Website Development Words to Know, Part 2

November 17, 2014

In which the United WebWorks blogging staff explore a list of jargon words we couldn't fit into the last entry.


website development dictionaryDefining words can be a befuddling exercise. Before making the jump, see if you can guess the English word the highest number of distinct definitions, according to the Oxford English Dictionary. Click on "More" to see the answer, and then read up on the common everyday jargon you'll hear from your website producer.


As promised, the OED gives us the surprising winners:


"Set" has 464 definitions.

"Run" runs a distant second, with 396.

 Rounding out the top ten are "go" with 368, "take" with 343, "stand" with 334, "get" with 289, "turn" with 288, "put" with 268, "fall" with 264, and "strike" with 250.



Now, get set for a run at learning more website-related words!


Blogging is a great way to get search engines to like your corner of the web. As we mentioned, fresh content gives you an SEO boost, so by all means, get your people writing. There are few guidelines to follow, like shooting for at least 600 words, but mostly if it has to do with your website- even remotely- blog it! You will definitely move up in page rank right past those websites whose last blog entry was in 2001.


Some engagements lead to marriage. Other lead to sales! In web marketing terms, "engagement" has to with attracting attention, followed by the involvement of people's interest and attention as a business relationship is built. The thought is that by evoking customer participation in the brand, product, marketing or sales process, you win them over to your side. Examples of this are taking part in social media conversations about anything related to your product or company, allowing customers to have a role in designing your product or packaging, or producing educational blogs or webcasts.


The set of widely accepted standards of web design that evaluate a given website's usability. Who decided that a little triangle means "play" or "more stuff will appear if you click this?" Heuristics, that's who. User interfaces are designed under deadlines and budgets, so it's great for designers or coders to have universally accepted, tried and true methods of interacting with any web page. User control, clear instructions, predictability, consistency and forgiveness are some of the tests one could run on a site to determine a score reflecting its effectiveness. That last one (forgiveness) is our favorite- it asks how well a user is able to recover from a wrong click or other mistake!


Had he been so inclined, Tim Berners-Lee could have added "Emperor of Earth" to his extensive resume. In October of 1990, he introduced our planet to the "World Wide Web" starting with the Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire (CERN- the place with the giant particle accelerator). Instead of patenting and cashing in on his ideas, he decided to set the WWW free. Had he not done that, we may well be living on Planet Berners-Lee.

One of his contributions was a way to format a screenful of information with simple instructions called "tags." These were little bits of data attached to each line of text, picture, video or sound. When read by your browser (like Chrome or Safari) the look and feel of a web page is preserved and displayed exactly the way the author intended. The letters HTML stand for "Hyper Text Markup Language." Here's an example:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<h1 style="font-size:300%">
These words are BIG!</h1>
<p style="font-size:160%">
These words are not so big.</p>

Here's what you see on your screen:


These words are BIG!

These words are not so big.



Have you ever seen the little chain-link thing that looks like this?


or this?

hyperlink 2

These are for inserting a URL (see below)  to an object or words that takes the clicker directly to the specified web page. Hyperlinks are used extensively in websites to let the user navigate quickly from one page to another, or to a different website altogether. Whenever you see some words in a different color (usually blue) sometimes underlined, you know that clicking on those words will take you somewhere else. (aha! made you click didn't we?) Often a picture or symbol will have a hyperlink associated with it.

Joomla, Wordpress, Drupal

Major CMS programs (see Part One) . Joomla is Open Source, which means that any developer can write bits of code that will extend the core functionality beyond managing website content (written material, videos, photos, online catalogs, customer data, etc.). There's an entire community of contributors who have designed apps like inventory control, reporting, bridges to other applications, communication tools like instant messaging that enhance what Joomla already does.


When you are talking about search engine optimization (see SEO), a keyword on a website is the cheese to the search engine rat. It captures what the website is about, acting as a shortcut letting a Google robot quickly determine if your site should appear as a result for the searcher to click on. They not only appear in the actual text of the page, but in the metadata (next entry) behind the scenes. Coming up with the right keywords can be tricky, especially if your content is similar to 4 million other websites. Get it right, though, and there is much rejoicing for you at the top spot of the Google search returns!


The literal definition of the word is "data beyond data" or information about data. Think about it like labels on file folders. There can be lots of information in a few little phrases, like the age of the content, the topic (see keywords), the length or size of the page, the author, the page's popularity among searchers, and tons more.

Organic Search

These are the all-natural, 100% ad-free search returns that appear when Google or another search engine completes its split-second retrieval of website links. When you type a search term like "kitchen" into the little box, you should see at least two types of returns. Kitchen remodeling companies can pay Google to come in as the very first results. For a time, the differences between these paid results and the ones that just show up for other reasons were very slight. Currently  Google puts a little orange box with the word "ad" next to the paid ones.

When you are talking about traffic to your website, "organic search" refers to people who enter a phrase like "Website Design Savannah GA"  into the search box, then click on your entry ( to interact with your site.


You want to be in the top 3 results for anyone's search for what you offer; being top dog at listing number one is even better! That's why advertisers in the Yellow pages (remember them?) used to submit entries like "AAAAA1 Plumbing"  Google's one job is to return the MOST relevant and useful links possible, FIRST. And Google's a lot smarter than to hit you back with results in alphabetical order. The location of your business is an important filter, but there are at least 200 more criteria that search engines use to fetch results that don't waste your time.

Some examples are: The length of time you have owned your domain (the part of your web address before the .com), keyword density, the speed at which your site will load into a browser window, the frequency with which your content is refreshed, the reading grade level of your content (not too high nor too low), appropriate security of sensitive data, and so forth. SEO professionals pay close attention to how search engines behave in the presence of these variables and have learned what works and what doesn't.

Social Media

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Reddit- you know, all those fun stay in touch social spaces online where people let it all hang out. Great places for marketing if you know what you're doing. Engaging with customers in their natural habitat can be a huge win… or a huge mess. Consider shoe maven Kenneth Cole's "cute" tweet referencing the war in Syria:




Static Website

Imagine a print ad on a computer screen. Usually only one-page, a static site simply holds information like business hours, phone numbers and a quick description. It's cheap or free, but a customer can't do much with it. We suppose it's better than nothing, but maybe not because of the way it reflects on the business that is too cheap to have a real website.

The Fold

The dreaded bottom of the visible area of the screen. Having to scroll down to see what's down there is a death knell if you want to get clicked on! The term comes from the "fold" of a newspaper which required readers to unfold or flip their paper to see beyond the main headlines.


The stream of clickers that get through to your website. They come in many varieties, like

  • Direct- people who arrive at your site by typing your URL into their search
  • Referral- Other websites steering people to you through an ad or a link in their blog or some other clickable reference to you
  • Search engines- arrivals that come from both organic and paid search results
  • Other- Email, direct marketing, print ads and other media that contain a link.


Tim Berners-Lee strikes again. He came up with the idea of standardizing the way web addresses are written, although he wishes he had done it a bit differently, like use all slashes instead of a combination of slashes and dots. "URL" Stands for Uniform Resource Locator, a bit of internet magic that can pinpoint a specific computer, directory and file and display the contents in a flash of a second. Here's how it works:

  • HTTP - HyperText Transfer Protocol, simply, HOW your computer wants to connect with another, or what language to use. When a server sees this first, it knows that another computer's browser is asking for a web page to be displayed.
  • : (colon) and // (two slashes) separators that say, "there's something coming next!"
  • WHERE your computer is looking, i.e., The name of the host computer (server) where the information you want is stored, usually a domain name like ""
  • Another slash as a separator so terms don't run together in a mush
  • The directory and filename, separated by slashes, of you want to find. WHAT you are asking for.

Here's a great example (shameless plug for our company notwithstanding):


"I'm speaking in HyperText Transfer Protocol,"
"I'm heading to,"
"What I want is in the blog section of the website,"
"And the name of the blog is 'website development words to know.'"



And so we conclude this blog on jargon you'll hear from internet marketing people. Impress them with your incisive knowledge of the most-used terminology in their field. Or just fake it 'til you make it!

How to Choose a Web Design Company

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Any jargon we missed? tell us below in the Comments area...

Topics: Inbound Marketing