The web design industry is awash with technical website terms and phrases. This glossary will help you understand more about what each one means, so you can be better informed.



Accessibility – Accessibility is the term used when considering how accessible your website is to users with disabilities (such as sight impairment).

API – An API (Application Programming Interface) is the software language that allows your website to ‘talk’ and connect with applications on other websites (for example Calendly or PayPal).


Backlink – Used in SEO, a backlink is a link from somebody else’s website ‘back’ to yours. For example, if I add a link from my website ( to YOUR website, that is known on your website as a backlink.

Bounce Rate – Another SEO term, the bounce rate is the % of users who visit a page of your website and then leave without visiting another page. SEO’s will claim that the lower the bounce rate, they better. But this can be misleading (what happens if you have a one-page website for example)?


Cookies (not the food kind) – Cookies are snippets of data that capture and store information about your website and its visitors.


Domain Name – A domain name is the name of your website, or your unique location on the web. Every website must have a domain name in order to be findable online.


Embedded – Embedded content is content from an external website that has been ’embedded’ onto yours. For example, you can ’embed’ a YouTube video onto your web page. This means that the code you have copied and pasted onto the web page, will enable the YouTube video to be displayed.


Fold (as in Above the Fold) – This refers to the content that can be seen at the top of your website (or web page) before a user has to scroll down. Content that is above the fold is generally your most important stuff, like headlines and calls to action.


GIF – A GIF (Graphical Interchange Format) file is a type of image file and can be either a static image or an animated one.


Hyperlink – A hyperlink is a link that targets another location online – this can be a file, another page on your website or another website entirely.


IP Address – An IP address (Internet Protocol address) is a numerical label assigned to each device connected to a computer network that uses the Internet Protocol for communication.

Indexing – Indexing is the process by which search engines like Google catalog and organize the content of websites to make it searchable and retrievable. Search engine bots crawl websites, analyze the content, and create indexes that help users find relevant information when using search engines.


JavaScript – JavaScript is a programming language that’s commonly used to add interactivity and dynamic behavior to websites.


Keyword – A keyword is a specific word or phrase that people type into search engines when they’re looking for something online. Websites use keywords to help their content show up in search results, so when you search for something like “funny cat videos,” websites that have used those words might appear in your search results.


Landing Page – A landing page is the first webpage you see when you click on a link or an advertisement. It’s designed to give you specific information or encourage you to take a certain action, like signing up for a newsletter or buying a product.


Metadata – Information about a webpage that’s not visible on the page itself. It includes details like the page’s title, description, and keywords, which help search engines understand the content.


Navigation Menu – A list of links on a website that helps visitors easily move from one page to another. It’s usually found at the top or side of a webpage.


Opt-In – A user’s action of giving explicit permission to receive communications, newsletters, or updates from a website or service.


Plugin – A piece of software that can be added to a website’s framework to extend its functionality, such as adding social media sharing buttons or contact forms.


Query – A search term or question you enter into a search engine to find specific information. The search engine then returns relevant results based on that query.


Responsive Design – Designing a website in a way that it automatically adjusts its layout and content to different screen sizes, ensuring a good user experience on various devices like phones and tablets.


SSL – Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is an encryption protocol that secures data transmission between a user’s browser and a website’s server, enhancing online security.


TLD – TLD (or Top Level Domain) is the last portion of the domain name. In other words, it is the letters immediately following the final dot in a web address. For example, my TLD is ‘com’


URL – Uniform Resource Locator. It’s the address that you type in the browser’s address bar to access a specific webpage on the internet.


Viral – When content spreads rapidly across the internet through sharing and reposting, gaining widespread attention in a short period of time.


Web Hosting – A service that allows individuals and organizations to make their websites accessible on the internet. Web hosts provide the necessary server space and resources.


XML – Extensible Markup Language. A markup language that’s used for structuring and storing data, often used for sharing structured information between different systems.