urlPass the scalpel, please. Oh, wait, wrong jargon… Every job comes with it’s own language, whether it’s being a doctor, lawyer or web designer. It can be intimidating to jump into a new territory, unfamiliar with their ways of the land. So, that’s why we’re here– to help you learn what some may consider the foreign language of web design.

Vocab in Web Design

When we work with a client, it’s inevitable we’ll say a word that makes them tilt their head a little, like a lost, confused puppy. You know the look I’m talking about. Of course our clients’ are able to catch on to our jargon throughout our website building process after a while. It just takes some time to get there.

So, in case you want to prepare for your meeting with us before building your website, brush up on your web design terminology or if you’re just learning it for the fun of it, we’ve got you covered.

Basic Web Design Terms:

301 Redirect

  • A permanent redirect from one URL to another, usually from an old website to the new website. It’s also used to redirect traffic from old web pages to new pages that have taken their place.

404 Error

  • The page is broken, or doesn’t exist. It’s usually due to someone reaching a page that has been deleted or they mistyped the URL.

ALT Attribute

  • Used to specify the alternate text that is displayed inside the image placeholder while the page is loading. This text plays a role in optimizing a website for SEO.


  • Refers to the program a website visitor is using to view the website. Most known browsers are Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari and the dreaded Internet Explorer.

Call to Action

  • Specific text, image, banner or button which uses persuasive, action-oriented words that urges the viewer to act. They’re designed to get viewers to interact and go from one page to the next, persuading them to make an expected, predetermined action. For example, “Buy now!”


  • Unfortunately they’re not chocolate chip… It’s a small text file with an anonymous unique identifier sent to a browser and stored on a computer’s hard drive. The data it contains is from visiting websites, how often they’re visited and the preferences they have about it. This is why you always see ads directly aimed towards you, because they see your cookies and know what you’re interested in. For this reason, some people will “clear their cookies” often.


  • When a user takes a specific desired action. This includes lead generation when a viewer completes a form submitting a request for more information on your services, or subscribing to a newsletter. It’s whatever action you’re wanting your viewer to make.


  • CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets
  • HTML coding can’t work alone to create beautiful web pages. CSS gives designers the control to determine how different elements within a web page will be rendered on screen by the web browser. It allows for things like color of text, the background, the shape, size and position of all different parts of a page to be set.

Domain Name

  • The name of the website that people type into a browser to visit it. For example, our domain is mayecreate.com.  

Home Page

  • This is the first page people see when they go to your website. It usually introduces the viewer to your company and gives them an overall view of what the company does.


  • This is where your website files are housed, served and maintained on web servers.  Think of it like the host of a party; they’re bringing you in, serving you dinner and entertainment and maintaining the party at their house.


  • HTML stands for HyperText Markup Language.
  • It provides a way for the web designer to tell the web browser how to treat a particular piece of content. It allows the system to know what is supposed to be an image, and what is supposed to be text copy.

Information Architecture

  • Used to describe the semantic layout of content and information on a website. It refers to the organization of the information, dealing with what pages go where in a web site’s structure, what content is contained on each page and how each of these interact with other pages within the site.


  • A scripting language that allows designers to create interactions on a web page. Historically it was used for form validation, but now it’s used for special visual effects and the ability to load new content without having to reload the whole page.

Link (hyperlink)

  • Links from one web page to another, either on the same site or another one. Usually these are text or images and are highlighted in some way. For example, MayeCreate Blog.


  • This is an HTML tag that stores information about a web page, such as description, author, copyright, etc. It provides information about a web page and it’s content. Search engines use this information to categorize websites and content in search engine results pages.


  • The elements that appear on a website to take you to different pages. While it primarily refers to the “menu bar” located on the top or side of a website, it can also include text links at the bottom of the page.

Page Template

  • A page layout for website pages. You can have multiple templates depending upon how you want to display your home page versus your contact page.


  • It’s a bit of third-party code that extends the capabilities of a website. It extends the functionality without having to redo the core coding of the site.

Responsive Design

  • A website design that adjusts to the screen it’s being viewed on– desktop, tablet or smartphone. The design is flexible enough to make images, fluid grids and site menus adjust to fit different size screens.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

  • Helps search engines understand the information on your website in order to rank higher in organic search results. This includes metatags and ALT attributes.


  • This is a computer running software connected to the Internet that allows visitors to access a website through a web browser or mobile device. It’s part of the hosting process.


  • A rotating band of images that is usually placed on the home page of a website. Think of it like a slideshow that can highlight different content and include images or video.

Sub Page


  • Stands for Uniform Resource Locator
  • It’s the address that specifies where on the Internet a site can be found.


  • We develop all of our websites in WordPress. It gives us control over how the website looks and it’s easy to use for our clients once they have control of their websites.

Now that you know a little more about the web design industry’s basic terminology, you’re practically a web designer, right? Only kidding. But you are ready for your meetings with us now! Go ahead and call us up to set up a meeting about building your website. Shoot, we may even reward you with chocolate if you show up already in the know with our lingo.

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