Website design and internet jargon buster

woman looking confused about graphic design terminology

People within the Graphic Design/Web Design industry like to use complex terminology, acronyms and ‘buzz words’. This may be something to do with creativity, but is confusing nonetheless. Below is a handy guide we have created explaining the meanings of the most commonly used terms and acronyms.

.htaccess – The .htaccess file is a configuration file which is used on Apache based web servers to control many features of the server.

301 Redirects – 301 redirects are used to permanently move a site to a new location.

404 Error – A 404 error is shown when a web page can’t be found. This usually occurs if the web page has moved or if the page name has been changed.

Adwords (Google) – Google AdWords is Google’s main advertising product and main source of revenue. AdWords offers pay-per-click (PPC) advertising to customers who are prepared to pay for a high position on their search engine results pages (SERPs).

Algorithm – A programme used by search engines to decide the order of websites on their search engine results pages (SERPs). Algorithms are constantly evolving meaning Search Engine Optimisation on a website should constantly reviewed.

Alt Text – A description that is added to photographs on web pages to aid with Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).

Analytics – A programme that is used to view data about a website such as the most popular keywords, pages and daily traffic visiting your site.

Anchor Text – This is the text that is used to link to another web page.

Backlink – A link to a page on your website from another website. This is also known as an incoming link or an inbound link. Having lots of backlinks is great way to increase your page rank with search engines, and how much prominence they give to your site on the search engine results pages (SERPs).

Bing – Microsofts search engine.

Black Hat SEO – Unethical techniques used to achieve a higher position on search engines. Search engines have measures in place to spot Black Hat SEO and heavily punish those partaking in such techniques.

Bounce Rate – The percentage of users that visit your website and leave without visiting further pages.

Broken Link – A link to a webpage that does not work. These usually result in returning 404 errors.

Browser – An application use to browse the internet. The big four browsers are Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari and Internet Explorer. For a better experience browsing the web we suggest not using Internet Explorer.

Cache – A copy of web page stored by a search engine after completing a crawl. Web browsers also store caches of pages you have previously visited.

Chrome – Google’s web browser.

Content – The text displayed on a web page.

Content Management Systems (CMS) – A system used to administer a website online enabling the user to update text and photographs. Examples of popular Content Management Systems are WordPress and Joomla.

Cookie – A data file used by web browsers to store information and enhance a users experience of browsing specific sites.

CPC (Cost Per Click) – The amount a user pays Google for a click through to their website. This amount varies depending how prominent a company wants to be on Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs).

Crawl Rate – How often a search engine indexes the content of a website.

CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) – A way of styling elements on a website such as text size and colour. Using CSS speeds up how quickly a browser renders a web page.

Database – Some websites use databases to build dynamic web pages. If any information stored on the database changes, the web page connected to the database changes.

DNS (Domain Name System) – The Domain Name System translates a domain name ( into IP an address. This enables browsers to display a website when a user clicks on by looking up the IP address of the server where all the content for is stored.

Domain Name – The name given to identify a website, sometimes referred to as a URL. For example our domain name is

Duplicate Content – Content that has been copied from another website.

E Commerce Website – A website that enables a user to purchase items via the internet.

External Link – A link that takes the user from one website to another.

Favicon – A shortcut icon that is displayed next to a websites name when bookmarked by a user.

Firefox – A web browser from a company called Mozilla. In our opinion this is the best browser.

Flash – A programme used to create animations and transitions displayed on websites. Websites can be solely created in Flash although we do not recommend this as there are issues with poor search engine optimisation.

FTP (File Transfer Protocol) – A way of transferring files and data via the internet.

Google – A search engine and one of the most worlds successful companies. In our opinion the original and still the best.

Googlebot – A virtual robot from Google that crawls the internet and determines the ranking of websites.

Google Places – Lists local businesses next to map to users who perform a search for businesses in a specific are. Any business with a website can create a Google places listing for free.

Hosting – A service offered which enables space to be bought to store website pages on a web server, which enables the pages to be viewed online.

HTML (HyperText Markup Language) – The language used to construct websites.

HTML 5 (HyperText Markup Language 5) – This is the next generation of HTML.

HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol) – The process of transferring data stored on a web server to a browser.

Inbound Links – These are links from pages on external sites that link through to your site. These are also referred to as backlinks and are a key part in achieving a high website ranking.

Indexed Pages – The pages on a website that have been indexed by a search engine.

Internal Links – A link from one page to another on the same website.

Internet Explorer – The worst web browser, FACT!

IP Address (Internet Protocol Address) – A unique number that every device connected to the internet is assigned.

ISP (Internet Service Provider) – A company that providers subscribed users with access to the internet.

Javascript – A programming language that is used to create dynamic features on websites and increase a users interactivity.

Joomla – A free open source content management system (CMS) that is used to publish content on the internet.

Keywords – Words and phrases that are entered into a search engine in order to find information.

Keyword Density – The percentage of keywords and phrases that appear on a web page.

Link – A clickable element that takes a user to a different webpage or certain area of the current page.

Link building – The process of building backlinks to a website.

Linux – A free open source computer operating system.

Magento – An open source eCommerce content management system (CMS).

Meta Tags – Meta tags are a very important part of search engine optimisation (SEO). They consist of Tile, Description and Keywords and are inserted between the tags on a website.

MySQL – An open source Relational Database Management System (RDBMS) that allows the creation of relational databases on a web server.

Nav Bar – A collection of internal links at either top or side of a website that aids the users navigation throughout a website.

Opera – A popular web browser.

PageRank – A score given to a web page by Google to indicate its popularity and relevance. The score ranges from 0 – 10, with a PageRank of 10 being the best.

Permalink – A a URL that points to a specific blog post after it has passed from the front page to the archives.

PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor – A server side script language that is used to render dynamic web pages.

PPC – A form of online advertising where the advertiser is charged when a user clicks on their advert.

Reciprocal Links – A link that goes in both directions between two websites.

Robots.txt – A file that is uploaded to a websites server that stops search engines from indexing certain pages of a website.

Safari – Apples search engine that comes as standard on all Apple internet enabled devices.

Search Engine – A tool used to find specific information on the internet.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) – The term given to the process of improving a websites visibility organically on search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing.

SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) – An internet standard for electronic mail (e-mail) transmission.

SPAM – Unsolicited email messages.

Site Map – A page that contains a simplified collection of links on your website to aid search engines crawl the site.


1 reply
  1. Neopets
    Neopets says:

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