In this fast-paced digital age, the web is not just a place we visit; it’s an intricate ecosystem where businesses thrive, ideas take flight, and connections are made. But do we speak its language? Fluency in the language of web design has become more than just a skill—it’s a necessity.
Imagine collaborating seamlessly with designers, overseeing web projects with confidence, or refining your digital marketing strategies with precision. To embark on this journey, you’ll need a key—a key that unlocks the world of web design terminology.
That’s where this guide comes in. In this article, we will define the mysteries of web design vocabularies and get to know about 100+ web design terms; explained in plain language.
Whether you’re a beginner taking your first steps into the world of web design or a professional looking to refresh your vocabulary, this guide is for you.
Let’s get started then,
A 301 redirect is a method to permanently redirect one URL (web address) to another. It informs both users and search engines that the original URL has been moved or replaced by a new one.
404 is an HTTP status code of an error page. It shows when a user attempts to access a web page that does not exist on the server.
Accessibility ensures that websites are usable and navigable by individuals with disabilities. It includes features like screen reader compatibility, keyboard navigation, and alternative text for images to make web content accessible to all users.
Alignment is the positioning and arrangement of elements (such as text, images, or buttons) on a web page. This paragraph of text, for example, is aligned to the left margin.
Alt Text (Alternative Text)
Alt text, or alternative text, is a descriptive text added to an image in HTML for accessibility and SEO benefits.
Anchor text is a clickable text within a hyperlink. It provides context to help users understand where the link leads and is also important for search engine optimization (SEO).
Above the Fold
“Above the fold” is the portion of a webpage that a user sees immediately upon loading without scrolling. This area contains important information and calls to action to capture users’ attention quickly.
The back end is like the hidden “engine room” of a website. It does all the behind-the-scenes work, like storing data and making sure things function smoothly.
Breadcrumbs are navigational links that show the hierarchical path or trail of pages a user has visited within a website. It makes navigation easier for users to go back to previous pages. For example, on a blog page, the breadcrumbs might look like Home > Blog > Category > Post
Below the Fold
“Below the fold” is a term borrowed from print media; anything under the fold. In web design, it refers to the content on a webpage that is not immediately visible when the page loads; you have to scroll to find it.
Body text is the main content of a webpage excluding headings, subheadings, and other structural elements. It provides the primary information or message of the page and is crucial for communicating with website visitors.
A button is a clickable interactive element on a webpage often used to trigger actions, such as submitting a form, navigating to another page, or making a purchase.
Cache refers to a temporary storage area used to store web files such as images and scripts. It stores website stuff temporarily so that the next time you visit, things load faster.
Call to Action (CTA)
A Call to Action (CTA), are prompt or button designed to encourage users to take specific actions, such as signing up for a newsletter, making a purchase, or requesting more information.
Core Web Vitals
Core Web Vitals are a set of specific performance metrics by Google that measure the user experience of a website including factors like page loading speed, interactivity, and visual stability.
CMYK stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Key (Black). It is a color model used in printing and graphic design. Unlike the RGB color model used for digital displays, CMYK is used for color printing, where colors are created by combining percentages of these four ink colors.
A color palette is a set of colors used to maintain visual consistency to establish brand identity across a website.
The contrast in web design refers to the difference in color, tone, or brightness between various elements on a web page. It is used to make content stand out, improve readability, and create visual interest.
Cropping is like trimming or cutting a portion of an image or element to focus on a specific area.
CSS stands for – Cascading Style Sheets is a coding language used in web design to control the visual style and layout of web pages. It defines how elements should appear, including fonts, colors, spacing, and positioning.
Cookies are small text files stored on a user’s device when they visit a website. They store information about user preferences, and login credentials, and remember this information so you don’t have to keep telling the website again and again.
Content Management System (CMS)
Content Management System (CMS) is a back-end tool that simplifies the process of updating and maintaining a website’s text, images, and other media. If you’ve ever used WordPress to build a website, you’ve used a CMS.
A carousel is a rotating display of images or content to showcase multiple pieces of information or products within a limited space.
A dropdown menu is a navigation menu that displays a list of options when users click on or hover over a specific menu item.
A drop shadow is a visual effect in web design that adds a shadow to make an element (Such as text, or image) stand out.
DNS, or Domain Name System, is like a translator for the internet. It turns website names (like example.com) into numbers that computers understand, helping them find websites and stuff online.
A domain is a unique web address that users enter into their web browsers to visit a website. For example, diviflash.com is our domain name.
eCommerce or electronic commerce is a method of buying and selling goods and services online or over the Internet.
An elastic layout is a website design that adjusts to fit different screen sizes, making sure it looks good on all devices.
A favicon is a small icon or image displayed in the browser tab next to the website’s title. It helps users identify and distinguish a website when multiple tabs are open.
Front-end is typically the opposite of the back-end. It is a client-side of web development, where the user designs and codes the website’s visible features and user interfaces, such as buttons, menus, and forms.
Filters are used in web design to manipulate the appearance of images or content. They can change colors, apply effects like blurring or sharpening, and enhance the visual style of elements.
The focal point is the central area or element on a webpage that draws the user’s attention. It is often used to highlight important content or calls to action.
A font refers to a specific typeface design, including its style, size, and weight. Fonts are chosen to convey a website’s personality, readability, and visual aesthetics.
A font family is a group of related fonts with similar design characteristics. It includes variations like bold, italic, and different weights within the same typeface.
Font weight refers to the thickness or heaviness of characters within a typeface. It can range from thin (light) to bold (heavy).
Font size specifies the height of characters in a typeface. It is measured in points or pixels.
Font style refers to variations within a typeface, such as italic or oblique.
The footer is the bottom section of a webpage that contains important information and links, such as copyright notices, contact details, privacy policies, and additional navigation options.
Grid is a layout structure used to organize content and elements into rows and columns. It provides a systematic and consistent framework for aligning and positioning design elements.
GIF (Graphics Interchange Format)
GIF is a type of picture that can also move, like a mini video. It’s often used for funny memes, stickers, and simple animations on the internet.
A gradient is a gradual transition between two or more colors. In web design, it’s used to make backgrounds, buttons, and text look cool by blending colors together.
GUI (Graphical User Interface)
GUI is the visual stuff you see on a computer or device screen. It’s the buttons, icons, and menus that let you click, tap, or interact with software and websites.
The header of a web page is the top section that usually contains the website’s logo, navigation menu, and other key elements. It serves as a consistent visual identifier and provides access to essential site features.
The hero section, usually found at the top of a webpage under the logo and menu, includes a large image, a headline, and a call to action.
The homepage is the main landing page of a website. It serves as the entry point for visitors and provides an overview of the site’s content, navigation options, and key information.
HEX Color Code
A 6-character code used to define colors on the web. It represents the combination of red, green, and blue values and is commonly used in CSS for precise color selection.
HTML or Hypertext Markup Language is the standard language used to create web pages. It defines the structure and elements of a webpage, such as headings, paragraphs, links, and images.
HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) is the protocol used for transferring data over the internet. It is the foundation of web communication, but it is not secure and is gradually being replaced by HTTPS.
HTTPS stands for – Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure is the secure version of HTTP, the primary protocol used to send data between a web browser and a website.
Hosting is the service of storing and making a website accessible on the internet 24/7.
Icons are small, symbolic images or graphics used on a website to represent actions, features, or concepts in an easy-to-understand way.
An image overlay is a technique where one image is placed on top of another with reduced opacity, to create a visual effect. It is commonly used for captions, text, or to provide additional information when a user hovers over an image.
iFrame (Inline Frame)
An iFrame is like a web page within a web page. It’s used to put things like maps, videos, or social media on a website without messing up the main layout.
JPEG stands for Joint Photographic Experts Group, a common image file format used on the web suitable for photographs and images with complex color gradients.
Kerning is a typography term that adjusts the space between individual characters in a font. It’s used to ensure that letters appear evenly spaced and visually pleasing.
A landing page is a standalone web page designed for a specific purpose, often used in marketing campaigns. Its goal is to provide focused information about a product or service and encourage users to specific actions like signing up or making a purchase.
Lazy loading is a technique used to improve website performance by loading content (usually images) only when it becomes visible in the user’s browser viewport. This reduces initial page load times and saves bandwidth.
A lightbox is a UI element that displays images or other content in a modal or pop-up window, overlaying the main webpage.
A mockup is a static or interactive representation of a web design or webpage used to visualize how the final website will look and function.
A menu is like a roadmap on a website, showing you where to go. It’s a list of links or buttons that help you explore the site. It can be at the top, bottom, or side, and they can look like drop-down lists, hamburgers, or regular bars.
Margin is the space between the content of an element like text or images and the boundary of its container.
Navigation encompasses menus, links, and buttons that help users move around a website efficiently.
Opacity refers to the degree of transparency in an element.
Optimization is a context of web design, that involves making various design and code adjustments to enhance website performance, loading speed, and user experience.
PNG (Portable Network Graphics) is a commonly used image file format. It supports transparency and high-quality images, suitable for graphics, logos, and images that require a crisp appearance.
Padding is the space between the content of an element (such as text or an image) and its border used to create visual spacing.
A pixel is the smallest unit of measurement in digital imagery and web design. It represents a single point of color on a screen used to determine the resolution and size of images and elements on a webpage.
A prototype is like a practice version of a website. It helps designers and others try out ideas and fix problems before building the real thing.
PPI stands for Pixels Per Inch, a measurement of image resolution, specifically for digital displays. It indicates how many pixels are packed into one inch of screen space.
A permalink is a web link that never changes and lets you always find a specific page or stuff on a website. It’s like a forever address for online things.
RGB is how computers talk about colors. It’s like mixing red, green, and blue light to make different colors on your screen.
Resolution is the number of pixels in an image or display, typically expressed as width x height (e.g., 1920×1080). More resolution means a clearer image.
Raster graphics consist of a grid of pixels, where each pixel is individually defined. It’s good for photos but can get blurry when stretched.
Responsive Design is a way to make websites work well on different devices and screen sizes. It uses flexible layouts and clever code to make the site look good on computers, tablets, and phones.
Robots.txt is a file used to communicate with web crawlers or search engine bots. It specifies which parts of a site should not be crawled or indexed.
Required fields are like mandatory questions on a form. You must answer them before you can submit.
Rich snippets make search results fancier, such as ratings, reviews, and product details, in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
A search bar is like Google for a specific website that allows users to enter keywords or queries to search for specific content within the site.
A slider is a rotating display of images or content on a web page. It shows different pictures or info one after the other.
SVG is a vector image format that uses XML to define two-dimensional vector graphics ideal for logos and icons on websites. It can be made bigger or smaller without getting blurry.
SERP or Search Engine Results Page is like the page with search results when you use Google. It lists search results, including links and brief descriptions of web pages relevant to the query.
Strokes are the outlines or borders of shapes or text. They define the edges of objects and can be customized in terms of thickness, color, and style.
A sidebar is like a menu on the side of a webpage that typically contains secondary content, navigation links, or widgets.
A static page is a web page that remains fixed and does not change dynamically based on user interactions. It’s always used for content that doesn’t require real-time updates.
SEO stands for – search engine optimization, a strategy for making a website easy to find on Google. It helps websites get more visitors.
TIFF (Tagged Image File Format) is a high-quality image file format often used for storing and exchanging images, especially in professional graphic design and printing.
A typeface is a specific set of fonts with consistent design characteristics, such as bold, italic, and regular, within a particular font family.
A template is a pre-designed layout or structure you can use for a webpage.
Typography is how you arrange and style text on a webpage. It affects readability, brand identity, and overall design aesthetics.
User Interface (UI)
User interface means all the buttons and things you click on a website including buttons, forms, menus, or any visual elements to navigate and interact with the site.
User Experience (UX)
UX or “user experience”, is the overall experience and satisfaction you feel while interacting with a website.
URL stands for Uniform Resource Locator, an address that specifies where a particular page or other resources can be found.
Vectors are graphics created using mathematical equations, commonly used for logos, icons, and illustrations on websites. Think of them as pictures you can resize without losing quality.
Wireframes are simple, schematic representations of a web page’s layout. They outline the placement of elements but lack design details like colors and images.
White space is the empty space around and between things on a webpage. It helps make websites easier to read.
WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get)
WYSIWYG refers to website builders or content editors that allow users to see the content’s final appearance as they edit it. It’s like seeing your work in real time.
A watermark is a semi-transparent image or text overlay placed on photos or graphics used to say, “This image belongs to someone” or “Don’t copy me!”
XHTML (Extensible Hypertext Markup Language)
XHTML is a structured version of HTML used to create web pages. It’s like using neat handwriting for web pages.
An XML sitemap is like a table of contents for websites. It helps search engines find everything on a site, like a map.
A ZIP file is a compressed archive that can contain multiple files or folders like backpacks for computer stuff. You put lots of files in one bag to make them easier to carry and send.
Web design is a dynamic field, constantly evolving, and new terms emerge as technology advances. We’d love to hear from you about any web design terms you think should be added to our list. Your insights and suggestions can make this guide even more comprehensive.
So, what other web design definitions would you add to the list? Let us know in the comments.