This is the ability of a website to be used by people with disabilities, including visually impaired visitors using screen readers, hearing impaired visitors using no sound, color blind people, or those with other disabilities. A website with low accessibility is basically going to be impossible for those with disabilities to use. Accessibility is particularly important for sites providing information to those with disabilities (healthcare sites, government sites, etc.), though it is an important aspect to consider when designing any site.
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.
Bandwidth is the amount of information your connection to the Internet can carry, usually measured in bits per second.
A banner is a graphic that is placed around a website for the use of advertising. Graphics can use static images and text, or even be animated. Banners are a great way to draw attention to special information or offers, whether it’s on your site or an external site.
A website’s bounce rate is the percentage of people who leave the site from the same page they entered the site, without clicking through to any other pages. This can be a good indicator of how good a website’s navigation is, as well as an indicator of the quality of the site’s content (a very high bounce rate doesn’t speak well for either of those things).
A browser is the software you use to view web pages. Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Internet Explorer are some of the more common browsers, but there are others like Safari and Opera. Since each one is different, pages can vary in appearance depending on what browser is used. This has to be taken into account when designing and testing websites.
Short for “Content Management System,” a CMS allows a number of users to create and change website content through the use of WSYIWIG editors, without the need for HTML knowledge. Because the CMS is online, there is no need for external programs or uploading of separate page documents, and content can be published or unpublished with a single click.
A cookie is a message given to a web browser by a web server. Cookies help identify website users who have visited previously, or those that are there for the first time, and can prepare customized content for them depending on those criteria.
Short for Cascading Style Sheets, CSS are used to define the look and feel of a website outside of the actual HTML file(s) of the site. In recent years, CSS has replaced tables and other HTML-based methods for formatting and laying out websites. The benefits to using CSS are many, but some of the most important are the simplification of a site’s HTML files (which can actually increase search engine rankings) and the ability to completely change the style of a site by changing just one file, without having to make changes to content.
Short for “Domain Name System.” The DNS translates URL text addresses that we use (like www.designdroids.com) into a numeric Internet address.
“Dots Per Inch.” DPI refers to print resolution of an image, or of the output device (like a printer). The resolution for web is 72 dpi, while the standard for print is 300 dpi, which allows for much greater clarity.
A domain name is a name that identifies a computer or computers on the Internet. These names appear as a part of a Website’s URL. For example, in www.designdroids.com – designdroids is the domain name.
‘Electronic commerce’ is the buying and selling of goods and services, and the transfer of funds, through digital communications. More and more businesses are selling merchandise on their websites using intricate programs that allow customers to put items in a ‘shopping cart’ and check out, and even account for shipping and tax costs.
A 404 error message means the page you’re trying to reach cannot be found. This can happen if you link to a page that doesn’t exist, or if a page is taken down and the link remains up.
A Favicon is the little image that appears in the browser window next to your URL, or in next to the meta-title if you’re using tabs.
Findability is an internet marketing term that refers to how easily information on a website can be found, either from search engines and other online directories and resources, or from within the site itself.
In web design terms, “fold” is the line past which someone has to scroll to see more content. Everything that shows up when a page first loads is “above the fold” and “below-” or “after the fold” refers to the content further down the page. The term comes originally from newspapers, as the top half of the front page was “above the fold,” and is where the major stories and images were placed for maximum effect.
Forms use HTML tags that define and label text-entry boxes, check boxes, radio buttons, and/or drop-down menus to create simple ways for someone to collect information from users directly on the site.
Any software that is distributed for free on the web. Some well known examples would be Adobe Reader (for viewing of PDFs) and Skype (video chatting).
Short for “File Transfer Protocol.” FTP allows you to copy or send files (HTML documents, graphic images, spreadsheets, etc.) from one computer to another via the Internet. A user ID and password are needed to use FTP, unless Anonymous FTP is allowed.
A numbering system which uses a base of 16. The first ten digits are 0-9 and the next six are A-F. Hexadecimal numbers are used to determine (and standardize) colors on the web. For example, the hexadecimal equivalent for the color white is #FFFFFF, while black is #000000
Short for “HyperText Markup Language,” HTML a cross-platform language for creating and formatting web pages. Elements and tags are used to affect copy, images, sounds, frames, animation and more.
A hyperlink, more commonly called a link, is an electronic connection between one web page to either other web pages on the same website (internal linking), or web pages located on another website (external linking).
An image map is a list of coordinates related to an image, such that clicking certain areas of the image links to different pages. With a normal image link, the entire image would link to one single page.
Short for “Internet Service Provider,” it’s the company that provides you with access to the Internet.
Short for “Joint Photographic Experts Group,” the group that created the standards for what are JPEG images (JPEG is the type of file, while JPG is the file extension). JPEGs use adjustable compression, meaning you can make them smaller (though at the cost of clarity) for uses such as web.
In type, the horizontal spacing between the letters in a word.
(pronounced “ledding,” not “leeding”) In type, the vertical spacing between lines of text. The term comes from the strips of lead that were used (for the same purpose) on printing presses.
A masthead is a graphic image placed on top of a web page helps to easily identify the current page to the user. Masthead images can contain photos, text, shapes, and/or image maps.
Metadata is a confusing and somewhat ambiguous idea. Straight from Wikipedia: “Metadata is defined as data providing information about one or more aspects of the data, such as: Means of creation of the data, Purpose of the data, Time and date of creation, Creator or author of data, Location on a computer network where the data was created, Standards used.” In basic terms, it’s behind the scenes information on your site that describes the site itself and content housed within.
Mouseover refers to any kind of action that occurs when a user places their cursor (that arrow you move around your screen) over a button, but before anything is clicked. The actions can be anything from a simple change in color to an intricate animation.
Navigation refers to the process by which users accesses information on the internet. Usually when we use the term, we’re talking about the menus, links, icons and buttons on your site, along with where they are and where they take a use.
Freely distributable and modifiable software to which the source code is available to the public. Open Source Software often comes with the benefit of a widely supported network of web developers and web designers that contribute to the application, make updates, and troubleshoot application glitches that would otherwise take much longer in a proprietary situation. Mozilla Firefox and WordPress are two examples of open source software, which is why you see so many different themes and extensions for each, most created by the public.
In email marketing, you need to make sure your recipients want to get your messages, or you could get marked as spam. Opting-in means that someone has specifically requested to receive emails about a particular topic or from a particular entity.
Outbound links refer to links from your site to an external (somebody else’s) site.
Short for “Portable Document Format,” they were first developed by Adobe. The idea behind the PDF was to create a file format that did not dependent on applications, software, hardware or software for proper viewing. Every PDF file has a complete description of a document, including the text, fonts, graphics, and other information needed to display it.
Short for “Portable Network Graphics,” (but you can just say “ping”). PNG is an image format used for lossless compression and displaying images on the web. PNGs allow for millions of colors, as well as transparent backgrounds, through that can sometimes result in larger file sizes.
Also called an option button, radio buttons allow users to choose one of a number of predetermined options. Common radio buttons could be yes/no questions, or age ranges (18-24, 25-30, etc.) A radio button is different from a check box, which can accept multiple checked items at a time.
The number of pixels in an image, given in a WxH format. Usually, the more pixels in an image, the longer it will take to load.
A search engine is a program that searches documents (i.e. web pages, which are HTML documents) for specified keywords and returns the list of documents. A search engine has two parts, a spider and an indexer. The spider is the program that fetches the documents, and the indexer reads the documents and creates an index based on the words or ideas contained in each document.
Short for “Search Engine Optimization.” Refers to the design of a website for better ranking on search engines. This can be affected through techniques like site submission to major search engines, keyword aggregation, site code modification/optimization, link-building, injection of Google Analytics site-wide, and some content modification to accommodate selected keywords.
A sitemap is a representation of the complete architecture of a website, usually in hierarchical fashion and based on the site’s navigation.
Short for “Secure Sockets Layer.” A protocol designed by Netscape to enable encrypted communications across the Internet. It provides privacy, authentication, and message integrity. SSL is often used in communications between browsers and servers. A URL that begins with “https” is a clue that an SSL connection will be used on the website. During an SSL connection, each side sends a Security Certificate to the other. Both sides then encrypt what they send, ensuring that only the intended recipient can decode it.
A subdomain is a domain that is part of a larger domain. Makes a lot of sense, right? Sometimes when BKMedia Group is updating an old site, we need to put the new one live on the same domain, without disturbing the old site. In those cases, we create the new site on a subdomain like beta.bkmediagroup.com. The “beta” in place of “www” is a different subdomain, just like could make a blog.bkmediagroup.com, or any number of other subdomains.
In an online form, text-entry boxes allow a user to type in them. They can be limited to a number of lines or characters.
A small version of a graphic image. Usually serve as a ‘preview image’ in an image gallery on the web.
Uploading is the action of sending data from a local computer (yours) to a server or website. When you have an image on your computer that you want to use on your website, you upload it. When you transfer something from the web to your computer, it’s downloading.
Short for “Uniform Resource Locator.” Commonly referred to as web addresses, URLs are just that – the addresses for any and all documents on the Internet. http://designdroids.com is the URL for Design Droids home page.
Photographs, graphics and text are the main content needed to develop and design an effective website. The first page of a website is known as the home page, and is often an overview of the website content. Each new web page within a website has its own URL and after each web page is created, the content is typically linked together using a navigation menu and hyperlinks.
Widgets are various components that can be added to a site without having to write the code. Weather and stock tickers are two common examples of widgets.
Short for “What You See Is What You Get,” and pronounced “wizzy-wig.” WYSIWYG usually refers to HTML editors (like the ones in Joomla) that display text and images as they will appear on your site, with styling, colors, etc. Using WYSIWYG editors removes much of the need for knowing and coding in HTML when making simple changes to content, as they produce the code based on the visual representation you create.