Techies love to use their jargon to get you all confused. We think, no more of that. It's time you also got to know what all the complicated stuff they talk about means.
Here’s a handy glossary (all in plain English) that’ll quickly get you up to speed and demystify the language of web technology.
Once you understand basic website jargon, you’ll never get intimidated or befuddled the next time a web designer or developer spews techno (not the phone)-babble.
Home Page (or Homepage)
Also known as the front page or main page. This is the starting point on most websites. A website design best practice is to link your logo to your home page, giving your visitors an “escape” or “reset” if they ever get lost on your site.
This is the top part of a website containing the logo and usually (but not always) the site’s navigation menu. The header is the zone at the top of the page that stays constant and visible as visitors click around your site.
Once upon a time the header was a place to display a banner or graphic promoting your brand — kind of like the cover photo on a Facebook page. But today’s websites are more streamlined and the trend is to just include your logo and navigation in the header.
Navigation (aka Navigation Bar or Main Menu)
These are the links at the top of the page to help you find what you’re looking for. The navigation links are usually in the header or just below it.
When a site is viewed on a mobile device, the navigation usually turns into an icon with 3 stacked lines (aka a “hamburger” because it looks like the side view of a hamburger) since space is limited on a mobile device. Tapping the mobile navigation icon usually triggers a vertical or horizontal toggle menu.
Feature Image (aka Hero Image)
This is the large image you see at the top of a web page that grabs your attention and sets the tone for the rest of the page. Feature images typically span the full width of the page and often contain headlines or calls to action.
I’m not exactly sure where the term “hero image” originated, but it’s used frequently. Maybe because they want you to feel their website is going to solve all your problems and save the day. :-)
A slider is used to display pictures … like a slideshow … where the images slide from right to left or vice-versa. Sliders can appear anywhere on a website, but they’re commonly used on homepages in place of (or in addition to) a feature image. A slider can replace the hero image as the main image on a site.
As websites evolve and more emphasis is placed on page load speed as well as optimizing user experiences on mobile devices, slider use is diminishing because they’re resource hogs and are often little more than eye-candy.
Website content is the information your visitors consume. Web copy or body copy refers to written text. Website content refers to all the elements used to communicate your message — products, text, images, video, audio, the whole shebang.
A footer performs the same function as the header — it’s a region on a website that’s constant from page to page — except a footer is at the bottom of a page instead of the top.
When you run ads on Google or Facebook (or anywhere) you have to provide a destination page for the person to land on when they click the ad — hence, the name landing page.
Call To Action (aka CTA)
Buttons, popups, ribbons, slide-ins, email opt in boxes … even a simple text link … are all examples of calls to action. A call to action is a specific and direct request asking your visitor to do something.
A call to action doesn’t need to be aggressive or obnoxious. A simple “click here” often works just fine.
Domain Name (aka URL)
anzili.com, CNN.com and amazon.com are all examples of domain names. Behind the scenes, every website is identified by an IP address which is a long string of numbers like 143.398.884.342. But who can remember all those digits? Therefore, a domain name is linked to each IP address because it’s easier to use words instead of numbers to identify a website.
Fun fact: URL is an acronym for Uniform Resource Locator. – Don’t bother remembering such long meanings
Website Builder (aka Website Page Builder)
Up until a few years ago, you had to know HTML and CSS to create a nice-looking website. But now, with a drag-and-drop website builder you can build a website with minimal technical knowledge.
Website builders allow you to create web pages much quicker than via manual coding and the finished product usually looks better as well. Our favorite website builder is …… no awards for guessing …… anzili shop builder.
If a website is mobile responsive, it uses CSS to respond to the size of the viewing screen so readers have a pleasant user experience on their mobile device. That means font sizes are bigger plus the page layout and navigation are transformed so they’re usable on a mobile device.
If you have to pinch and zoom to make anything readable, that is by definition not mobile friendly.
SSL stands for secure socket layer. An SSL certificate encrypts data sent from a web server to your browser so hackers can’t read it.
If you see a little padlock in the address bar of your web browser, that means you’re visiting a secure website.
A non-secure website has a URL that begins with “http” in the address bar, whereas a secure website begins with “https” — with the “s” standing for “secure”.
http => hyper text transfer protocol
https => hyper text transfer protocol secure
SEO stands for search engine optimization. SEO is a large and complex topic, but in a nutshell it’s about configuring your website to get free traffic from search engine results pages (SERPs) such as Google.
Google Analytics is a free service from Google that gives you statistics about your website — how many visitors your site is getting, which pages they’re viewing, how long they’re spending on each page, etc.
Our thanks to markbrinker.com