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6.2: Key terms and concepts

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    Table 6.2.1
    Term Definition
    Accessibility The degree to which a website is available to users with disabilities, such as the visually or hearing impaired, and those technically disadvantaged by not having the necessary device, software or browser.
    Adaptive web design Websites that respond to a user’s screen size by loading predefined layouts.
    Alt text Alt text means alternative text. The ‘alt’ attribute is used in HTML to attribute a text field to an image on a web page. It normally has a descriptive function, telling a search engine or user what an image is about and displaying the text in instances where the image is unable to load. Also called Alt tag.
    Anchor text A text link, or backlink, that refers visitors to your site from another with SEO benefits, passing relevance and authority from the referring site.
    Bounce When users leave a site before navigating from their landing page to another.
    Branding (or visual identity or corporate identity) These terms refer to the look and feel of your brand. In this context it is used when discussing how your logo, colours and styling elements are translated from traditional print-based assets to digital.
    Breadcrumbs Links, usually on the top of each page, indicating where a page is in the hierarchy of the website. Breadcrumbs can be used to help users navigate through the website, as well as act as a page index for search engines.
    Cache Files stored locally on a user’s browser to limit the amount of data called from the server on a return visit.
    Call to Action A phrase written to motivate the reader to take action (sign up for our newsletter, book car hire today etc.). Calls to action are usually styled differently from other copy on a page so that they stand out and draw attention.
    Content Management System (CMS) A software system that allows an administrator to update the content of a website, so that a developer is not required.
    Common page elements Items that appear on every page of a website.
    Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) A programming language that defines the styles such as fonts and colours, used to display text and content. Web pages are one of the places that this language is used.
    Client-side Scripts that run in a user’s browser, rather than on a web server.
    dpi Dots per inch (in an image). On the web, the screen resolution is 72dpi.
    Graceful degradation The use of both modern and antiquated web techniques and code to provide a safety net, or fallback, for users with older browsers and technologies.
    HTML5 HTML5 is the most current iteration of the HTML (HyperText Markup Language) standard. It is a broad range of technologies that allow for rich media content and interaction on websites that do not require additional third-party plugins. It allows rich multimedia content to be displayed and easily viewed by users, computers and devices.
    Information architecture The way in which data and content are organised, structured and labelled to support usability.
    JavaScript A high-level, dynamic programming language commonly used to create interactive effects within web browsers.
    Landing page The page a user reaches when clicking on a paid or organic search engine listing. The pages that have the most success are those that match up as closely as possible with the user’s search query.
    Landing page The website page that a user is sent to after clicking on any link or CTA, for example, in an email or affiliated site, in a display ad, or a paid or organic search engine listing. The landing pages that have the most success are those that match up as closely as possible with the user’s search query or intention.
    Meta data Information that can be entered about a web page and the elements on it to provide context and relevant information to search engines. Metadata includes meta and title tags.
    Native mobile application A mobile application designed to run as a program on a specific device or mobile operating system.
    Navigation How a web user moves through a website, and the elements that assist the user in doing so.
    Open source Unlike proprietary software, open source software makes the source code available so that other developers can improve on or build applications for the software.
    Plug-in Often referred to as a module or extension, a piece of third-party code that extends the functionality of a website.
    Progressive enhancement The development of web technologies in a layered fashion, prioritising basic content and functionality for all web browsers, while allowing users with higher bandwidth or browsers access to an enhanced version of the page.
    Proprietary software Any software that one or more intellectual property holders own and licence to others in exchange for compensation, subject to certain restrictions. Licensees may not be able to change, share, sell or reverse engineer the software.
    Responsive web design Websites that fluidly respond to a user’s device or screen resolution based on media queries sent between the site and the device regarding the specs of the device.
    Search engine results page (SERP) The actual results returned to the user based on their search query
    Server-side Scripts that run on a server, as opposed to a user’s browser
    Sitemap On a website, a page that links to every other page in the website and displays these links organised according to the information hierarchy. While this is often physically available on a website (HTML sitemap), it should also be created as an XML file and included within the Robots.txt.
    Universal Resource Locator (URL) A web address that is unique to every page on the Internet.
    Usability A measure of how easy a system is to use. Sites with excellent usability fare far better than those that are difficult to use.
    Web application framework Software used to help create dynamic web properties more quickly. This is done through access to libraries of code for a specific language or languages and other automated or simplified processes that do not then need to be coded from scratch.
    W3C standards A common approach to development that focuses on accessibility and standardisation, overseen by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)
    Web server A computer or program that delivers web content to be viewed on the Internet.

    This page titled 6.2: Key terms and concepts is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Rob Stokes via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.