Website Developer Glossary 45+ Terms to Know

Website Developer Glossary: 45+ Terms to Know

It’s important to communicate with your team using the same language. When you speak the same language, you can move faster and deliver higher-quality products that are better tailored to your customers. This blog post is a website developer glossary of terms I’ve written out here so you can learn them all in one place.

Website Developer Glossary 


An error 404 may signify a radical change or reorganization of a website. This can also be an internal server error when your page doesn’t exist, but it may be configured to forward the user to another page if this happens. Many websites use 404 pages for keyword-rich links to relevant content that encourages users to stay on their site longer.


API stands for an application programming interface. An API is a set of operations and tools that allow programmers to construct software systems by making use of pre-written code. In other words, an API combines the efforts of multiple programmers into a single resource that can be easily integrated into a larger platform or application. For example, Twitter has a restful API while Facebook has an open graph API.


An attribute is almost always used within the context of HTML. An attribute is a word or letter that precedes an HTML tag. A tag is how you define information for web pages, including name, description, title, content, rise, positioning, etc.

Back End

It refers to the database of a web application that contains a set of records and data. Web applications can have multiple backs ends, while most websites only have one. A Back End consists of a Central Database, a Handling Process, and data communication protocols.


Browser is a computer program that retrieves and displays web pages. All internet-enabled devices come with a browser. Examples are Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, Opera, etc.


A cache is a temporary storage area that can reduce bandwidth consumption, improve response times and decrease the load on the database and other layers in the stack. 

Content Management System 

Content Management System is a type of web publishing software used to create, edit and maintain websites without having to learn HTML. The most widely used CMS is WordPress


Crawl is a series of actions carried out by a search engine to examine the structure, content, and navigation of a website. When crawling a site, the search engine attempts to follow all links on pages, access advertised links, identify the page’s metadata, index new pages and discover missing pages close to similar existing pages that are already indexed. 

Customer Relationship Management 

A system that manages leads and prospects for your business, as well as allows you to track customer interactions — e.g. Leads, Campaigns, and Contacts — and learn who is interacting with your business. A CRM allows a business to use a content management system (CMS) to update different pages of their website.

Call to Action 

A website’s call to action is meant to encourage the visitor to take a desired course of action. Common examples include purchasing goods or services, making donations, or signing up for newsletters. CTAs have the power to positively affect site engagement.


CSS is a style sheet language used to make a website’s layout more visually appealing. It’s often used by web designers for their portfolios.


DevOps (a.k.a. DevOpsSec) is a term used to describe initiatives focused on developing and improving collaboration between software developers and information technology (IT) operations professionals. The goal of DevOps is to increase efficiency and lower costs while improving quality, responsiveness, and agility in software development.


The domain of a website represents its home on the internet. A domain name is the internet address of a website. A good domain name can easily be remembered and is short and easy to spell, making it ideal for an easy and memorable experience.


Favicon is a small icon located on the browser bar next to the address bar. It allows you to identify the website the same way we identify our friends and family by their faces (…that sounds kind of creepy actually, but that’s beside the point). The icon is displayed on every website you visit which enables you to distinguish them from one another.


A firewall is a term used to describe a type of security measure that restricts the flow of traffic from an external source to internal resources. Firewalls are typically installed on internet-facing servers or between private networks and the Internet.

Front End 

The front end of your website is the section seen by all users, which has to be “becoming” or “authentic”. It is the user interface, the interface. Web designers almost always talk about what they create at the user interface, not referring to its back-end technology. This is why CSS calls for “sheets” and HTML uses shaded boxes to mask content unless something is wrong with it.


File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is a standard network protocol that allows you to upload and download files from a remote server. FTP allows you to upload, download, or synchronize files between your computer and web server.


A GUI is an interface that helps you to perform the most common tasks with a computer by using pictures or icons on a screen.


HTML is the backbone of every website, consisting of the tags of form elements, scripts, tables, images, etc. Each element must have a proper placement for it to display properly on every browser.


 MetaTags are HTML tags that describe your website. Meta tags are used to describe a website. They provide a summary of a site’s content and a few keywords that will help search engines identify what a site is about.  


Navigation, also called navigational aids, is how users can move through your website and find the information they’re looking for. It allows users to easily move from page to page and keep them from getting lost. Good navigation should be as invisible as possible, transparently guiding users to exactly what they want without making it obvious that it’s doing so.


The term “out of the box” (OOTB) refers to a situation where everything has been prepared for us and we just need to use it. This is normally used for consumer products. A refrigerator is an OOTB feature that gives cold water, at the press of a button.

Opening/Closing Tags 

Opening tags are HTML elements placed inside the head section of an HTML document. Closing tags are placed at the end of an HTML element, while nested tags are placed inside other elements.


Page Template 

Page Template is one of the most popular WordPress template tags. It’s used to change the output of a page by altering the parameters passed into the theme files.


A plugin is a small program written in code that will add functionality to your website. The three most popular platforms are WordPress,, and, but the WordPress platform has the most options for plugins. 


Redirects are a method a website owner can use to point from one URL to another. They can be used for a variety of reasons including rebranding, moving the location of files/folders, or merging duplicate content into one page. They can also be used as a security measure for preventing certain pages from being accessed via the web.


The Registrar is the organization or individual responsible for keeping records of Domain names.

SAAS Platforms 

SAAS stands for ‘Software as a Service’ and is a delivery model for cloud-based solutions. It allows customers to access applications and services over the Internet.  As compared to traditional software, SaaS applications and services are available on-demand and the consumers do not have to install any software.


A server is a computer or device connected to the World Wide Web (WWW) to serve web pages and other data to requesting clients. A web server responds to client requests, performs various types of content adaptation, and forwards client information to the appropriate destination. These requests are received via network connections, usually over an Internet Protocol (IP) network.


A sitemap is an HTML file that lists the pages on your site, their URLs and it is used by search engines, so they can easily crawl your site. A sitemap can be thought of as a map of your website, where it explains how each page relates to the other. The sitemap does not display anything to users. You can also use categories or tags but they are not considered as effective as sitemaps.


An interactive element is created by combining two different HTML elements, a container element, and a decoration element. This allows for a much more visual/interactive experience versus the standard static piece of content. There are multiple common uses, such as featured products/services, testimonials, and it’s also commonly used in one-page websites.



UI is short for User Interface. With the right set of components, users can interact with your website or application. It has two major parts: how it looks, and how it behaves.


User experience (UX) is the term used for describing an individual’s feelings and attitudes about using a particular product, system, or service. It is the overall design and feel of a website, application, or digital device concerning how easy it is to use and learn. UX is all the elements that work together on a website, app, or digital device to deliver top-notch user satisfaction.


A widget is a small, single-use program written in a language such as JavaScript. Widget engines are used to insert the processed code, which may include HTML and CSS, into a webpage.


The wireframe is a graphical framework that enables us to plan out our website in advance. It maps the structure of your website including the relationship between its elements and serves as a template. You can create wireframes in just about any kind of software program. The most important thing is that it helps you to conceptualize what goes into your website before you dive into designing it.


WYSIWYG (What You See is What You Get) is a set of software development techniques aimed at increasing user productivity and application usability. It was intended to give users the same editing experiences that they were familiar with from using desktop publishing packages such as MacPublisher, MacDraw, PageMaker, and QuarkXpress and allow them to operate without learning the underlying programming language (usually some variant of HTML). WYSIWYG currently describes almost all modern web-based editors and authoring systems.

One Response

  1. Vania November 4, 2021

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