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Guide to Website Terminology

Could you say that in English please? – It’s a question we get all the time. The main reason people tend to end up with poorly designed or maintained websites is usually a lack of understanding when it comes to the technical aspects of web development. Normally when trying to explain how a website works and how we improve your website it doesn’t take long for a client’s eyes to glaze over and a little monkey banging a cymbal to appear in a bubble above their head. This is why we want to help educate you on some common industry terms so you can work with us confidently. So here are a few of the most commonly used terms and acronyms in our industry.

Web Browser

Let’s start with a simple one yeah? A web browser is your internet button. Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari or even Microsoft Edge (formerly Internet Explorer) browsers allow you to browse the internet and web pages can react differently depending on which browser you use.


We get asked about this one a lot. Hosting is where your website is located. A website requires server space and most people don’t own their own servers. Hosting allows people who do have servers (like us) to host and maintain your website to ensure it runs smoothly.

Call to Action

This is the bit of your website, whether it be words images, a banner or anything else that urges your viewers into taking action. “Click here to see more” / “Contact Us” / “Learn More” / “Buy Now!” These calls to action need to be placed strategically to ensure they work as well as possible.


Not that kind… Cookies track your internet browsing tendencies and are the reason you will often see ads directly targeted at things you have recently been looking at. It is common practice to clear your cookies often. This will make your browser go faster and will keep you safer online.


CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets. CSS allows web designers to decide how things will appear on screen when you open a website. What colour is the text which images will you see and what shape will the text boxes be. CSS allows your website to look its best.


HTML stands for HyperText Markup Language. It’s a mouthful I know. It is the code web designers use to tell the web browser what to do with your website. Think of it like the language of the internet. Your webpage tells the browser what to do with it using HTML code. “This image goes here, this link goes to here and this is what the text says.” The browser says okay and puts it on the screen.


A bit of code that can be plugged in or copy pasted to insert a useful feature to your website. Things like form generators, calculators and sliding image galleries may be plug-ins.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Search engine optimisation is the continued process of getting a website as high as possible on a search results page. The way Google decides where you appear on in their search results. The better your search engine optimised your website is, the higher you will rank on search engines. Good SEO is vital to being seen online. It takes time but getting to the top of Google’s search results page organically will give more return in the long term than sinking your budget into advertising.

So there you have it. A list of some of the more common terms you may run into when conversing with one of our web designers. If you want to know more or we missed a particular term you want to learn more about get in touch with Englander Davis to find out more.

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