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A Non-Technical Person’s Guide to Web Development Buzzwords

In the world of web development, there are a ton of buzzwords. To somebody outside of the world of programming (not a nerd), words like “full-stack”, “frameworks”, and “query” are completely foreign. For people looking for help with their web development initiatives, it can be especially intimidating to have conversations with web development professionals.

As much as possible, web development professionals try to use layman terms when speaking to people who don’t know much about web development, but buzzwords will inevitably come up in conversation. Even if you don’t plan to become a web developer, simply understanding some of the terminology will help you communicate with developers you work with in the future. For these reasons, we’ve decided to make this guide to web development buzzwords for non-technical people.

Above the Fold: This term is referring to the first few things that someone would see when they open the website’s homepage. Typically the most important information that you want the audience to see would be here.

Back-End: This involves the programming that goes into how the website functions. This is everything that the user won’t see, but occur behind the scenes to make everything in the website work.

Browser Testing: In order to make sure that a website would work properly when launched officially, developers do this.

Call to Action: Something that incites the website visitor to do some action. For example:

Content Management System (CMS): This is software that a website owner would use in order to easily update the text/information on their website. These are meant for owners who don’t have programming knowledge and don’t need to make actual functional changes to their website. Some examples of CMSes are Drupal, Joomla, and WordPress

Conversion Rate: Essentially this is the total number of website visitors divided by the number of users who performed a particular key action on the website (typically a purchase).

CSS: This stands for Cascading Style Sheet. It is a coded language that contributes to the aesthetic aspects of a website. It’s used to make HTML code look attractive.

Domain Name: This is your website address. These typically end in “.com”, “.org”, “.co” etc.

Front-End: This is the part of your website that a website visitor sees.

HTML:This stands for Hypertext Markup Language. It’s a coded language that allows developers to put text, images, etc. on a website. Is especially used in conjunction with languages like CSS and Javascript.

Infinite Scrolling: Pages that allow users to scroll indefinitely. These are typically used to present a long list of items/links. Platforms like Facebook and Instagram have infinite scrolling, while platforms like Google have multiple pages.

Landing Page: It is the page that gives information that is meant to entice visitors to fill out a form/make a purchase.

Lead Form: Typically this is a page that can be accessed in one click, regardless of where a visitor is on a website. The page is meant to be a form or file that a visitor is meant to fill out or download.

Meta-tags: Meta-tags are snippets of text that describe a page’s content; the meta tags don’t appear on the page itself, but only in the page’s code. Meta-tags are an important aspect of SEO.

SEO: This term refers to Search Engine Optimization. SEO is the art of using keywords, meta-tags, etc. in order to improve a webpage’s ranking on search engines like Google.

Sitemap: This term refers to the way in which a website is formatted. A sitemap is created so a web crawler from Google can view the site more easily. This helps with SEO.

UI design: UI is an acronym that stands for User Interface. UI refers to the way that a page is formatted/positioned that a site visitor would see.

UX design: UX is an acronym that stands for User Experience. UX refers to the experience that a site visitor would get while interacting with and clicking through the website.

Vector: These are geographic visuals that are normally used for icons, logos, buttons, and infographics.

Web 2.0: This is a web design trend characterized by fascination with round corners, shiny buttons and streamlined appearance. Additionally, people called the social media era Web 2.0 before the world “social media” was created.

Wireframe: This is similar to a roadmap, the first iteration of how a website will be designed and what it will consist of. Wireframes are meant to organize content and structures of pages before the designers/programmers actually make them.

This definitely isn’t a list of every term that’s relevant to web development, but it’s definitely a great start. Study this list of buzzwords, and you’ll understand at least a little bit about web development. You might even surprise a couple developers with your background knowledge.