The Web Terminology You Might Come Across

When you work with a web developer, they will most likely talk about things that you have no idea about. Often times, they will use terminology and lingo without explaining things. This ends up leading to a disconnect between the client and developer, which ends up causing issues later in the project.

In this post, you will find a list of common terms that you might hear during the web development process. This will be handy to read through before you start conversations with a designer or developer to be somewhat prepared for what’s to come. Of course, you can Google things that you don’t know if you receive an email, but it’s always easier to have a compiled list.

We broke the list into a few sections, if you want to skip ahead to a certain area:

Basic Web
Website Development
Website Types
Website Design & Layout
Website Security
Website Tracking & Analytics

Basic Web:

1- Domain: A domain is a unique name that is used to identify the location of your website on a web server. When you type in on your web browser, the domain name is converted into an IP address by the DNS server, which then fetches your website from that particular address.

2- DNS: DNS stands for domain name server. You can think of DNS as your phone boon. It contains an updated list of all domain names and the IP addresses that they translate to. Unlike us humans, computers cannot understand domain names. This is why we need DNS to convert the domain names into IP addresses from where the website can be fetched.

3- URL: URL stands for Universal Resource Locator. This is the file address from where a particular resource can be fetched. A URL can be used to represent a web page, image, video, document, etc. A URL consists of the protocol, sub-domain, domain name, slug and also an article permalink.

4- Web Server: All websites that are live right now are hosted on high-performance computers called the servers. To get your website up and running, you will need to either buy a server for yourself or make use of one of the cloud service providers such as AWS to host your website. If you do choose to go with a cloud service provider, you will not have to worry about the maintenance and will also get the benefit of added security.

5- Hosting: When you develop a website on your local computer, you will be able to access it only on your local system and not over the internet. To be able to access your website over the internet, you will need to be able to run the code on a machine that is publicly accessible over the internet. The whole process of putting your website’s code and running it on a server is called hosting.

6- Client Side: We access the website using web browsers on our local computer. All the programming that is done to render the website on your browser is called client-side programming.

7- Server Side: When you request a particular page of the website, various commands are run on the server to calculate and provide you the data that you were looking for. The programs that run on the server to do various calculations are called server-side programs.

8- Web Browser: A web browser is an application on your computer that can be used to access and view a particular web page on the website. Some of the most widely used web browsers are Chrome, Edge, Safari, Brave, and Firefox.

Website Development:

1- HTML: HTML stands for HyperText Markup Language. It is used to identify different components and render the web page on your browser in a well-organized manner.

2- CSS: While HTML is used to organize the data well while rendering on your browser, CSS is used to make the rendered page more beautiful. CSS is used to add color, format text, etc.

3- JavaScript: Javascript is a programming language that is used to run programs directly on your browser. This can include a calculator, an animation, etc. While CSS and HTML are complete client-side programs, JavaScript can be used as both the client as well as a server-side scripting language.

4- PHP: PHP is a server-side scripting language that is used to add functionality to your website before the data is sent to the client. You can create a website to do complex operations such as various calculations, fetching data dynamically, etc using a server-side programming language such as PHP.

5- To remove all the complexity of web development, WordPress can be used. This is one of the most popular Content Management Systems (CMS) out there. You need not have learnt to program to host your website using WordPress. All you need to do is download the WordPress software, install it on your server, and add content to your website.

6- In the case of, you will need to download the WordPress software and install it on a server that you own or on a cloud service provider. You can eliminate all this by using You will not even worry about buying or renting out a server to host your website in this case.

7- CMS: CMS stands for Content Management System. Content Management Systems are used to host and maintain the content of your blog. Some of the most popular CMSs out there are WordPress, Ghost, etc.

8- Plugin: A plugin is a piece of software that can be added to a WordPress website to add additional functionality. They are designed to work with WordPress, to add features that aren’t part of WordPress core, such as Forms, Scheduling, Popups, etc.

Website Design and Layout

1- Header: This is one of the most important parts of a website. It is the topmost part of the website that includes the title as well as the navigation bar. The header of the website appears on every single web page.

2- Menu: The menu of a website consists of a list of links that in turn will redirect you to different sections of the website. This portion of the website is very important as it helps your visitors to be able to explore the rest of your website.

3- Hamburger Menu: Have you ever seen a stack of three horizontal lines on a website that opens up a list of sections once clicked? This is called the Hamburger Menu. These menus are most commonly seen when you try to browse a website on your mobile device. To make the website visually pleasing while not degrading any features, these types of menus are used.

4- Footer: A footer is the part of the website that appears at the bottom of the page. A footer usually contains the copyright details and a few links to the Contact and About pages of your website. Just like the header, the footer is common and appears across all the pages of a particular website.

5- Modal: Modals are important components of a website. These are small components that usually overlay over the content. Think of the box that pops in the middle of the screen over the rest of the page to display information, while making the page behind it unclickable. This avoids the need for pop-ups and page reloads.

6- Sidebar: Sidebars usually appear on the left or the right side of a particular web page. These can contain advertisements as well as the links to different sections of the website.

7- Responsive: The device that a user uses to view a website might not be of the same size. A website that adapts to the changing screen size is called a responsive website.

Website Types:

1- Landing Page: The first page that you are taken to when you enter a particular URL is called the landing page of that domain.

2-Informational: A website whose primary objective is to provide more information to its users is known as an informational website.

3- Blog: Blogs are online journals that display the information in reverse chronological order. This means that the latest posts appear first.

4- E-Commerce: E-Commerce websites are websites that you can visit to buy or sell some items. Some of the popular E-Commerce websites include Amazon, Walmart, etc.

5- Single Page: A website that has all of it’s content on the main web page. It often still has a menu bar that links to different sections. Ideal for smaller websites without a lot of content.

6- Portfolio: A website that allows you to showcase previous pieces of work. Think of it like a CV, where you can direct others to visit to show your skills & experience to impress employers, customers, and clients.

Website Security:

1- HTTP/HTTPS: HTTP/HTTPS are the protocols that are used to visit a particular website. HTTP is the protocol that is used to access a website that lacks an SSL certificate whereas HTTPS is used to access a website that has an SSL certificate.

2- SSL Certificate: SSL certificates are cryptographic data files that bind a digital public key to your organization’s details. An SSL certificate helps to prove ownership of a particular website.

3- SEO: SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. For your website to appear higher on a search result, the website needs to be SEO optimized. By increasing your SEO rank, you will be able to increase your website’s visibility on the search engine result page.

Website Tracking and Analytics:

1- Cookies: Cookies are small text files that are saved on the visitor’s computer when he visits a website. Cookies help the website to identify the visitor later when he visits the website again.

2- Pixels, Tags, and Analytics: Pixels and pixel tags are small graphic components of size 1X1 that are used to track the user’s activities on certain components of the websites. These are most commonly used by Google and Facebook to track ad analytics.