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Glossary of Web Design and Web Development Terms

A list of words used by a web designer or web developer explained in a simple way.

Here are some of the web design and web development terms used within our website.  The list could be endless but it will give you an insight into the terminology used by a web designer or web developer.

Web design

Web design covers the look and layout of your website.  A good web designer will take into account you company logo, branding, image you want to portray, usability and much more when designing the look of your website.

Web development

Web development covers the technical side of a website i.e. how the website works, creating links and pages.  A web developer will take the design and turn it into a usable website.


Search Engine Optimization.  Essential if you want your website to rank high in search engines like Google and Yahoo.  Please read our guide on Search Engine Optimisation for a detailed explanation.

Content Management (CMS)

Content Management.  A content management system will allow you to make changes to your website by yourself.  These changes include text and images, as well as managing products, blog and news items. Without content management, you will need to pay your web developer to make the changes for you.

Contact Us Form 

A basic contact page will contain your contact details i.e. Name, address, phone number etc.  A step up from this would contain your contact details and ability to have a link, which when clicked on will open up the users own e-mail client e.g. Outlook express. The next step up from this contains your contact details, a Google map to show where, for example your office is based and an enquiry form for visitors to fill in that is directly sent to you as an e-mail.


If you want to sell products over the internet, you will need an e-commerce website.  Depending on your budget and e-commerce  package that you buy, you can add/edit/delete products, keep an inventory of stock, take payment etc.

Domain name

A domain name is the address people use to find you or your company on the internet.  This address is typed into the browser’s address bar e.g. our domain name is www.nextbigleap.com


Web hosting is a service provided by someone.  Subscribing to a hosting service allows your web pages and files to be stored so that people all around the world can access your website.


A sitemap lists all the pages on a website.  It is important to have one for your website as it helps with search engine optimization.

Image optimisation 

Image optimization reduces the file size of images e.g. photos for your website, without any noticeable visual degradation.  Optimizing your images will allow your images to load quickly, save bandwidth and reduce server space.  If your images are too big, it will take your web pages a long time to download, which could end up losing you visitors to your website.


Flash is the animation used on websites.


A blog can be a website or part of a website.  It takes the form of a diary, somewhere to post latest news or personal thoughts, as a soapbox, somewhere to post links, it can be used for many different purposes.


A podcast is an audio or video file that is available to listen to or watch on the internet.


Twitter is a popular social networking service and uses instant messaging.  It is a way of sharing and keeping up to date on what is happening to an individual or company now.

Ip address

This is a unique number that is given to every computer connected to the internet .


You use a browser to surf the internet.  The most popular ones are Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Safari and Mozilla Firefox.


A URL is the address of a web page and is typed into the browser.  It begins with http:// and is most commonly followed by www.


A server is a computer that provides you with the information you request.   It provides resources or services to other computers.  There are different types of servers such as file servers, web servers and print servers.  When it comes to web servers, the more powerful the server is, the quicker it can serve web pages.


Portable Document Format (PDF).  It was developed by Adobe to allow information, such as documents to be transferred between different types of computers and allows for them to be printed on different printers and still look the same.  It also allows files to be shared with restricted viewing, printing and editing.


These are small text files that are put on your computer.  They are normally used by some websites to remember who you are when you visit a website.


A versatile content management system that can be tailored to meet the needs of any website and business through the use of clever add-ons.


PHP is a programming language used to build interactivity into websites e.g. to contact us forms, and functions for creating and manipulating graphics.

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