Lackey Designs

Website Terminology

Website Jargon

Web Jargon

When you start your web project there may be a lot of terms you may not understand. If you are looking for information about Design File Types check out our Blog. Here we have compiled a list of typical website lingo as a guide:

Analytics – Web analytics is the process of analyzing the behavior of visitors to a website. Used as part of client relationship management(CRM) to allow the client a monthly or annually view of trends and behaviors on their website.

Back End – The back end of a website is the part hidden from view of regular website visitors. The back end generally includes the information structure, applications, and the CMS controlling content on the site.

Backlink – Backlinks are links from other sites back to your own. They’re sometimes also referred to as “trackbacks” (especially on blogs). Backlinks have a huge impact on your sites search rankings. Lots of backlinks from high-ranking sites can greatly improve your search engine results, especially if those links use keywords in their anchor text.

Blog – A blog (short for “web log”) is a type of web page that offers a series of posted items (short articles, photos, etc.). Blogs have become a common medium for communication in professional, political, news, and other web communities.

Bounce Rate – The percentage of visitors to a particular website who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page.

Breadcrumb – Breadcrumbs are the bit of navigation elements that generally appear near the top of a give web page that show you the pages and subpages that appear before the page you’re on. For examples, on a blog, the breadcrumbs might look something like: Home > Category > Post.

Browser – Software programs that enable you to view web pages and other documents on the Internet. They “translate” HTML-encoded files into the text, images, sounds, and other features you see. The most commonly used browsers are Microsoft Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Firefox and Safari.

CAPTCHA – A challenge-response test used to determine whether the user is human or not used to filter out spam. It is fully automated, requiring little human maintenance or intervention to administer, producing benefits in cost and reliability.  CAPTCHA is usually at the end of a web form of some sort.

An example of what CAPTCHA looks like.


CMS (Content Management System) – A CMS allows it’s users to edit, delete and manage the content of a website from a visual interface. A successful CMS requires no knowledge of programming languages, CSS or HTML to easily update a website. A CMS can be open source or built from scratch depending on the budget of your web project and the needs of your organization. Examples are WordPress, Joomla and Magnolia.

Crawler  – Crawlers, also referred to as “Spiders”, are computer robot programs that are used by search engines to roam the World Wide Web via the Internet, visit sites and databases, and keep the search engine database of web pages up to date. They obtain new pages, update known pages, and delete obsolete ones. Their findings are then integrated into the “home” database.

CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) – A language for the Web to define the style (look and feel) of a webpage. Cascading Style Sheets can define: fonts, colors, layouts, and more.

Domain – A domain is a person or organization’s unique space on the Internet. In layman’s terms, it is commonly used to mean the name of your website.

Domain Name – A domain is identified by the number assigned to its unique space. To make it easier to use however, the number is given the name of your choice an this name is assigned to the number. In this way, people do not need to remember the number (IP) in order to visit a website, but can use the easier-to-remember domain name. This websites domain name is

Favicon – A favicon is a tiny (generally 16×16 pixels, though some are 32×32 pixels), customizable icon displayed in the web address bar in most browsers next to the web address.

Font Family – Font family is a group designation for defining the typefaces used in CSS documents. The font family tag generally lists multiple fonts to be used, and usually ends with the generic font category (i.e. “serif” or “sans-serif”).

Front End – The front-end is basically the opposite of the back-end. It’s all the components of a website that a visitor to the site can see (pages, images, content, etc.) Specifically, it’s the interface that visitors use to access the site’s content. It’s also sometimes referred to as the User Interface.

Google Algorithm -Google algorithms depend on more than 200 unique signals or “clues” that make it possible to guess what you might really be looking for. These signals include things like the terms on websites, the freshness of content, your region and PageRank.

hamburgerHamburger Button (Fly out Menu) – The hamburger button is a symbol consisting of three parallel horizontal lines (displayed as ≡) that is used as a button in graphical user interfaces. It is often displayed in the top left or top right of a user interface. It is called a “hamburger” for its resemblance to a hamburger.

Hosting – the business of providing various services, hardware, and software for websites, as storage and maintenance of site files on a server.

Hyperlink – A hyperlink is a link from one web page to another, either on the same site or another one. Generally these are text or images, and are highlighted in some way (text is often underlined or put in a different color or font weight). The inclusion of hyperlinks are the “hyper” part of “hypertext.”

Landing Page – a Web page that a user is directed to after clicking on an external hyperlink, often a page designed especially for marketing purposes.

Long Tail Keyword – actually a “Long Tail Phrase” as it will consist of more than one word.  These keywords are used when the targeted keyword has too much traffic and is too high of cost per click.  Example, a client looking to sell water heaters might use “water heater leaking” or “repair my water heater”.  These keywords are cheaper per click but get a lot less traffic.

Metadata – Metadata is the data contained in the header that offers information about the web page that a visitor is currently on. The information contained in the meta data isn’t viewable on the web page (except in the source code). Metadata is contained within meta tags.

Meta Tag – Included in the head section of an html web page and is visible to search engines but not human visitors. Meta tags provide information about a web page, like the topic (title), keywords, description and also instructions to search engine robots and visitor browsers.

MozRank/Local SEO – A logarithmic ranking provided by SEOmoz from 0-10.  It looks at the number and quality of inbound links pointing to a certain website or page on that website. A 10.0 is the best linked-to page on the internet, and a 0 has no recognized inbound links.

Navigation – Navigation refers to the system that allows visitors to a website to move around that site. Navigation is most often thought of in terms of menus, but links within pages, breadcrumbs, related links, pagination, and any other links that allow a visitor to move from one page to another are included in navigation.

Organic Results – Unpaid search results. Different from Local SEO.  70% of all people who conduct a search skip over or bypass the paid listings (SEM/PPC).

Plug-ins – A plug-in is a bit of third party code that extends the capabilities of a website. It’s most often used in conjunction with a CMS or blogging platform. Plug-ins are a way to extend the functionality of a website without having to redo the core coding of the site. Plugins can also refer to bits of third-party software installed within a computer program to increase its functionality. Too many plug-ins lead to a slower website.

Redirect – when you type in a certain URL and it changes to a different URL.

Responsive – a website that adjusts its layout based on the size of the screen it’s viewed on — computer, tablet, or phone — so that the site always looks its best no matter the size.  Responsive Websites; Why You Need One

SEM (Search Engine Marketing) – A form of Internet marketing that involves the promotion of websites by increasing their visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs) primarily through paid advertising. Purchased paid listings refers to Pay-per-Click Advertising (PPC), which is also referred to as Cost-Per-Click Advertising (CPC).

SEO (Search Engine Optimization)– Planning out and writing a website’s content to improve the likelihood of it showing up for relevant search terms in search engines such as: Google, Yahoo & Bing. SEO can be a part of the following tasks: Keyword research, content writing, web design, web development & blogging.

Sitemap – This is an index to all the content on a website. It is normally accessible from at least the front page of the site and is used for two purposes: to help people find what they are looking for on the site and to help search engines find all your links.

Slider – A moving stream of images on a webpage. Usually paused for a short period of time on each image. Often used on the homepage featuring the most important topics for a business.

Thumbnail Gallery – Smaller photos generally used to display a large amount of photos in a gallery. When clicked on the photos are enlarged for the user to see.

URL – the abbreviation for “uniform resource locator.” This is also known as a web address, or the characters that you see in your web’s address bar.

White Hat – Ethical SEO, following the rules to ensure optimal search results. The opposite is Black Hat SEO.

Wireframe – Simplistic drawings and/or layouts of a webpage, which typically have no design applied. Wireframes are used in the preliminary stages of a website design. They allow for designers to focus on the UI and the layout of content first before applying any design. This is a critical step in any mid to large size website that has a lot of different elements and/or content.