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Site Glossary so you know all the jargon in web technology.

An exhaustive list of terms, acronyms, and jargon related to web design and development to help you navigation through a custom web design project.

  • A

    Accessible Rich Internet Applications (ARIA)

    Developed by the W3C to support web accessibility standards, ARIA allows web developers to expand their ability to define roles, states, and properties in markup. This extra ability to define interactive elements allows people with disabilities to more easily access and interact with website interfaces and content.

    ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act)

    A civil rights and social wellfare act passed in 1990 that ensures people with diabilities or who are less abled are not discriminated against based on their accessability to locations and information. In terms of the web, the ADA sets standards for creating websites that are accessable to anyone.

    ADA Compliance

    A website that is ADA Complaince has been designed and developed with ADA Standards so that it is as accessable as possible to people with disabilities, such as full blindness and color blindness.


    The promotion of products and services. Advertising can happen physically through print ads, billboards, guerilla marketing campaigns. Advertising can also happen online with Google AdSense, retargeting campaigns, or marketing e-newsletters.


    An approach to software development that emphasizes incremental changes in design, development, research, and learning to maintain a web design or web development project.


    The aggregated data that web designers and developers use to understand who their audience is and where they are coming from. Google Analytics is the most common service that can show you analytic numbers, but other services such as HotJar, SEM Rush, and HubSpot have their own versions of web analytic tools.

    Android OS

    The operating system used by both Google and many other smartphone manufacturers. It is the second largest mobile operating system in the world.

    API (Application Programming Interface)

    Functions and procedure that allow a application or website to access features, databases, or functionality of an operating system or 3rd party software.


    An App—or phone App—is a program that runs on your phone. Popular Apps include Facebook, Twitter, Spotify, and Gmail.


    An Application—or computer Application—is a program designed to run on Desktop computers such as PCs or Macs. They are normally more powerful than phone apps, but much larger. Popular computer applications include Microsoft Word, Google Chrome, Adobe Photoshop, and Slack.

    Art Direction

    The arraingment of content, layout, color, and typography to communicate a message. Art Direction is different from graphic design in that it’s generally done by a much more senior designer. Art Direction takes into account branding & marketing and merges them to communicate the desired message to the right audience.

  • B

    B2B (Business-to-Business)

    Companies that primarily sell products and services to other companies. Often, these companies are manufacturers, distributors, business and tech consultants, or venture capital investors (among many others).

    B2B Website Design

    B2B website design encompasses the planning, design, development, launch, and maintenance of website aimed at business-to-business companies and customers. While similar to B2C (business-to-consumer) websites, a successful B2B website requires the understanding of B2B customers’ specific goals, needs, and requirements.

    B2C (Business-to-Consumer)

    Companies that primarily sell products and services to end consumers such as super markets, restaurants, big box stores, and hotels.

    Back End

    Also known as the Admin of a website, the back end is the interface that allows a user to interact with their CRM (Content Management System), CRM (Customer Relations Management System), or simple user account settings.


    An important part of SEO (Search Engine Optimization), backlinking are links from other websites to your own. The better quality of a backlink—dependant on the Domain Authority rank of the website—improves your organic search engine rank.


    Truncated from the original term, “weblog”, a blog is a website that is written in a conversational style. Many companies use blogs for updating their audience on events they will be attending, updates on company news items, or to write informative concent aimed at raising their Google SEO rank.


    The act of writing and regularly updating a blog. Blogging is a valuable SEO tactic.


    A brand is the recognizable impression a company gives off to their audience. You can think of it as the brand’s style and personality. Brands consist of a combination of typographic styles, logo, imagery, and copywriting to form a cohesive brand system.


    The act of designing and maintaining the look, feel, and voice of a brand.


    A defined measurement that is set to determine when a web layout needs to be adjusted to best optimize an interface for a user.


    A browser is the program you use to access webpages. A broswer takes code like CSS, HTML, and Javascript—among many other languages—and translates them into the content and visuals you see on the webpage. The most popular web browsers include Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, and Apple Safari.


    An unintended feature, error, or display of information in an application or website.

    Bug Report

    A report done by a QA representitive, user, or develope to document and fix any bugs in applications or websites.

    Business Card

    Business cards are calling cards used by companies and individuals working for those companies to easily hand off important contact infomation to people they meet. The business card dates back to the 17th century when they were originally used as cards announcing the arrival of important figures as well as to leave at homes of women when male suitors called.

  • C


    A folder on your computer that stores images, documents, and content downloaded from a website. Having cached assets on your computer allows websites to load faster.

    Cloud Storage

    Data storage that lives on servers online, instead of on your personal device. Common cloud storage solutions include Amazon AWS, Google Drive, and Dropbox.


    Information that is displayed on your website to communicate to users. Content can be anything from images, headline, blog posts, or web page copy.


    Small pieces of software that tell a browser to do a specific task or remember a user. Cookies are commonly used to track people so ads can be displayed, but cookies can do many other things such as remember a user preferences for choices and locations.


    The act of creating copy content for websites, blogs, ebooks, or newsletters.

    Custom Web Design

    Custom web design is the process of creating a website from the ground up that is unique to a particular company. The custom web design process includes the research, planning, design, development, content creation, and website hosting. Having a custom website designed for your business allows you greater flexibility, faster website loading speeds, and SEO customization that pre-built systems do not allow for.

  • D

    Database Sync

    The process of taking two seperate databases and merging them together.


    The process of testing and fixing errors and issues in both the front-end, back-end, and functionality of a website or application.


    A person that uses type, images, and colors to create print or digital layouts.

    Digital Design

    Any design that lives primarily or entirely on a computer. PowerPoint presentations, email blasts and newsletters, web or app user interfaces, and ebooks are all types of digital designs.

    DNS (Domain Name System)

    The Domain Name System is a way for a computer to translate website IP addresses into more easily remembered websites domain names (such as lform.com).

    Domain Name

    A domain name is a word, brand, or name that is linked to an IP address of a website.

  • E


    A small resource of publication that provides infomation to your users in a PDF document. eBooks can be how-to guides, research documents, statements of intent, and much more. Normally eBooks are designed to fit the owner’s look and brand.


    The buying and selling of physical and digital goods online through economic transactions.


    Digital messages sent from one person to another online through an email client. Popular email services and software include Gmail, Outlook, and Yahoo Mail.

    Email Marketing

    Marketing messages delivered through email. Popular email marketing platforms are HubSpot, SharpSpring, Mail Chimp, and Constant Contact.

  • F


    A file that holds art work for letters of a single weight of a font family.

  • G

    Graphic Design

    The arraingment of type, image, and color in a way that communciates a message to an intended audience.

    GUI (Graphics User Interface)

    An interface made up of shapes, images, and text that allows a user to navigate through clicking navigational elements. Windows and OSX are both types of GUIs (pronounced “gooey”).

  • I

    Inbound Marketing

    Marketing tactics that are designed to send an audience to a specific place online. This may be a company’s website, a blog post or event, or even a dedicated landing page.


    An internal network accessed by workers at a company or memebers of an organization.


    The operating system used by Apple on their iPhone and iPad products. It is the largest mobile operating system in the world.

  • L


    A pre-designed page with a brand’s logo, contact information, and typography intended to be run through a printer so that all correspondance leaving a company or organization is consistant and official.

    A process in SEO where links from one site help raise the search engine optimization of another.

    A combination of marks, lettering, and/or symbol that represents a company, individual, or brand.


    A logomark is a symbol that can be used in place of a brand’s actual name. The most famous logomark in the world may be the Nike swoosh.

  • M


    The act of promoting a brand, person, or organization’s products or services with the intention of gaining new customers or clients.

    Minimum Viable Product (MVP)

    The process of figuring out the most vital features and aspects of an application and the smallest number of features required to ensure the application is useful to it’s intended users.


    Refers to a set of screensizes that are commonly seen on mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets.

    Mobile Device

    A portable device, such as a smartphone or tablet, that can access the internet, applications, or both.

    Mobile First

    An approach to web design that starts at smaller, mobile screen sizes and progressively scales content up to desktop screen sizes. This approach is mainly taken when apps and websites with a heavy userbase of mobile users.


    An arrangment of images that set the mood for a project.

    Multi-lingual Website

    A website that has functionality built in to display various languages depending on the user’s choice of language.

  • N

    Needs Assessment

    A meeting between people that discusses a project to determine that project’s parameters and scope.

  • O


    The process of making websites, images, and organic search results more effective.

  • P

    Personal Computer

    A device that allows a user to access the internet and use powerful applications. While desktop devices are usually more powerful than smartphones, tablets, and other such devices, they ususally aren’t as portable. They also generally have larger screensizes than mobile devices.


    The act of creating images using light, composition, color, and subject with a camera on either film or digital.

    PM (Project Management)

    The act of scheduling, organizing, and setting up tasks and meetings for individuals and ensuring a project is completed on time, on budget, and within the scope of the project parameters.


    An application created by Miscrosoft in it’s Office suite of programs that allows users to layout, design, and animate slides for presentations and meetings.

    PR (Public Relations)

    The act of messaging, writing, and distributing news about a company to the general public. Public relations can be anything from sending press releases to publications, to managing good and bad news on a company or client’s behalf, to the act of promoting and building communities online for a particular company, organization, or brand.

    Press Release

    A written document that is sent to journalists, bloggers, or publications with the intention of getting stories written and run online or in print.

    Layouts and designs created with the intent of being printed on physical media. Common print design items include business cards, stationery and letterheads, packaging, signage, booklets & brochures, or physical advertising.

  • Q

    QA (Quality Assurance)

    The act of reviewing, testing, and ensuring the quality of a product or service. In web design, QA is generally the role of finding, fixing, and reporting bugs to developers to ensure an app or website works as intended.

  • R

    Raster File

    A image file made up of pixels arrainged to form a design, photo, or pattern. Common raster files are .jpgs, .pngs, and .gifs.

    Responsive Design

    A digital layout that responds to the screen size of the device displaying it. The core of responsive design is to have one layout look consistent on a variety of screens and devices.

    RFP (Request for Proposal)

    A call for vendors to propose a price on a pre-defined project. RFPs often include a statement of intent, a list of features and needs, and a request for certain technologies to be implemented in a project. The intention of an RFP is to compare vendor prices and capabilities with each other in a fair way.

  • S

    SaaS (Software as a Service)

    Subscription based software that fills a user need. Common SaaS services include G Suite, HubSpot, SharpSpring, the Adobe Creative Cloud, Dropbox, and Microsoft Office 365.

    Sales Deck

    A presentation that outlines the unique differentiators of a company with the intent to get the audience to hire them for a product, service, of project.

    Search Engine

    A website that allows a user to search relevant results based on a search query. The most popular search engine by far is Google, however other search engines include YouTube, Bing, Yahoo, and DuckDuckGo.

    SEM (Search Engine Marketing)

    Marketing tactics designed to drive users make search queries to a particular webpage.

    SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

    The optimization of content, blogging, website data, backlinks, and other tactics to help raise a websites ranks on a search engine.


    A computer that hosts files, content, and software and servers it up at a user’s request.

    Site Map

    A listing of the pages published in a website. A site map is useful for users looking for a particular page but unsure where to find it as well as for search engine website crawlers to easily understand the structure of your website.

    Social Media

    A type of media that relies on users being able to interact with each other. Common social media sites include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Nextdoor.

    Social Media Marketing

    The act of using social media websites and accounts to promote a person, service, company or product.

    Style Guide

    A document that outlines the logo, type, language, colors, and other elements that make up a brand. A style guide sets standards for people to implement a brand effectively.


    A document that arrainges type, imagery, color, and art patterns in a way that gives the viewer an impression of an intended design.

  • T


    A touchscreen mobile device that fits a space inbetween a desktop device and a smartphone. Tablets may be able to access the internet and use apps the same as smartphones, however they may not have a cellular connection.


    The process of arrainging type to communicate ideas and messages.

  • U

    UI (User Interface)

    An interactive layout inteded to allow the user to do a task such as design a document, create a slide presentation, or navigate a website.


    A string of text that identifies a particular web page or file on a server.

    User Flow

    A diagram that show the indented route that a person wishes a particular user to go on a website or in an app. These are different than user journies in that they do not discuss the intention of a user’s path, but just the route taken.

    User Journey

    A document that outlines the reason why a user navigates through a website or application so as to understand their underlying motives and states-of-mind. The intention of this document is to find new features or interactions that will make a user’s journey easier.

    User Research

    The act of observing, talking to, and quantifying the qualities, desires, and needs of users for a particular website, application, or company.

  • V

    Vector File

    A file that consists of shapes created using points, math, and bezier curves to create layouts, images, or documents. A vector file is infinitely scalable, so many graphic elements such as logos are usually designed using vector files. Common vector files include .eps, .xd, .dwg, and .ai files.


    The act of creating videos using light, composition, color, and subject with a camera on either film or digital.

  • W

    WCAG 2.0

    Published in December 2008, WCAG 2.0 is a list of recommendations created with the intention of giving web developers and app developers a standard set of guidelines that assist users with various types of disabilities to access websites and online content.

    WCAG 2.1

    Published in June 2018, WCAG 2.1 provided additional guidance and recommendations to further make web content, websites, and apps even more accessible to users with disabilities. All WCAG 2.1 requirements and success criteria fully conform to WCAG 2.0 standards. WCAG 2.1 is currently the most up-to-date web accessibility standards for web design and development.

    WCAG 2.2

    Currently in working draft by the W3C, WCAG 2.2 will make further improvements to the WCAG accessibility guidelines. WCAG 2.2 was originally expected to be published in November of 2020 but is currently expected in summer of 2021.

    WCAG Confromance

    Meeting or exceeding the listed criteria and requirements listed in the WCAG guidelines. Websites who meet the standards of either WCAG 2.0 or WCAG 2.1 are considered in conformance with accessibility guidelines.

    Web App

    An application that primarily lives on the web, so no installation of storage of program files is nessesary to use.

    Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)

    A set of guidelines collaboratively developed by the W3C alongside others organizations and individuals concerned about accessibility needs online. The goal of the WCAG guidelines are to provide a unified, international standard for making content, websites, and apps accessible to individuals with mobility, cognitive, and visual impairment challenges.

    Web Development

    The act of using one or many programing languages to create, alter, and maintain web sites, web application, and intranets. Popular languages used by web developers include HTML, CSS, Javascript, PHP, and Python.

    Web Hosting

    The physical place of the hardware your website lives on so that it can be served up to users. Popular web hosting companies include Amazon AWS, GoDaddy, BlueHost, 1&1, and Linode.


    An HTML document that utilizes a web browser to display type, color, images, content, and functionality to a user.


    A group of pages linked together by a common domain name and navigation.


    A design-agnostic document that lays out the heirachy of information on a webpage of app. It also may or may not show the fucntionaliy of a website when interacted with by a user.


    The type in a logo that makes up the brand name. Sometimes logos will only be wordmarks.


    A CMS system developed by Automatic that was originally intended as a blogging platform, but has evolved into a powerful software that powers a large chunk of websites online.

    World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)

    An organization composed of internal W3C staff, external organizations, and the public create standards for the web. These standards enable web developers to create rich online experiences that are both functional and accessible to a wide range of internet users.