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20 Web Design Jargons Developers Use To Confuse Business Pros!

By Eva Barnes , Mar 29 2017

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If you’ve ever gotten a website designed, you know that there are many terms that web developers and designers use, which make absolutely no sense to you. As a layman, you are unfamiliar with the technical language, acronyms, and industry jargons that professionals just love throwing around.

It’s not always that they do it on purpose, but it still gets annoying for the person at the other side of the table. Not only do you not understand anything they are trying to tell you, but you have absolutely no idea what they are going to do to your site.

This proves to be a big problem because if you fail to comprehend what they are raving on about, you would be clueless as to how the site will turn out. Sometimes, clients don’t ask the developers or designers to explain what they said in simple language, just to not appear stupid.

However, this is more imprudent. Always ask the person you have hired to create your website to explain. Ask away until you are left in no doubts, so the site turns out alright. Getting it fixed or redesigned afterwards is an unnecessary hassle that you can ward off with early intervention.

Some mediocre designers and bad web developers take cover behind these terms to confuse and cheat their clients. They often confuse business owners so their own lack of skills and knowledge keeps to the shadows.

Below are the 20 terms you MUST KNOW if you are getting a website designed!


Content Management System (CMS) is a software application that enables users to create and manage website content with ease. (E.g. WordPress)


Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) is a code used to format the layout of a web page (headers, links, etc.). It allows users to code several pages side by side, and bring uniformity where required, instead of working on each web page separately.


Permanent Link (Permalink) is a unique URL assigned to a particular post or article or its subsection, of a blog or digital media platform, so users can directly open or bookmark that page.

Web 2.0

Web 2.0 refers to the current more advanced generation of online tech as compared to the original World Wide Web. It has transition from the static HTML Web Pages to the upgraded version it is now; with all the heightened user activity, communication, and collaboration.


User Interface is the means through which humans interact with computers, using both hardware (input devices like mouse and keyboard) and software (both the application like Windows and elements like icons). There are different types of UIs (E.g. CLI, CUI, VUI, NLUI, etc.), the most common being GUI (Graphical User Interface).

Related: 10 Great Quotes Explaining Simplicity In User Interface Design


Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) focuses on maximizing web conversion (turning a site’s visitors into customers, or future customers through lead generation). Or in other words, increasing the percentage of visitors who pursue a desired course of action, like make a purchase, sign up, fill a form, etc.

Anchor Text

Anchor text is the clickable text (characters or words) in a hyperlink (link connecting one page to another). (Tip: Avoid generic linking)

Bad Neighborhood

Bad neighborhood in this case isn’t directed to a physical location like Harlem, but to virtual bad spots. Bad neighborhood consists of all the sites that are downgraded by search engines, and appear near the end or not at all in the search results. The main reason for this is a violation of search engine guidelines (or a violation of community standards/morals like pornography), or poor content replete with bad links, too many links, spams, more than appropriate ads, etc.


Breadcrumb is a secondary navigation scheme made up of hyperlinks placed horizontally that define the path through the website (E.g. ‘Home > Category > Author > Post’).


Cache is a temporary storage where files are saved or copied for a certain period of time; so the next time the same user accesses those files, loading them doesn’t take long (minus the downloading time). There are different kinds of caches, such as web cache, memory cash, processor cache, etc.


A comment is a programming convention; quite literally a text note, added to the source code or HTML, to provide information relevant to the code. It is added to aid the person maintaining the site, or for someone upgrading the code in future.

Graceful Degradation

Graceful degradation refers to a website’s ability to function in multiple types of browsers without breaking. Some old browsers might not support some particular content or element, but being able to view the rest of the content on the site, without the site breaking, is graceful degradation.


Nesting refers to the embedding of one HTML element or tag into another, while programming.

Pseudo Element

Pseudo Elements (also see Pseudo Class) are added to selectors to style specific parts of an element (e.g. a line, a single character/letter, etc.).


Real time may refer to the level of immediate computer responsiveness or a solution that provides instant updates.

Information Architecture

Information Architecture (IA) is sort of a blueprint, showcasing the information stored within systems and structures, along with their meticulous functionalities. Or in other words, it’s a structural design of the methods of labeling, organizing and categorizing of shared spaces like online communities, or technical writing and web design. It combines both the concepts of architecture and design, and bring them to the digital landscape.


Accessibility refers to the ease of use and functionality of the site on different devices, especially by users with any physical or visual impairments.

Liquid Layout

Liquid layouts optimize the amount of content on screen, by automatically adjusting to the screen size. (Do not mix this or confuse this with the Responsiveness of a site).


DNS Propagation occurs when DNS (domain name system) changes are made, for instance switching hosting providers or shifting to a new site. These changes require each and every DNS server on the internet to update your information (IP address, etc.), which can take up to 48 hours.

Bounce Rate

Bounce Rate is a term used in web traffic analysis, representing the percentage of visitors who abandon or leave the site after viewing just one page (instead of navigating through the site).

Hopefully, this literary lesson would have helped you. If not, there is always the option of eliminating the root cause altogether – don’t hire a designer or developer, just DIY it!

About The Author

Eva is a marketing major with a keen interest in web design. She is also an explorer and loves to dig into web trends from mobile apps to visual communication and everything in between. Feel free to send her your web design queries or blog related feedback in the comments below.

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