10 Web Design Terms to Know (Even If You're Not a Web Designer)

In 1991, the World Wide Web started with one website. Created by Sir Tim Berners Lee and his team from CERN's lab, the website is still in existence. Today, the sheer growth of the Internet has led to more than 1.9 billion websites and the number keeps growing.


Of these, 200 million are active. In web development, experts use different web design terms. They do so to speed up the process of development and make their work easier.  


As a business owner or marketer, this web design terminology can be confusing. Want to brush up on your website design definitions for knowledge purposes?


Read on and learn 10 web design terms to know.


1. Responsive Design

Smartphones and tablets were constrained in terms of display size. As such, experts had to come up with an answer to ensure users had the best experience when browsing the web. The answer was responsive design.


What is responsive design? This refers to an approach in web design where a website renders well on different screen sizes.  Another word for responsive web design is a fluid grid. 


The technology allows websites to change their layout based on screen sizes.  Today, responsive design is a crucial factor in page ranking.


2. HTML, CSS and JavaScript

These are web programming languages that enable developers to build interactive websites. HTML is the language of the web. It contains tags which allow developers to achieve color, hyperlink effects, and text.  


Cascading Style Sheets is a style language that allows developers to transform a web page. JavaScript is a high-level object-oriented computer programming language. It helps in the creation of interactive effects on a web page.  


As a client-side scripting language, it works alongside HTML and CSS. As such, it creates and extends web app development, game, and mobile app development.


3. Cookies

As one of the web design terms, this is a small text file that has a unique identifier. The identifier is anonymous. It contains information about the website you have visited, and how often.


It also contains information on what pages you interacted with. As a result, website owners use this information to send you targeted ads.  


Let’s assume you shop from a favorite online retailer. The next time you shop, the website will list products based on your past interaction. This is because the website embedded a cookie in your browser.


4. Home Page

This is the start page or the main page of the website. It acts as an introductory page and contains menus, buttons, and content. These menus and buttons help you to navigate the rest of the website.   


For instance, if you want to know more about the business, click on About Us. If you have a query, click on Contact Us. Like the main page, it has to be attention grabbing, and interactive.


5. Links or Hyperlinks

This is a reference to information or data that an online visitor can follow. Activated by clicking on the highlighted text or image, the user gets redirected to another web page.   


There are three types of hyperlinks:


  • Site root-relative – points to a location in the root directory of your website. This type of hyperlink begins with a slash, for instance(/index.php).  

  • Absolute – this type of link contains the entire path to a specific file. For instance, “https://www.example.com/news/index.html.”  

  • Relative – points to a location relative to the current page. For instance, index.html points to index.html.  


You also have hypertext. This is a hyperlink linked to an anchor text. It's commonly used in content creation.


Learn more about web design trends and make your business website look modern and fresh.


6. Meta Tag

These are snippets of text which provide a summary of the page’s content. This description helps search engine bots to know what your content is all about. Meta tags do not appear on the content page but appear in the page code.


There are four types of meta tags:  


  • Title tag – this is the title of your web page  

  • Meta description attribute – this is a brief description of your web page  

  • Meta keyword attribute – this refers to a series of keywords relevant to the content on your web page  

  • Meta robots attribute – they instruct the search engine bots what to do with the page. Examples include index/noindex and follow/nofollow.   


What you need to know is that Meta tags are important. How? They are the foundation of SEO. Without them, you cannot reach online visitors organically. 


7. Web Page

This is a document built with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Identified with a unique URL, it contains text, images, and videos. To render a web page, online users need a modern browser such as Mozilla Firefox, Chrome, Opera, and Safari.   


Online visitors can navigate the web pages with the help of hypertext or hyperlinks. Most websites have more than two web pages.  For instance, a business website can have a home page, about us page, services page, and contact us page. 


Others will have a blog that also contains several web pages.


8. GIF

This is a lossless image format encoded using the graphics interchange format. Normally, several images or many frames are encoded into a single animated file.  Thanks to the use of lossless compression, it does not degrade the quality of the images.  


Using a modern browser or any other software, you can play a GIF file. Created in 1987, GIFs have become popular today in social media and the world of memes.  

To make your own GIF, you need a GIF maker. There are thousands of GIF makers online. Make a quick search and create your own GIFs.


9. White Space

This is the area between design elements. It also refers to the space found within individual design elements. What you need to know is that white space does not literally translate to white space.   


It can be any texture, color, pattern, or even a background image. Use of white space is important for elegance and helps to improve user experience. As such, it is a great tool for balancing elements and organizing content better on your web pages.


10. Mobile Friendly Test

As of January 2018, there were 3.7 billion mobile Internet users in the world. By 2019, 63.4% of mobile phone users were accessing the Internet from smartphones and tablets. To ensure that your website offers a great user experience, it has to be mobile-friendly.  


What you need to know is that mobile friendliness plays a crucial role in page ranking. If your website offers a poor mobile experience, search engines will penalize you. Want to check if your site is mobile friendly?   


Use this mobile site test tool.


Learn Web Design Terms to Become a Pro 

Now that you know the web design terms above, it is much easier for you to know what to include, and what to improve. By working with a website designer, you can build a website that offers the best user experience. 

Loved our post on 10 web design terms to know (even if you're not a web designer)? Check out our helpful site and learn more terms for knowledge purposes.