Web Design Glossary « Home
Basically, this is the ability of a website to be used by people with disabilities, including visually impaired visitors using screen readers, hearing impaired visitors using no sound, color blind people, or those with other disabilities. A website with low accessibility is basically going to be impossible for those with disabilities to use. Accessibility is particularly important for sites providing information to those with disabilities (healthcare sites, government sites, etc.), though it is an important aspect to consider when designing any site.
Resources on Accessible Web Design from the University of Washington.
Website Builder Advice: How to Make a Website Good for Everyone from Mardiros Internet Marketing.
An Introduction to Accessible Web Design from Sitepoint.
100 Ajax Tutorials and Resources from Tutorial Blog.
80+ AJAX-Solutions for Professional Coding on this site.
The text a link uses to refer to your site. This can make a big difference in your site’s search engine results.
See also: Backlink.
Anchor Text Explained from AssociatePrograms.com
Anchor Text Optimization from WebProNews
How to Make an HTML Anchor Text Link from DomainBean
Backlink Anchor Text Analysis from webconfs.com
A portmanteau that combines "automatically" and "magically." Generally, it refers to something that has a complex technical process that’s hidden from users, so that something almost appears to work by magic. If you think about it, many modern internet-based technologies could be classified as "automagical."
Automagical from Wiktionary
What’s the Origin of Automagically? from Feld Thoughts
The back end of a website is the part hidden from view of regular website visitors. The back end generally includes the information structure, applications, and the CMS controlling content on the site.
Building the Back-End of a Photo Site from Nettuts+
Backlinks are links from other sites back to your own. They’re sometimes also referred to as “trackbacks” (especially on blogs). Backlinks have a huge impact on your sites search rankings. Lots of backlinks from high-ranking sites can greatly improve your search engine results, especially if those links use keywords in their anchor text.
Why That Site with 50 Backlinks Beats Your Site with 1000 Backlinks from Jim Boykin’s Blog.
PageRank Checker for Your Backlinks from Smark PageRank
The Importance of Backlinks from webconfs.com
A "bad neighborhood" refers to the server where your site is hosted. A site hosted on a server that hosts other sites that spam or use black-hat SEO practices can end up penalized by search engines solely because of their proximity to those sites. In other words, be very careful about which web host you choose, what their terms of service are, and how strictly they enforce those terms if you want to avoid being penalized because of what your neighbors are doing. Linking to sites in bad neighborhoods can also have a negative effect on your search rankings.
Is Your Site Living in a Bad Neighborhood? from RSS Pieces
Text Link Checker Tool from Bad Neighborhood
SEO Pitfalls: Outbound Links to Bad Neighborhood Websites from Consider: Open
Bandwidth can refer to two different things: the rate at which data can be transferred or the total amount of data allowed to be transferred from a web host during a given month (or other hosting service term) before overage charges are applied. It is generally referred to in term of bits-per-second (bps), kilobits per second (kbs), or other metric measurements. Lower bandwidth internet connections (such as dial-up) mean data loads slower than with high bandwidth connections (like cable or fiber).
Speed Test from Speakeasy
Bandwidth Explained from FindMyHosting.com
This term is a carry-over from newspaper publishing days. In newspaper terms, “below the fold” means content was on the bottom half of the page (below the physical fold in the paper). In web design terms, “below the fold” refers to the content that is generally going to be below the point first viewable to the average website visitor in their browser (in other words, viewers would have to scroll down to see the content).
Blasting the Myth of the Fold from Boxes and Arrows
Below the Fold: Why Scrolling Isn’t a Bad Thing from Build Internet!
A website’s bounce rate is the percentage of people who leave the site from the same page they entered the site, without clicking through to any other pages. This can be a good indicator of how good a website’s navigation is, as well as an indicator of the quality of the site’s content (a very high bounce rate doesn’t bode well for either of those things).
What is Your Bounce Rate? from Lunartics
What Your Bounce Rate is Trying to Tell You from FutureNow’s GrokDotCom
Breadcrumbs are the bit of navigation elements that generally appear near the top of a give web page that show you the pages and subpages the appear before the page you’re on. For examples, on a blog, the breadcrumbs might look something like: Home > Category > Year > Month > Post (or they might be a lot simpler that that). The breadcrumbs term comes from the fairy tale "Hansel and Gretel."
Breadcrumb Navigation from Web Design Practices
Breadcrumb Navigation Increasingly Useful from Jacob Nielsen’s Alertbox
Breadcrumbs In Web Design: Examples And Best Practices from this site.
Browser refers to the program a website visitor is using to view the web site. Examples include Safari, Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera, and Internet Explorer.
BrowserShots lets you check cross-browser compatibility of any site
Accessible Design Guide from Viewable with Any Browser
Designing for Every Browser: How to Make Your Site Fully Cross Browser Compatible from Design Vitality
A Web site is dependent on its "hidden" features: the backend equipment, systems, and programs that constitute the site's infrastructure and building blocks. There are several key elements of backend Web site components. At the ground level is the server software, the tools that are involved in actually hooking up a computer system to the Internet—that is, the software that turns a series of computer files into a Web site. Servers are generally built on the UNIX programming language. Most advanced Web sites also utilize databases, of which there are numerous varieties. Databases allow for quicker updating and organization of Web materials, and are generally a useful tool for constructing highly detailed Web content.
To place documents on the Web, pages, graphics, and all other sources referred to in the site's pages must be uploaded to the remote host computer that's connected to the Web. The host may be an Internet service provider (ISP), a Web hosting service, or even the company or organization itself, if it can afford the resources. Once a site is ready to go online, the company, organization, or individual must determine a URL for the site that hasn't already been taken by another site. Most companies try to make their URL as easy to remember—and as logically close to the company name—as possible.
Cached files are those that are saved or copied (downloaded) by a web browser so that the next time that user visits the site, the page loads faster.
Caching Tutorial from mnot.net
How Caching Works from HowStuffWorks
Web Caching and Content Delivery Resources from web-caching.com
Also referred to simply as CSS, Cascading Style Sheets are used to define the look and feel of a web site outside of the actual HTML file(s) of the site. In recent years, CSS has replaced tables and other HTML-based methods for formatting and laying out websites. The benefits to using CSS are many, but some of the most important are the simplification of a site’s HTML files (which can actually increase search engine rankings) and the ability to completely change the style of a site by changing just one file, without having to make changes to content.
Cascading Style Sheets from Web Design Group
CSS Basics from splashpressmedia
CSS from the Ground Up from Webpage Design for Designers
Client-side refers to scripts that are run in a viewer’s browser, instead of on a web server (as in server-side scripts). Client-side scripts are generally faster to interact with, though they can take longer to load initially.
Tutorial 16: Client-Side Scripting 101 from Webreference.com
Understanding Client-Side Scripting from PCMag.com
Also known as a CMS, the Content Management System is a backend tool for managing a site’s content that separates said content from the design and functionality of the site. Using a CMS generally makes it easier to change the design or function of a site independent of the site’s content. It also (usually) makes it easier for content to be added to the site for people who aren’t designers.
OpenSourceCMS lets you try out different CMSs without downloading or installing.
List of Content Management Systems from Wikipedia
10 Things To Consider When Choosing The Perfect CMS from this site
In web design terms, a comment is a bit of information contained in a site’s HTML or XHTML files that is ignored by the browser. Comments are used to identify different parts of the file and as reference notes. Good commenting makes it much easier for a designer (whether the original designer or someone else) to make changes to the site, as it keeps it clear which parts of the code perform which functions. There are different comment formats for different programming and markup languages.
HTML Comment Tag from w3schools.com
Adding HTML Comments from Page Resource
Good Comments Make Good HTML from AstaHost
A CSS framework is a collection of CSS files used as the starting point to make XHTML and CSS web sites quickly and painlessly. They usually contain CSS styles for typography and layout.
Top 12 CSS Frameworks and How to Understand Them from Speckyboy Design Magazine
Blueprint: A CSS Framework
Content with Style - A CSS Framework
Guidelines for Developing Your Own CSS Framework from W3Avenue
Deprecated code is code that is no longer included in the language specifications. Generally this happens because it is replaced with more accessible or efficient alternatives.
Deprecation from Wikipedia
Deprecated Tags and Attributes in HTML from HTMLQuick.com
Disabling Deprecated HTML Using CSS from David’s Kitchen
DHTML Tutorial from w3schools
DHTML Explained from HTMLSource
In GIF and certain other image formats, there is a limited color palette used for each image. Because of this, not all colors in an image are presented. Dither is used to approximate these colors by combining pixels of different colors side by side.
Color Dithering in GIF Images from Web Developers Notes
Dithering GIF Images: Optimizing GIF Files from Webdesign.About.com
Stands for Domain Name Service (alternately Domain Name System or Domain Name Server). Basically, it’s the thing that converts IP addresses into domain names. DNS servers are provided with the IP address of your web server when you assign your domain name to those servers. In turn, when someone types your domain name into their web browser, those DNS servers translate the domain name to the IP address and point the browser to the correct web server.
How Domain Name Servers Work from HowStuffWorks
DNS Resources Directory from dns.net
The doctype declaration specifies which version of HTML is used in a document. It has a direct effect on whether your HTML will validate.
HTML DOCTYPE Declaration from w3schools.com
Fix Your Site With the Right DOCTYPE! from A List Apart
Choosing a DOCTYPE from Web Design Group
Stands for Document Object Model. It’s a language-indpendent, cross-platform convention for representing objects in XML, XHTML, and HTML documents. Rules for interacting with and programming the DOM are specified in the DOM API.
DHTML – HTML DOM from w3schools
The Document Object Model Dissected from Web Developer’s Virtual Library
The domain is the name by which a website is identified. The domain is associated with an IP address. Domains can be purchased with any combination of letters, hyphens (-), and numbers (though it can’t start with a hyphen). Depending on the extension (.com, .net, .org, etc.), a domain can be anywhere up to 26 to 63 characters long.
Domain Name Information from Creating a Website
ICANN stands for "Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers"
Choosing the Domain Name for Your Blog from ProBlogger
Stands for Document Type Definition. DTD is one of several SGML and XML schema languages. It provides a list of the attributes, comments, elements, entities, and notes in a document along with their relationships to each other.
DTD Tutorial from w3schools
XML DTD – An Introduction to XML Document Type Definitions from XMLFiles.com
Document Type Definition (DTD) Tools from Stylus Studio
A Website that provides for interactivity between the user and the Website is a Dynamic Website. In the same way a website designed in flash that provides for interactivity between the user and the Website is called a dynamic flash Website.
As mentioned in the definition for dynamic websites some website owners require websites that need frequent updation. If the website is a flash website than the answer is a dynamic flash website.
A database can be used for a variety of reasons. The main use of a website database is to make the website dynamic. A dynamic website will be able to modify itself, depending upon user input and the information stored in the database. Dynamic, data-driven websites can transform levels of customer service by providing your customers with realtime information.
An animation created using Flash that Internet users are made to sit through upon entry to a home page. Flash intros annoy users. They also typically take the place of text content on a home page, and since search engines can't 'read' content embedded in Flash, the rankings of a home page that's just a Flash intro will suffer.
Short for electronic commerce. It’s the buying and selling of goods online, through websites. Products sold through e-commerce can be physical products that require shipping, or digital products delivered electronically.
E-Commerce Resources from Inc.com
The Art of eCommerce Web Design from Sitepoint
25+ Magento Templates For Your E-Commerce Business from this site
5 Universal Principles For Successful eCommerce Sites from this site
35 Free High-Quality E-Commerce Templates from this site
An elastic layout is one that uses percentages and ems for widths paired with a max-width style to allow the site layout to stretch when font sizes are changed. It’s ability to flex to accommodate the browser width and reader’s font preferences are where it gets its name.
Elastic Design from A List Apart
The Incredible Em & Elastic Layouts with CSS from Jon Tangerine
Archive for Elastic Layout from CSSGlance Gallery
Elastic Layouts Still Have Issues from StevenClark.com.au
In XML, an element is the central building block of any document. Individual elements can contain text, other elements, or both.
XML Elements from w3schools
XML Element from tizag.com
Em is a unit of measurement for sizing fonts and other elements within a web page relative to the item’s parent element. A 1em font is equal to the point size for the font already defined in the parent element (2em would be twice the current size; .5em would be half the current size).
How to Size Text Using Ems from Clagnut
The Amazing Em Unit and Other CSS Best Practices from InformIT
Effective Style with em from Monday By Noon
An embedded style is a CSS style written into the head of an XHTML document. It only effects the elements on that page, instead of site-wide as a separate CSS file does. Style in an embedded style sheet will override styles from the linked CSS file.
Embedded Style Sheets from Quackit.com
CSS Embedded Styles from HTMLite
Ex is a measurement for font height or size relative to the height of a lowercase "x" in that font family.
The CSS ex Unit from Web Matters
Em Units Versus Ex Units from MozillaZine
Otherwise known as XML. XML is a markup language used for writing custom markup languages. In other words, XML describes how to write new languages (it’s sometimes referred to as a “meta” language because of this). It also serves as a basic syntax that allows different kinds of computers and applications to share information without having to go through multiple conversion layers.
XML Tutorial from w3schools
A Technical Introduction to XML from XML.com
XML for the Absolute Beginner from JavaWorld
This is a CSS document that is written in a separate, external document. The biggest advantage to using an external style sheet is that it can be linked to by multiple HTML/XHTML files (which means changes made to the style sheet will effect all the pages linked to it without having to change each page individually).
CSS How To… from w3schools
How to Use External Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) on Web Pages from Webdesign.About.com
Using External CSS Style Sheets from Tech-Evangelist
A shopping cart is a piece of software that acts as an online store's catalog and ordering process. Typically, a shopping cart is the interface between a company's Web site and its deeper infrastructure, allowing consumers to select merchandise; review what they have selected; make necessary modifications or additions; and purchase the merchandise.
Shopping carts can be sold as independent pieces of software so companies can integrate them into their own unique online solution, or they can be offered as a feature from a service that will create and host a company's e-commerce site.
Favicons are tiny (generally 16×16 pixels, though some are 32×32 pixels), customizable icons displayed in the web address bar in most browsers next to the web address. They’re either 8-bit or 24-bit in color depth and are saved in either .ico, .gif or .png file formats.
favicon.cc is an online favicon generator
FavIcon from Pics creates a favicon from an image
How to Create a Favicon.ico from PhotoshopSupport.com
A fixed width layout has a set width (generally defined in pixels) set by the designer. The width stays the same regardless of screen resolution, monitor size, or browser window size. It allows for minute adjustments to be made to a design that will stay consistent across browsers. Designers have more control over exactly how a site will appear across platforms with this type of layout.
Creating a Fixed-Width Layout with CSS from TechRepublic
CSS Layouts: The Fixed. The Fluid. The Elastic from Beast-Blog.com
Fixed-Width CSS Layouts from Search Engine Friendly Layouts
The focal point of a web site is the spot on a web page that they eye is naturally drawn to. This could be an image, a banner, text, Flash content, or just about anything else. You want to make sure that whatever is acting as your focal point is the most important part of your site.
Create a Focal Point for Web Designs – Before and After Web Page Redesign from Webdesign.About.com
The Focal Point is the Most Important Design Element from Stylish Design
The fold is a term carried over from newspaper design and pagination (where the fold referred to the physical fold in the paper). The fold in a website is the point on the webpage that rests at the bottom of someone’s browser (in other words, to see anything below the fold, they would have to scroll down). There are varying opinions on how important the fold is in web design.
The Fold Is An unnecessary Design Limitation from Three Minds
Infatuated with ‘Above the Fold’ Web Design? from 360innovate Blog
The Scrolling Experience and "The Fold" from graphpaper.com
Font family is a group designation for defining the typefaces used in CSS documents. The font family tag generally lists multiple fonts to be used, and usually ends with the generic font category (such as "serif" or "sans-serif").
CSS font-family Property from w3schools
How to Decide Which Font Family to Use from Webdesign.About.com
In CSS, the font style refers solely to whether a font is italic or not.
CSS font-style Property from w3schools
CSS Font Style from Hscripts.com
The font weight refers to how thick or thin (bold or light) a font looks.
CSS font-weight Property from w3schools
Font-Weight from Mozilla Developer Center
The front-end is basically the opposite of the back-end. It’s all the components of a website that a visitor to the site can see (pages, images, content, etc.) Specifically, it’s the interface that visitors use to access the site’s content. It’s also sometimes referred to as the User Interface.
Ten Usability Heuristics from Useit.com
Writing an Interface Style Guide from A List Apart
For imagery, optimisation involves choosing a suitable graphic compression format. Compression reduces the image filesize and consequently the time it takes to download and display in a browser. Common compression types include GIF, JPEG and PNG. Many compression formats reduce filesize by removing information from the image (downsampling). For example, the JPEG format reduces overall tonal range to reduce filesize—reducing the tonal range means that highlights and shadows become less pronounced.
Reducing the number, and filesize of the images can be a significant issue for websites with large subscriber bases such as news sites. Site owners are charged for the amount of information (data) downloaded from their sites (traffic). The more popular the site and larger the images the greater the traffic costs.