Web Design Jargon

Web Design jargonConfused By Web Design Jargon?

When you run a business, and decide that you need a website, it can sometimes be very daunting talking to different designers because you hear a lot of design jargon and you have no idea what they are on about!  I have spoken to many clients that ended up not buying a website at all, and just giving up because they became so overwhelmed by the technological terms thrown at them.

That is no way to treat potential or current clients. A decent web designer will talk to you at your level of understanding. Now don’t get me wrong, sometimes we do have to talk about some things that you may not quite get the gist of, but I always try and explain what I am talking about fully.

The reason for today’s article, is to explain some of the terms that you may hear in the world of web design. It really is not that daunting and even if you remember just one of these terms you are doing a lot better than most !

TIP: If the designer is confusing you..just be honest and ask them to explain what they mean a bit better or simpler. If they really care about customer service and helping you understand they will not mind at all and appreciate you telling them as it makes their job easier if you have an honest relationship with them.

Ad Words –

The advertisement and link auction network provided by Google. Keyword targeted, sold on a cost-per-click basis in an auction style.  Also see Keywords below

Analytics –

A service offered by Google, this records information about visitors to your website and illustrates how well your website is performing.


The browser is a program that provides a way to look at information on the internet.  This is just a special program designed to display HTML files. See HTML below

Examples: Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari

CMS – Content Management System

CMS is a system used to manage the content of a website. A CMS allows non experienced users to update their own websites, change content and update their own websites a lot easier and without knowing anything technical.

Example: We use WordPress as our CMS platform of choice to create our clients websites with. WordPress

Cookie –

Cookies are small data files written to your websites visitor’s computers which are used to help websites customise your visitors experience.

Cross Browser Compatibility (Browser Agnostic) –

This is the process of ensuring that a website is coded in such a way that it is displayed correctly across multiple browsers.

CSS – Cascading Style Sheet

CSS is code that is used to format the layout of a web page by defining how to display HTML elements, such as headers and links. These style sheets can then be applied to any web page or an entire website rather than coding each page separately and reducing the amount of code on each page.

DNS – Domain Name System

This is a series of servers all around the internet maintained by Hosting Services.  The DNS servers convert your URL to the correct IP address of your server.  For example: Google.co.uk has an IP address of and this is recorded by every DNS server.  When you change your hosting service, your new hosting service’s DNS servers are updated to change your URL to point to your new server’s IP address.  This information is then copied to DNS servers all over the internet.  This copying is called propagating, and can take up to 48 hours.

Domain Names –

Used in URLs to identify particular web pages. This is our domain name for example: www.poppydesignstudio.com

E-Commerce ( shop ) –

E-Commerce is the buying and selling of products and services by businesses and consumers through the internet.

Example: eBay, Amazon

FTP – File Transfer Protocol

An internet protocol that allows a computer to send files to, or receive files from, another computer. Basically the user runs software on their computer to connect to a server on the Internet.  This is how a website is uploaded to the Internet.

Hosting/Hosting Service –

Hosting is needed if you want a website. Web Hosting is the service providing space/storage on the Internet for websites. When you make a website and want other people to see it, you will need to publish (or upload) it to a hosting provider.

HTML – Hypertext Markup Language

HTML is a computer language devised to allow website creation. These websites can then be viewed by anyone connected to the Internet using a browser.  HTML is constantly updated, and is now on version 5.

ISP – Internet Service Provider 

An ISP is a company that provides you with access to the Internet.

Examples: Virgin Media, Sky, Talk Talk and BT are well known internet service providers in the U.K.

Keyword –

A word or phrase which people use to search the Internet.

Permalink Structure –

A permanent link (permalink) is a URL that always points to and directs readers to the same web page address.

Responsive (Web Design) –

A website design that automatically adjusts itself for optimal viewing and navigation across a wide range of devices, including traditional PCs, smartphones and tablet devices.

Search Engine –

What most users will use to find a particular service or product when looking on the Internet.

Examples: Google, Bing, Ask.com, Yahoo! Search

SEO – Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of helping websites improve their visibility in a search engine’s “natural” or unpaid (“organic”) search results.

Sitemap –

A list of pages on a website. These days they are more useful just for search engines to quickly navigate your webpages. Users rarely look at sitemaps, but they do no harm by being there.

URL – Uniform Resource Locator

The technical term for your website’s address.  Our home page’s URL is www.poppydesignstudio.com

WooCommerce –

Extra software for WordPress that installs a shop on your website

WordPress –

Software that we use to create your website.  WordPress is constantly updated with new features and security patches.  Nearly a quarter of all websites on the Internet today run WordPress.

There are many other terms to learn regarding web design but you will not need to learn them all or even most above. This list is purely to give you a brief idea of what everything means.

Do you need some help or advice regarding anything that is listed above? Feel free to give us a call on our free-phone number , we are here to help at any time of day : 0800 321 3843

1 Comment
  • poppydesignstudio
    Posted at 07:42h, 03 March Reply

    Poppy Design Studio Specialise in Web Design , Graphical Design, Computer Systems and Business branding. We help businesses across the UK with professional branding and online identities. Our honest and non technical babble approach means we relate to all customers from any background. We give free advice and will help you with anything that we can.

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