Web Terminology


Degree to which a website is usable by people with disabilities—Web pages often have access issues for:

  • Visitors with visual impairments who use screen readers
  • Visitors with hearing impairments using browsers with no sound
  • Visitors with physical impairments
  • Visitors with colorblindness

adaptive technology

Software or hardware designed to assist those with disabilities to carry out daily activities—Screen readers enable visually challenged visitors read webpages by reading the page content out loud.

alt text (alt attribute)

Text provided as equivalent content for visitors who cannot see images because of a disability or because they have disabled image loading—In Conductor, this is the description users add when uploading images.


Starting or ending point of a hyperlink—See anchor link

anchor link

Link that links to another spot on the same page or to a specific spot on another page


A measure for the speed (amount of data) you can send through an Internet connection—the more bandwidth, the faster the connection


Refers to area beneath the area of the page that that can be seen without scrolling. (Note that usability experts used to believe scrolling was bad; this is no longer the case.)

The location of the fold differs depending upon the screen size and how big the browser window is. To determine where the fold is for a page, determine what resolution and browser window size typical visitors use. Here are some general locations of the fold for different browser sizes:

  • 640 x 480 fold is around 310 pixels down
  • 800 x 600 fold is around 430 pixels down
  • 1024 x 768 fold is around 600 pixels down
  • 1200 x 1024 fold is around 850 pixels down
  • 1600 x 1200 fold is around 1030 pixels down

bounce rate

The percentage of web site visitors who view only one web page before they leave (bounce out)


Navigation in a website showing current location preceded by a list of pages above in the hierarchy


A web browser or web server feature that stores copies of web pages on a computer's hard disk

card sorting

Method of categorizing proposed web pages to determine where visitors will expect to find them in the whole site

click here

An outdated method of naming links that provides no information to a visually disabled visitor and no information to a search engine as to where the link will send them—should be avoided by appropriately describing the linked-to item/page

clickthrough rate

The number of times visitors click on a hyperlink (or advertisement) on a page, as a percentage of the number of times the page has been displayed

cms (content management system)

Tool that separates the content of a site from the code, allowing nontechnical users to update and post content (Conductor)

color contrast

Closeness of hues in value—colors that are too close in hue (have little contrast) create legibility problems

css (cascading style sheets)

Web language that defines the style properties of a page, including fonts, colors, layouts, and general look and feel of a site

data table

Table used to present data in a tabular or spreadsheet formula—Note: this is the only approved use of a table in modern web design.

entry page

Page where visitors arrive from another URL (destination of their links)

exit page

Page where visitors were before leaving the site

external link

Link pointing to another website


Method of observing a subject’s pupil to determine the direction of his gaze; used to learn intensity of subject’s attention to different parts of a page


Multimedia special effects plug-in; no longer in favor with web professionals because of its limitations and accessibility issues

fold – see below the fold

gif (graphics interchange format)

Graphic format suitable for flat color images and drawings—not suitable for photos on Conductor sites

global navigation

General menu choices repeated on most or all pages in a site (main menu or top nav)


One of six levels of headings (h1 through h6)—Should always follow a logical progression; CSS determines look and feel of headings


Rules regarding usability of webpages


Request for a file from a server, including every stylesheet, image, and other files—not a good metric for evaluating site or page popularity

html (hypertext markup language)

Language used to write web pages


Image or text that connects current document with another


Any text that is “clickable”

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information architect

Person whose job it is to organize data into logical order by uncovering patterns and relationships to create a site map

internal link

Any link that connects with another page on the same site

inverted pyramid

Type of writing style suited for the web where conclusions are presented first, following by key information and then, finally, background information


Scripting language that allows dynamic behavior to be specified on a website

jpeg (jpg)

Graphics format for photos and images with many colors

keywords/keyword phrases

Word(s) used for targeting searches; words a visitor would use to search for your site/page—typically best to focus on one per page

landing page

The page where a person enters a website, often after clicking on a link from social media, another website, or search engine finding

leading (leh ding)

Space between lines of type; line height

link (see hyperlink)

lorem ipsum

Placeholder text

meta data

Data about data; information about the page that is being viewed—stored in meta tags

meta tag

Tags inserted into documents to describe the document; commonly in Snippets in Conductor

non-breaking space ( )

White space that HTML will not collapse—If a site admin types in two spaces, the second will become a non-breaking space, which can distort the text (second one can drop to next line, thus causing the first word of that line to be indented a space).

organic search

A search that is not a paid search

outbound link

An external link (to another URL)


Space inserted between element border and element content


A request for a page; a good unit of measure of popularity of site


Dots on a computer monitor; resolution of a monitor is measured in dots or pixels per inch. For example, images should be saved around 75 px for web, vs. 300 for print.

png (portable network graphics)

Graphics format for highly compressed rastered images


Number of dots per inch on a computer monitor

rgb (red green blue)

Color model used on computer monitors; images should be saved in RGB

rich text editor

Conductor format that is closest to WYSIWYG, or a word processor type of input


Process of skimming text and picking out keywords, sentences, and paragraphs while skipping remainder of a webpage—Since most people scan web pages, bullet points, lists, headlines, and frequent paragraph breaks aid in increasing the scannability of pages.

seo (search engine optimization)

Methods used to raise a website in search engine rankings while still being useful for visitors—Good SEO requires strong content, valid HTML, and appropriate keywords.

search engine results page

Page showing results of search on terms entered

site map

(Also information architecture) refers to the organization of a website.


Technique to determine how an element looks or acts, including color, layout, and position)—determined by CSS

table summary

A brief description of the table for visitors using non-visual browsers


Conductor format that requires a small bit of coding rather than using toolbar buttons for inserting images, links, etc.

url (uniform resource locator)

Address of a website or page on the Internet


Measurement of ease of use of a site; ability of customers to find and accomplish what they came for


Unique individual coming to a site


Worldwide Web Consortium, the group that determines web standards, including accessibility

web spider

A computer program that searches the Internet for web pages—Common web spiders are the one used by search engines like Google to index the web. Web spiders are also called web robots or wanderers.

white space

Empty spaces in a design used to separate different parts of a page and group others; could be a different color, but referring to the lack of images or text


Visual representation of a site, usually used by designers to lay out the page(s) with simple line drawings

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