Common Web Design Terms and What They Mean

Below is a mercifully short list of web design terms that you will hear or read while researching how to get your website created by a web designer. I have tried to offer these definitions in the simplest terms possible, so even those who are technically challenged when it comes to web design and websites can get the basic idea of what these things are and why they are important.

Web Design Terminology Shortcuts

Blog Domain Name Graphic
HTML Media Responsive Design
Search Engine SEO Server
SSL Certificate TLD Web Design
Web Page Website Web Hosting

A program that runs on a web server which allows users to create and update their own web pages and articles via an easy-to-use web browser interface. Blogs generally allow for reader comments, easy bookmarking, and user registration. The word was derived from the term "web-log".
Domain Name
A unique identifier or name that acts as an easy-to-remember address for your website. A website's actual address looks something like "" (this is actually one of Google's IP Addresses), but you only need to type the domain name "" to access the website.
A digitally created or enhanced image for display on a website. These are usually things like website navigation buttons or website background images that play a key role in the visual aspect of your web design.
The primary language in which web pages are written. It stands for Hypertext Markup Language.
Any website content such as pictures, music, or video intended to be viewed by other people.
Responsive Design
A style of web design that allows a website to properly display on various devices (computer, mobile phone, tablet) with varying screen sizes. Prior to HTML5, it was common practice to create completely separate websites for different device types. Other common terms related to responsive design include "fluid grid", "fluid design", and "adaptive design". While there are some minor differences between these terms, they all place the importance of the user over the importance of the web design itself.
Search Engine
A website which runs a special application (or the application itself) which prioritizes websites based on the relavency of the keywords a person is searching for. Popular search engines include Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
An acronym for Search Engine Optimization. This can refer to any technique which increases your website's visibility or ranking on popular search engines such as Google, Yahoo, or Bing.
A computer which has a special program that waits or listens for incoming connections from other computers and then sends back the information requested or processes the submitted information. The term "server" could apply to the computer or the server program which runs on that computer.
SSL Certificate
A digital signature (unique id) which is issued by a trusted security company that allows your website to send and received encrypted information. This is especially important for your customers' private and sensitive data, such as social security numbers, credit card numbers, or anything that would be really bad if a hacker got a hold of.
Stands for Top Level Domain, which is the last part of a domain name. Common examples are .COM, .US, .ORG, and .NET.
Web Design
The process of creating a website from beginning to end. There are many phases and aspects to web design such as gathering user requirements, mockup design, graphic design, coding, and testing.
Web Page
A single file or set of information of a website dedicated to a specific topic usually to be display at one time by a web browser.
A collection of web pages and media stored as files on a server that is connected to the internet.
Web Hosting
A service provided by a company with special computers dedicated to being continuously connected to the internet. They rent space on a "web server", which is where your website resides.

That concludes our Web Design terminology lesson. This is by no means an exhaustive list, simply words that come up often when discussing a new web design project.