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Common Website Buzzwords, Explained

Website Buzzwords You Should Know

If you’re new to the world of websites, you’ll find it inhabited by a vibrant group of coders, design enthusiasts, marketers, and DIYers all using some of the same buzzwords (or jargon, depending on your point of view) to communicate. If you want to walk the walk and talk the talk, we’re here to help you build your site with confidence.

 

Here’s a cheat sheet of some of the most common website vocabulary you’re likely to encounter when you start your site.


Above the Fold

Just because it’s a website doesn’t mean the terminology is cutting-edge. “Above the fold” refers to anything on your web page that people can see without needing to scroll down. The term comes from newspapers—with the front page folded in half, anything in the top half is above the fold and easiest to see at a glance. This is where newspapers put their most attention-grabbing headlines, and you should do the same on your website.

Anchor Link

When you click on a link and go to another web page, you typically start at the very top. But what if you wanted to send someone to a particular point further down on a page? That’s what anchor links are for. Use anchor links to help people jump to a particular section, either further down the page or on a completely different page. Here’s a tutorial on how to set up anchor links. (If you want to let people jump back to the top of a page, use the Scroll-to-Top feature).

Back End/Front End

When someone refers to the back end or front end of their website, they’re talking about the part that’s public and viewable (the front) and the part that only they can see when they log in to make changes (the back).

Call to Action (CTA)

You’ll often hear people say that every website (or even every web page) needs a call to action. What they mean is that you typically don’t want someone to just read your web page and then go somewhere else. You want them to do something: buy your product, sign up for your newsletter, share your page….something. That’s where your CTA comes in. It’s typically a button that encourages the visitor to do that thing you want them to do—to take the next step. To create one on your Jimdo website, use the Button Element. If you have a website without a CTA, that might be a missed opportunity to engage your viewers and “convert” them (in marketing-speak) into customers.

Content Management System (CMS)

Content Management System may win the prize for the most boring-sounding term in existence, but it’s actually an extremely important part of your website. It’s the online software that lets you update and manage your website without any coding. In other words, it is Jimdo—the backend system that you log in to and use to make edits to your website.

Content

Every discipline needs a fancy way to say “stuff,” and websites are no exception. All of the stuff you put on your website—the photos, text, videos, cat GIFS (see below) are collectively known as your website “content.” They go (conveniently) in the Content Area of your website. If you hear someone say that “content is king,” what they mean is that the stuff on your website—the actual, useful information you’re providing—is more important than any cool design elements, colors, fonts, snazzy animations, etc. In other words, you can’t fake a good website. You have to take the time to add useful, high-quality content. 

H1/H2/H3

These numbers signify the size of a heading in HTML code. The large heading at the top of a web page is an H1 (in HTML it’s written as <h1>), the next size down is an H2, etc. At Jimdo these are called Heading Elements (Large is H1, Medium is H2, Small is H3). Search engine crawlers look through the code on your website for these <h> tags, because it helps them figure out what your web pages are about. So if you hear someone say “Make sure you put an H1 at the top of every page of your website,” that’s what they mean. (And P.S., that’s good advice—it’s great for your SEO).

Example of Heading Elements
Use Heading Elements (H1s, H2s, and H3s) to break up your page.

Hero Area

Not a reference to the Bat Cave, unfortunately. A hero area is a large space at the top of your web page usually reserved for a full-width image and headline. It’s the first thing that visitors will see when they visit your homepage, creating a bold, dramatic (dare we say heroic?) effect. It’s a popular design trend right now, and many Jimdo templates have hero areas built in. Check out Zurich, Rio de Janeiro, Stockholm, and Miami, for example. With Jimdo you can also put a video in your hero area. If you use a hero area, make sure you’re using a high-quality image too.

Example of Website Hero Area
The template Rio de Janeiro has an eye-catching Hero Area for a a photograph and logo/headline.

Hosting vs. Domain

Though many services (including Jimdo) offer “all-in-one” domain and hosting, they’re actually different things. Your domain name is the unique address of your website, after the “www.” Hosting is a service, where the company that “hosts” your domain will store and manage the files associated with your website for you. Once you purchase a domain, you can move it around to different hosts, kind of like how you can keep your mobile phone number when you move to a different phone company.

JPG/PNG/GIF

Example of a GIF file
The GIF that keeps on giving....

Once you start working with Photo Elements, you’ll see that you can upload different file types: JPGs are the most common (and most photographs will be JPGs) but PNGs are better for logo files, graphics, or anything where you want to preserve nice crisp lines when you zoom in. GIFs are good for low-resolution logos, icons, or symbols….and of course, animated dog memes. For more on optimizing images, check out our Support Center.

Tip: How do you pronounce these file types? It’s standard to say “jay-peg”, but for PNG and GIF the debate still rages. Some people say “ping” while others say the letters “p-n-g”. Some say “gif” with a hard “g” as in “gift,” while others say “jiff”. Now that you’ve started your own website, you’re entitled to develop an extremely strong opinion on the matter and tell everyone else that they’re wrong. Enjoy!

Lorem Ipsum

When you start a website or create a new page with Suggested Layouts, you’ll probably notice that some of the pre-existing text looks like it’s written in a different language. Don’t worry, you didn’t accidentally get assigned a Latin CMS–that’s just lorem ipsum, the standard “filler text” that printers have used for over 500 years. Lorem ipsum is meant to show what the layout of a line or a block of text might look like. Just remember to delete the lorem ipsum and fill it in with your own words!

Example of lorem ipsum text
No, your eyes aren't blurry—that's just "lorem ipsum" filler text.

Responsive

Preview your website on different devices

Responsive is another way to say “mobile-friendly.” It means that a website responds or adjusts to the size of the screen, whether someone is visiting from a mobile phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop. You’ll know a website isn’t responsive if you visit it from your mobile phone and find that you have to squint to read and keep zooming in and out to see all the content. The good news? All new Jimdo templates are responsive! You can preview what your website will look like on different devices by going to View Mode and clicking on the Device Preview. 

Responsive Website
A responsive website will look just right on every device.

Search Engine Optimization

Intimidating term, but actually much simpler than you’d think. SEO is the process of making your website more attractive to search engines. The websites you see when you search on Google don't get there by accident. There are some easy steps you can take to help search engines understand what your website is all about and, more importantly, match you with the right visitors. 

Sitemap

A sitemap (or site map) is a list of all the pages on your website. It’s typically organized in an outline, just like a table of contents in a book. In practice, you could use a sitemap in different ways. First, it can help you plan out your site before you start building (always a good idea!) This kind of sitemap doesn’t have to be fancy—a Word Doc, a page in your notebook, the back of a napkin—anything that helps you keep track of where you want your pages to go is fine. Secondly, you can submit your sitemap as an XML file to Google and other search engines, which makes it easier for their crawlers to explore your site and add it to search results.

Note: A site map can also refer to a page on your website with links to all your pages, like a directory. Jimdo automatically creates this page for you at yoursite.jimdo.com/sitemap. Ideally though, visitors won’t need to depend on this site map to find their way around because your navigation menus will be so clear and user-friendly.

UX

Shorthand for “user experience.” UX basically describes the experience someone has while using your website. If you go to a website and find everything you need quickly and efficiently, and if you enjoy the process, that’s a good user experience. If you visit a website and aren’t sure where to click, or you get stuck somewhere and can’t find what you’re looking for, that’s a bad user experience. You can check to see if your website makes some common UX mistakes.

 

Widget/Plug-in

The word “widget” might make you think of a tiny gadget or gizmo that you can attach to something larger—and that’s basically what a website widget (or plug-in) is. It’s a little tool or program that you can add to your website to take care of a certain task or add a certain feature: a search bar, a booking calendar, a music player, etc. Widgets are a great way to add functionality to your website (usually for free) and they just require you to cut and paste a bit of code into a Widget/HTML Element on your site. For more on widgets (including some of our favorites), check out these 20 Widgets for Your Website.


Of course, there are hundreds of more website buzzwords out there. Any other terms that have you scratching your head? Let us know in the comments. 

Maggie Biroscak

Content Editor


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Write a comment

Comments: 9
  • #1

    Andrea (Wednesday, 04 January 2017 15:37)

    I found some of the points highly educative, some other hilarious! Thank you for another great blog post, Maggie/Jimdo! :)

  • #2

    Maggie (Jimdo) (Wednesday, 04 January 2017 16:53)

    @Andrea - Thank you! We love your blog too. Maybe your travels will take you to Hamburg soon?

  • #3

    Pramod (Wednesday, 04 January 2017 18:29)

    Nice article. Some buzzwords are convered which I don't know. And this article covers both beginners and advanced users. Thanks for balanced article. Hope you guys continues great work. Happy New Year all.

  • #4

    jessica (Thursday, 12 January 2017 10:46)

    Helpful as always. Every post you write produce a massive value to your readers that is the only reason it is so popular and has great authority.

  • #5

    Supriya Jain (Thursday, 12 January 2017 14:14)

    For a beginner like me this post is so much valuable. Got all these on a single page and this really helped me. Thanks for sharing this.

  • #6

    stepherd (Thursday, 19 January 2017 11:08)

    A nice article here, i think that people who have grown up with the idea of using computers are showing more responsibility towards writing posts that are thoughtful, do not have grammar mistakes and pertinent to the post..

  • #7

    Christian Jude Cuyos (Monday, 23 January 2017 08:09)

    Amazing content thanks very helpful tips in making an elegant website design.
    Another great article Maggie your awesome thanks for sharing.

  • #8

    Marcus (Thursday, 26 January 2017 02:27)

    One of the best articles I've read, explains everything to a T.
    Nothing should be taken for granted.

  • #9

    Florence Hodgson (Monday, 06 March 2017 20:26)

    I am just learning so much from all these blogs. Excellent. From feeling rather knowledgable I now realise there is so much more. I am wondering what knowledge I have that is worth writing in a blog ! My next project I think but the trouble always is TIME. Thank you so much for this very clear Blog. I seem to be bookmarking them all