Web design glossary

If you can't tell your back end from your e-commerce, you need our simple web design glossary!

  • Apache - the most popular Web server programme used on the Internet
  • App - short for application, an app is a programme which runs on your mobile, tablet or computer
  • Back end - the part of a website accessible only to authorised users, e.g. a content management system; see Front end
  • Breadcrumb trail - a series of links back up through the site structure to the home page
  • Browser - computer programme to display a Web page at a Website on the World Wide Web. Popular browsers are Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox and Safari.
  • CMS - Content Management System, a system for amending the text on a website
  • CSS - Cascading Style Sheets, the main language used for styling web pages
  • Client-side - refers to functionality that is performed on the user's computer; see Server-side
  • Database - a collection of records or data stored on a Web server, common formats are MySQL and SQL Server
  • Domain name - the first part of a URL, for example iteracy.com
  • Dynamic - a Web page that gives users an interactive experience
  • E-commerce - buying or selling items on the Internet
  • FTP - File Transfer Protocol, a method for transferring files across the Internet
  • Flash - a plugin made by Adobe for rich functionality on Web pages
  • Form - allows a user to enter data onto a web page and send it back to the Web server
  • Front end - the part of a website displayed to the general public, see Back end
  • GIF - a older type of image file with limited colours, but capable of animation
  • HTML - HyperText Markup Language, the usual programming language used to create web pages
  • HTTP -a method for transferring web pages across the internet
  • Homepage - the page displayed to a user when they start their Web browser or click the 'home' button
  • Host - the server on which a website resides, or the company that provides it
  • Hosting company - a company that sells space on their web servers to the public
  • Hyperlink - a link to another page, document, image or other media on a Web page
  • Internet - the global, public computer network
  • JPEG - a type of image file used mainly for photographs
  • Java - a plugin made by Sun to allow more complex programmes to run on a web page
  • JavaScript - a scripting language used for client-side functionality
  • MySQL - an open source database system created MySQL AB
  • Open source - a set of principles and practices on how to write software, the most important of which is that the source code is openly available
  • PHP - a computer language used to create dynamic Web pages
  • PNG - an image file type suitable for graphics on the web, replacing the older GIF file type
  • Plugin - an add-in programme for a web browser such as Flash or Quicktime
  • Quicktime - a plugin made by Apple to display video and rich media on web pages
  • Ranking - the placement of a website in a search engines results
  • SEF - Search Engine Friendly, any system designed to improve the visibility of a site to a search engine
  • SEO - Search Engine Optimisation, methods for improving a website's result position in a search engine
  • SQL Server - a database system created by Microsoft
  • Search engine - a website designed to search for information on the Web
  • Server - a computer that holds a web site and sends pages, images and other parts of a web page
  • Server-side - refers to functionality that is performed on the Web server
  • Static - a Web page that doesn't include any rich functionalilty or database calls
  • W3C - the World Wide Web Consortium, the organisation that sets standards for the Web
  • WAI - Web Accessibility Initiative, a set of standards created by the W3C to improve accessibility of websites
  • Web page - a file usually written in HTML or XHTML programming languages that can be a read by a Web browser
  • Website - a collection of Web pages, images or videos hosted on one or several Web server(s)
  • World Wide Web - a system of linked documents accessed via the Internet
  • XHTML - Extensible HyperText Markup Language, the latest version of HTML
  • XML - Extensible Markup Language, a general-purpose markup language upon which XHTML is based