top of page

Website Lingo for Beginners

If you're DIYing a website or working with a designer, but have never had ANY experience customizing or creating a site, it can feel seriously overwhelming just to even know how to speak the language!

I’ve noticed that a lot of clients have no idea what I'm talking about when I use the "technical terms." I'm hoping this post will clear a few things up. So now you can actually call that "place where the Twitter and Facebook buttons go" your "Social Media Links."

Website Lingo You Should Know

Website hosting: is a type of Internet hosting service that allows individuals and organizations to make their website accessible via the World Wide Web.

Domain: Your web address. This is what you type Into your browser search bar to get you to your desired website

SEO: “Search Engine Optimization” refers to helping search engines understand the information on your website in order to rank higher in organic search results. This includes having title tags, meta descriptions and Alt Text for images on your website.

Favicon: This Is the small version of your logo that appears on your browser tab

Cookies: Cookies are small files that a website will use to track your behavior on your website.

Design Specific Lingo You Should Know

Web design wire frame

Header: The top part of your website that doesn’t change as you venture to different pages. The header usually displays your navigation bar and may incorporate items such as your logo/name, social media icons, your phone number, and a search bar.

Main Navigation/Menu (please don’t call them ‘Tabs’): The navigational elements that appear on a website.

Hero Image: A hero image (or hero spot) is the first image visitors see on your page.

Drop-down Menu: A drop-down menu is a navigational menu that has sub-menus or categories below it. When hovered or clicked on, the sub-menus “drop down” and are then visible to the user.

Sidebar: A repeating section on the side of certain or all web pages within a website. Sidebars display information that may need or be desired to be accessed from all or certain pages on a site, such as a mailing list sign up form, special navigation, or a list of recent blog posts. With the advent of Responsive Design, sidebars are used less frequently, since more people are accessing websites on mobile devices, which push the sidebar content to the bottom of the page since the mobile screen width does not accommodate two columns.

Call-to-Action or CTA: A clear place on your website for users to take an action step. Links to other pages on your website, buttons, contact forms, and social icons are common CTAs and are great ways to get visitors involved and engaged with your website and content. A best practice is to include a CTA on your hero spot since that’s the first thing people see.

Parallax: scrolling technique involves designing the background of a website layout to move at a slower rate than the foreground when the user scrolls, creating a 3D-like effect. Used sparingly, parallax scrolling can add a subtle element of depth that makes the foreground seem to stand out.

Hover (Rollover, Mouseover): Any kind of action that occurs when users place their cursor (that arrow you move around your screen) over a button, but before anything is clicked. The action can be anything from a simple change in color to an intricate animation.

Slider: A rotating banner of images that is usually placed on the homepage of a website. It is a “slide show” type format that can highlight different content and include images or video. Studies show that users do not watch or pay attention to sliders, and they significantly slow down the loading of a website.

Subscribe: In email marketing, you need to make sure your recipients want to get your messages, or you could get marked as spam. Opting-in means that someone has specifically requested to receive emails about a particular topic or from a particular entity.

Footer: The footer is the bottom part of your website that doesn’t change as you click on different pages. A number of items can be displayed here, such as contact information, a social media feed, or a subscription form.

Have Questions? Reach out anytime.


bottom of page