Do you speak digital?
A small glossary for digital and web
Digital jargon is changing all the time as new technologies emerge. It can be confusing so we’ve put together this small glossary of useful terms.
A site that is designed to be accessed by users regardless of physical or developmental abilities or impairments. Users access the web with screen readers, for instance, should be able to understand your site.
A graphic element embedded into a web page and used to advertise a product, service or company.
Software application (or program) that has a specific function (distinct from system software, which runs the computer or device).
An image or username that represents a person within forums and social media networks.
An image or graphic that normally spans the width of a page. Used most commonly to draw attention to specific information or to improve the attractiveness of the site.
An online forum or discussion site with entries (“posts”) normally displayed in chronological order. Some blogs have comments.
Someone who writes blogs.
Links to websites that make it simple and quick to access favourite sites.
Percentage of visitors that leave a site after only visiting one page.
The identity of a product or organisation, normally comprising unique assets, such as a logo and brand name.
An agreed set of rules that determine how your brand is used, including assets like logo, colours, photography and icons, and aspects of communications such as tone of voice.
Software application used to access the internet and retrieve, view, and search web pages.
Test used to ensure that a user is human and protect against spambots and other automated security breaches. Most commonly distorted text that the user is asked to retype.
Marketing or advertising that uses a sensational headline to entice people to click through to a website.
Measurement of number of users who clicked a specific link, used to measure the effectiveness of a digital marketing campaign.
Ability to access other pages by using the cursor to ‘click’ on links
Measurement of the number of people who completed an intended action, such as clicking through to a webpage or making a purchase.
Simple text file downloaded from a website and stored on the users computer. It stores information such as a site name and user ID, and is used to remember information (such as previous searches the user made) or tailor the site to the user’s needs.
CMS (content management system)
A simple interface that allows users to publish, edit and change the content or layout of a site, without the user having to use code. It can also store assets such as images.
A computer program that is designed to handle and store lots of data in a way that is easily retrievable.
A programmer who builds websites to a given specification.
A piece of mobile hardware that accesses the internet, such as mobile phone or tablet.
A simple, unique identification label to denote a specific area of authority/ownership on the internet, such as smalldesign.co.
Measurement of the amount of interaction with contents. ‘Interaction’ could likes, shares or comments.
A newsletter created in html and distributed to a mailing list by email, normally via a email marketing service such as mailchimp.
An icon associated with a particular website or web page. Browsers typically display a page’s favicon in the address bar and next to the page’s name in a list of bookmarks.
File Transfer Protocol system – used to share large files by uploading and downloading to a remote computer.
fold (above the fold)
Proportion of a web page or e-mail that is visible without needing to scroll.
A person who subscribes to your social media account in order to receive your updates.
Bitmap image format that compresses images and allows animation. Is best for web graphics and animation with solid colour blocks, but unsuitable for colour photographs.
Units of information or memory.
Breaking into a computer system or network.
A persons username on Twitter: for example, small studios’ Twitter handle is @small_chat.
A word or phrase preceded by a “#” – for example #smallstudios – used in social media to categorise information, making it easily searchable.
HEX (Hexadecimal notation)
A six-digit code preceded by a hash sign that refers to a combination of Red Green and Blue (RGB) colour values. Used in coding to specify colours.
The first and main page in a website. Also called a ‘landing’ page, it introduces a user to the website.
html (hypertext markup language)
Main markup language used to create web pages, e-newsletters and adverts that can be displayed online.
hyperlink (also link)
Text or images that take the user to a different file or page when they click on it.
A link that takes a user into your website from another site.
A unique number that is assigned to a device, such as a computer or tablet.
.jpg / .jpeg
Picture format, composed of individual pixels of various colours. It is a compressed file, so is low to medium quality and a small file size.
(See also: Raster image)
Words or phrases relating to topics, subject areas or categories, which tell a search engine what a website is about.
The position of a site in a search engine when the user searches by a particular keyword.
link (also hyperlink)
Text or images that take the user to a different file or page when they click on it.
The value that a search engine places on various links, determined by such factors as whether it links within the site or to an external site, whether an external link is reciprocated, location of the link on a page etc.
Increasing links from and to a site. Used to increase usability and SEO.
low resolution / lores
An image with a resolution of less than 300dpi at the printed size. Suitable for web and screen only.
Something that is widely shared online, often an image with a caption, but can be any content.
Software application designed for mobile devices.
(See also: app)
A small website or page that is a discrete entity aside from a main or existing site.
Moving a site from one server, host provider, for instance, to another.
A bit like “advertorial” in print, this is wen content in social media is designed to look like regular content for that network rather than an advert. It appears as though the content has been generated naturally rather than as advertising.
Content that is automatically updated from within the site or from an external source.
Resize or otherwise modify an image or video to maximise efficiency in storage, download time etc.
Software which has a freely available source code that can be changed or distributed without cost incurred.
An advertising model where advertisers pay depending on the number of people that click on their advert.
A permanent link to content so that if it is moved to an archive, for example, the link is not broken across a site or blog.
A small point on a screen that makes up a larger image.
A set of software components that adds specific capabilities to a larger software application.
Discrete entries within a blog.
A technique that allows a website to be accessed by more than one URL. This can be used to direct users from an old web page to a new one when the site structure changes.
The quality of printout using the number of dots / spots per inch.
(See also: Low resolution)
A site that is designed to perform well on various devices including desktop/laptop computers, tablets and mobile phones.
Colour format for computer screens made up of various percentages of three colours (red, green and blue).
A software system designed to search for information on the internet, such as Google or Bing.
search engine crawl
Pieces of codes (‘robots’) that scan and assess the code and link structure of a whole website. This is one element that determines the position of a site in search results.
search engine optimisation (SEO)
Improving a websites visibility on search engines like Google.
Hardware or software that connects individual computers via a network.
Means for accessing social networks, such as Twitter or Instagram.
social media monitoring
Monitoring and responding to mentions.
Virtual communities where people create and share information or ideas.
Where people use cues from others to determine how they respond.
Collection of computer instructions normally written as text.
Unsolicited bulk messages, normally advertising a product or service.
A small data file which encodes data securely. Typically used for sensitive information such as credit card transactions.
A pre-made design for any content management system. Templates can be customised with plugins, widgets, graphics, structural changes etc.
Number of visits to a site.
A person, content or hashtag that is generating significant interest on a social media network.
A person who courts controversy by posting content online that evoke a strong reaction.
All aspects of the users interaction with a website, such as perceived ease of use, efficiency, emotional response.
Content that is created by users or consumers, rather than generated by the organisation. Can be used as a marketing tool to boost engagement.
Distinct individuals who access a website.
URL (Uniform Resource Locator)
An address for a website
The person who access a website.
When content is extremely widely spread by word of mouth and frequent sharing.
When a user access a website.
A video blog.
Someone who vlogs.
An application, or a component of an interface, that enables a user to perform a function or access a service.
A basic visual guide to the framework of the website and individual pages within it.
WordPress is a free and open source blogging tool and a content management system (CMS).
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