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Glossary of Web Design and Development Terms


API (Application Programming Interface): A set of rules and protocols that allows one software application to interact with another. APIs are used to enable the integration of different software systems and applications.

AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML): A technique for creating fast and dynamic web pages by allowing the exchange of data with a web server without reloading the entire page.

Accessibility: The practice of making websites usable by people of all abilities and disabilities. This includes designing and developing websites that can be accessed by people with visual, auditory, motor, and cognitive impairments.


Back-End Development: The server-side part of web development that involves creating and managing databases, server logic, and application logic. It focuses on what users cannot see, such as data storage and retrieval.

Bootstrap: A popular open-source front-end framework for developing responsive and mobile-first websites. It includes HTML, CSS, and JavaScript components.

Breadcrumb Navigation: A secondary navigation system that shows the user’s location in a website’s hierarchy, often displayed as a series of links separated by arrows or slashes.


CMS (Content Management System): A software application that allows users to create, edit, manage, and publish digital content without needing to write code. Examples include WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal.

CSS (Cascading Style Sheets): A stylesheet language used to describe the presentation of a document written in HTML or XML. CSS controls the layout, colours, fonts, and overall look and feel of a website.

Caching: The process of storing copies of files or data in a temporary storage location (cache) to improve website performance and load times.

Conversion Rate: The percentage of website visitors who complete a desired action, such as making a purchase or filling out a contact form.


DNS (Domain Name System): A system that translates human-readable domain names (e.g., into IP addresses that computers use to identify each other on the network.

Domain Name: The address of a website that people type into a browser to access it. It consists of a name (e.g., “example”) and a top-level domain (e.g., “.com”).

Dynamic Content: Web content that changes based on user interactions, preferences, or other variables. It is generated in real-time by the server.


E-commerce: The buying and selling of goods and services over the Internet. E-commerce websites enable businesses to conduct transactions online.

Element: A single part of a web page, such as a heading, paragraph, image, or link, defined by HTML tags.

Engagement Rate: A metric that measures the level of interaction that users have with content on a website, often calculated based on clicks, likes, shares, and comments.


Front-End Development: The client-side part of web development that involves creating the visual and interactive aspects of a website using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

Framework: A pre-built collection of code that provides a foundation for developing web applications, making development faster and easier. Examples include React, Angular, and Laravel.

Favicon: A small icon that represents a website, typically displayed in the browser’s address bar, bookmarks, and tabs.


Grid System: A layout system that divides a web page into columns and rows, helping designers create well-structured and visually appealing layouts.

Git: A version control system that allows developers to track changes to code, collaborate on projects, and manage code versions.

Gutenberg: The block-based editor introduced in WordPress 5.0, allows users to create complex layouts and content using drag-and-drop blocks.


HTML (HyperText Markup Language): The standard markup language used to create and structure content on the web. HTML elements form the building blocks of web pages.

Hosting: The service of providing storage space and access for websites on the internet. Web hosting companies store website files on their servers and make them accessible to users online.

Hyperlink: A clickable element (text, image, button) that directs users to another webpage or resource.


IA (Information Architecture): The organization and structuring of content on a website to improve usability and navigation, ensuring users can easily find information.

IP Address: A unique numerical address assigned to each device connected to the internet, used to identify and locate devices on the network.

Interactive Design: The practice of designing websites and applications with interactive elements that engage users and enhance the user experience.


JavaScript: A programming language used to create dynamic and interactive effects on web pages. It allows developers to add animations, handle user events, and manipulate content.

JSON (JavaScript Object Notation): A lightweight data interchange format used to transmit data between a server and a web application. It is easy for humans to read and write, and for machines to parse and generate.


Keyword: A specific word or phrase that users enter into search engines to find information. Keywords are essential for SEO, as they help search engines understand the content of a webpage.

Kerning: The adjustment of space between individual characters in text to improve readability and aesthetics.


Landing Page: A standalone web page designed specifically for marketing or advertising campaigns. It is where visitors land after clicking on a link, and it usually contains a call to action.

Load Time: The time it takes for a web page to fully display its content. Faster load times improve user experience and SEO.

Lazy Loading: A technique that defers the loading of non-essential resources (such as images) until they are needed, improving page load times.


Meta Tags: HTML tags that provide metadata about a web page, such as the page title, description, and keywords. Meta tags are used by search engines to understand and index web pages.

Mobile-First Design: A design approach that prioritizes the mobile user experience by designing for smaller screens first and then scaling up to larger screens.

MVC (Model-View-Controller): A design pattern used in software development to separate the application logic (model), user interface (view), and user input (controller).


Navigation: The system that allows users to move through different sections and pages of a website. Effective navigation improves user experience and helps users find information quickly.

Node.js: An open-source, cross-platform JavaScript runtime environment that allows developers to run JavaScript on the server side.


Open Source: Software that is freely available and can be modified and distributed by anyone. Open source projects encourage collaboration and sharing within the developer community.

On-Page SEO: The practice of optimizing individual web pages to improve their search engine rankings. This includes optimizing content, HTML tags, and internal links.


PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor): A popular server-side scripting language used to create dynamic web pages and applications. It is commonly used in conjunction with MySQL databases.

Prototype: An early sample or model of a website or application, used to test and validate design concepts and functionality before full-scale development.

Parallax Scrolling: A web design technique where background images move slower than foreground images, creating an illusion of depth and a more engaging user experience.


Query: A request for information from a database. In web development, queries are often written in SQL (Structured Query Language) to retrieve and manipulate data.

Quality Assurance (QA): The process of testing and verifying that a website or application meets specified requirements and functions correctly before it is launched.


Responsive Design: An approach to web design that ensures web pages look and function well on all devices and screen sizes. It involves flexible layouts, images, and CSS media queries.

Router: A device that directs internet traffic to and from devices on a network. In web development, a router can also refer to the code that handles routing requests to different parts of an application.


SEO (Search Engine Optimization): The practice of optimizing a website to improve its visibility and ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs). This involves on-page and off-page techniques.

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer): A protocol for establishing a secure, encrypted connection between a web server and a browser. SSL certificates are used to protect data transmitted over the internet.

Sitemap: A file that lists all the pages on a website, used by search engines to crawl and index the site’s content.


Typography: The art and technique of arranging type to make written content readable and visually appealing. Typography involves the selection of fonts, sizes, spacing, and alignment.

Template: A pre-designed layout that can be used to create web pages with a consistent look and feel. Templates save time and ensure design consistency.

Third-Party Integration: The process of connecting a website or application with external services or applications, such as payment gateways, social media platforms, and analytics tools.


UI (User Interface): The part of a website or application that users interact with. UI design focuses on the layout, visual elements, and interactive components that make up the user interface.

UX (User Experience): The overall experience a user has when interacting with a website or application. UX design aims to create a positive, efficient, and enjoyable user experience.

Usability Testing: The process of testing a website or application with real users to identify usability issues and gather feedback for improvement.


Version Control: A system that records changes to a file or set of files over time, allowing developers to track revisions, collaborate, and revert to previous versions if needed.

Viewport: The visible area of a web page on a user’s device. Viewport settings in HTML and CSS control how a web page is displayed on different devices and screen sizes.

Visual Hierarchy: The arrangement of design elements in a way that guides the user’s attention and helps them understand the importance of different parts of a web page.


Wireframe: A simplified, low-fidelity representation of a web page’s layout and structure, used to plan the design and functionality before full development.

Web Hosting: The service of providing storage space and access for websites on the internet. Web hosting companies store website files on their servers and make them accessible to users online.

WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get): An editor that allows users to create and edit web pages visually, without needing to write code. Changes made in a WYSIWYG editor are immediately reflected in the design.


XML (Extensible Markup Language): A markup language used to store and transport data. XML is both human-readable and machine-readable, making it ideal for data interchange between systems.

XPath: A language used to navigate through elements and attributes in an XML document. It is commonly used in conjunction with XSLT for transforming XML data.


YAML (YAML Ain’t Markup Language): A human-readable data serialization format used for configuration files and data exchange. YAML is often used in web development for defining application settings.


Zero-Day Vulnerability: A security flaw in software that is unknown to the software vendor and has not yet been patched. Zero-day vulnerabilities can be exploited by hackers to gain unauthorized access to systems.

Z-Index: A CSS property that controls the stacking order of elements on a web page. Elements with a higher z-index appear in front of elements with a lower z-index.


Understanding these web design and development terms can help you communicate more effectively with developers, designers, and other stakeholders. Whether you are looking to build a new website or enhance an existing one, Lincoln Collective is here to help with all your web design and development needs. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help your business succeed online.

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