Agape Creative Studios

Multimedia Studio

Web Design & Development Lingo

Web design and development lingo is foreign to many of our clients. We understand that you do not speak in code! We’ve complied this great list of terms that are common throughout our industry. Use these to educate yourselves and to understand what we mean when trying to communicate with you.


You’re probably familiar with alignment as a term to describe the positioning of text: left, right, justified, and centered. Alignment can apply to any element on a web page, not just text.


The back end is the admin area of a website that allows you to control the site’s settings. The back end is hidden from regular visitors. Only site administrators who are logged in can access this admin area.


Many people think branding is just a logo. Branding is your collective voice as an entity and can be seen through your touchpoints (website, business cards, style guides, brochures, social media, etc.).


A browser (or web browser) is a software that is used to access the internet and view websites. Some popular browsers include Safari, Google Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Opera.


Caching is a web technology that is used to make web pages load faster. The first time a you load a web page, the file is pulled directly from the web server. Then the browser saves a copy of the page so that the page loads faster the next time you visit that page.


CSS defines the design of a website. For example, CSS describes the font, color, background, width, height, position, etc. of an HTML element.


Your style guide should include a color palette that is used for all touchpoints. This is typically a primary palette of three to five colors and their corresponding shades and tints.


A CMS is a database-driven software that for managing a website’s content. It allows you to create, edit, and organize the content of your website through a central interface that’s accessible through an internet browser. Using a CMS also makes it easier for people who aren’t developers to manage a website without learning lots of code. Some popular CMS’s are WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal.


Copy refers to the text content on a web page and includes the main text as well as any headlines or captions.


A domain name is an address where you can be found on the internet (ex, Domain names can have a number of extensions: .com, .net, .org, etc.


DNS is a centralized database for the internet that converts IP addresses into domain names. When someone types your domain into their browser, a DNS server points your domain to the IP address of your web server so visitors can see your website.


Favicons are the small icons you see near the address bar at the top of your browser. These icons are customizable.


A fixed width layout has a defined width. The width of the website does not change no matter how large or small a visitor’s screen or browser window is.


The front end is the side of a website that is visible to visitors.


FTP is a method used to transfer files over the internet. Web developers use FTP to upload files from their computer to your website. It’s also used to do the reverse: to download files from your website to their computer.


Fold is a term with origins from the days of printed news, referring to the fold in a newspaper that separated the top of half that was visible when folded (above the fold) from the bottom half (below the fold). In web design, “above the fold” refers to the content that is visible at the top of a web page without any scrolling. Anything “below the fold” is content that the user cannot see unless they scroll down the page.


This term is commonly used to describe the main image on the home page of a website. A hero image may be part of a rotating image slider, or it may be a large static image.


Web hosting is a place where you store all the files that make up your website. When you buy web hosting from a provider, you are buying space on a web server for your files to be stores.


HTML, which stands for Hypertext Markup Language, is the most basic language of web development. HTML defines the content–text, images, and video–of a web page and has little to no styling until CSS is applied.


A hyperlink is a link from one web page to another. Hyperlinks can link to pages on the same website or pages on other websites.


Javascript is a programming language used to make web pages interactive. Javascript can control events that happen when a visitor hovers on an object, clicks a button, scrolls on a page, and more.


The layout of a website is the arrangement of all visual elements on a page. This includes the position of the logo, navigation, text, and images. The layout is the the foundation of a website’s design and is used to guide the user through the page.


Don’t be alarmed if your designer hands over a mockup filled with Latin-looking text. Lorem Ipsum is filler or dummy text often used in design mockups to demonstrate a font or to hold the place of actual copy if that copy isn’t ready.


A mockup is a non-functioning graphic representation of a website. They are often built in Photoshop or Adobe XD and are used to determine how a website will look before development begins. By establishing a website’s design through static mockups, rather than fully-functional coded pages, it is easier to make adjustments to fonts, colors, etc. This saves time and money on a web project.


A website’s navigation is a collection of links that allow users to “navigate” to other pages of your website. Your website’s navigation can also be called a “menu.” Your primary navigation, or main menu, is generally located near the top of a web page.


The term permalink is short for “permanent link.” A permalink is the URL of an individual blog post. When you go to the main blog page of a website, the page gets updated as new posts are published. Permalinks make it easy to bookmark or link to a specific post even after it’s been pushed off the main page.


A placeholder often refers to images used in the design or early development stages of website for position only. Its purpose is to fill the space of an image on a web page or design mockup until the final image is ready. Placeholder can also refer to text, though this is usually referred to as “dummy text” instead.


Responsive design solves the problem that was created when smart phones and tablets became popular. Traditional web sites were fixed-width and designed for computer monitors only. Fixed-width sites create lots of usability issues on phones and tablets, which is why people started creating separate mobile sites.

Responsive design solves this problem by using fluid-width layouts instead of fixed-width layouts. Responsive websites adjust to different sized screens and display properly on any device. This eliminates the need for dedicated mobile sites.


Touchpoints are any interaction that might alter the way that your customer feels about your product, brand, business or service. These can be physical interactions (product packaging, brochures, etc.) or digital interactions (social media, website, online review, etc.)


Arial and Helvetica are typefaces. You probably know these as “fonts.” Technically, there is a difference between the two, but this distinction is only critical to professional type designers. In web design, the terms typeface and font are often used interchangeably, and your web designer may use either one.


White space is the empty areas on a page. Proper amounts of white space create balance between elements on a page. It is important not to cram things too close together on a web page. White space can also be used to bring focus to elements like images and blocks of text.