Get confident with our A-Z of web jargon
If you’re trying to find someone to help with your website, or even build you a new website, then you might find you come across a lot of acronyms!
We web developers do like to talk in code sometimes. So, to make sure you know your alt-text from your metadata and your backlinks from your internal links, check out our handy A-Z of web jargon guide.
Get confident and up to speed with these common terms and their meanings.
From Accessibility to Anchor Text
Web accessibility is something that is super important to us at Blueocto. It is the practice of understanding how you can make your website accessible to everyone. An inclusive approach to creating an excellent experience for everyone.
“Web accessibility means that people with disabilities can perceive, understand, navigate, and interact with the Web, and that they can contribute to the Web. Web accessibility also benefits others, including older people with changing abilities due to ageing.” W3C (World Wide Web Consortium)
Adwords is Google’s advertising service. You can create an advert for your business or website which will be displayed in Google search results.
Alt-text means alternative text. You might also hear it called “alt attributes” or “alt descriptions.”
Alt-text is the words you use to describe the images that are on a website. Search engines like to see Alt-text because it helps them understand what a picture is and how relevant it is for search results. For example, an image like this could have Alt-text which reads: a close up of six octopus tentacles in a deep blue ocean.
Anchor text is the words you hyperlink. For example, in the sentence, “we are Blueocto and we love developing websites,” the anchor text we are using “developing websites”, it links to the web development page of our website.
From Back-end to Browser
When we say “back-end” we mean the back office of your website. The place where you can make changes and update the site. The opposite of “front-end” which is what customers or website users see.
Backlinks are sometimes called inbound links. They are links from other websites coming into your website. Search engines like it when your website has backlinks because it adds credibility to your site.
“Black hat” is mostly used to refer to search engine optimisation. It is a catch-all term for tactics that are used to temporarily trick search engines into directing more traffic to a site by ranking it more highly than it should be. If a search engine suspects your site of employing black hat tactics, it may penalise you by demoting your rankings in search engine results.
A browser is how you access the internet. You’re using a browser right now, to read this. Browser types include Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Firefox and Safari.
From CAPTCHA to Google Analytics
CAPTCHA is an acronym for Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart.
You’ll almost certainly have completed a CAPTCHA, perhaps when logging into a site you’ve been asked to select all the squares which show a car. It basically lets the site know you’re a real human and not a robot.
CMS means content management system. It’s located in the back end of your website and it designed for anyone to make changes to their website, so you don’t always need a web designer or developer.
A great example of a popular CMS is WordPress.
When we use the word “content” when talking about websites, it encompasses all the information on your website for users to read or engage with. This might be; blog posts, reviews, testimonials, images, slideshows or videos.
A conversion is when someone viewing your website takes an action which brings them closer to becoming a customer of yours. It could be signing up your newsletter or it could be a sale.
CSS stands for Custom Style Sheet. It is a coding language that professional developers or designers use to create the look and feel of websites; the colour palette, typeface and design can all be done with CSS.
A domain name is the address of your website. For example, our domain is: carolinehagan.co.uk
Each time you see a hyperlink it will either be classed as a do-follow or no-follow link. Do-follow means that search engines should think of the link as useful, it’s a high-quality link.
Almost all links are do-follow as a standard, if someone has gone to the effort of making a link a no-follow it means they don’t want to endorse or give credibility to the website they are linking to.
Google Analytics is the main type of tracking software used to understand who is visiting your website. It’s free and can give you a lot of insight about who is visiting your site, for how long and why.
If you work with a developer they will likely include Google Analytics on your site as a standard, but you can also set it up yourself by visit this page.
From H1 tags to Hyperlinks
H1 tags and H2, H3, H4, H5, H6
H tags are headings and sub-headings on a webpage. You can label certain text as headings to show search engines that the content is important.
Pages headings and subheadings are also important for your users, as it breaks up the content making it more digestible. H1 is usually the main heading on a page and H2 to H6 tags are used for the sub-headings.
All websites need to be hosted. Think of it as the actual piece of land your home sits on. People can’t visit your home if it’s floating in the air! And people can’t visit your website unless it is hosted, i.e. made available on the internet.
Hyperlinks are the main way we navigate around websites. Hyperlinks can point to other pages on the same website (Internal Links), to other websites, graphics, files, sounds, or e-mail addresses.
From Indexing to Keyword Research
The word ‘indexed’ refers to the listing of your website in search results. New websites usually take a few days to be indexed by search results, as do new pages you add to your site. It doesn’t mean they won’t be visible, just that they may not show up in a search result right away.
An internal link is a hyperlink on a website which points to another page on the same website. Like this one, which goes to our contact details.
Keywords are words/phrases that are important to your business and that you want search engines to recognise are important to your business. You may know these words already or you may need to do some Keyword Research.
Keyword Research is the way you find the best keywords for your website. Google Adwords has a free keyword planner which can help you figure out the words best for you. When you have a list, you then plan how you will include these topics into your website content.
From Metadata to Off-page SEO
Website metadata provides search engines with important information about the content and purpose of each page on your website and helps them determine whether your website is relevant enough to display in search results.
A meta description is a 160-character snippet which summarises a web page’s content. Search engines sometimes use these snippets in search results to let visitors know what a page is about before they click on it.
On-page SEO is the process of editing the different elements on your website to make it more appealing to search engines. Everything from your title tags to alt tags can be optimised for a more search engine friendly website.
Off-page SEO is like digital PR. It’s the process of building a strong reputation with search engines by using guest posts, social media and business directory listings to add credibility to your website.
From PPC to XML-Sitemap
PPC stands for Pay Per Click which is a form of online advertising. You are only charged if someone clicks on your advert, so it can be cost-effective for small businesses. You can set this up using Google Adwords.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. It means optimising your website to speak to search engines to give you the best possible rankings.
SERP is an abbreviation for Search Engine Results Page. This is the page that appears after someone has typed in a phrase in the search field using Google, Yahoo and Bing.
Title tags or page titles are an extremely important ranking factor. Make sure every page on your website has a title tag as it helps search engines understand what that page is about.
UX stands for user experience. As web developers, one of our main jobs is to think through how many different visitors will use your website.
How they will arrive, the journey they will take through your site and how we can make sure they have a great experience and find what they need.
It’s important to think about this before building a website, think about it like a layout of a supermarket – it has to make sense for shoppers to be able to find what they need.
A sitemap is a blueprint of your website structure, it helps search engines in knowing all the pages you have on your site and their purpose.
Have you come across any acronyms that have baffled you? Let us know and we can add them to this Jargon Buster!
Caroline brings over 15 years as a Designer and Developer; featured in .NET magazine, the only woman in the UK accredited for Google Mobile Sites. A business mentor with Enterprise Nation, STEM Ambassador and Google Women Techmaker Ambassador Previous client projects include Blackberry, FIAT, Clark Shoes and Sky.