Web Design Glossary – Common terms used in Web Design

Acrobat – was launched by Adobe and by using it you are able to manage PDF files. You can create and view these files depending on the Adobe applications you have installed. By using free Acrobat Reader, you will be able to open PDF files.

Alt Tag – is used to display the text about the image if your browser is not able to show you the image. Also search engines use this information to provide better results to their users as search engines are not in a condition to read images and use Alt Tag as image description.

Animated GIF – is a graphic file that contains multiple images and in that way creates the appearance of motion. The GIF is an abbreviation of Graphic Interchange Format.

Animation – is used to create an illusion that something is moving. Animation is created by displaying multiple frames or images.

ASP – stands for Active Server Page. ASP are scripts that create HTML pages based on the user interaction on the pages shown in browser. They are used to create better experience and provide visitors of any website with a content they are asking for in a much more pleasant manner.

Bandwidth – represents the quantity of the information that you can transfer. The higher the bandwidth is, the amount of information that your connection can transfer increases.

Banner – The main purpose of having a banner is to advertise your business. This graphic picture is placed on websites and if clicked they lead to the website that sells certain products or services.

Bevel – is an effect that is added to the pictures in order to make them more appearing. It is usually used to emphasize the buttons.

Bitmap graphic – contains pixels and every pixel contains the information about the color. Formats of Bitmap graphic are BMP, JPG, GIF, TIFF.

Bitmap Image (bmp) – is an image that consists of dots or pixels. Each dot or a pixel has a color and all together they create an image. It is used to store images electronically. Another name for Bitmap Image is Raster Graphics.

Bleed or Bleeding Edge – When certain elements that are on the page are touching the margin of the page, it is called the Bleeding Edge. This effect increases the costs of printing and the solution to this problem is to redesign the picture or the element on the page.

Bookmark- When browsing the internet, you may find many interesting websites that you would like to visit again. For that reason many browsers have the option of bookmarking to remember all of your favorite pages that you want to open again in the future. You can even make groups and place the pages accordingly.

Browser- is a software application that will allow you to manage, view and that will give you the access to web pages. Most people use Microsoft Internet Explorer and Netscape. The web pages that you are trying to open may be shown to you in another manner and it all depends on the browser you are using and on the version you have installed.

CMYK- is an abbreviation of Cyan-Magenta-Yellow-Black. These colors are used for printing and they represent the basic colors. If you add the same amount of the Cyan, Magenta and Yellow, you should create a black color.

Compression- it is a way of making data smaller to speed up the downloading process or to save space on your disk. You will be saving your storage space by applying compression and you can send data a lot faster when it is compressed. When it comes to images that are on the Web, they have reduced colors, but the high quality is still there. These images are compressed by the software that at the same time allows them to maintain quality.

Cookie- represents the file that will help the web server to identify the user. It is placed on the computer of the user or in his browser and the purpose of it is to present customized content to the visitors.

CSS- stands for Cascading Style Sheet. This feature will allow you to have an external file that will contain all the information about the page like the font, color and layout. You do not have to put all that information in the HTML as with this feature you will be able to go through your codes more easily without reading unimportant details. This feature was launched by W3C. With this feature the users and the designer can specify how will the text elements show on the web page.

Database- is an organized set of information that is located on one place. Database is used to pull information by the computer and to show information or products on a web page.

DHTML- is an abbreviation of Dynamic Hypertext Mark-up Language. DHTML will transform your web pages into more interactive and animated. You may find dynamic menus, animation or text effects on the websites that are created by DHTML.

Directory- a great example of a directory is Yahoo. In a directory you will find categories and they are uploaded manually by a person. Many people mistaken the directory for a search engine, but there is a difference between these two terms. The difference is that directories do not use any web crawlers to search for new websites, but instead you need to give them your domain name.

Dithered/Dithering- is a process in which a computer displays a graphic image by simulating colors that can not be displayed. From the distance, your eye can not notice that the picture is made of pixels as it merges them. Dithering is a process of combining colors to display a picture on the 256 color monitor. The pixels are combined from 256 colors.

DNS- it is an abbreviation of Domain Name System. Domain names are translated into an Internet address that is numeric.

Doorway Page- many people know these pages as bridge page or gateway page. These pages are made for positions on search engines.

DPI- is an abbreviation of dots per inch. It is used to present the resolution of the printer. This measure shows how many dots there are in one inch. If you want to print pictures or text of higher quality, then it is advised that you buy a printer with higher DPI as the details on the page will be more emphasized.

Drop-Down Menu- When you click a drop down menu or as some people call it, pull down menu, you will get an option of selecting between the given choices. This navigation menu is opened or dropped down when you roll or click with the mouse.

Drop Shadow- this visual effect will present the image with the shadow and in that way it will create a depth to the image.

Duotone- represents an image that is made of two colors. Duotone is used to overlay one color over grayscale picture. You can create an artistic look of the image by applying this effect.

Emboss- with this effect you will create an image with a dimension. It will seem like the item on the picture is a projection from a background that is plane.

Error 404- the meaning of this message is Page Not Found.

Export- if you have files in one format and you save them in another one, then that action is called Export. You can export files from Adobe Photoshop to JPEG or GIF.

Feathering- if you want to create blurry graphic images, then this tool is the right one. It works in a way that the edge is progressively dissipated by applying Feathering to the edge of the image.

Findability- is mostly mentioned in online marketing and represents how easily your website can be found on all sorts of directories, engines and on other places.

Flash- To see content made in Flash, you need to install the plug-in. Some games, websites are made in flash. Flash animations have one feature and that is that you can download them very fast. Flash is a graphic software launched from Macromedia. Flash graphics will present in a same way, no matter what browser you are using.

Font- is a design made for set of characters. When you choose a typeface like Times New Roman, you have an option of choosing the font. You can choose the size of the font, bold or italic.

Forms- the purpose of Forms is to collect information from the users. They are HTML tags that are used whenever you need to register or input some data that is meant to be sent from your browser to the server.

Frame- When it comes to animations, frame is an individual graphic image in series of graphic images. By playing the certain amount of frames per second, the illusion of motion is created.

Frames- they will allow you to make few sections from a web page. Each section is built as an individual HTML file. Also there is one master HTML file that controls all other files. They are used for building navigation system, but they are not very good for search engine optimization.

Freeware- stands for software that can be downloaded and used for free.

FTP- is an abbreviation from File Transfer Protocol. This protocol will allow you to transfer data between two computers by using the internet connection.

GIF- is an abbreviation from Graphic Interchange Format. Images saved as GIF can store up to 256 colors. GIF is a file format that has compressed image and is very popular on the web.

Glow- it is an effect that you can add to images just like the shadow, but it will create the opposite effect. You can choose between low and high radiance depending on what you want to create. If you want to create soft glow, you will apply high radiance and if you want to create neon glow, then you will apply low radiance.

Gradient- is a transformation from one color to another. If you are creating images that have gradient fills, then you should save it as a JPG file.

Graphic Backgrounds- this is a layer of the image that is shown underneath everything else on the website. It is often used to give a better effect on the content above it and is usually used with a background color as well.

Grayscale- represents a palette of shades that range from black to white. Images in Grayscale do not have color. If you want to edit images and to remove all the information regarding the color of the image, then you can do that by applying Grayscale effect in picture editing programs.

Go-live- it is a moment when you launch a website or an application and it is on the disposal to the users on the internet.

Hexadecimal- base of this numbering system is 16. The numbering system starts from zero and goes to nine after which it uses letters instead of numbers. These letters are A, B, C, D, E, F and they represent 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15 respectively. In HTML they are used to represent a certain color value.

HTML- stands for Hypertext Markup Language. It was developed as a way to showcase anything from images, sounds, plain text or some specific data across the internet. Its simplicity allowed people with different operating system to be able to see the same content.

Hue- represents the real color of the object. It can also refer to the palette of colors that can be found in a rainbow like orange, green, violet, red, blue, yellow. You can create all the hues by using the three basic colors.

Hyperlink- by placing a hyperlink in your text you can link it to another site or to a certain spot on your own site. This electronic connection can improve your SEO and represents the connection between two hypertext documents.

Hypertext- is a text that will link you to another text. Clicking your mouse over the hyperlink placed in the hypertext will result in showing you another document.

Hosting is used for storing websites and information about them on the server. It is convenient for the users as they can access to the websites thanks to servers.

Image Map- is a graphic image created with HTML allowing you to click on links and in that way to navigate to different pages.

Information Page- is created for the targeted users on the internet, but it is adjusted for the search engine optimization and for placing the website in the web directory. It is a static page that will improve your SEO.

Interlace- is a way of compressing a video. When watching a video, the human eye will not notice that the video is interlaced if it is played 60 frames per second. If there are fast motions in the video, the human eye may notice blurry images. Graphic images are played one by one and there is no need to wait for the whole image to display.

Interstitial- is a browser window that will appear next to your browser when you click on the advertisement.

Java- is used for creating applications that can be saved to your computer and played. This programming language was developed by Sun Microsystems. There are simple applications and complex ones. The example of a simple application is animation and the example of the complex one is calculator.

JavaScript- this programming language can be integrated into HTML. This language was created by Sun Microsystems and by Netscape. If you want to create web pages that are dynamic and animated, then you should use JavaScript. This language can not be used for creating programs and it is mainly used for improving web pages.

JPEG- stands for Joint Photographic Experts Group. It is actually the name of the committee that created JPEG. JPEG is a compressed image and it is often used for photos, while GIF is commonly used for saving animated graphics.

K- is an abbreviation for Kilobyte when it comes to computers and it is used to determine the size of the document. When it comes to printers, K is used to mark the black color.

Kerning- represents the spacing amongst the characters of a word.

Kilobyte- is a measurement that determines the size of the file. It can store 1,024 bytes.

Leading- represents the spacing between two lines in the text.

Lossless Compression- is used to compress files without losing any data or quality. Lossless Compression is used in graphic design to compress GIF images. You can reduce the size of the GIF image by half. If you use some other methods, you may re-size it more, but it comes with the loss of data and quality.

Lossy Compression- is developed by programmers and it is used to reduce the size of the file. By using Lossy Compression, you will reduce the size of the file, but you will lose some details. A great example of the file that is compressed by using this method is JPEG.

LPI– stands for Lines Per Inch.

Masthead- you will see a masthead on the top of the website, it is used to mark the page you are looking. These images can be composed of text, image maps, photos or shapes.

Merchant Account- it is a type of bank account. With this account you can receive funds from a credit card.

Meta-tag- represents a HTML tag and is used to store data about the website. In online marketing Meta-tag is used as description or keyword tag. Having Meta-tags will allow the search engines to find the appropriate content and in that way to improve SEO. Meta-tag is storing information about the programs that were used to create the web page.

Modem- The purpose of having a modem is to connect to the internet by using dial-up and is also used in order to have the telephone lines connected.

Moderated Discussion List/Newsgroup- Moderator has duties like selecting posts that will be published and making categories. Moderated Discussion List is a process where you have the moderator that is reading the posts of the users and is organizing them into appropriate category.

Mouseover- it is an effect that was created in JavaScript. By adding this effect, users will see  how the colors or the images change when they go over the image with the mouse. This effect can be added in order to have pop-up windows and navigation bars.

Multimedia- integrates different media forms. It combines text with the page layout, animation, graphics and with the audio.

Navigation- by using navigation, the visitor can visit all the pages on the website.

Netiquette- is a behavior that is welcomed and accepted on the Web. This behavior refers on the newsgroup posts and emails.

Newbie- refers to a new user of some program, internet or email. It refers to anybody who is using a certain new technology.
Online- it can refer to a person that is using Internet as she/he is connected. Also there is a term of online advertising that refers to marketing over the internet.

Online Marketing- is a term that represents advertising using the internet.

Opt-In- It is an option that internet users sign up for and then they are receiving email concerning the subject of their interest.

Payment Gateway- is a way of transferring funds securely without any risks. It is used to transfer funds from the credit cards of your customers to the merchant account.

PDF- is an abbreviation from Portable Document Format. This format was developed by Adobe Systems. Documents can be taken from the web and seen on the computer. To be able to see the files that you have downloaded, you need to install the plug-in from the Adobe website.

PHP- it stands for Hypertext Pre-Processor and it is a scripting language. It is used to create dynamic web pages.

Plug-In- having a plug-in will allow you to view, save or hear files. You can download the plug-ins on the web sites of its developer. Plug-in is added to your browser when you download it and install it.

PNG- is an abbreviation from Portable Network Graphic. The pronunciation for the PNG is ping. PNG is compressed graphic image. If you compress your images with PNG, you will not lose on the quality of the picture. Image in this format may have around 16 million colors. If you are taking digital photos, then the smartest move would be to save them in GIF format as if you save them in the PNG format, it will take a lot of space as it has larger size.

PPI- is an abbreviation from pixels per inch. PPI is used to mark the resolution of the digital photo, scanner and monitor. PPI is used to measure how many pixels is there per line in one inch.

Post- is a message that is posted on a message board or is posted to a newsgroup.

Query – This is also known as a search phrase. It is used to retrieve from or add or update the database based on the keywords that are typed in by the user, or based on the selection made by mouse on the browser. The most common example would be the search engine like Google and query would be the phrase you were searching for with it.

Quick Time Video – This is another technology created by Apple. It enables you to create various multimedia items and place them on your website. It is most used to play audio or to play some video over the internet, but it can also be used to view 3D animations, or virtual reality. Even though it is more popular on Mac systems, it is also very often used on Windows Systems as well.

Radio Button – Usually presented in a form of a circle, it is often found on websites when you are asked to make a selection and decide on only one choice. As soon as you select your choice any other radio button in the group will be unselected. The most similar to it is the check box button, with the difference that you can select multiple check boxes and only one radio button.

RDFa – It is also known as a Resource Description Framework and it is another standard recommended by W3C which will add new sets of attributes to the XHTML model enabling web designers to add quality metadata into the Web Documents. It does this by using triples which can be extracted and used by browsers that support it.

RGB – While CMYK color system is used for printing, RGB system got its popularity for web design and for monitors. It is simpler to adjust 3 colors, Red, Green and Blue from which it got its abbreviation.

Rich Media – Rich media is almost everything that can be filed under multimedia category with one big difference. While the pictures could be interpreted as rich media, they do not get into the category no matter how pretty or complex they might be. On the other hand, no matter how simple it is, it is considered as Rich Media if it is Flash or Shockwave animation, video content, special effects and similar.

Royalty-Free Photos or Images – These are photos and images that you can purchase from someone and use them on your website or in your advertising flayers. They are sold to you for a certain fee and after you pay for them you are able to use them in any manner that you like and as much as you need them. It also means that the person that sold the image to you will still hold the rights for the same materials and you are not able to give the pictures to be used by anyone else, as that would require for them to purchase the image as well.

Rules – These are horizontal rules or lines that help you to make your content more presentable. It can be used to separate sections or to present a new chapter of your blog text. It can often be found on the bottom or top of the page to add more effect to the design as it can be used to show picture as well as be a line of any height.

Sans Serif – This is a type of the font and it means that these fonts are ‘gentle’ as they are more round and without ‘feet’ on the letters ends. The most often used types of these fonts are Arial, Verdana, Helvetica and others and it is considered as more pleasant and casual from the Serif fonts.

Saturation – It stands for the brightness of the colors on a graphic, photo or image. While setting it to a lower value will make it appear less attractive it will make it unpleasant to look at if the value is set to too high. Good graphics designer would know to set it correctly to give a fresh and nice feel to the picture while in the same time not add too much of it.

Screen Font – This is part of the Adobe Type 1 fonts package and it is used to describe every character to the operating system that is using it. This makes sure that the font can be seen on the screen properly.

Search Engine – Search engine is a service provided by some individual or more often a company that crawls (searches) the internet for websites and the content that they hold in order to show you the same without you needing to waste time going through the websites by hand. The main characteristics of any search engine are crawlers also called robots and the large amount of data placed in various databases across different servers. When you type your query inside of them, they will check your phrase in their database and show you the results.

Search Engine Optimisation – It is most often addressed as SEO. These are actually all the techniques that are used by SEO experts to make your website better positioned on the SERP (Search Engine Results Pages). This is something every website needs and something that changes very frequently. That is why it is pricier than the design of the pages as people doing it need to renew their knowledge from time to time.

Serif – This is a type of font that has some extra pixels added to it. These pixels are often called ‘little feet’ and can be noticed on the end of each character from the Serif group. Most used Serif fonts are Times New Roman, Palatino, Garamound.

Spam – This is anything unwanted. It is most often seen in the relation to emails as email spam. It means that someone aka spammer is using some techniques to pass you an email that could cause you to lose some money, be part of some illegal action or is just boring you.

Spider/Robot – This is a very simple application (program) that is used by search engines to find and index websites.

Text-Entry Box –  This is a field that allows you to enter any character from your keyboard. It is often used on forms to enter some data such as username and password.

Thread – On web it is most commonly related to messages or posts that are followed by other people. The most common place to find them are forums, newsgroups and similar.

Thumbnail – This is a small image usually not bigger than an inch or two.

Traffic Node – This is a collection of information pages that can be found on a website.

Typeface – It is a special font object that holds multiple fonts in itself. This means that Arial Typeface holds not only Arial, but also Arial Bold, Arial Italic and other based on the font designer.

URL- stands for Uniform Resource Locator. By having the URL of some website it means that you have the website address and in that way you can access the website at any time.

Vector Graphic- consist of lines named paths. Images that are designed in Freehand or Illustrator are a great example of vector graphic. If you set a larger size, the vector graphic will not lose its quality.

Video- consist of framed images that are displayed one by one, but that is not visible to the human eye. Human eye will only register the interactivity and the motion. Human eye will not notice that video is a set of images that are displayed very fast. If you want to compare the video to an animation, then the difference is that in video you have lots of frames and an animation is not broken in frames.

Web Siteconsists of web pages that are created in HTML. A website can consist of images, videos, text, sound files, animation. It can also contain JavaScript and Java.

W3Cis an abbreviation from World Wide Web Consortium. It represents a community that puts effort in developing standards on the Internet. This community has an international character. The leadership of this community is on the Tim Berners-Lee that is also the inventor of the Web.

WYSIWYG- stands for What You See Is What You Get. This abbreviation is used to inform the users that the certain software is without hidden attributes.

XHTML- stands for Extensible Hypertext Mark-up Language. It represents the integration of XML and HTML. If you create web pages using this language, then your web pages should be shown on every platform equally.

XML- stands for Extensible Mark-up Language.