Do you feel lost when designers start throwing around terms like “responsive design” and “UX?” This guide will help you understand the most common web design definitions so you can be more involved in the process of creating your website.
- Sitemap: A sitemap is a list of all the pages on your website. It helps website visitors find the information they’re looking for, and it helps search engines index your website.
- Domain Name: A domain name is the address of your website. It’s what people type into their browser to visit your website. For example, the domain name of this website is www.example.com.
- Hosting: You need a host for your website to go live on the internet. A host stores all of your website files and makes them available to visitors 24/7.
- 404 Page: A 404 page is an error message you will receive if a link you have clicked on is broken. It means one of three things: the link has been deleted, the website you were looking for has moved, and there’s no redirect in place or a bad internet connection. A 404 page is put in place so that your visitor still gets a page of your website, and you can offer alternatives to help them navigate through your site via links, a search bar, or a back button.
- Website Accessibility: Website accessibility is the degree to which people of any age or ability can access a web page. You want to ensure that visitors can view your website is a wide variety of disabilities, whether that be physical, situational, or mental. Accessibility dives into much deeper involvement with ensuring your site are up to requirements; however, doing a few simple things can help better the viewability of your website to visitors.
- Caching: Caching is the process of storing data in temporary memory so that it can be accessed more quickly. When you visit a website, your browser will cache certain files from that website. If you revisit the website, your browser will load the cached files instead of fetching them from the server. This can speed up loading times and
- Call to Action (CTA): A call to action is a type of graphic element (a button) that you can add to your website design and helps drive visitors to a certain page.
- Responsive: A website responsive to its environment is a design that can scale or adjust to the size of the device on which it is being viewed. For example, a responsive design might resize images, so they’re not too big on small screens (e.g., mobile, tablet). This type of website shows up appropriately on any device that loads it.
- Content Management System (CMS): A content management system, or CMS, is a system that allows people to create and manage the content of a website. These are platforms such as WordPress, Squarespace, Wix, Weebly, Duda, Magneto, etc.
- Favicon: A favicon is a small image that represents your website. It appears in the browser tab and on a user’s list of bookmarks.
- Hero: A hero image is a large website banner, often at the top of the page, that uses imagery and/or text to communicate the website’s purpose.
- Bounce Rate: The bounce rate is the percentage of people who leave your website after viewing only one page. A high bounce rate indicates something wrong with your website, such as poor design, slow loading times, or irrelevant content.
- Impressions: An impression is the number of times your website appears in a search engine results page.Landing Page: A landing page is a specific web page that visitors “land” on when they click a link from another website or an advertisement. The purpose of a landing page is to convert website visitors into leads or customers.
- Audience Acquisition: It’s important to define your target audience before designing your website. Your target audience is the group of people you want to reach with your website. Understanding your target audience can create a website that appeals to them and drives conversions.
- SSL Certificate (HTTPS): SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. It’s a security protocol that allows for encrypted communication between a website and a web browser. For SSL to work, a website must have an SSL certificate. A certificate authority issues the certificate, verifying that the website is what it claims to be. All websites should have an SSL, this is why you need to make sure it’s active!
- Page Template: A page template is a pre-designed web page that you can use as a starting point for your website. Page templates come in all shapes and sizes and can be used for everything from simple blogs to complex eCommerce websites.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Search engine optimization is the process of optimizing a website for Google search to earn higher web traffic levels and improve the site’s visibility.
- User experience (UX): User experience is how a person feels when using a website or app. Good UX ensures users have a positive experience when using your site or app.
- Wireframe: A wireframe is a low-fidelity mockup of a website or app. Wireframes are typically used to map out the structure and layout of a site or app before any design work is done. You can check out our blog; Get Informed: Anatomy of a Web Page that walks you through and shows you the basics to a wireframe.
- WYSIWYG: WYSIWYG is an acronym for “what you see is what you get.” It refers to the fact that a website’s content can be edited directly without having to code it manually. WordPress is a good example of a WYSIWYG platform.
So there you have twenty of the most common web design terms and what they mean. Get in touch if you want to work with someone on your web design project. We’d be happy to help! In the meantime, keep these definitions in mind so you can communicate better with your designer and make more informed decisions about your website’s look and feel.