Websites glossary

301 Redirect

If you change a URL (from takepayments.com/welcome to takepayments.com/home, for example) a 301 redirect tells search engines (like Google and Bing) to send users to the new address instead.

404 page

A 404 page is shown when a user tries to visit a page that doesn't, or no longer, exists — that could be down to a typo, the page being removed or moved etc.

Accordions & Expanding Content

These sections can expand and collapse to show/hide content — frequently used to help declutter a webpage.

Alt-Text

Alt-text is a form of metadata and useful in a number of ways. If an image fails to load, the alt-text will display instead, it's used by screen readers to help visually impaired users, and also contributes to a page's SEO ranking.

Anchor Text

You'll have no doubt seen a link labelled 'click here' (usually in blue) on a website, and that would be the anchor text in this example. The relevance of anchor text word(s) selection is important, as Google etc. take these into account when ranking search results.

APIs

APIs (Application Programming Interface) APIs are used to integrate a website with an external website or software. If you've used a 'Login with Facebook' service to sign into a website, this will have been made possible thanks to Facebook's API.

Authorised Applications

These are third-party applications you've explicitly allowed to access your data, for a variety of reasons/uses.

Backend Code

This refers to code that runs on a server, determining how a site works. For the opposite of this, see 'frontend' code.

Backlinks

Any links on other sites that direct users back to your website are known as backlinks. In general, the more backlinks your site achieves, the better, but as with all things SEO, the quality (source) and relevance of those links matter. Usually found directly beneath the website's header, banners are primarily used to display marketing or service information to users.

Below the Fold

Taken from physical media, where text or imagery would become 'below the fold' when a newspaper was doubled over, for example. In digital terms, any content that requires the user to scroll in order to see is considered 'below the fold'.

Breadcrumbs

Used to help visitors retrace their steps (clicks) on a website, breadcrumbs are text-based navigational links, usually displayed at the top of a given page, and follow a structure similar to: home > category > subcategory > current page.

Breakpoints

These are the specific pixel-width dimensions at which a design's layout and/or content will adapt to correctly display on a user's device, creating a seamless experience across the range of screen sizes.

Caching

This is the process of saving a copy of elements from a webpage on a user's device that would otherwise take too much time to load from scratch on every visit. User's can clear their cache to remove this data.

Call to Action

A call to action is anything on a website that asks the visitor to do something, usually 'call', 'click', 'buy', 'visit' etc.

Collection

Collections are normally found below the header as part of the main navigation of a website. An example of individual collections on a DIY website could be 'tools', 'adhesives & screws', 'paint & emulsion' etc.

Collection Item URL

This is the 'slug' that represents the individual product/item in a collection. For example, if the collection URL is davesdiy.com/tools, the collection item URL would be davesdiy.com/tools/drill.

Columns

Columns display content side by side on a website, just like you'd find in a newspaper or magazine.

Container

This is any part of a website that contains content.

Content

Any text, imagery, video or audio on a website.

Content Delivery Network (CDN)

A CDN is a third-party hosting provider, used to store and then show (known as 'serving') imagery, video and other media when a user accesses a page. Using a CDN to serve data-intensive content can help websites load faster.

Cookies

Cookies are minuscule files stored on a user's device when visiting a webpage and are used on future visits for tracking (used for marketing and advertising), personalisation (displaying previously viewed products etc.) and things such as saving login information.

CSS (Cascading Style Sheets)

One of the fundamental building blocks of a website, CSS styles the HTML (explained further down). The font family, its colour, size, layout and spacing etc. is all determined by the CSS.

Domain Authority

Search engines such as Google, Bing and Duck Duck Go constantly check ( or 'crawl') websites and their content, using a number of factors (known as 'signals') such as domain age (older = better), visitor volume and backlink quality to determine your domain authority and this directly affects search ranking.

Domain Name

Imagine a customer asked for your website's address; chances are you'd provide them with your domain name. In the vast majority of cases, it's the homepage. Ours is 'takepayments.com', for example.

Domain Name Forwarding

This automatically redirects visitors to your domain to a different web address — useful if your business has recently changed name and acquired a new domain name.

Dropdown Menu

Simply put, a dropdown menu will reveal a list of links directly below it when clicked.

Dynamic Content

Unlike static content (explained further down), dynamic content changes depending on context, meaning two users may see different versions of the same page. The factors determining what is shown are completely under the control of the website's administrator.

Embedded Content

This is any content drawn from an external source and viewed directly on your webpage. An extremely common example of embedded content is a YouTube video used on a product page.

Favicon

A 16x16 pixel image that displays in browser tabs and bookmarks, usually a small version of the website's logo.

Field Label

On forms, a field label prompts users to input specific information into a text box (the field). For example, 'surname' or 'address'.

Fixed Element

Any part of a website that remains in position, irrespective of other visible content. For example, a live chat window that remains in the bottom right of a webpage as you scroll around.

Fixed-Width Layout

A fixed-width layout is a website designed to stay the same width, irrespective of display/browser window size or screen resolution.

Footer Navigation

The footer can be found at the bottom a webpage and is usually consistent across the website. It is usually home to links such as privacy policies, terms and conditions, careers, FAQs and other pages that drive minimal — if any — revenue.

Form Block

This is a series of elements on a website that together represent a basic form.

Frontend Code

Whereas backend code is server based, frontend code runs on a user's device, in the browser, and is responsible for defining what the user sees.

Fully Optimised Website

A modern website will be fully optimised to display its text, imagery and video equally well on any device (laptop, mobile, tablet etc.) a user may access it on, regardless of screen size.

Header

Located at the top of a website, the header is typically home to a business's logo and the main navigation. As with a footer, the header is usually uniform across every page.

Host/Hosting

No matter how small (or large), every website needs to be hosted on a server(s), in order to be made available to the wider internet. Hosting providers offer this service.

Hyperlink

These link one webpage to another, be that on the same website or others — backlinks and internal links are both hyperlinks.

HyperText Markup Language (HTML)

HTML is a coding language that all web browsers use to display websites. The code itself explains what should be displayed on a browser, while the CSS handles how that content should look.

iFrame

iFrames essentially show parts of another webpage via the page you're currently visiting, like a virtual window.

Image Filetypes

There are two types of images: raster and vector. JPGs, PNGs and GIFs are common examples of raster files, while SVG, AI and PDF files are all vector — there are pros and cons to both types. Raster images are pixel based, meaning they lose quality and become blurry when enlarged, while vector images are infinitely scalable without losing quality but can't hold the same level of colour detail as rasters.

Indexing, Spiders, Robots and Crawling

Search engines use what are commonly referred to as spiders (or robots) to 'crawl' websites and the associated webpages in order to identify content, before adding this to their search indexes. This is what allows the likes of Google to return results for users on their SERPS (defined below).

Internal Linking

Any link on your website that links to another page within that same website is an internal link. Done well (i.e. relevant linking), this can help search engines determine how a webpage relates to a topic and why it is relevant — aiding search ranking efforts.

JavaScript

JavaScript is a programming language used to add interactive and dynamic/animated elements to a webpage.

Keywords/Search Terms

These are the words and phrases users enter on search engines when looking for something online. In order to create content that Google etc. consider relevant, it's vital to understand what your potential customers are searching for.

Lightbox

A lightbox opens on top of a webpage, darkening the content below before displaying imagery or video in the new field. Consider how images are displayed when you click them on sites such as Facebook or Twitter.

Loading Speed

Simply how long a webpage takes to display.

Longtail Search Terms

These are similar to keywords/phrases (see above); however, they are much more specific, so instead of 'coffee shops', a longtail search term might be, 'coffee shops near me that serve oat milk'. These terms are easier to rank for but, understandably, receive far fewer searches.

Managed Hosting Environment

A managed hosting environment is a solution for website owners who want to ensure their site's content and servers remain secure, up to date and operational, without the headaches involved with maintaining the management system themselves.

Media Queries

In order to display content correctly on different browser window sizes, a webpage's CSS may check to confirm its dimensions. This 'media query' tells the CSS how to correctly present its page's content, a fundamental part of modern responsive web design.

Mega Menus

When a website contains a large number of collections, a mega menu may well be used. Similar to a dropdown menu, in that a large number of navigation options are displayed; however, mega menus may also contain secondary collections or subsections as part of their navigation.

Metadata

Consisting of meta keywords, a meta description and meta title, metadata can be found within the HTML of a webpage, and provides search engines with information regarding the page's content. Though meta keywords are now largely ignored by Google etc, meta descriptions and meta titles are still highly relevant to SEO (defined further down) and displayed on SERPs (also defined later).

Payment Gateway

A payment gateway connects a website with shopping carts and payment providers, so that merchants can seamlessly accept and process online purchases.

Project Specialist

A project specialist at takepayments oversees and manages the set-up, development and execution of your website. Starting with the briefing stage, they help design and refine to individual requirements, guaranteeing a that site that goes live and functions as desired.

Screen Readers

Electronic devices used by visually impaired people to help them use computers and navigate websites.

Screen Resolution

This relates to the number of pixels displayed on a screen — 1920×1080, 1366×768, 1280x1024 and 360×640 are all typical screen resolutions.

Search Engine Friendly URLs

These are URLs that are easily readable by humans (which search engines look extremely positively upon). For example, takepayments.com/asdf=sdet&re?=true is not 'friendly', whereas takepayments.com/websites is.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

This is the process of preparing website/webpages to rank as highly as possible on search engines for the keywords, terms and content potential customers/users are looking for.

Search Engine Results Page (SERP)

When you search for a word/phrase, the page(s) that Google etc. loads is the SERP(S), displaying results from most to least relevant.

Server

This is where your website will be stored. When a user clicks on a link to your site (or manually enters it into their browser), the server will ultimately provide (serve) the requested webpage to their browser window.

Session

This is simply an individual instance of a device connected to a website. Leave and return, and a new session is created.

Slug/Alias/Path

This is the final part of a URL that should (for SEO purposes) match a webpage's title. An article on cats.com titled, 'The Best Toys for Cats' might have the URL 'cats.com/blog/best-toys-cats', for example.

Static Content

While dynamic content (see above) adapts to context, static content delivers the same experience to all users, regardless of any previous interaction with the website.

Template

Templates are used to create a consistent and familiar look across a website, acting as the foundation from which the rest of the site's design is based.

Toggles

On/off switches, usually found in a website's settings area to help users tailor their experience.

Transport Layer Security (TLS)/ Secure Socket Layer) SSL Standards

TLS and SSL are the standard methods for establishing encrypted links between a web server and browser, ensuring any data passed between the two remains private and secure. TLS and SSL are also used to protect communication methods such as email, messaging and VoIP. Note: websites that don't provide TLS or SSL can be labelled 'not secure' or 'dangerous' by search engines, which will obviously dissuade users from visiting those pages.

UI (User Interface)/UX (User Experience)

Working in tandem to determine a site's accessibility, UI relates to any part of the website a visitor sees and uses, whereas UX refers to how easy and straightforward a website is to use — how it feels.

URL

The full web address of a single web page, for example: https://takepayments.com/websites.

Usability

This refers to the ease with which a site's visitor can find their way around and achieve what they were hoping to. Usability is directly impacted by the UI and UX design of a page/site and how smoothly they function.

Utility Pages

These are default templates for areas on your site such as search result pages, user login and 404 errors.

Viewports

This is literally the browser window users view your site through.

Webpage/Website

A webpage refers to a single URL within a larger website. Think of a book as the website and every individual page as, well, a webpage.

Wireframe

Used by designers during the early development stages of creating a webpage, a wireframe is a stripped-back line and box representation of said page. Different wireframes will be created for the various sections of a website.

XML Sitemap

This text file lists and plans out all the URLs contained on a website, helping search engines index the entire site — and if a page isn't indexed, it can't show up in search results.

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