Decoding Web Design and Marketing Jargon
Web Design

Decoding Web Design Terms & Marketing Jargon: Part One

Never get lost with difficult technical web design terms and marketing jargon again. Understanding these terms is especially useful when you’re reading and comparing proposals or navigating your website’s dashboard.

What it Means: A technical web design term for “Not Found 404”. It is an error message seen on a web page to indicate a requested URL was not found on a server.
What it Means to You: It’s probably a useless website. Leave immediately.
Use it in a Sentence: You click the link you get from an email promotion. “Yea! A Summer Sale! Wait – 404? I guess no 50% off snuggies for me…”
Alt Text
What it Means: The text associated with an image. It’s usually the file name of that image but alt text can be customized using most content management systems. When an image isn’t able to load in an email, website or blog, post the alt text is displayed instead. aka. Alternative Text.
What it Means to You: It’s important for all the images on your website to have alt text because it’s the only way search engines like Google can understand what an image is about, which helps you optimize your website for search. Alt texts are also important in the case that websites cannot display images, or there is a screen reader searching your website.
Use it in a Sentence: “Make sure to change your alt text on all of your website images so you don’t have something embarrassing
What it Means: App is short for application. It is a small specialized program that can be installed and run on your device.
What it Means to You: CANDY CRUSH. OM NOM NOM NOM.
Use it in a Sentence: “If there were no such thing as apps, there’s a possibility I would have 5 years of my life back.”
What it Means: An incoming link from an external website specifically to a webpage. Backlinks direct traffic and search result placement.
What it Means to You: If you publish a webpage and 20 other websites link to it, your webpage has 20 backlinks.
Use it in a Sentence: “My backlinks bring all the searchers to my page.”
What it Means: A program used to verify that a human rather than a computer is entering data. They’re commonly seen at the end of online forms and ask the user to enter text from a distorted image. The text in the image may be wavy, have lines through it, or may be highly irregular, making it nearly impossible for an automated program to recognize it. It stands for Completely Automated Public Turing test to Computers and Humans Apart.
What it Means to You: It’s just trying to make sure you’re not a computer trying to spam the website. You might as well comply to the robots.
Use it in a Sentence: “This captcha either says ‘shut’ or ‘shit’….I honestly don’t know.”
What it Means: Content Management System. A software tool that allows you to create, edit, and publish content. Ex. WordPress, Blogger, etc.
What it Means to You: These are usually what websites are made from. And you’ll likely be using one of these programs if you wanted to create/make changes to your own website.
Use it in a Sentence: “Man, WordPress is just the best CMS. It’s so easy to use!”
What it Means: A Small amount of data generated by a website and saved by your web browser.
What it Means to You: The website is gathering some information about you to personalize the content to apply to you better.
Use it in a Sentence: “Wow, the Zappos ad that knew my name is super creepy. Way to successfully become the creepy old guy of the shoe world, Zappos.”
What it Means: Call to Action.
What it Means to You: Website developers and marketers use this to grab your attention and usually attempt to get you to click something.
Example: Dropbox – “Sign up for Dropbox”. CTA’s often look like this and are designed to get the user to click and sign-up for Dropbox right then.
What it Means: Click-Through-Rate. The average number of click-through per hundred ad impressions, expressed as a percentage.
What it Means to You: Web publishers typically generate revenue from advertisers each time a visitor clicks on one of the advertisements. Therefore, publishers are interested in what percentage of page views results in clicks on the advertisements. The higher the click-through-rate, the more revenue a publisher will generate.
Use it in a Sentence: “The click-through-rate on this months ads are up 5%”.
What it Means: Pronounced “cash, ” stores recently used information so that it can be quickly accessed at a later time. Computers incorporate several different types of caching in order to run more efficiently, thereby improving performance. Common types of caches include browser cache, disk cache, memory cache, processor cache.
What it Means to You: You’ll be able to revisit cached content at a later time.
Use it in a Sentence: “The internet connection is down. Thank goodness I have this great Twirling Umbrellas article page cached to pull up and read.”
Domain Name
What it Means: An identification string that defines a realm of administrative autonomy, authority, or control within the internet aka your website domain name.
What it Means to You: Unique name that identifies a website. Ex. “” is our Domain Name. It’s what you’ll type into the URL bar in order to visit our website.
Use it in a Sentence: “Jeez, I really hope no one else has the domain name”
What it Means: Electronic Commerce. Business over the internet. Ex., eBay. Two major forms of e-commerce: Business to Consumer (B2C) and Business to Business (B2B).
What it Means to You: You can shop from the comfort of your pajamas sprawled on your couch because of the beauty of ecommerce.
Use it in a Sentence: “Thanks to ecommerce I slayed those Cyber Monday sales.”
What it Means: The practice of adding metadata to a geographic location.
What it Means to You:
When you bookmark a page in the Google Maps app on your iPhone, or adding location to your Instagram post, you’re geotagging.
Use in a Sentence: “Hold on, I just have to geotag this post.”
What it Means: Pronounced “jif” like the peanut butter. Graphic Interface Format. Image files that are compressed to reduce transfer time. It can also use multiple images for animated effects (animated GIFs). But it’s mostly used for animated effects.
What it Means to You: Internet entertainment. Hours upon hours of internet entertainment.
Use it in a Sentence: “For your viewing pleasure, here are the best GIFs of 2014: “
What it Means: A way for people to search on social media for a common topic that they’d like to discuss or view pictures of.
What it Means to You: An easy way to track large-scale public events, conferences, and phenomenons.
Use it in a Sentence: “Follow the hashtag #MondayMotivation for some inspiration to kick off your week.”

Web Design Terms (“I” to “Z”)

And there you have it, web design terms and marketing jargon: Numero Uno – keep your eyes peeled for Part Dous, because we’re only half way through the alphabet!