Web Design

Our top 10 website definitions you need to know

WE GET IT – website jargon can be intense! We’ll help cut through the bullshit.

Nick Marden
Nick MardenNovember 18, 2019

When working with a web design agency, being across common terms helps both parties get the most out of the experience. We make a point to explain all terms clearly, this is our no bullshit approach to help our clients understand the process. But here’s some common website terms demystified.

Cache refers to the hardware or software that is used to store something (usually data) temporarily in a computing environment. In terms of web development – Cache is used to help speed up future reloads of pages, by saving commonly used files and only refreshing them when needed. An example of this in action is an image, such as your logo, it will load initially and be cached by your web browser for a specific period of time to stop the requirement of re-downloading it again.

Call to Action (CTA) is an image or line of copy that prompts a user to literally ‘take an action’. Well-placed CTAs drastically increase conversion and direct your user around your site in the exact way intended. Commonly used phrases are ‘click here’ and ‘learn more’ but a great CTA should be personalised to your website’s intended outcomes. CTA’s are also commonly emotionally charged, further motivating a user to take an action – such as ‘Save $30 now’.

Content Management System (CMS) is a web application used to create and manage digital content. They can be used as a standalone system or integrated into websites to allow control over certain aspects (eg. a blog or a services page). We pride ourselves on our fully custom, no-template approach to websites and quite often use Wordpress (our CMS of choice) to empower our clients to make changes without the risk of breaking a website.

Favicon is a small icon-version of your logo that appears at the top of a browser tab. They boost your online brand recognition and can greatly up the overall finesse of your website.

The Fold takes its name from newspapers, above the fold refers to the most important stories that would appear at the top half of the newspaper (not hidden by being ‘folded’ over). In websites, this section refers to the upper portion of the website that is visible when you first load the page. Important content should generally appear here and your user should understand what your website is without having to scroll down too far.

Infinite Scroll is when the user consistently scrolls down the page for new content rather than any ‘click more’ prompts or pagination (eg. navigating to ‘next’ page). This is a common feature on social media platforms (think Twitter and Facebook) but isn’t always the best for directing your audience towards certain conversion outcomes.

Parallax scrolling is a technique used on websites where elements (commonly images in the background) move at different speeds then content in the foreground. While this can create depth and immersion, it can also be annoying for the user and constitutes scroll-jacking (which we’re also going to define!)

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) Certificate ensures a secure, encrypted connection between your website and that of your user. That extra ‘s’ (https:// versus http://) forms a foundation of trust so your customers feel confident in purchasing and providing personal information to your business. In recent years Google and other major web browsers and search engines have been flagging websites that don’t have an SSL as ‘Not Secure’, an SSL Certificate used to be a nice to have – it is now a must have.

Scroll-jacking is the repurposing of the scroll function for something other than the anticipated movement up and down a page. While it can be visually impactful, it can equally be bad from a usability perspective and risk a frustrated user clicking away from your site. Optimising user experience is all about ensuring repeated patterns, and not stray away from the norm – you would have heard the phrase ‘No need to re-invent the wheel’ – well in the case of scroll-jacking some web designers take it upon themselves to reinvent the scrollwheel. It is unnecessary and annoying.

Thumbnail image has a reduced file size and is used as a placeholder for full-sized content (eg. a large image or video).

Know your CMS from your CTA? Get in touch and impress the socks off us!