You may be in the process of creating or revamping a website for your organization, and want to immerse yourself in the website world to understand the confusing things your web designer or web developer tells you. Or probably you just want to keep abreast of website terminology so that you don’t look too lost in social conversations while hanging out with your friends who work in IT or Marketing. Either way, here is a brief explanation of some common website-related terminology.

  1. Backlinks: These are links from other websites that link “back” to your own site. When your company is mentioned on another website and they link to any page on your website that is considered a backlink.
  2. Below the fold: The point on the page where viewers will begin to scroll after the page has loaded. This term has been borrowed from the newspaper industry. Generally, you place the most important information above the fold (what the visitor sees first) and less important information below it. However, some web messaging strategies can also place important information below the fold and use storytelling strategies like suspense and cliffhangers to entice visitors to scroll and learn more. This is a very powerful way to engage visitors in your content if you can execute it successfully.
  3. Blog: A website or section of a website that includes several informal diary-style text entries, called “posts.” In a blog, the content is organized chronologically, so typically the newer posts will be located at the top of the page. This is an example of a blog that is an entire website, and here you can see an example of a website in which the blog section is just one page within a greater whole.
  4. Browser: Is a software application to access and browse the internet. Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, and Safari are some of the most popular web browsers.
  5. Call to Action (CTA): This is typically text or image on a website that entices the visitor to take some desired action, for example, “Request a quote,” “Subscribe to an email list” or “Download a free ebook”.
  6. Content Management System (CMS): A content management system allows users to create and modify content on a particular website. For example, through the WordPress CMS people can add or remove images on their site, change the text, adjust the text font size and color, and much more without any coding knowledge.
  7. Bounce Rate: Is the percentage of website visitors who leave the site after only viewing one page. You want people who visit your site to be interested in what you do and engage with the site in many ways, including clicking around and exploring your content. The lower your website’s bounce rate, the better.
  8. Domain Name: Is the address of a website, a unique name that identifies the website. For example, our company’s domain is www.orpheusincorporated.com. Domains must be registered on an annual basis through a registrar such as GoDaddy or Network Solutions.
  9. eCommerce: Is also known as electronic commerce or internet commerce and refers to the activity of buying or selling products or services over the internet. Amazon and eBay are among the biggest e-commerce companies in the world, but anyone can start their own eCommerce website using free software such as WordPress and WooCommerce.
  10. Footer: The section located at the bottom of a website that typically appears on every page of the site. Business websites commonly provide the company’s contact information as well as links to other pages on your site that are relevant for your website visitors, for instance to the “About Us” and “Services” pages.
  11. Header: It is the section at the top of the website and is displayed on each page of the site as well. A traditional header contains the company’s logo, navigation menu, and sometimes other critical information. A good header invites the visitor to explore your website.
  12. Google Analytics: A free analytics tool that allows users to measure website traffic. By tracking data in Google Analytics, you will be able to determine the most popular pages on your site, what devices people use to access your website and the visitors’ demographic information such as age and gender, among many other details.
  13. Hyperlink: Also known as links are connections between web pages. If you link pages on the same website, you are using “internal linking,” whereas as if you link a page on your site to a page on a completely different site you are using “external linking.”
  14. Hosting: Website hosting or web hosting is a service that allows individuals and organizations to post their websites on the internet so that they can be visible and accessed from anywhere at any time. Hosting service providers house or store websites and their information (e.g., files and databases) on servers, which are special high-powered computers that run 24/7 usually in a data center.
  15. Plugin: A software component that adds additional features to a website to increase its functionality without the use of code. Common plugins for sites include contact form builders, gallery sliders, and eCommerce systems.
  16. Responsive Web Design: A responsive website adapts itself differently based on screen size and orientation. The purpose of designing a website to be responsive is to ensure that the user has a good experience navigating the site whether they are using a desktop, a laptop, a mobile phone or a tablet.
  17. Search Engine Optimization (SEO): The practice of improving the online visibility of a web page or a website in non-paid search results (organic) on search engines like Google or Yahoo. The term encompasses a wide range of content enhancement activities including keyword research, content analysis, copywriting, tracking and reporting on trends, structural website improvements, link building, citation campaigns and more.
  18. Widget: Is an element that displays specific information on a website and is usually placed in a sidebar or footer area. Widgets are practical for the website visitors and also help website developers save space on a site. Examples of widgets are Twitter widgets that show your most recent tweets and calendar widgets that display your upcoming events.
  19. Pay Per Click (PPC): This advertising model uses search engines to direct traffic to a website. In a PPC campaign, businesses pay Google and other search engines to place your their ads above or below the non-paid organic search results. Every time someone clicks on these ads the search engine charges for the click, but many people can see the ad without clicking on it and there is no charge for that.
  20. Lorem Ipsum: Originally used in type-setting and print media, this standard text is now commonly used by website developers when they are creating a website layout. By placing this standard text in place of actual copy, website developers and their clients can get an idea of how the website will look without being distracted by the actual message of the text.

Phew! That was a whole lot, and hopefully, we did not overwhelm you getting too technical. If you made it all the way here, congratulations! You have officially been initiated into the mysterious language of the website world. By now you should be proficient in basic website terminology which should come in handy next time you discuss a website project with your web designer or web development company, or when you need to catch up with your nerd friends’ conversations.

Are there any other website terms that you would like to learn? Leave us a comment below!