Overwhelmed by the world of web development? Use our trusty guide to break down and understand the most-used jargon and industry buzzwords.
Many clients come to us with little to no web design or technical knowledge. After all, if they could DIY web design, they probably wouldn’t be interested in our services!
This little corner of the tech industry is used by virtually every modern business, from eCommerce to more traditional, brick-and-mortar operations. Unfortunately, tech can also be rife with confusing buzzwords and web design terminology. Unless you work closely with the industry, you might now know how to determine what you need from your design.
We’re demystifying the web design world and arming you with these new website design terms to help you confidently navigate your next meeting with a development agency.
The CTA is a marketing term that applies directly to site design. Since we create CTAs to effectively compel users towards a specific action like registration, signups, purchases, and more, site design can help direct them toward that conversion funnel. Great website designers should offer well-thought-out CTA placement that naturally draws users’ eyes toward them.
Content is king in web design, and CMS helps you build, organize, and manage your site’s most important asset. CMS in web development terminology refers to the software we use to simplify this management and keep your site fresh and relevant. WordPress is the most popular CMS, though there are some other great players in the realm. Great developers will set you up with a CMS platform that’s easy to access and use so you can easily update site content later (or we can keep managing it for you – but that decision should be 100% yours to make!).
In the retail store analogy, front-end development is your physical “storefront,” and the back end refers to everything users don’t see, like a back storage room or supply chain. In web design terms, the back end refers to anything that happens on your site’s server side. Since you can’t see this development, it can be harder to understand, but at its core, it helps ensure seamless data processing, management, and site security.
Mobile website design means tailoring your website for users on smartphones or tablets rather than on “plugged-in” devices like desktops. Since 55% of internet traffic comes from mobile devices, designers want to ensure their site displays perfectly on these smaller screens.
Mobile-first means designing for mobile and then adjusting that design for other screen sizes, while historically, many designers have worked the other way around. Mobile optimization has quickly transformed from a nice-to-have into a must-have in modern design!
Consumers use every shape and size of tech device to access your site, so responsive design and responsive CSS (the code used on most sites) are critical. With responsive web design, your website is coded to automatically adapt to any screen size so your page displays correctly on a smartphone, tablet, desktop, or any other web-accessible device!
No web design glossary would be complete without the attractive yet evasive promise of rising the Google ranks – SEO! Search engine optimized design means approaching every aspect of your build, from content to site structure and meta tags, to rank as high as possible on Google search. Google’s algorithm is ever-changing, so the world of SEO changes along with it! A solid design agency won’t make big, hollow promises for SEO without data and tangible proof that their approach works, so ask for plenty of empirical evidence before you sign any contracts.
When you dig down into some of these terms, sometimes basic concepts are confusing simply because they’re referred to with an acronym. UX design focuses on user-friendly, intuitive, functional, and engaging websites that delight visitors. By staying focused on UX, you maximize user satisfaction with every site visit and minimize irritation, like broken links or confusing navigation. UX might sound simple, but it’s essential to prioritize and consider at every step in the design process if you want to boost your conversion rates and maximize ROI! A user interface (UI) developer’s role is entwined with UX, but it’s more specific website layout terminology that refers to the things you click or interact with on a site. UX, on the other hand, is the entire site experience.
Web analytics can be incredibly complex, especially for those who don’t understand a bounce rate, let alone an ideal number. Many designers will walk you through important site analytics and set you up with software like Google Analytics that does the calculations and analysis for you. Your analytics can help you understand how users experience your site so you can find areas of improvement and optimize it.
Wireframes are digital “blueprints” of your site’s design. Most designers use wireframes to preview a site design so you can get a realistic feel for your project’s appearance upon completion. Wireframes include how content, navigation, interface elements, and images will be arranged from the perspective of a site visitor.
Wireframes are essential to the development process to ensure the project design meets client standards and expectations, especially for clients with trouble visualizing the site. Essentially, wireframes are like the blueprint of a home – you get a sneak peek of the house, so you can adjust anything you don’t like before you start building.
What does a web design agency do?
We’re ready to show you how our design services can help your business stand out. Our Hamilton web development team can walk you through the process and explain every design term to start your next project on the same page.
Contact us to learn more and get a free cost estimate.