Have you ever listened to a podcast, read an article or listened to a live keynote and wondered what a particular term meant. If you have, you should know you are not alone. Also, it may come as a surprise to know that some web developers — including those who are highly skilled are not acquainted with some of the web development and tech terms.
In effect, I believe it's up to web developers, web masters, web designers and everyone involved in web development, to absolutely understand most — if not all — of these terms used in web development. For the most part, this will not only give you an insight into the meaning of these terminologies, it will also expand your general knowledge on both the theoretical and practical aspect of the entire web development process.
Sometimes you cannot point fingers at someone for not knowing a particular term. This is because of the rapid changes and upgrades that comes with web development and its associated technologies. When these changes or upgrades come around, new terms are also being birthed.
We've successfully compiled a list of web development & tech terms that will help you learn and understand the various terms used in web development better. Each term is explained in a simple and comprehensive language and the list has been updated to include new terms we discovered in 2019.
81 web development and tech terms you should know in 2019
1. 301 Redirect
A 301 redirect is a common term in web development that describes a permanent redirect from one URL or web page to another. This type of redirect is mostly used to redirect a web page or url from one website (an old version) to a new website.
2. 302 Redirect
A 302 redirect is a sister of 301 redirect that describes a temporal redirect from one URL or web page to another.
3. 404 or 404 Error
A 404 or 404 Error is an error message that a user sees when the web page or url requested cannot be found. It is often due to a deleted web page, a web page that doesn’t exist, or an incorrectly typed URL.
4. Above the Fold
Above the fold simply refers to the part of a web page —displayed on the entire browser window— that is initially visible to you without scrolling down. You may come across this term when reading topics relating to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and website speed.
5. Affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing is a strategy where businesses reward individual affiliates (people or organizations outside the business) for bringing in new customers or visitors through ads or content on the affiliate’s website. These are exceptionally common on personal or lifestyle sites, where you might notice that the product recommended has a link with a bunch of additional stuff tracked on. That means that if you buy the product, the blog or site that lead you there will make some percentage of that sale.
6. ALT Tag
ALT is an abbreviation for “alternative descriptive text” that is added to the html image tag like so
<img src="image.jpg" alt="this is a nice image" >. ALT text plays an important role in optimizing websites for ADA compliance and SEO ranking.
If you have ever come across the term "Google analytics" before, then you’re in luck. Analytics is simply data and information gathered from a website on how users interact with it.
In web development, a software such as Google analytics gets data about the number of users interacting with a website daily, how long they stayed on the site, where they visited from, and a whole bunch of other kinds of stuff — you get the point.
8. Anchor Tag
The term "anchor" refers to an HTML tag —anchor tag— used in web development for the purpose of linking one or more web pages either internally as "Internal Links" or externally as "External Links". It is usually in the form
<a href="example.com">anchor text</a>. An anchor tag can also be wrapped around other HTML tags such as image tags, div tags, all the h-groups, paragraph tags e.t.c.
API stands for "Application Program Interface." This is how computers and applications can communicate with one another.
A Backend is a term mostly used when talking about the programming codes and functionalities of a website that are not visible to the clients/website users. Some backend codes and functionalities are what powers the security and dynamic aspect of a website. It is very important to keep all backend codes private for the sake of security.
This is the amount of data that can be transmitted over a connection at any given time.
12. Below the Fold
This refers to the part of a web page that is usually hidden from the browser window and only visible upon scrolling down. It is the part of a web page that is not immediately visible to you when the page is initially visited but is only revealed to you when a page scroll occurs. It can also be said to be part of a web page that contains content not included in the "above the fold" content of the web page.
13. Bounce Rate
Bounce rate is the percentage at which a person leaves your site from the entrance page without interacting with the page. You will likely come across this when working with analytics software such as google analytics.
This term is used interchangeably with media queries. These are points when your website will adjust to accommodate the screen size to make sure the user has the best experience viewing the website at that size. They are usually industry set, such as mobile, tablet, and desktop, but your developer can adjust as needed to match your specific audience.
A browser is a software program that is primarily used to access contents and web pages on the World Wide Web (WWW).
In the early internet years, web browsers were ultimately used to access websites. However, web browsers have undergone innovation and development to become far more useful than their initial purpose —accessing web pages. While most browsers can be used to access offline media files like audios, videos, and images, some can be used for even more advanced purposes such as image editors, media players, text editors, and document viewers for different file extensions.
Cache is temporary data storage that improves site speed by storing relevant information on your computer the first time you visit a website. When you revisit the website again, your computer does not have to reload all the website information as its already saved during th first visit.
17. Call-to-Action (CTA)
This can be text, image, banner. or button that uses action-oriented language to get the user to click and engage with the website.
CDN stands for “Content Delivery Network.” This is a system of computers with scripts and other content that are used by many websites. The content on these computer will often be cached and be helpful in speeding up your website.
An identifier used to define different sections of a website to help target for styling purposes in your CSS file. It is usually in the form
<p class="class_name">This paragraph text can be controlled using the class</p>.
Client side is a term that refers to the programming codes of a website that is usually executed on a browser and can be seen by other users of the site. Unlike a server side programming language, a client side programming language is executed on the browser of the local computer. Most markups and styles required to render a website are created using a client-side programming language. Some notable client-side languages are HTML, CSS, and JS.
A CMS which stands for Content Management System is a special software used to facilitate the creation, publication, and management of contents on a website. A CMS is an effective tool that can be used to create a “running website” or blog within minutes without writing complex programming/web development codes. There are several CMSs in the world; a few examples are WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal. However, the most popularly used CMS is Wordpress.
This term is used to describe the data saved by your web browser on to your computer. It is used to store data identifies you, how often you visit a site, what part you visit the most, your preferences when browsing and more.
This term describes the process by which a search engine bot like GoogleBot to your website to gather information on pages that exist and no longer exist and update their database on the information it has gathered. It is necessary to get indexed by search engines and get found.
The term CSS, which stands for Cascading Style Sheet, is a language used by web designers and developers to manage, tweak, design and style a web page in order produce an appealing —structural and visual layout of the web page.
CSS can be used to transform a plain HTML web page into a dynamic and professional looking web page consisting of functionalities that enhance the overall user experience.
DNS iss an abbreviation for Domain Name Server. According to cloudflare, Domain Name System (DNS) is basically the phonebook of the Internet. Humans access information online through domain names, like nytimes.com or espn.com. Web browsers interact through Internet Protocol (IP) addresses. DNS translates domain names to IP addresses so browsers can load Internet resources.
In the simplest definition, A Domain Name Server (DNS) is a server that stores domain names. To expand, a Domain Name Server (DNS) is a special server that keeps/stores a directory of unique domain names. It also translates domain names into addresses called the Internet Protocol (IP) address. The contents of most websites are usually served from a DNS located in different parts of the world.
A Document Object Model (DOM) is used to describe the entire part of an HTML web page occupying the full width of a browser. To fully clarify this —each object on an HTML document occupies a certain x and y coordinate. As a result, they each come together to form the DOM of a website when displayed on a browser. This concept is important when making dynamic and interactive interfaces.
27. Domain or Domain Name
A domain or domain is a web address that is used to uniquely identify, locate and consequently fetch data belonging to a particular website — even though they have the same prefixes. It is important to know that these domains are stored as IP addresses in a DNS —explained above.
Short for “Favorite Icon,” this is the icon that appears in your website browser tab.
The term "follow" is an attribute that instructs a search engine bot or web crawler to crawl the links located on a web page where it's indicated.
A framework is a term used to traditionally describe software solutions or other web functionalities that make web development and design easier.
Frameworks are important in web development as it helps developers to write industrial-deplorable, optimized, and secure codes at the shortest time possible. Also, some frameworks such as bootstrap and foundation are used by web designers to create responsive websites across all platforms.
Front-end refers to the part of a website's code and functionalities that are visible to the users.
Unlike the back-end operations of a website, the front-end of a website usually includes the graphics, dynamic effect, colors, text and other functionalities that enhance user interaction. Web designers who work on the front-end of the website —making the visually enticing parts of a website— are called front-end designers
FTP is short for “File Transfer Protocol.” When it comes to websites, this is how files are uploaded to the internet.
33. Home Page
A home page refers to the web page that is seen first when you visit a website through its original Uniform Resource Locator (URL).
As much as a website can be visited through access to specific files, web pages, and sub directories, the home page of a web site signifies the starting point of a website that contains important navigations and information about the website.
Hosting refers to a web server where the files for your website are stored.
Also known as “Hypertext Markup Language,” this is the language that is used to build your website pages and display content like content, images, video, and links on the web.
36. HTTP & HTTPS
Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) is the secure version of HTTP, the protocol over which data is sent between your browser and the website that you are connected to. The 'S' at the end of HTTPS stands for 'Secure.' It means all communications between your browser and the website are encrypted. HTTPS is often used to protect highly confidential online transactions like online banking and online shopping order forms.
In web development and design, kerning is a practice that involves applying spaces between characters of a word in order to make them stand out by being visually appealing to users.
39. Landing Page
There are varying definitions of the term "landing page" based on the subject area or context it is used. With that in mind, in the area of web development and design, a landing page is a web page with a single objective that appears first when you visit a website.
Most people including web developers tend to confuse the term "Landing Page" with "Home Page". To clarify, Unlike a homepage, a landing page does not necessarily signify the index or beginning of the website. As a matter of fact, a landing page can be a signup page: login page, customer subscription page, standalone website as well as the home page of a website.
40. Media Queries
This is a notable attribute of the Cascading Style Sheet 3 (CSS 3) that allows web designers to specify a different style sheet/design on different devices or browser-display. Ultimately, this property is mainly used to enhance a responsive web design and promote user experience using the
41. Meta Tag
These are tags traditionally located at the head section of an HTML Markup/code. They are used for the following: to describe contents of a web page, indicate additional resources, and provide details that explain the content of the web page on a Search Engine Result Page (SERP).
This can also be called a menu. This is how visitors get to different parts of your website.
In web development and design, nesting is the practice of placing web contents within an HTML tag that is also wrapped by one or more layers of other tags. For instance, placing a
p tag within an
h1 tag, which is also placed within a
div tag or other container, and continuously to a final tag.
44. No follow (nofollow)
This is an attribute used in web development whose main function is to prevent search engine bots or web crawlers from following the links associated with a particular web page.
A nofollow attribute can be:
indicated as "content" of a robot meta tag of a web page to prevent the links on that page from being followed.
added to an individual link to prevent that particular link from being followed.
added to the robots.txt file of the website to prevent the link associated with one or more directories or web pages from being followed.
45. No Index (noindex)
This is an attribute that is used to prevent the links on a web page or pages from being indexed by search engines, thus, preventing it from appearing on a Search Engine Result Page(SERP). Its utilization is similar to the nofollow attribute
It can be used to prevent an individual web page from being indexed when added to the content of a meta robot tag. In the same fashion, it can be added to a website's robots.txt file to disallow the indexing of links in one more directories, subdirectories and web pages.
46. Page Speed
Page speed refers to the amount of time it takes to load all content on a specific web page.
47. Page Template
A page template is a unique layout for a page or multiples pages of your website.
Website propagation refers to the time taken between 12 to 36 hours for a newly registered domain name — or the DNS Servers of a website— to be fully updated across all name servers —preparing the information for access.
Woah! I know ... I'm lost too!
Think of it this way, when you register a new domain from your web host (or anywhere else,) the name is not immediately updated as a domain name worldwide.
Now, this is where propagation comes in and does its job.
It takes about 36 hours for propagation to fully take place. This is important as it helps to ensure that your website can be indexed by search engines.
Your registrar is the company used to register a domain. (Examples: GoDaddy, Network Solutions, etc)
The term "Rendering" refers to all the activities undergone by a web browser to properly interpret all necessary texts, markups, styles, and other components of the source code on a web page. Then, it displays the web page.
51. Responsive Design
The term "responsive" refers to an approach to web design that implements a fluid layout of a web page in order to display properly across multiple and various devices.
Accordingly, this technique can be said to use a form of calculated measurement of the various layout using percentages or pixels.
Responsive web design is very important as it reduces the work load involved in web design and development by eliminating the need to create several versions of a web page for the different devices it would be accessed.
52. Schema Markup
Schema Markup is code that you put on your website to help search engine give more informative results for users. There are many different kinds of schema and some of the most common are organizational schema markup, website schema markup, site navigation schema markup, video schema markup, and even more for eCommerce sites.
In the field of web development and design, semantics refers to the appropriate interpretation or meaning of the HTML tags used in describing the contents on a web page.
For example, a list of sub topics can be created using tags such as the anchors
<a></a> or headers with some CSS tweaking for bullet points. However, the web page will not be properly interpreted as being semantic in structure. Therefore, to get a proper semantic web page structure, the appropriate tag to be used for a list should be the
54. SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
At its simplest form, the term Search Engine Optimization (SEO) refers to a series of operation implemented on a website or a particular webpage for the sole purpose of obtaining a higher ranking on the SERP of search engines.
SEO doesn't just involve the on-page tweaking done on a website, it includes other off-page activities such as backlinks, content and social marketing carried out on a website in order to increase the visibility and credibility of the website.
55. SERP (Search Engine Results Page)
A Search Engine Results Page widely known as SERP is a web page that displays search results generated by search engines when you search for a query.
In most search engines, the search results are displayed in a similar manner —listing out all the results of the query using technical algorithms for ranking/relevance.
56. Server Side
In web development, a server-side is used to describe a portion of a website's codes and logics that are rendered and executed on a server rather than a web browser. Deep understanding of server side and how it works is vital during web development as it ensures that one is conversant with important codes related to dynamic functioning and security of a website.
In addition, a server side programming languages contribute immensely to database connection and management by storing various information required for dynamic rendering of a website. Some programming languages such as PHP, ROR, and Node js are regarded as server side languages because they are executed on the server.
A site map (or sitemap) is a list of pages of a web site. There are three primary kinds of site map: Site maps used during the planning of a Web site by its designers. Human-visible listings, typically hierarchical, of the pages on a site. Structured listings intended for web crawlers such as search engines.
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer and is a standard security protocol for establishing encrypted links. This ensures that all data transmitted between the web server and the browser remains secure.
These are important elements of both client-side and server-side programming languages used to indicate a block of code that is associated to that particular programming language. In HTML, tags are used to distinguish different elements of a web page. By enclosing the contents in between, they instruct a web browser on how to identify and properly render a web page.
Most tags have an "opening-tag" to signify its starting point and a "closing-tag" to mark its end. An Example is
60. TLD (Top-Level Domain)
A Top-Level Domain (TLD) is a domain that occupies the position of the highest authority when ranked with other domains. To fully understand TLD, you need to know what a domain entails.
Assuming you have a URL called http://www.example.com, www.mywebaddress.com will serve as your domain, mywebaddress will be your domain name while .com will be your domain extension.
With that in mind, some domain extensions are in a higher level of hierarchy than others. Such domains are called Top-Level Domains (TLD) and are the most sought after domain among the web community. This is because of its placement in the root zone of the name space of Domain Name Servers (DNS). Some examples of TLDs are .com, .net, .org, .mil and others.
In web development and design, tracking is a practice that involves applying spaces between the entire characters, words or a block of texts on a website in order to create a typography that is visually appealing to the users. One way to implement this feature is through the use of
:letter-spacing attribute in CSS.
62. UI (User Interface)
A User Interface (UI) is the visual part with which you can interact with a website.
63. URI (Uniform Resource Identifier)
A URI is an acronym for Uniform Resource Identifier. The term URI is probably one of the most confusing to both web and non-web developers. For simplicity, this term will be explained based on web development and design. A URI is a means through which resources such documents, images, e.t.c., can be identified over the web.
At the moment, there are two classifications of a URI namely:
Locator by means of a Uniform Resource Locator (URL)
Names by means of Uniform Resource Name (URN)
64. URL (Uniform Resource Locator)
If you are reading this right now, then you've probably come across the term URL. A URL is a web address used in locating a website or a particular document on a web page.
65. UX (User Experience)
In web design, User Experience (UX) refers to the practice of improving the quality and friendliness of a website. Knowing this, web designers improve the user experience of a website by implementing an interactive and dynamic design coupled with web usability and accessibility.
Validation can mean more than one thing in web development.
Firstly, validation can be the act of cross-checking personal details provided by users when interacting with forms such as sign-up forms, login forms, and the rest. Secondly, validation is the practice of checking your HTML and CSS codes for errors by comparing it to the W3C standard using tools called validators.
67. W3C (World Wide Web Consortium)
The World Wide Web Consortium popularly called W3C is an international body of experts in charge of developing standards, protocols, and guidelines regarding the interpretation of documents over the WWW. Furthermore, they are responsible for setting standards that permit most web browsers to render consistent results across all platforms.
68. Web Accessibility
In web development, web accessibility is the practice of developing a website that is easily accessible to all individuals including the disabled and mobile impaired individuals.
Web accessibility can be practiced by implementing one or more of the following: making a website easy to navigate and read articles by blind users, using colors that are easy to interpret by color blind users, and appropriately differentiating between clickable and unclickable elements.
69. Web Findability
This refers to the rate at which web users or customers can easily explore a web site's structure when looking for a particular content, and consequently, locating that content easily without hassle. As a component of user experience, the findability of a website is an essential quality to consider when developing and designing a website.
70. Web Safe Colors
In the earlier days of the internet, web safe colors were set of colors considered to be the best choice of colors for web design —to display properly across multiple browsers. Although this may no longer be necessary, it is worth knowing that once upon a time, web designers could not use whatever colors they chose.
71. Web Safe Fonts
This is another term that directly relates to web safe colors. Web safe fonts are set of fonts that are traditionally supported by browsers to be used on a website. These fonts are no longer mandatory since technological advancement has paved the way for downloadable and cloud hosted fonts.
72. Web Usability
A web usability refers to the process of simplifying a website by making it easier for users to interact with it. Like findability, a web usability is also an essential ingredient to consider when working on the user experience of a website. Web designers ought to ensure that a website simplifies the access to its marketable content.
73. Web Page
A web page can be regarded as a unit of a website. It is a single document on a website that holds information such as markup, text, multimedia and other elements which are used to correctly describe its role on the website.
Most web pages on professional websites offer unique content on both static and dynamic web pages. In the same fashion, each web page usually has its own permalink.
A website is a collection of interactive/informative web pages —or simply a one-page file, hosted on a server to be accessed over the World Wide Web. A website is usually accessed through the URL that pertains to it.
75. Website Wireframe
In web design, a wireframe is a term that describes the general representation of elements on the screen of a website in order to visually capture its potential appearance. You can see a website wireframe as an outline or sketch of the layout of a website.
76. White Space
n web development and design, a white space simply refers to spaces in between source code of a web page —left blank and unused usually between texts, tags, and graphics. White space is mainly used for the aesthetical intent (writing clean codes.)
In web design, widgets are special elements that create interactivity whilst enhancing user experience. They are essential components of the User Interface of a website. Widgets include clickable buttons, icons, progress-bars, selectors and other elements that further improve the quality of a website's User Experience.
A wireframe is visual guide used to show the structure of a web page without any design elements.
This is an acronym that stands for What You See Is What You Get. It is a type of web editing software that allows a web developer or designer to see the result of the program after it has been created and rendered.
Wrapping is a term that is used to illustrate the "act" of placing content within an element tag. For instance, wrapping a page heading in an
h1 tag simply means placing a heading text in-between an opening and closing
81. X and Y Coordinates
The x and y coordinates of a web page refer to the horizontal and vertical position of the web page. It is also an element of a web page on the screen of a device it is being displayed. The x-coordinate represents the horizontal position whereas the y-coordinate represent the vertical position.
What other web development terms do you know?
Web development, just like any other field has its own terms. Being a full stack web developer is not exclusive to mastering the practical aspect of web development —you should be able to communicate what you know.
Although this list is not exhaustive, a proper understanding of these commonly used terms will provide a starting point towards becoming a competent developer.