English Web Design Glossary Here’s a check-list of terms that every Web Designer or Developer should know. It’s not an extensive tutorial with long definitions, just a list to check how much you know. The purpose of this post is basically intended for non-native English speakers that work in English design agencies so some of the words you’ll see […]

on April 7, 2010
(8 minute read)

Here’s a check-list of terms that every Web Designer or Developer should know. It’s not an extensive tutorial with long definitions, just a list to check how much you know. The purpose of this post is basically intended for non-native English speakers that work in English design agencies so some of the words you’ll see here are really basic (although frequently used while at work).

Some of the definitions are made by me keeping them short and strictly to the point, some are from Wikipedia. The Learn more links to the Wikipedia article or sometimes to another website I found had more accurate information than Wikipedia.

I’ve got invites for a free bank transfer!

(I’m working on it but published it prematurely since a friend needs it urgently, please search the words not still defined in Google. I’m also planning on translating the words into Spanish. Any help/feedback or corrections are truly appreciated.)

Job titles description

  1. Graphic Designer: A graphic designer that does designs for things that need to be printed (posters, magazines, vouchers) or other digital pieces. Learn more
  2. Web Designer: A graphic designer that specializes in designing websites. Learn more
  3. Web Developer: A programmer that codes websites, converting static images to full-featured coded pages with interaction features. Learn more
  4. Content Editor: A writer that creates articles, news or posts for a website. Learn more
  5. Freelancer: Someone that works on short-term contracts (one week to six months but can be more or less). Usually from home but can work in the client’s office. Learn more
  6. Project Manager: Learn more

Project Management vocabulary

  1. Branding: The application of marketing techniques to a specific product, product line, or brand. Learn more
  2. Specifications (especificaciones): Learn more
  3. Deadline (fecha límite): Time when a milestone needs to be finished. Learn more
  4. Milestone: The end of a stage that marks the completion of a work package or phase. Learn more
  5. Target (objetivo): An objective that needs to be met. Learn more
  6. Agile Development: An intense but really effective work methodology. Learn more

Graphic Design vocabulary

  1. Mockup: (Esbozo) Learn more
  2. Wireframe: Learn more
  3. Assets: Files used during the creation of something.
  4. Copy: The text that goes in a web page.

Frequently used adjectives in web design

  1. Intuitive: Learn more
  2. Edgy:
  3. Minimal: Simple, with the fewest objects as possible and using white space in a smart way.
  4. Sleek:
  5. Trendy:
  6. Make it pop: Just ignore that.

Web Design vocabulary

Web Development vocabulary

  1. Update (actualizacion): Part of a software that includes fixes and tweaks.
  2. Upgrade (mejora): Bigger than an update, has major changes to the code.
  3. Alpha release: Really early version of a product, barely functional and not thoroughly tested.
  4. Beta version: The next stage in development of a product.
  5. Local Server (): The server in your computer or Intranet with private access.
  6. Development Server (): The server used to develop websites.
  7. Staging Server (): The server used to test websites, also known as Testing Server or Environment.
  8. Production Server (): The server that is published to the Internet and publicly viewable, also known as Live Server.
  9. Bug: Error in the code.

Business vocabulary

  1. Project Plan: Learn more
  2. Salary raise (aumento de sueldo).
  3. Promotion (aumento de rango, promoción)
  4. Job title: (título de la profesión)
  5. 60K pa: 60,000 pounds per annum (year). Learn more
  6. Preview: Learn more
  7. Purpose: Learn more
  8. Outsource: To ask for an external company to take care of a part of a project or work. Learn more
  9. Circa (aproximadamente): around, approximately. Learn more
  10. Cold call: a business call to someone who doesn’t know you.

Parts of a website

  1. Header (cabecera): The top part of a website that repeats along all the pages in the site. Usually composed by a logo and main heading.
  2. Menu (menú): Learn more
  3. Body (cuerpo, contenido): Learn more
  4. Sidebar (barra lateral): Learn more
  5. Footer (pie de página): Learn more
  6. Quote (cita): Some text that someone wrote, normally stating an opinion on a product or service. Learn more
  7. Heading (título): Learn more
  8. Post (artículo): Learn more
  9. Nips (trocito de texto): Small pieces of text.
  10. Banner: A graphic advertisement in a website. Learn more
  11. Front page (página principal): Learn more
  12. Sitemap (mapa del sitio): A site map is a list of all the pages a web site has, it is accessible to crawlers or users. Learn more
  13. ToS: Terms of Service. Learn more
  14. Logo (logotipo): Learn more
  15. Tagline (Eslogan): A tagline is a variant of a branding slogan. Learn more
  16. Strapline (Eslogan): Secondary sentence attached to a brand name. Learn more
  17. CTA (botón de acción): Call-to-Action. Se refiere al boton xxx Learn more
  18. Theme (): A design for a website. Learn more
  19. Template (plantilla): Sometimes used as a synonym for Theme. Sometimes means
  20. Testimonial (): Someone’s personal experience with a product or service. Learn more
  21. ROI: Return On Investment. Learn more
  22. Pro-Rata: Learn more
  23. Contract (contrato temporal): Learn more
  24. In-house (interno): Something done for the company. Learn more
  25. FY10: For year 2010. Usually used to refer for previsions and planning on that year. Learn more
  26. Q3 (tercer cuatrimestre): Third Quarter. Three months. Q1 is January to March, Q2 is
  27. UI (interfaz de usuario): User Interface. What the user sees and interacts with. The placement of buttons, links, text, forms… Learn more
  28. Drop down (menú desplegable): Learn more
  29. Radio button: Learn more
  30. Checkbox (casilla): Learn more
  31. Textarea (caja de texto grande): Learn more
  32. RGB (Rojo, Verde y Azul): Red Green Blue. A way of writing colours for screen displays. The amount of colour for each. From 0 to 255 (like 255.0.0 would be pure red, 0.0.0 would be black, 255.255.255 is white). Learn more
  33. Hexadecimal: A way of writing colours usually for websites. Learn more
  34. CMYK: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, K. A way of writing colours for printed media. Learn more
  35. Web Safe colors: Traditional color palette used tune ago when screens could display limited colors and these looked different in every screen. It is not necessary to stick to web safe colors nowadays. Learn more
  36. CAD: Computer Assisted Design. Used by architects and engineers to produce 2D and 3D graphics of models, buildings, etc. Learn more
  37. Web 2.0: A new way of Internet were users have much more importance and can not only read content but rate, comment and participate. Learn more
  38. Social network: Learn more
  39. Professional network: Learn more
  40. Bookmarking network: Learn more
  41. Front-end: Designs the user interface with its buttons, images, boxes… and animations.
    Languages used: HTML, CSS, JavaScript, jQuery…
  42. Back-end: Programs the coding and sets up the database.
    Languages used: PHP, MySQL, ASP, ASP.Net, Python, ColdFusion, ActionScript…
  43. WWW: World Wide Web. The Internet. Learn more
  44. FTP: File Transfer Protocol. A protocol to upload and download files from a server. Learn more

Office talk

  1. ASAP: As soon as possible.
  2. ATM: At the moment.
  3. IMHO: In my honest opinion.
  4. LOL (jajaja): Laughing out loud.
  5. TY: Thank you.
  6. TA: Thank you.

Techy Vocab

  1. HTML: The language in which websites are coded. It is not a programming language but a markup language. Learn more
  2. HTML5: The new version of HTML. xxx Learn more
  3. Flash: Learn more
  4. ActionScript: Learn more
  5. FLV: Flash Video. A video format commonly used by web streaming services liek YouTube, Vimeo… Learn more
  6. Quicktime: Learn more
  7. RealPlayer: Learn more
  8. Java: Learn more
  9. Silverlight: Like Flash but made by Microsoft instead of Adobe. Learn more
  10. CSS: The style sheet of the websites that define colors, background images, font sizes and families, etc. Learn more
  11. JavaScript: A website programming language often used to enhance websites with animations, drop-down menus, etc. Learn more
  12. jQuery: A JavaScript framework that makes JavaScript much easy and faster to code. Learn more
  13. AJAX: A JavaScript technology that sends and receives information in a web site without refreshing the whole page (Facebook uses it a lot). Learn more
  14. PHP: A website programming language. Very popular. Learn more
  15. Cross-browser: Learn more
  16. ASP: Learn more
  17. ASP.NET: Learn more
  18. Perl: Learn more
  19. Production Server: Learn more
  20. Development Server: Learn more
  21. Apache: A web server software that can be installed in Windows, Linux, OSX and Unix. Learn more
  22. IIS: A web server software from Microsoft and for Windows only. Learn more
  23. Linux: (correctly written as GNU/Linux) Learn more
  24. Unix: Learn more
  25. OSX: The newest version of the Apple Mac operative system. Learn more
  26. Chrome: An internet browser from Google. It’s fast and simple. Learn more
  27. Safari: An internet browser from Apple. It’s simple and the default browser on Macs. Learn more
  28. Firefox: An internet browser from Mozilla. It has lots of features and addons that help web developers and designers. It is slow and memory consuming. Learn more
  29. IE: Internet Explorer. An internet browser from Microsoft. Version 6 doesn’t follow the web standards and it is a nightmare for web developers. IE7 is better but still not compliant and IE8 is quite compliant. Learn more
  30. W3C: World Wide Web Consorcium. A non-profit organization that focuses on standarisation of the WWW. Learn more
  31. Ruby: Another programming language. Learn more
  32. RoR: Ruby on Rails. Means Ruby coding powered by a Rails server. Learn more
  33. SQL: A database language. Learn more
  34. MySQL: A variation of SQL optimized for websites running PHP. Learn more
  35. Framework: Learn more
  36. Creative Commons: Learn more
  37. Copyright: Copyright is the set of exclusive rights granted to the author or creator of an original work. Learn more
  38. Cookie: Learn more
  39. Variable: Learn more
  40. Session: Learn more
  41. LAN: Learn more
  42. WLAN: Learn more
  43. WAN: Learn more
  44. IP address: Every device that connects to the Internet has one (computers, web servers, mobile phones, printers…) Learn more
  45. Hostname: Learn more
  46. DNS: Learn more
  47. Domain name: Learn more
  48. SEO: Search Engine Optimization. Tricks and practises to improve websites so that target specific keywords in a search engine and appear first in the results. Learn more
  49. SEM: Search Engine Marketing. Learn more
  50. SERP: Search Engine Page Results. Learn more
  51. Conversion:When a user ends a process (like visiting an informational website and buying from it). Learn more
  52. Affiliate: A company that gives comissions to other companies. Learn more
  53. PPC: Pay per click. Learn more
  54. Google Adwords: A way to advertise. Learn more
  55. Google Adsense: A way to show ads and earn money. The main difference to other advertising systems is that shows relevant ads based on the website content or what the user searched. Learn more
  56. Google Analytics: Learn more
  57. WordPress: A very popular and easy to use blog system. Learn more
  58. CMS: Content Management System. Learn more
  59. Blog: Learn more
  60. Microblog: Learn more

Popular websites

  1. Twitter: A real-time microblogging tool. Learn more
  2. LinkedIn: A professional network to publish your work experience, offer job positions, etc.
  3. Stumble Upon: Learn more
  4. Digg: Visit site
  5. Meneame: The spanish version of Digg. Learn more
  6. Design Float: A Digg for web developers and designers. Learn more
  7. Delicious: A bookmarking network. Learn more
  8. Reddit: Learn more
  9. Flickr: Learn more
  10. DeviantArt: Learn more
  11. Behance: Learn more
  12. Posterous: A blogging system that automatizes everuthing and everyone can post content very easily and quick. Learn more
  13. Tumblr: Like Posterous but being even more simpler (but maybe even more powerful). Learn more
  14. Vimeo: Like YouTube but for artists and creatives. Higher quality videos.
  15. Engadget:
  16. NetTuts:
  17. MakeUseOf:
  18. Lifehacker:
  19. Stack Overflow: Questions and Answers for programmers
  20. W3Schools: Online tutorials for web development.

Advanced techy vocab

  1. Localhost: The hostname of the current computer, device or server. Learn more
  2. The IP address of the current computer, device or server. Learn more
  3. DoS: A denial of service attack, the most common and easy attack to web servers. It exhausts the server by sending tons of resource consuming requests. Learn more
  4. XSS: Cross Side Scripting. Learn more
  5. SQL injection: Learn more
  6. Phishing: A fraudulent verbatim copy of a website that pretends to be the real one but gathers personal information such as passwords from users. Learn more
  7. RegEx: Regular Expressions. A kind of coding that can extract and interact very accurately with text (detect valid e-mails, extract data from code…). Learn more
  8. Microformats: Learn more
  9. MVC: Model-View-Controller.
  10. OOP: Object Oriented Programming.

Polite sentences


  • Excuse me, I have an appointment with Mr. Smith.

Top image by Stephen Mitchell

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