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Common Buzzwords & Terminology in the Web World Explained

education | web design by Shannon Noack on August 30, 2012 | 0 Comments

You may have heard many of these buzzwords and terms and aren’t sure what they mean. Responsive web design, RSS, SEO – they may just sound like Greek to you. Well we’ve gathered together a bunch of buzzwords and common terms used in the web industry and we have some definitions and explanations of each.

If you manage a website, it’s great to have an understanding of some of the basic terms so you can make the best choices for your website and online marketing. Read on to learn more and feel free to add to our list in the comments below!


HTML stands for Hyper Text Markup Language, which is the code used to create and form websites. HTML5 is the 5th version of HTML, and the standard we use to code at Snoack Studios.


CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets, and is the code that controls the style or presentation of your site including colors, fonts, and spacing. CSS3 is a more recent version and includes new properties that can enhance your site with things like drop-shadows, animation, and embedded fonts.

Responsive Web Design

Most websites that you see are built for a desktop computer, which doesn’t translate well or incorporate the different challenges you face on a mobile device. Responsive design allows a site to respond to your browser’s size, resizing and rearranging elements to display more appropriately.


A Content Management System is a powerful tool that allows users and not just developers to edit their website in a user-friendly way without any HTML or CSS knowledge. There are tons of choices out there with different options and tools included.


Search Engine Optimization is a method of optimizing your site in a way that increases your search engine rankings and visibility online.

WordPress Plugin/Widget

WordPress is a CMS and Plugins are things that you can install to increase the functionality of your site. They can add things like contact forms, photo galleries, sliders, etc. A widget is a specific thing added in an area you designate, like a sidebar or footer, that adds a special function. A widget can add social media links to your sidebar, favorite links to your footer, etc.


This is a new feature in HTML5, allowing websites that utilize it to locate where you are and use it for a certain function. You may have seen it used by Google, when they suggest things in a search that are located near you.


Whitespace refers to the open space on your site, which is an important aspect of your design and allows people to see things more easily. It doesn’t necessarily have to be white, just open space that isn’t occupied by text or images.


This stands for Really Simple Syndication, and is a way of publishing content in a standardized format for things like blogs, news feeds, etc. You can utilize an RSS feed through a feedreader like Google Reader, which gathers the content you subscribe to through RSS and delivers it to you in one easy to manage place.


A favicon is a small 16 x 16 icon for your site that is typically displayed in your browser’s address bar.

Web Hosting

Your hosting is the place where the files for your website are stored. Your domain registration gives you the right to use that domain and display your content that the host stores.


Your browser is the application that you view the internet from, including Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, and many other choices that are available today.

What other web buzzwords have you heard lately? Tell us in the comments below!


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