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The Smashing Book #5

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Web Design Industry Jargon: Glossary and Resources

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There are specialized terms referring to all sorts of aspects of web design. For someone just getting started in web design, or someone looking to have a site designed, all the technical jargon can be overwhelming. Especially the acronyms.

Below is a guide to industry terms that should get you well on your way to understanding what web designers are talking about. In addition, we’ve provided some resources for each term to give you more in-depth information.

A Link

Accessibility Link

Basically, this is the ability of a website to be used by people with disabilities, including visually impaired visitors using screen readers, hearing impaired visitors using no sound, color blind people, or those with other disabilities. A website with low accessibility is basically going to be impossible for those with disabilities to use. Accessibility is particularly important for sites providing information to those with disabilities (healthcare sites, government sites, etc.), though it is an important aspect to consider when designing any site.

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AJAX Link

Stands for Asynchronous JavaScript and XML. AJAX is typically used for creating dynamic web applications and allows for asynchronous data retrieval without having to reload the page a visitor is on. The JavaScript on a given page handles most of the basic functions of the application, making it perform more like a desktop program instead of a web-based one.

Screenshot4

Anchor Text Link

The text a link uses to refer to your site. This can make a big difference in your site’s search engine results. See also: Backlink.

Automagically Link

A portmanteau that combines “automatically” and “magically.” Generally, it refers to something that has a complex technical process that’s hidden from users, so that something almost appears to work by magic. If you think about it, many modern internet-based technologies could be classified as “automagical.”

Screenshot11

B Link

Back End Link

The back end of a website is the part hidden from view of regular website visitors. The back end generally includes the information structure, applications, and the CMS controlling content on the site.

Backlinks are links from other sites back to your own. They’re sometimes also referred to as “trackbacks” (especially on blogs). Backlinks have a huge impact on your sites search rankings. Lots of backlinks from high-ranking sites can greatly improve your search engine results, especially if those links use keywords in their anchor text.

Bad Neighborhood Link

A “bad neighborhood” refers to the server where your site is hosted. A site hosted on a server that hosts other sites that spam or use black-hat SEO practices can end up penalized by search engines solely because of their proximity to those sites. In other words, be very careful about which web host you choose, what their terms of service are, and how strictly they enforce those terms if you want to avoid being penalized because of what your neighbors are doing. Linking to sites in bad neighborhoods can also have a negative effect on your search rankings.

Screenshot17

Bandwidth Link

Bandwidth can refer to two different things: the rate at which data can be transferred or the total amount of data allowed to be transferred from a web host during a given month (or other hosting service term) before overage charges are applied. It is generally referred to in term of bits-per-second (bps), kilobits per second (kbs), or other metric measurements. Lower bandwidth internet connections (such as dial-up) mean data loads slower than with high bandwidth connections (like cable or fiber).

Below the Fold Link

This term is a carry-over from newspaper publishing days. In newspaper terms, “below the fold” means content was on the bottom half of the page (below the physical fold in the paper). In web design terms, “below the fold” refers to the content that is generally going to be below the point first viewable to the average website visitor in their browser (in other words, viewers would have to scroll down to see the content).

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Resources

Bounce Rate Link

A website’s bounce rate is the percentage of people who leave the site from the same page they entered the site, without clicking through to any other pages. This can be a good indicator of how good a website’s navigation is, as well as an indicator of the quality of the site’s content (a very high bounce rate doesn’t bode well for either of those things).

Breadcrumbs are the bit of navigation elements that generally appear near the top of a give web page that show you the pages and subpages the appear before the page you’re on. For examples, on a blog, the breadcrumbs might look something like: Home > Category > Year > Month > Post (or they might be a lot simpler that that). The breadcrumbs term comes from the fairy tale “Hansel and Gretel28.”

Screenshot

Browser Link

Browser refers to the program a website visitor is using to view the web site. Examples include Safari, Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera, and Internet Explorer.

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  • BrowserShots33 lets you check cross-browser compatibility of any site
  • Accessible Design Guide34 from Viewable with Any Browser
  • Designing for Every Browser: How to Make Your Site Fully Cross Browser Compatible from Design Vitality

C Link

Cache/Caching Link

Cached files are those that are saved or copied (downloaded) by a web browser so that the next time that user visits the site, the page loads faster.

Cascading Style Sheets Link

Also referred to simply as CSS, Cascading Style Sheets are used to define the look and feel of a web site outside of the actual HTML file(s) of the site. In recent years, CSS has replaced tables and other HTML-based methods for formatting and laying out websites. The benefits to using CSS are many, but some of the most important are the simplification of a site’s HTML files (which can actually increase search engine rankings) and the ability to completely change the style of a site by changing just one file, without having to make changes to content.

Screenshot38

Client-Side Link

Client-side refers to scripts that are run in a viewer’s browser, instead of on a web server (as in server-side scripts). Client-side scripts are generally faster to interact with, though they can take longer to load initially.

Content Management System Link

Also known as a CMS, the Content Management System is a backend tool for managing a site’s content that separates said content from the design and functionality of the site. Using a CMS generally makes it easier to change the design or function of a site independent of the site’s content. It also (usually) makes it easier for content to be added to the site for people who aren’t designers.

Comment Link

In web design terms, a comment is a bit of information contained in a site’s HTML or XHTML files that is ignored by the browser. Comments are used to identify different parts of the file and as reference notes. Good commenting makes it much easier for a designer (whether the original designer or someone else) to make changes to the site, as it keeps it clear which parts of the code perform which functions. There are different comment formats for different programming and markup languages.

CSS Link

See Cascading Style Sheets.

CSS Framework Link

A CSS framework is a collection of CSS files used as the starting point to make XHTML and CSS web sites quickly and painlessly. They usually contain CSS styles for typography and layout.

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D Link

Deprecated Link

Deprecated code is code that is no longer included in the language specifications. Generally this happens because it is replaced with more accessible or efficient alternatives.

Deprecation54 from Wikipedia
Deprecated Tags and Attributes in HTML55
Disabling Deprecated HTML Using CSS56 from David’s Kitchen

DHTML Link

Stands for Dynamic HyperText Markup Language. DHTML fuses XHTML (or any other markup language), the DOM, JavaScript (or other scripts), and CSS (or other presentation definition languages) to create interactive web content.

Dither Link

In GIF and certain other image formats, there is a limited color palette used for each image. Because of this, not all colors in an image are presented. Dither is used to approximate these colors by combining pixels of different colors side by side.

Screenshot60

DNS Link

Stands for Domain Name Service (alternately Domain Name System or Domain Name Server). Basically, it’s the thing that converts IP addresses into domain names. DNS servers are provided with the IP address of your web server when you assign your domain name to those servers. In turn, when someone types your domain name into their web browser, those DNS servers translate the domain name to the IP address and point the browser to the correct web server.

Doctype Link

The doctype declaration specifies which version of HTML is used in a document. It has a direct effect on whether your HTML will validate.

Screenshot65

Dom, The Link

Stands for Document Object Model. It’s a language-indpendent, cross-platform convention for representing objects in XML, XHTML, and HTML documents. Rules for interacting with and programming the DOM are specified in the DOM API.

Domain Link

The domain is the name by which a website is identified. The domain is associated with an IP address. Domains can be purchased with any combination of letters, hyphens (-), and numbers (though it can’t start with a hyphen). Depending on the extension (.com, .net, .org, etc.), a domain can be anywhere up to 26 to 63 characters long.

DTD Link

Stands for Document Type Definition. DTD is one of several SGML and XML schema languages. It provides a list of the attributes, comments, elements, entities, and notes in a document along with their relationships to each other.

E Link

E-Commerce Link

Short for electronic commerce. It’s the buying and selling of goods online, through websites. Products sold through e-commerce can be physical products that require shipping, or digital products delivered electronically.

Screenshot77

Elastic Layout Link

An elastic layout is one that uses percentages and ems for widths paired with a max-width style to allow the site layout to stretch when font sizes are changed. It’s ability to flex to accommodate the browser width and reader’s font preferences are where it gets its name.

Screenshot83

Element Link

In XML, an element is the central building block of any document. Individual elements can contain text, other elements, or both.

Em Link

Em is a unit of measurement for sizing fonts and other elements within a web page relative to the item’s parent element. A 1em font is equal to the point size for the font already defined in the parent element (2em would be twice the current size; .5em would be half the current size).

Embedded Style Link

An embedded style is a CSS style written into the head of an XHTML document. It only effects the elements on that page, instead of site-wide as a separate CSS file does. Style in an embedded style sheet will override styles from the linked CSS file.

Ex Link

Ex is a measurement for font height or size relative to the height of a lowercase “x” in that font family.

Screenshot95

Extensible Markup Language Link

Otherwise known as XML. XML is a markup language used for writing custom markup languages. In other words, XML describes how to write new languages (it’s sometimes referred to as a “meta” language because of this). It also serves as a basic syntax that allows different kinds of computers and applications to share information without having to go through multiple conversion layers.

Screenshot98

External Style Sheet Link

This is a CSS document that is written in a separate, external document. The biggest advantage to using an external style sheet is that it can be linked to by multiple HTML/XHTML files (which means changes made to the style sheet will effect all the pages linked to it without having to change each page individually).

F Link

Favicon Link

Favicons are tiny (generally 16×16 pixels, though some are 32×32 pixels), customizable icons displayed in the web address bar in most browsers next to the web address. They’re either 8-bit or 24-bit in color depth and are saved in either .ico, .gif or .png file formats.

Screenshot

Fixed Width Layout Link

A fixed width layout has a set width (generally defined in pixels) set by the designer. The width stays the same regardless of screen resolution, monitor size, or browser window size. It allows for minute adjustments to be made to a design that will stay consistent across browsers. Designers have more control over exactly how a site will appear across platforms with this type of layout.

Screenshot108

Fluid Layout Link

See Liquid Layout

Focal Point Link

The focal point of a web site is the spot on a web page that they eye is naturally drawn to. This could be an image, a banner, text, Flash content, or just about anything else. You want to make sure that whatever is acting as your focal point is the most important part of your site.

Screenshot112

Fold Link

The fold is a term carried over from newspaper design and pagination (where the fold referred to the physical fold in the paper). The fold in a website is the point on the webpage that rests at the bottom of someone’s browser (in other words, to see anything below the fold, they would have to scroll down). There are varying opinions on how important the fold is in web design.

Font Family Link

Font family is a group designation for defining the typefaces used in CSS documents. The font family tag generally lists multiple fonts to be used, and usually ends with the generic font category (such as “serif” or “sans-serif’).

Screenshot116

Font Style Link

In CSS, the font style refers solely to whether a font is italic or not.

Font Weight Link

The font weight refers to how thick or thin (bold or light) a font looks.

Front-End Link

The front-end is basically the opposite of the back-end. It’s all the components of a website that a visitor to the site can see (pages, images, content, etc.) Specifically, it’s the interface that visitors use to access the site’s content. It’s also sometimes referred to as the User Interface.

G Link

Graceful Degradation Link

Graceful degradation refers to a website’s ability to have elements that may take advantage of the capabilities of newer browsers done in a way that allows users with older browsers to still view the site in a manner that at least allows access to basic content. It also applies to making sure that if one small portion of your site doesn’t work in someone’s browser, it doesn’t break your entire site for them.

Screenshot125

Graphical User Interface Link

Also referred to by its acronym: GUI. A graphical user interface uses an input device (like the mouse) and visual representations of how the user is able to interact with a web application. In other words, it’s all the front-end stuff you see on a web application. It’s purpose is to allow you to interact with a web application without having to enter code.

H Link

Hexadecimal Link

Also referred to a “hex” numbers, they are a base-16 numbering system used to define colors online. Hex numbers include the numerals 0-9 and letters A-F. Hexadecimal numbers are written in three sets of hex pairs. Because screen colors are RGB (Red, Green, Blue), the first pair defines the red hue, the second pair defines the green hue, and the third pair defines the blue.

Screenshot131

Hit Link

Contrary to popular belief, a hit does not represent a single visitor to a website. A hit is actually a request for a single file from your web server. This means one page can actually generate multiple hits, as each page generally has more than one file (an html or other base file, a css file, multiple images, etc.) and each one is requested from the server whenever the page is loaded. Some marketing people like to quote hits to unknowing consumers as the number makes their site sound like it’s getting a whole lot more traffic than it actually is.

.htaccess Link

The .htaccess file is the default directory-level configuration file on Apache servers. They are also known as “distributed configuration files.” Configuration directives contained in the .htaccess file apply to the directory in which the file is placed as well as all of its subdirectories. Within the .htaccess file things like authorization and authentication, rewriting of URLs, cache control and customized error responses can all be specified.

HTML Link

Stands for Hypertext Markup Language. It’s the primary language used to write web pages. HTML is primarily intended as a way to provide content on websites (with CSS handling the layout and stylistic options), though it can also be used to determine how that content is displayed.

Screenshot140

HTML Tag Link

Also referred to as an HTML element, an HTML tag is the bit of code that describes how that particular piece of the web page it’s on is formatted. Typical tags specify things like headings, paragraphs, links, and a variety of other items.

HTTP Link

Stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol. HTTP is a set of rules for transferring hypertext requests between a web browser and a web server.

Screenshot147

HTTPS Link

Similar to HTTP, HTTPS stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol over SSL (Secure Socket Layer) or, alternately, HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure. Like HTTP, it’s a set of rules for transferring hypertext requests between browsers and servers, but this time it’s done over a secure, encrypted connection.

A hyperlink is a link from one web page to another, either on the same site or another one. Generally these are text or images, and are highlighted in some way (text is often underlined or put in a different color or font weight). The inclusion of hyperlinks are the “hyper” part of “hypertext.”

Screenshot152

Hypertext Link

Hypertext is any computer-based text that includes hyperlinks. Hypertext can also include presentation devices like tables or images, in addition to plain text and links.

I Link

iFrame Link

Short for Inline Frame. An iframe is used to display one or more web pages within another normal web page (one that isn’t a frameset page).

Image Map Link

An image map is used in XHTML to allow different parts of an image to become different clickable elements (and can also allow some portions of the image to have no clickable element).

Screenshot160

Inheritance Link

In CSS, elements that don’t have a pre-defined style will take on the style of their parent element within the document tree.

Inline Style Link

Elements with CSS written directly around the element it affects, instead of in a separate style sheet or header style.

L Link

LAMP Link

Stands for Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP (or sometimes Perl or Python), and is referring to the specifications of a web server (defining the operating system, web server, database, and scripting language, in that order). One of the advantages of LAMP setups is that the software used is all free and open source.

Screenshot169

Landing Page Link

A landing page is the page where a visitor first enters a website. Oftentimes, a special landing page is created to elicit a specific action from the new visitor (usually in connection with an advertising or marketing campaign).

A link farm is any website setup specifically to increase the link popularity of other websites by increasing the number of incoming links to that site. While some link farms are single pages listing unrelated links, others consist of networks of sites that contain multiple links back and forth to one another. Search engines can generally recognize these types of schemes and often remove link farms from their directories and penalize the sites linking to and from them.

Liquid Layout Link

A liquid layout is one that is based on percentages of the browser window’s size. The layout of the site will change with the width of the browser, even if the visitor changes their browser size while viewing the page. Liquid layouts take full advantage of a person’s browser width, optimizing the amount of content you can fit onscreen at one time.

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M Link

Markup Link

This refers to the coding applied to a text document to change it into an HTML, XML, or other Markup Language document.

Meta Data Link

Meta data is the data contained in the header that offers information about the web page that a visitor is currently on. The information contained in the meta data isn’t viewable on the web page (except in the source code). Meta data is contained within meta tags.

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Meta Tag Link

A meta tag is an HTML tag used to include meta data within the header of your web page.

N Link

Navigation refers to the system that allows visitors to a website to move around that site. Navigation is most often thought of in terms of menus, but links within pages, breadcrumbs, related links, pagination, and any other links that allow a visitor to move from one page to another are included in navigation.

Screenshot191

Nesting Link

Nesting refers to putting one HTML element within another element. When this is done, the elements have to be closed in the reverse order from how they were opened.

Screenshot195

Non-Breaking Space Link

A non-breaking space (also referred to as  ) is a white-space character that isn’t condensed by HTML. It’s primary function is to hold open table cells or add spacing between words (or a the beginning of paragraphs if an indent is desired).

O Link

Open Source Link

Open source refers to the source code of a computer program being made available to the general public. Open source software includes both web-based and desktop applications. Open source programs are generally free or very low cost and are developed by teams of people, sometimes comprised mostly of volunteers.

P Link

Pageview Link

A pageview is a request for an entire web page document from a server by a visitor’s browser. In other words, for each page view your site had, someone (or a search engine spider) looked at that page.

Short for “permanent link.” Generally used only on blogs, a permalink is a link that is the permanent web address of a given blog post. Since most blogs have constantly-changing content, the permalink offers a way for readers to bookmark or link to specific posts even after those posts have moved off the home page or primary category page.

Screenshot205

Plug-In Link

A plug-in is a bit of third party code that extends the capabilities of a website. It’s most often used in conjunction with a CMS or blogging platform. Plug-ins are a way to extend the functionality of a website without having to redo the core coding of the site. Plugins can also refer to bits of third-party software installed within a computer program to increase its functionality.

Progressive Enhancement Link

Progressive enhancement is a strategy for web design that uses web technologies in a layered fashion that allows everyone to access the basic content and functionality of a web page, using any browser or Internet connection, while also providing those with better bandwidth or more advanced browser software an enhanced version of the page.

Property Link

Property is a CSS term and is roughly equivalent to an HTML tag. Properties are what define how a style should appear on a given web page.

Pseudo-Element Link

A pseudo-element is an element used to add a special effect to certain selectors.

Screenshot218

Pseudo Class Link

Like pseudo-elements, pseudo classes are used to add special effects to certain CSS selectors.

R Link

Really Simple Syndication Link

Also referred to as RSS. RSS is a standardized XML format that allows content to be syndicated from one site to another. It’s most commonly used on blogs. RSS also allows visitors to subscribe to a blog or other site and receive updates via a feed reader.

Screenshot224

Resolution Link

Refers to the physical number of pixels displayed on a screen (such as 1280×1024). Unlike in print, display resolution does not refer to the number of pixels or dots per inch on a computer screen, as this can be changed by changing the resolution of the screen (which, of course, does not change the physical size of the screen). The resolution of an image, however, is often referred to in terms of pixels per inch, though this has very little effect on how the image is displayed on screen.

S Link

Schema Link

Generally, a schema is an XML document used in place of a DTD to describe other XML documents.

Script Link

Generally refers to a portion of code on an HTML page that makes the page more dynamic and interactive. Scripts can be written in a variety of languages, including JavaScript.

Screenshot233

Selector Link

In CSS, the selector is the item a style will be applied to.

Semantic Markup Link

In semantic markup, content is written within XHTML tags that offer context to what the content contains. Basic semantic markup refers to using items like header and paragraph tags, though semantic markup is also being used to provide much more useful context to web pages in an effort to make the web as a whole more semantic.

Server-Side Link

Server-side refers to scripts run on a web server, as opposed to in a user’s browser. Server-side scripts often take a bit longer to run than a client-side script, as each page must reload when an action is taken.

Screenshot243

SGML Link

Stands for Standard Generalized Markup Language. It’s a markup language used for defining the structure of a document. SGML isn’t mentioned very often, but it’s the markup language that serves as the basis for both XML and HTML.

SOAP Link

Stands for Simple Object Access Protocol. It’s an XML-based protocol exchanging information across the internet to allow an application on one site to access an application or database on another site.

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Specification Link

A specification is a document that offers an explicit definition and requirements for a web service or technology and generally includes how the technology is meant to be used, along with the tags, elements, and any dependencies.

T Link

Tag Link

A tag is a set of markup characters that are used around an element to indicate its start and end. Tags can also include HTML or other code to specify how that element should look or behave on the page. See also HTML Tag.

Screenshot253

Template Link

A template is a file used to create a consistent design across a website. Templates are often used in conjunction with a CMS and contain both structural information about how a site should be set up, but also stylistic information about how the site should look.

U Link

URL Link

Stands for Uniform Resource Locator. A site’s URL is its address, the item that specifies where on the Internet it can the found.

Screenshot259

Usability Link

Usability refers to how easy it is for a visitor to your site to use your site in its intended manner. In other words, are navigation, content, images, and any interactive elements easy to use, functioning the way they were intended, and that your intended target visitor will not need any special training in order to use your site.

V Link

Valid Link

Valid web pages are those that return no errors based on the type of HTML/XHTML specified in the doctype declaration at the beginning of the file. In other words, the code used on the page conforms to the specifications for that version of HTML/XHTML. This can be checked through various validation services, most commonly the one from W3C.

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W Link

Web Page Link

A web page is a single document, generally written in HTML/XHTML, meant to be viewed in a web browser. In many cases, web pages also include other coding and programming (such as PHP, Ruby on Rails, or ASP). Web sites are generally built from multiple interlinked web pages.

Web Server Link

A web server is a computer that has software installed and networking capabilities that allow it to host web sites and pages and make them available to internet users located elsewhere. There are a few different setups that can be used for a web server, including the LAMP setup mentioned earlier.

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Web Standards Link

Standards are specifications recommended by the World Wide Web Consortium for standardizing website design. The main purpose of web standards is to make it easier for both designers and those who create web browsers to make sites that will appear consistent across platforms.

X Link

XHTML Link

Stands for Extensible Hypertext Markup Language. Basically, XHTML is HTML 4.0 that has been rewritten to comply with XML rules.

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XML Link

Stands for Extensible Markup Language. XML is a specification for creating other, custom markup languages. It’s an extensible language because it allows for the user to define the mark-up elements.

Further Resources Link

Footnotes Link

  1. 1 #
  2. 2 http://www.washington.edu/doit/Resources/web-design.html
  3. 3 http://www.sitepoint.com/article/accessible-web-design/
  4. 4 #
  5. 5 http://tutorialblog.org/100-ajax-tutorials-and-resources/
  6. 6 http://woork.blogspot.com/2009/02/free-ajax-components-for-advanced-web.html
  7. 7 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2007/06/20/ajax-javascript-solutions-for-professional-coding/
  8. 8 http://www.associateprograms.com/articles/anchor-text-explained.html
  9. 9 http://archive.webpronews.com/ebusiness/seo/wpn-4-20040408AnchorTextOptimization.html
  10. 10 http://www.webconfs.com/anchor-text-analysis.php
  11. 11 #
  12. 12 http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/automagical
  13. 13 http://www.feld.com/wp/archives/2007/11/whats-the-origin-of-automagically.html
  14. 14 http://code.tutsplus.com/articles/building-the-back-end-of-a-photo-site--net-1942
  15. 15 http://www.jimboykin.com/site-backlinks/
  16. 16 http://www.webconfs.com/importance-of-backlinks-article-5.php
  17. 17 #
  18. 18 http://www.rsspieces.com/is-your-site-living-in-a-bad-neighborhoo
  19. 19 http://www.bad-neighborhood.com/text-link-tool.htm
  20. 20 http://www.consideropen.com/blog/2008/07/seo-pitfalls-outbound-links-to-bad-neighborhood-websites/
  21. 21 http://www.speakeasy.net/speedtest/
  22. 22 http://www.findmyhosting.com/bandwidth.htm
  23. 23 #
  24. 24 http://blog.clicktale.com/2007/10/05/clicktale-scrolling-research-report-v20-part-1-visibility-and-scroll-reach/
  25. 25 http://www.boxesandarrows.com/view/blasting-the-myth-of
  26. 26 http://buildinternet.com/2008/12/below-the-fold-why-scrolling-isnt-a-bad-thing/
  27. 27 http://www.grokdotcom.com/2008/07/15/what-your-bounce-rate-is-trying-to-tell-you/
  28. 28 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hansel_and_Gretel
  29. 29 http://www.webdesignpractices.com/navigation/breadcrumb.html
  30. 30 http://www.useit.com/alertbox/breadcrumbs.html
  31. 31 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/03/17/breadcrumbs-in-web-design-examples-and-best-practices-2/
  32. 32 #
  33. 33 http://browsershots.org/
  34. 34 http://www.anybrowser.org/campaign/abdesign.html
  35. 35 http://www.mnot.net/cache_docs/
  36. 36 http://computer.howstuffworks.com/cache.htm
  37. 37 http://www.web-caching.com/
  38. 38 #
  39. 39 http://htmlhelp.com/reference/css/
  40. 40 http://www.cssbasics.com/
  41. 41 http://www.wpdfd.com/issues/70/css_from_the_ground_up/
  42. 42 http://www.webreference.com/html/tutorial16/
  43. 43 http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,1564972,00.asp
  44. 44 http://www.opensourcecms.com/
  45. 45 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_content_management_systems
  46. 46 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/03/05/10-things-to-consider-when-choosing-the-perfect-cms/
  47. 47 http://www.w3schools.com/tags/tag_comment.asp
  48. 48 http://www.pageresource.com/html/comments.htm
  49. 49 http://www.astahost.com/Good-Comments-Good-Html-t3029.html
  50. 50 #
  51. 51 http://speckyboy.com/2008/03/28/top-12-css-frameworks-and-how-to-understand-them/
  52. 52 http://www.blueprintcss.org/
  53. 53 http://www.w3avenue.com/2009/04/01/guidelines-for-developing-your-own-css-framework/
  54. 54 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deprecation
  55. 55 http://www.tutorialspoint.com/html/html_deprecated_tags.htm
  56. 56 http://monc.se/kitchen/140/disabling-deprecated-html-using-css
  57. 57 http://w3schools.sinsixx.com/dhtml/default.asp.htm
  58. 58 http://www.javascriptkit.com/dhtmltutors/
  59. 59 http://www.yourhtmlsource.com/javascript/dhtmlexplained.html
  60. 60 #
  61. 61 http://www.webdevelopersnotes.com/graphics/dithering_in_gifs.php3
  62. 62 http://webdesign.about.com/od/gifs/ig/Dithering-GIF-Images/
  63. 63 http://www.howstuffworks.com/dns.htm
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  125. 125 #
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  130. 130 http://www.sylvantech.com/~talin/projects/ui_design.html
  131. 131 #
  132. 132 http://www.december.com/html/spec/color.html
  133. 133 http://cloford.com/resources/colours/500col.htm
  134. 134 http://www.webmonkey.com/2010/02/color_charts/
  135. 135 http://www.opentracker.net/en/articles/hits-visitors-pageviews.jsp
  136. 136 http://www.mediacollege.com/internet/statistics/hits/
  137. 137 http://www.javascriptkit.com/howto/htaccess.shtml
  138. 138 http://www.thejackol.com/htaccess-cheatsheet/
  139. 139 http://www.htaccesstools.com/
  140. 140 #
  141. 141 http://www.w3schools.com/html/DEFAULT.asp
  142. 142 http://www.htmlcodetutorial.com/
  143. 143 http://www.htmlgoodies.com/primers/html/
  144. 144 http://webdesign.about.com/od/htmltags/a/bl_index.htm
  145. 145 http://htmldog.com/reference/htmltags/
  146. 146 http://www.devx.com/projectcool/Article/19816
  147. 147 #
  148. 148 http://www.w3.org/Protocols/
  149. 149 http://www.wdvl.com/Internet/Protocols/HTTP/
  150. 150 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Https
  151. 151 http://www.freebase.com/view/en/https
  152. 152 #
  153. 153 http://www.ironspider.ca/format_text/hyperlinks.htm
  154. 154 http://webdesign.about.com/od/dreamweaverhowtos/ht/htdwhyperlink.htm
  155. 155 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypertext
  156. 156 http://www.cyberartsweb.org/cpace/ht/jhup/history.html#1
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  158. 158 http://www.dyn-web.com/tutorials/iframes/
  159. 159 http://developer.apple.com/internet/webcontent/iframe.html
  160. 160 #
  161. 161 http://www.htmlcodetutorial.com/images/images_famsupp_220.html
  162. 162 http://www.elated.com/articles/creating-image-maps/
  163. 163 http://www.frankmanno.com/ideas/css-imagemap/
  164. 164 http://webdesignfromscratch.com/html-css/css-inheritance-cascade/
  165. 165 http://monc.se/kitchen/38/cascading-order-and-inheritance-in-css
  166. 166 http://www.communitymx.com/content/article.cfm?cid=2795D
  167. 167 http://www.quackit.com/css/inline_style_sheets.cfm
  168. 168 http://www.howtocreate.co.uk/tutorials/css/inline
  169. 169 #
  170. 170 http://lamphowto.com/
  171. 171 http://www.viswiki.com/en/LAMP_(software_bundle)
  172. 172 http://www.copyblogger.com/landing-pages/
  173. 173 http://www.digital-web.com/articles/11_ways_to_improve_landing_pages/
  174. 174 http://www.conversationmarketing.com/2008/10/14-instant-landing-page-upgrades.htm
  175. 175 http://www.netmechanic.com/news/vol5/promo_no7.htm
  176. 176 http://webdesign.about.com/b/2008/03/03/what-is-a-link-farm.htm
  177. 177 http://seoforblogging.blogspot.com/2008/08/link-farm-what-it-is-and-how-you-can.html
  178. 178 #
  179. 179 http://www.maxdesign.com.au/presentation/liquid/
  180. 180 http://www.netmag.co.uk/zine/develop-css/create-a-simple-liquid-layout
  181. 181 http://matthewjamestaylor.com/blog/perfect-3-column.htm
  182. 182 http://www.alistapart.com/articles/negativemargins/
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  184. 184 http://www.digital-web.com/articles/markup_as_craft/
  185. 185 http://www.mezzoblue.com/downloads/markupguide/
  186. 186 #
  187. 187 http://htmlhelp.com/reference/html40/head/meta.html
  188. 188 http://searchenginewatch.com/2167931
  189. 189 http://www.addme.com/meta.htm
  190. 190 http://www.w3schools.com/tags/tag_meta.asp
  191. 191 #
  192. 192 http://www.uie.com/brainsparks/2005/11/28/the-8-types-of-navigation-pages/
  193. 193 http://webdevelopersjournal.com/articles/navigation.html
  194. 194 http://13styles.com/
  195. 195 #
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  197. 197 http://htmldog.com/guides/cssintermediate/grouping/
  198. 198 http://kb.iu.edu/data/agjn.html
  199. 199 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-breaking_space
  200. 200 http://www.opensource.org/
  201. 201 http://sixrevisions.com/tools/30-useful-open-source-apps-for-web-designers/
  202. 202 http://evhead.com/2006/08/pageviews-are-obsolete.asp
  203. 203 http://www.dullest.com/blog/page-view-metrics-bah-humbug/
  204. 204 http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/tyranny_of_the_page_view.php
  205. 205 #
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  207. 207 http://codex.wordpress.org/Using_Permalinks
  208. 208 http://designreviver.com/freebies/22-firefox-3-plugins-web-designers-cant-live-without/
  209. 209 https://intellectualcramps.wordpress.com/2008/12/21/designing-plugins-for-reuse/
  210. 210 http://codex.wordpress.org/Writing_a_Plugin
  211. 211 http://www.alistapart.com/articles/understandingprogressiveenhancement
  212. 212 http://www.alistapart.com/articles/progressiveenhancementwithcss
  213. 213 http://ejohn.org/blog/progressive-css-enhancement/
  214. 214 http://icant.co.uk/articles/pragmatic-progressive-enhancement/
  215. 215 http://htmldog.com/reference/cssproperties/
  216. 216 http://meiert.com/en/indices/css-properties/
  217. 217 http://www.westciv.com/style_master/academy/css_tutorial/properties/index.html
  218. 218 http://www.w3schools.com/css/tryit.asp?filename=trycss_firstletter
  219. 219 http://www.w3schools.com/CSS/CSS_pseudo_elements.asp
  220. 220 http://www.devarticles.com/c/a/Web-Style-Sheets/Learn-CSS-part-7-Pseudo-Elements/
  221. 221 http://snook.ca/archives/html_and_css/understanding_pseudo_elements/
  222. 222 http://www.devarticles.com/c/a/Web-Style-Sheets/Learn-CSS-Pseudo-Classes/
  223. 223 http://htmldog.com/guides/cssintermediate/pseudoclasses/
  224. 224 #
  225. 225 http://www.whatisrss.com/
  226. 226 http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/rss/rss.html
  227. 227 http://rss.softwaregarden.com/aboutrss.html
  228. 228 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Display_resolution
  229. 229 http://www.thescreamonline.com/technology/monitor/monitor_res.html
  230. 230 http://www.w3schools.com/Schema/default.asp
  231. 231 http://www.javaworld.com/javaworld/jw-08-2005/jw-0808-xml.html
  232. 232 http://www.stylusstudio.com/xml_schema.html
  233. 233 #
  234. 234 http://www.thesitewizard.com/archive/feedbackphp.shtml
  235. 235 http://www.tizag.com/htmlT/script.php
  236. 236 http://www.yourhtmlsource.com/javascript/basicjavascript.html
  237. 237 http://css.maxdesign.com.au/selectutorial/
  238. 238 http://www.stevesouders.com/blog/2009/03/10/performance-impact-of-css-selectors/
  239. 239 http://opensource.adobe.com/wiki/display/flexsdk/CSS+Advanced+Selectors
  240. 240 http://www.digital-web.com/articles/writing_semantic_markup/
  241. 241 http://robertnyman.com/2007/10/29/explaining-semantic-mark-up/
  242. 242 http://www.pearsonified.com/2007/04/definitive-guide-to-semantic-markup.php
  243. 243 #
  244. 244 https://www.w3.org/WAI/GL/WCAG20-TECHS/server-side-script.html
  245. 245 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SGML
  246. 246 http://quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/t/tei/tei-idx?type=extoc&byte=71769
  247. 247 #
  248. 248 http://www.w3schools.com/xml/xml_soap.asp
  249. 249 http://www.scottnichol.com/soap.htm
  250. 250 http://wdvl.internet.com/Authoring/Languages/XML/Soap/
  251. 251 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Web_service_specifications
  252. 252 http://www.w3.org/
  253. 253 #
  254. 254 http://www.web-source.net/html_codes_chart.htm
  255. 255 http://www.davesite.com/webstation/html/taglist.shtml
  256. 256 http://htmlhelp.com/reference/wilbur/list.html
  257. 257 http://www.thesitewizard.com/gettingstarted/dreamweaver5.shtml
  258. 258 http://www.voidix.com/website.html
  259. 259 #
  260. 260 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uniform_Resource_Locator
  261. 261 http://www.w3.org/Addressing/URL/Overview.html
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  264. 264 http://www.usereffect.com/topic/25-point-website-usability-checklist
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  269. 269 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_page
  270. 270 http://computer.howstuffworks.com/web-page.htm
  271. 271 #
  272. 272 http://www.howstuffworks.com/web-server.htm
  273. 273 http://lifehacker.com/software/feature/how-to-set-up-a-personal-home-web-server-124212.php
  274. 274 http://www.apache.org/
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  277. 277 http://robertnyman.com/2007/05/21/what-are-web-standards-a-comprehensive-explanation-of-what-is-comprised-in-the-term/
  278. 278 http://maxdesign.com.au/news/checklist/
  279. 279 #
  280. 280 http://xhtml.com/en/xhtml/reference/
  281. 281 http://www.yourhtmlsource.com/accessibility/xhtmlexplained.html
  282. 282 http://www.quackit.com/xhtml/xhtml_tutorial.html
  283. 283 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XML
  284. 284 http://www.w3schools.com/xml/default.asp
  285. 285 http://www.xml.com/
  286. 286 http://webdesign.about.com/od/webdesignhtmlatoz/a/blglossary.htm
  287. 287 http://www.motive.co.nz/glossary/index.php
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Cameron Chapman is a professional Web and graphic designer with over 6 years of experience. She writes for a number of blogs, including her own, Cameron Chapman On Writing. She’s also the author of The Smashing Idea Book: From Inspiration to Application.

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  1. 1

    Wow. What an article!

    Might send this over to the people in marketing who have no idea about the web!

    1
  2. 2

    Great A-Z coverage of web design terms! I am sure this will be very handy for a lot of people that aren’t familiar with some of the jargons :) well done!

    1
  3. 3

    Wow. Amazing compilation of terms! Will take this post in stock.

    1
  4. 4

    Very useful!

    0
  5. 5

    Good usefull post, nice resource ^_^

    0
  6. 6

    wowww…really amazing…. very helpful… Thank you….

    0
  7. 7

    Useful, I think many clients would benefit from this as sometimes they can get rather confused with all the tech speak out there.

    Nice

    0
  8. 8

    Nice article.
    Something about progressive enhancement?

    0
  9. 9

    Great reference post!

    0
  10. 10

    @Marco yeah I’d like to see that in this list :)

    0
  11. 11

    You can also bookmark the following:

    http://whatis.techtarget.com/

    Which will give you both laymans and in depth answers.

    0
  12. 12

    Congratulations Smashing Magazine, you just won an award for the most useless article of the year 2009.

    -2
  13. 13

    now that’s really useful! thank you

    0
  14. 14

    Great article but I would have appreciated some more advanced terms. I am not a professional web designer but I know all the terms listed!

    0
  15. 15

    Floris Fiedeldij Dop

    May 21, 2009 1:38 am

    Finally! A good resource for these terms, that I can link to all the people that constantly ask “but that just goes over my head” and never bother to read up on it. This is a quick and simple explanation of the term, all gathered in one resource. How can they not bookmark it (unless they have a desire to not learn and stay ignorant).

    0
  16. 16

    Thank you for the web design dictionary!

    0
  17. 17

    Small correction, Ajax is an acronym for Asynchronous JavaScript and XML (not HTML).

    1
  18. 18

    Everything in one place, great.

    0
  19. 19

    Henrik Kjelsberg

    May 21, 2009 2:19 am

    Nice list.. Well done
    Couple of things that should be mensioned.
    – Ajax´s official name is XHR ( XML Http Request )
    – Url is somewhat deprecated. Uri would be the correct term in most cases.

    0
  20. 20

    nice brushing …

    0
  21. 21

    Violet Bliss Dietz

    May 21, 2009 2:39 am

    So nicely done. I’m bookmarking this for a web design backgrounder that I can forward whenever I’m working with someone who wants to know more.

    0
  22. 22

    great article! very useful.

    -2
  23. 23

    huh!! big list :(

    0
  24. 24

    You forgot jQuery!! It’s so awesome it deserves to be in the list.

    -2
  25. 25

    Accessibility is not just about disability! It also referes to ensuring websites can be used by people with different technologies – slow connections, small screens, PDAs, mobile phones.

    Quote from W3C: “Web accessibility also benefits people without disabilities. For example, a key principle of Web accessibility is designing Web sites and software that are flexible to meet different user needs, preferences, and situations. This flexibility also benefits people without disabilities in certain situations, such as people using a slow Internet connection, people with “temporary disabilities” such as a broken arm, and people with changing abilities due to aging. ”

    http://www.w3.org/WAI/intro/accessibility.php

    -1
  26. 26

    Great post…helpful too..thanks…

    -1
  27. 27

    Wow! Not only a really useful glossary, but a collection of excellent resources as well.

    -1
  28. 28

    nice post, thank you!

    -1
  29. 29

    This is excellent, a great resource – bookmarked!

    -1
  30. 30

    Wow!

    Thats one of the most content rich articles I have ever read!! Just amazing :D I’ll sure will start reading Camerons articles in the future too!!

    0

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