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76 Web Development and Design Terms Explained

76 Web Development and Design Terms Explained


404 Error

Definition: A standard HTTP error message that indicates a requested webpage could not be found on the server.

Example: A user clicks on a broken link and receives a 404 error, indicating that the requested page is missing or has been moved.



Definition: The practice of making websites usable by people with disabilities, ensuring that they can access and interact with content.

Example: A website designed for accessibility would include alternative text for images, so that screen readers can describe the content to visually impaired users.

API (Application Programming Interface)

Definition: A set of rules and protocols that allows different software applications to communicate with each other.

Example: A weather website uses an API to fetch the latest weather data from a weather service and display it on its webpage.


Definition: A property or setting within an HTML tag that defines specific characteristics of the element.

Example: <img src="image.jpg" alt="A beautiful landscape">src and alt are attributes of the img tag.



Definition: The server-side part of a website that handles data storage, processing, and manipulation, as well as server configuration and security.

Example: A web application that stores user data in a database is managed by backend programming.


Definition: The amount of data that can be transmitted over a network in a given period of time, often measured in bits per second (bps).

Example: A website with high-resolution images and videos requires more bandwidth to load quickly.


Definition: A navigational aid that displays a user’s location on a website and allows them to navigate back to previous pages.

Example: Home > Blog > Category > Article Title – This breadcrumb trail shows the user’s path through the website.


Definition: A software application used to access and view websites on the internet.

Example: Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Safari are popular web browsers.



Definition: Temporary storage of web content, such as images and scripts, to speed up the loading of web pages for users.

Example: A user visits a website for the first time, and their browser stores the site’s images in the cache for faster loading on subsequent visits.

CDN (Content Delivery Network)

Definition: A network of servers that work together to distribute web content to users based on their geographic location, improving load times and reducing server load.

Example: A global company uses a CDN to ensure that their website loads quickly for users in different countries.

CMS (Content Management System)

Definition: A software application or set of tools that allows users to create, manage, and edit digital content on a website without needing extensive technical knowledge.

Example: WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla are popular content management systems.

CSS (Cascading Style Sheets)

Definition: A stylesheet language used to describe the look and formatting of a document written in HTML, such as colors, fonts, and layout.

Example: The following CSS code sets the font size and color for all paragraphs: p { font-size: 16px; color: blue; }

CTA (Call to Action)

Definition: A prompt that encourages users to take a specific action, such as signing up for a newsletter or purchasing a product.

Example: A button on a website that says “Buy Now” is a call to action.


Definition: The part of a web application that runs in the user’s browser, involving technologies like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

Example: When a user interacts with a webpage, such as clicking a button or filling out a form, these actions are handled by client-side code.



Definition: A structured set of data used for storing, managing, and retrieving information in a web application.

Example: An e-commerce website uses a database to store information about products, customer orders, and user accounts.

DNS (Domain Name System)

Definition: A system that translates human-readable domain names (e.g., into IP addresses that computers use to identify each other on the internet.

Example: When you type into your browser, the DNS system translates it to an IP address like

Domain Name

Definition: A unique name that identifies a website on the internet, consisting of a series of alphanumeric characters separated by periods.

Example: is a domain name.


Definition: The period during which a website or web service is unavailable due to technical issues, maintenance, or server problems.

Example: A website experiences downtime when its server crashes and visitors cannot access the site.



Definition: The buying and selling of goods and services on the internet, usually through a website or mobile application.

Example: Amazon and eBay are popular e-commerce websites.


Definition: The process of encoding data to protect it from unauthorized access, ensuring that only authorized parties can read or modify it.

Example: Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption is used to protect sensitive data transmitted between a user’s browser and a web server.



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

Example: The small “G” icon that appears in your browser’s address bar when you visit is a favicon.


Definition: A security system that monitors and controls incoming and outgoing network traffic based on predetermined security rules, protecting a network or server from unauthorized access.

Example: A company’s web server may have a firewall in place to block malicious traffic and prevent hacking attempts.


Definition: The part of a website or web application that users interact with, involving technologies like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

Example: The visual design, layout, and interactivity of a webpage are created using frontend technologies.

FTP (File Transfer Protocol)

Definition: A standard network protocol used to transfer files between a client and a server over the internet.

Example: A web developer uses an FTP client to upload website files to a web server.



Definition: A version control system that allows developers to track and manage changes to code, collaborate on projects, and revert to previous versions if necessary.

Example: A team of developers uses Git to collaborate on a project and ensure that they always have the latest version of the code.

GUI (Graphical User Interface)

Definition: A type of user interface that allows users to interact with software applications through visual elements like icons, buttons, and windows.

Example: A website builder with a drag-and-drop interface is an example of a GUI-based application.



Definition: The service of providing storage space and access for websites on a server, allowing them to be accessible on the internet.

Example: A small business owner pays a hosting company to host their website, ensuring that it is available to users 24/7.

HTML (HyperText Markup Language)

Definition: The standard markup language used to create web pages, consisting of a series of elements and tags that define the structure and content of a document.

Example: The following HTML code creates a simple webpage with a heading and a paragraph: <html><head><title>My Page</title></head><body><h1>Hello World!</h1><p>This is a paragraph.</p></body></html>

HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol)

Definition: The protocol used by web browsers and servers to transmit and receive information over the internet.

Example: When you visit a website, your browser sends an HTTP request to the web server to retrieve the content.

HTTPS (HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure)

Definition: A secure version of HTTP that uses encryption to protect data transmitted between a browser and a server, ensuring the privacy and integrity of the information.

Example: A user visits an e-commerce website with an HTTPS connection to securely transmit their payment information.


IP Address (Internet Protocol Address)

Definition: A unique numerical label assigned to each device connected to a computer network, used for communication and identification purposes.

Example: The IP address for a router might be

ISP (Internet Service Provider)

Definition: A company that provides internet access to customers, usually through a subscription-based service.

Example: Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon are popular internet service providers in the United States.



Definition: A programming language used to add interactivity, animations, and other dynamic features to websites and web applications.

Example: A web developer uses JavaScript to create a dropdown menu that appears when a user hovers over a navigation link.

JSON (JavaScript Object Notation)

Definition: A lightweight data-interchange format that is easy for humans to read and write and easy for machines to parse and generate, often used to transmit data between a server and a web application.

Example: An API returns weather data in JSON format, which can be easily processed by a JavaScript application to display the information on a webpage.



Definition: A significant word or phrase that describes the content of a webpage, often used by search engines to index and rank pages in search results.

Example: A blog about web development might use keywords like “HTML”, “CSS”, and “JavaScript” to help search engines understand its content.


Landing Page

Definition: A standalone webpage designed for a specific marketing campaign or purpose, often used to generate leads or drive conversions.

Example: An e-commerce website creates a landing page to promote a limited-time sale on a specific product.

Lazy Loading

Definition: A technique that defers the loading of non-critical resources, such as images and videos, until they are needed or become visible on the user’s screen.

Example: A web developer implements lazy loading for images on a blog to improve initial page load times and reduce bandwidth usage for users who don’t scroll through the entire page.

Link Building

Definition: The process of acquiring hyperlinks from other websites to improve a site’s search engine ranking and drive traffic.

Example: A blogger reaches out to other websites in their niche, asking them to link to their content in order to increase their site’s visibility.

Load Time

Definition: The amount of time it takes for a webpage to fully load and become accessible to the user, including all text, images, and scripts.

Example: A website with a fast load time of two seconds or less provides a better user experience than one with a slow load time of ten seconds.


Definition: A network address (usually that refers to the current device used to access it, often used to test and develop web applications locally before deploying them to a live server.

Example: A web developer tests their website on their own computer using the localhost address before uploading it to a web server.



Definition: Data that provides information about other data, such as the author, description, and keywords of a webpage.

Example: The <meta> tags in the <head> section of an HTML document contains metadata that helps search engines understand and index the content.

Mobile-First Design

Definition: A design approach that prioritizes the creation of a mobile version of a website before adapting it for larger devices, such as tablets and desktops.

Example: A web designer starts by designing a responsive layout for a small mobile screen and then expands the design for larger screens.


Definition: A visual representation or model of a website or application used to communicate the layout, design, and functionality to clients and stakeholders.

Example: A web designer creates a mockup of a website using design software like Adobe XD or Sketch before beginning the development process.


Definition: A self-contained unit of code that can be reused in multiple parts of a web application, promoting modularity, maintainability, and ease of development.

Example: A web developer creates a JavaScript module for handling user authentication, which can be imported and used in multiple parts of the application.



Definition: The system of links, menus, and buttons that help users move between different pages and sections of a website.

Example: A website’s main navigation menu typically includes links to important pages like “Home”, “About”, “Services”, and “Contact”.


Definition: A JavaScript runtime built on Chrome’s V8 engine that allows developers to write server-side code using JavaScript.

Example: A web developer uses Node.js to create a backend API for their web application, allowing them to work with a single programming language for both frontend and backend development.


Open Source

Definition: A type of software whose source code is available to the public, allowing anyone to view, use, modify, and distribute the code.

Example: The Linux operating system and the Apache web server are popular open-source projects.


Page Speed

Definition: The time it takes for a webpage to load and display its content, affected by factors such as file size, server response time, and network conditions.

Example: A web developer optimizes images, minifies code, and reduces server response time to improve a website’s page speed.

Page View

Definition: A single instance of a user visiting and loading a specific webpage, often used as a metric for analyzing website traffic and user engagement.

Example: A website that receives 1,000 page views per day has been visited and loaded 1,000 times by its users.


Definition: A permanent, unchanging URL that points to a specific webpage or blog post, often used for linking and sharing content.

Example: The permalink for a blog post about web design might look like this:

PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor)

Definition: A popular server-side scripting language used to create dynamic web pages and interact with databases.

Example: A web developer uses PHP to create a contact form that sends submitted data to a server for processing and storage.


Definition: A software component that adds

specific functionality or features to an existing application, such as a content management system or web browser.

Example: A WordPress user installs an SEO plugin to help optimize their website for search engines.

Progressive Web App (PWA)

Definition: A web application that uses modern web technologies to provide an app-like experience, including offline functionality, push notifications, and fast load times.

Example: A news website creates a PWA that allows users to read articles offline and receive push notifications for breaking news.


Responsive Design

Definition: A web design approach that aims to create websites that automatically adjust their layout and appearance based on the user’s device and screen size, providing an optimal viewing experience.

Example: A web designer uses CSS media queries to create a responsive layout that works well on both mobile phones and desktop computers.

REST (Representational State Transfer)

Definition: An architectural style for designing networked applications, often used to build APIs that allow different software applications to communicate with each other.

Example: A web developer creates a RESTful API to expose data from a database, allowing other developers to access and use the data in their own applications.


Definition: A text file located in the root directory of a website that provides instructions to search engine crawlers, such as which pages to index or ignore.

Example: A website owner adds a robots.txt file to their site to prevent search engines from indexing private or sensitive pages.


SaaS (Software as a Service)

Definition: A software licensing and delivery model in which software is provided over the internet, typically through a subscription-based service.

Example: Popular SaaS products include Google Workspace, Salesforce, and Adobe Creative Cloud.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

Definition: The process of improving a website’s visibility and ranking in search engine results through various techniques, such as optimizing content, building links, and improving site performance.

Example: A website owner implements SEO best practices, such as keyword research and on-page optimization, to rank higher in Google search results.


Definition: A computer or system that manages and distributes resources, such as web pages, files, and applications, to other computers on a network.

Example: A web hosting company maintains a network of servers to store and serve websites to users on the internet.

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer)

Definition: A security protocol that establishes an encrypted connection between a web server and a user’s browser, ensuring the privacy and integrity of data transmitted over the internet.

Example: An e-commerce website uses SSL to protect customer data, such as credit card information, during online transactions.


Definition: A file or page that lists all the pages on a website, often used by search engines to discover and index content.

Example: A website owner submits a sitemap to Google Search Console to help search engines find and index all of the site’s pages.

Static Website

Definition: A website that consists of fixed content and does not change based on user input or interaction, often using only HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

Example: A small business creates a static website with a few pages to showcase its products and services, contact information, and company history.



Definition: A pre-designed layout or structure that can be used as a starting point for creating web pages, often customizable to fit a specific brand or style.

Example: A web developer uses an HTML and CSS template to quickly create a consistent design for a client’s website.

UI (User Interface)

Definition: The visual elements and components of a website or application that users interact with, such as buttons, menus, and forms.

Example: A web designer creates an intuitive and visually appealing user interface for an online store, making it easy for customers to browse products and make purchases.

UX (User Experience)

Definition: The overall experience a user has when interacting with a website or application, including aspects such as usability, accessibility, and satisfaction.

Example: A web developer conducts usability testing to ensure that the UX of their website meets the needs and expectations of their target audience.



Definition: The process of checking and verifying that a webpage’s code meets specific standards and guidelines, such as HTML and CSS specifications.

Example: A web developer uses a validation tool like the W3C Markup Validation Service to check their code for errors and ensure it meets web standards.


Definition: The visible area of a webpage displayed in a user’s browser, determined by the size and resolution of the user’s device and browser window.

Example: A web designer uses a responsive design to ensure that their website looks good and functions properly across different viewport sizes and devices.


Web Accessibility

Definition: The practice of designing and developing websites that are usable and accessible to all users, including those with disabilities, such as vision, hearing, or motor impairments.

Example: A web developer implements features like keyboard navigation, alt text for images, and proper color contrast to make their website more accessible.

Web Application

Definition: A software application that runs in a web browser and uses web technologies like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to provide functionality and interactivity.

Example: Examples of web applications include online banking platforms, email clients, and project management tools.

Web Hosting

Definition: A service that provides storage space and resources on a server to store and serve websites on the internet.

Example: A website owner signs up for a web hosting plan with a hosting provider like Bluehost, SiteGround, or GoDaddy to store and serve their website files.

Web Server

Definition: A computer or system that hosts websites and serves web pages to users over the internet, typically through HTTP or HTTPS.

Example: The Apache and Nginx web servers are popular software used to host and serve websites on the internet.


Definition: A basic visual representation of a webpage’s layout, used to plan and communicate the structure and organization of content, navigation, and functionality.

Example: A web designer creates a wireframe to plan the layout of a website’s homepage before moving on to the design and development stages.


Definition: A popular open-source content management system (CMS) used to create and manage websites and blogs, offering a wide range of themes and plugins for customization.

Example: A small business owner uses WordPress to create and manage their company website, taking advantage of its user-friendly interface and extensive customization options.


XML (eXtensible Markup Language)

Definition: A markup language that defines a set of rules for encoding documents in a format that is both human-readable and machine-readable, often used to store and transmit data.

Example: An API returns data in XML format, which can be parsed and processed by a web application to display the information on a webpage.


YAML (YAML Ain’t Markup Language)

Definition: A human-readable data serialization format often used for configuration files and data exchange between languages with different data structures.

Example: A web developer uses a YAML file to store configuration settings for a web application, making it easy to read and update as needed.



Definition: A CSS property that controls the stacking order of elements on a webpage, determining which elements appear on top of or below others.

Example: A web designer sets a higher z-index value for a dropdown menu to ensure it appears above other content when opened.

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