Everyone has to start somewhere! Not so long ago we remember starting our own web design journey and knowing what we wanted to do - but not knowing the correct technical term for it. And even though we used the power of Google to answer our questions, life would have been so much easier if we knew what those tech words meant.

So to help make your web design journey a little easier, we're compiling a list of commonly used web design and tech words and jargon, along with an easy to understand definition. We'll be adding a word to this list each day until it's completed.

So here goes...


Above the fold

This refers to the part of the page which is visibly seen on the screen without the need to scroll down. The term was originally used with newspapers and referred to the visible part of the newspaper which could be seen in the news stand.

It's a critical component to consider when building your website because the space above the fold is limited and must be used to display valuable content. The idea is to entice readers with this content so they'll want to continue reading and scroll further down the page.


Alignment refers to the position of the elements used in your design. Text, images and elements can be aligned. The align tag however, has been depreciated in favor of using css style sheets.


An Array is used in programming and allows you to store data values within a single value. For example, an array could contain a list of variables. Instead of storing each number value 1 through 50, you could define an array with a length of 50.


An Attribute is a modifier of an HTML element. Attributes are added to tags to specify characteristics. For example, the width and height attributes could be added to an IMG tag to specify the size of the image.



A Backlink is a link to your website from someone else's website. Not all backlinks are equal. High quality backlinks are: non reciprocal, in-content, use anchor text and from a quality and trusted source. Gaining high quality backlinks should be an important part of your seo strategy.


Bandwidth refers to the amount of data that a connection can transfer at one time. Data transfer is the amount of data transferred. Web hosting companies generally limit the amount of allowed bandwidth. More bandwidth means more data can be transferred at one time.


Baseline refers to the imaginary horizontal line upon which most of the characters in a typeface sit.


In web design, breadcrumbs refers to a secondary navigational trail usually found near the top of the page. This trail shows the user the path they took to arrive at their current position.



Cache refers to the files that your browser saves (or copies) so that the next time you visit a certain website - the page will load quicker as the files will not need to be downloaded. Typical cached files are html, css, images and javascript. Cache settings can be changed by viewing the cache settings in your browser preferences.


CMS stands for Content Management System which is an application used for publishing, editing and modifying web content. A WSYIWIG editor can be used allowing the creation of content without the need for html/css knowledge (although very helpful).


Compression is the process of making files (images in particular) smaller for faster load times and to use less disc space.

Conversion Rate

Conversion Rate (CR) refers to the percentage of website visitors who do what you want them to do while on your website. They complete the intended action of the web page and complete your call to action. This may be signing up for your newsletter or following a link for more information.


CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets. CSS is a style language used to define the style and layout of web pages written in a markup language. Using CSS simplifies the web page as one style sheet can be used to format multiple pages and elements.



A Database is an application that manages data and allows it to be stored and retrieved quickly and easily. MySQL is a popular open source Relational Database which uses tables to store information.


Depreciated refers to tags, elements and attributes which are in the process of being replaced and are no longer supported or recommended. Depreciated tags, elements and attributes will eventually become obsolete.


DNS stands for Domain Name System (or Server or Service). The internet is build with ip addresses, and when you punch in a domain name the dns server will translate the domain name to the corresponding ip address and point your browser to the correct website. For example www.zarchiwebdesign.com may translate to the ip address 196.109.356.7.

Domain Name

The Domain Name is a unique name which identifies a website. The domain name for this website is zarchiwebdesign.com. Each domain name has a corresponding ip address which identifies where the website is located.


Entry Page

The Entry Page is the first page the user sees when they arrive at your website. This is usually your homepage but can be a specific landing page.

External Link

An External Link is a link which takes the user to a new page or domain and away from the current site.

External Style Sheet

An External Style Sheet is a CSS document which is filed as a separate external document. This document is used to provide the style for html pages. When linked to multiple pages, it will provide the style for each page.