give us clues, not definitive answers, on Google’s ranking factors.
Related: YMYL, EAT
Category: Marketing
Section
There are 2 meanings to this term:
1) Refers to a part of a website that usually has multiple pages. For example a blog which in itself can have several parts or sections including the archive (where it lists summaries of multiple blog posts) and each individual page for each blog post.
Category: Design
2) Refers to a part of a web page or block which can run horizontally or vertically and can include additional inner sections or widgets. Examples include the Hero Image and Sidebar.
Synonyms: Cell, Container, Block
Related: Column, Row
Category: Design
Secure Socket Layer (SSL)
It is the standard technology for keeping an internet connection encrypted and secure. It safeguards any sensitive data that is being sent between two devices. It is used by the Hypertext transfer protocol secure (HTTPS) and is the secure version of HTTP, which is the primary protocol used to send data between a web browser and a website.
Category: Development
SEO Specialist (Search Engine Optimization Specialist)
Someone who optimizes websites in order to achieve higher search engine rankings thereby maximizing the traffic to a site. This optimization can include everything from the sitemap, special HTML elements, page layouts, and even the content on the page. SEO Specialists may even make recommendations regarding technical issues including web server speed, caching, and minimizing the sizes and number of files. Other areas are also important including backlinks and the company's social media presence.
Synonym: SEO Expert
Category: Job Roles
Sidebar
Refers to a section of a page layout that is a narrow vertical column right beside your main website content section (left or right side). The sidebar often contains advertisements, links to other content, calls to action or a search box. On mobile devices since space is at a premium the sidebar moves underneath the main content section.
Synonym: Column
Category: Design
Sitemap
There are 2 meanings to this term:
1) A sitemap is used during the planning stage of a website and is typically a hierarchical chart of the pages of a site. This chart shows how the pages primary interconnect and can include a description of the type of content and sections on the page, and it's functionality. Secondary connections between pages most likely exist but are not shown. The sitemap usually helps define the main navigation menu but this menu most likely will not include all sub pages. Think of the sitemap as the blueprint of a website.
Synonyms: Information Hierarchy, Website Structure
Category: Design
2) An XML file that is created by the website for the purpose of informing Search Engines the list of the pages (URLs) on the website.
Category: Development
Slider
A slider is most commonly used to display pictures one at a time. The transition between pictures usually has the next one sliding in from right to left pushing the other picture off the page in the same direction. This happens automatically after a set time and/or on a press of a button. Sliders can appear anywhere on a website but are commonly used on the homepage near the top in place of a Hero Image. A slide can be more than just a photo. They usually contain a call to action with a header, text, and a button. Sliders should be used sparingly as they require a lot of resources to function. This includes all the images that the browser needs to download along with the code required to actually create the functionality of the slider.
Category: Design
Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)
A software licensing and delivery model in which software is licensed usually on a subscription basis and is centrally hosted. An example of some services include Google Workspace and Microsoft 365.
Category: Development
Sticky
Refers to a section, row, or column of a page layout that once reaches a certain point on the screen becomes "sticky" and stops moving while the rest of the content continues to move up or down as the visitor scrolls. The most common use of this is for the header and/or navigation menu bars, and advertising. A sticky section can always be sticky or can become sticky as the user scrolls and then unsticks after a certain part of the page has been scrolled past.
Category: Design
Style Guide
An arrangement of images, pieces of text, and other design elements into a format that's representative of the final projects design's style. This document will briefly describe and show the branding, mood (atmosphere, tone, voice, personality) and style of the website. The website logo (and any variations like a stacked version) will be shown. The core and extended color pallets of the site will be displayed along with the typography for the headings and body text. Depending on the goals of the website other widgets and elements will be included. For example how a standard image may be styled, primary and secondary buttons, a form, text quote, etc. A styled full page mockup which includes fully styled elements and widgets, may be included as well to show the overall direction planned for the rest of the website. This document along with the Website Mockup is part of the design process and needs to be approved and signed.
Synonym: Mood Board
Category: Document Types
T
Taxonomy
WordPress taxonomies are used as a way to group posts and custom post types together. A taxonomy can be hierarchical (have descendants in a parent and child relationship) or not. For example in WordPress the default taxonomy Categories is hierarchical, while the other default taxonomy Tags is not. Custom taxonomies can be registered by developers and applied to the default and custom post types. Custom fields can also be assigned to taxonomies.
Category: Development
Template
A template usually is a single page layout that’s part of a WordPress theme. A single page template can be used for multiple pages and post types or can be created for a single page (like a Contact Us page). A template can also be a section of a page layout. A page layout usually has multiple sections and therefore may contain multiple templates. Separate templates can be created for the Header, Footer, Archive, Single Post, Section, Search Results, etc. These templates have condition logic which tells WordPress when they can be displayed and when not to be. For example you can have a different Header be displayed depending on what page the user is currently visiting.
Category: Development
Testimonial
Usually a section of a page that displays a quote from a customer or client that reflects positively on your business. The name of the person is included along with the business name and maybe even a photo. Multiple testimonials are usually displayed as a slideshow.
Synonym: Social Proof
Categories: Design, Marketing
Theme
A WordPress theme is a complete design for a website. A WordPress theme includes all of the things that you typically associate with web design. From colour selection to headers, footers, and sidebar positioning. Through its CSS stylesheet, a WordPress theme controls everything related to typography — including font face, font style, margins and indentation, and line spacing.
Category: Development
U
User Experience (UX)
Refers to the process of designing the end-to-end experience that users have while interacting with the website. This could also extend beyond the website to the businesses services, and products. The flow of this process can effect greatly how the visitor perceives the company and their products or services. It can also effect how successful the goals of the website are.
Synonyms: User Experience Design (UXD, UED, XD)
Categories: Design, Marketing
User Interface (UI)
Refers to the access points where users interact with a web page. User interfaces enable users to interact with the website and includes design elements like menus, text links and buttons. The key to a good user interface is consistency in design and how it functions. It is important that the user interface behaves logically and how "everyday users" would expect. The user interface is an important part of the user experience.
Synonyms: User Interface Design (UID)
Category: Design
User Profile
There are 2 meanings to this term:
1) A user profile can refer to a group of similar visitors to your website. User Profiles are usually based on demographics like age, gender, location, interests, job, income level, etc. They are used in design and marketing to understand who is visiting the website, why they are seeking you out, and what they want to accomplish.
Category: Marketing
2) All users on WordPress have a user profile which is a visual display of personal data associated with a specific user. The user profile also contains settings for the actual account (like color schemes, editor, etc). User profiles are extendable and can include information beyond what a basic install of WordPress offers.
Category: Design
V
Vector Graphic
Vector graphics are defined in terms of points on a Cartesian plane, which are connected by lines and curves to form polygons and other shapes. They are illustrations that can be turned into static images or be kept in their native file format (like svg). The advantage of keeping the file format as vectors, is it can be enlarged (without pixelation) or shrunk down in size and never loose any quality since the vector graphic is created in real-time using points, lines, shapes, and colour fill.
Synonyms: Vector Drawing, Icon
Category: Design
Videographer
A professional who shoots and edits video footage. Not only do they have to consider things like lightning and how to shoot the actual scene but they must consider the sound. Post production is an important part of a Videographers job where they must edit the video together so the narrative flows smoothly. They also must have graphic design experience when planning and creating video effects for titles, transitions, etc.
Category: Job Roles
W
Web Designer
Someone who is responsible for designing the layout, visual appearance, and the usability of a website. They need to have creative graphic skills which allows them to visualize how a site will look, and technical skills to convert a design into a functioning website. Web Designers tend to use visual tools like Page Builders or Website Builders which are faster to build with, easier to use, and require less technical know how than coding the website using a programming language like a Web Developer would. Most Web Designers are comfortable using HTML and CSS.
Category: Job Roles
Web Developer
Someone who builds and maintains the core structure of a website. They add functionality to the website and usually create the site using programming languages like PHP and JavaScript. Knowledge of databases and SQL is required along with other languages for building web pages like HTML and CSS. Technical knowledge is also required for setting up and maintaining email, web and database servers.
Category: Job Roles
Web Hosting
A service that allows organizations and individuals to pay a subscription to have their website stored on a web server and be accessed over the Internet. Companies that specialize in fast WordPress hosting includes Cloudways, Kinsta, Flywheel, and WP Engine.
Category: Development
Website Builder
Website builders are tools that typically allow the user to create a website and all of the pages visually in a WYSIWYG editor without having to manually code it. Online website builders have become increasing popular since they include hosting of your website in their subscription. These builders while fine for basic websites tend not to offer a lot of extra functionality which experienced developers need for more complex dynamic websites. There are many standalone website builders. The most popular ones include: Wix, Squarespace, and Webflow. Website Builders are a standalone service and are different than Page Builder plugins for WordPress.
Website Mockup
The Website Mockup takes the page hierarchical and description information from the Sitemap and shows a representation of how the overall page and content layout will look like for each webpage except using minimal styled elements and widgets. The mockup webpages can be viewed on different devices allowing you to see how it responds to different screen sizes. Colours presented are usually white, shades of gray, and black. Placeholder copy and media content is used. Pages and posts that share the same layout may be excluded from the Website Mockup since the goal of the mockup is to determine page layouts and content locations. The Website Mockup is included with the Style Guide and must be approved.
Related: Mockup
Category: Design
Website Owners Manual
This document is given near the end of the project and includes all the technical details of the website, the software it uses, and any login information. A recommended maintenance schedule is given for the different tasks a website needs done on a daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly base. A short trouble shooting guide is also included.
Category: Document Types
Website Proposal
This document describes the scope of the proposed project. It includes a schedule for all phases of the project along with a detailed quote and the payment terms. A contact is also included with the proposal which covers the mutual agreement between the web designer and the client and the expectations for each.
Category: Document Types
Website User Guide
This document is a manual on using the admin dashboard. It helps in understanding on how to use the various features of the back end and to keep your site updated.
Category: Document Types
White Hat
SEO tactics that are in line with the terms and conditions of the search engines. An examples of white hat SEO includes offering quality well written content.
Category: Marketing
Widget
A term popularized in website, theme and page builders. Another common term that is interchangeable with widget is a block (but it can also have other meanings). There are many different widgets and each widget has one or more custom input fields in the editor that when taken into account and rendered, generates custom output in the front-end (and visually in the editor). In the editor, widgets are added to a column in a section of a page, post, or template and allows the web designer to easily create content with complex styling and functionality. A simple widget would be one that displays text or an image. A more complex example of a widget is one that allows you to create a gallery or a input form with fields. A inner section is also considered a widget which can then, itself contain other widgets.
Related: Widget, Block
Category: Design
Wireframe
A static, low-fidelity, visual representation of a webpage using only simple shapes, lines, and black and white colours.
Synonym: Block
Related: Mockup, Prototype
Category: Design
WordPress (WP)
Website software that is a free an open-source content management system written in PHP and requires either a MySQL or MariaDB database. Features include a plugin architecture for expanding the functionality and a template system for themes. WordPress is used by more than 40% of the top 10 million websites. It has over 55,000 plugins and over 10,000 themes.
Category: Development
X
Sorry, we have no terms that start with this letter.
Y
YMYL
Y-M-Y-L is an acronym and stands for "Your Money or Your Life". Google uses this acronym as a guiding principle in the Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines for classifying pages that impact your finances, health, safety, and/or happiness. YMYL sites are held to the highest possible EAT standards due to the subject matter and what it means for a user if that information is misrepresented.
Category: Marketing
Z
Sorry, we have no terms that start with this letter.

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About the Author

Tom Homer

Building custom dynamic websites is our specialty. With over 25 years experience in software design and development I have been helping  small businesses invest in their future.

Article Author Tom