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30 Terms to know before hiring a website designer or developer

If you’re planning on hiring a website designer, it’s important to know the basics of web design. 

If you know the lingo, you’re in a better position to communicate your ideas to your designer and to understand their suggestions and recommendations.

You don’t need to know everything there is to know about web design.

But you do need to have a basic understanding of the terms used in the industry so that you can speak the language when you’re talking to potential designers.

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In this blog post, I have shared 30 common website design terms that you must know so that you can easily communicate & negotiate with your website developer. 

#1 Website Frontend

The front-end is the part of the website that visitors see and interact with. 

It is made up of HTML, CSS, and Javascript, and/or JQuery and can be created with a text editor or with a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor.

The front end is usually done by your website developer and designer.

#2 Website Backend

The backend is the part of a website that is used by the website owner or their webmaster. 

The backend is used to upload content, edit content, add new pages, change existing pages, and much more. 

The backend is also used to update the website’s code and to make changes to the website’s appearance.

It’s the website developer who is responsible for building a site’s backend.

#3 CMS

CMS stands for Content Management System. It is a platform that allows users to create, edit and publish content easily. 

CMS makes it easy for users to update their site without having to know how to code.

CMS is really a great option for small businesses or start-ups who don’t have the budget to hire an expensive designer or developer.

For example, WordPress is a CMS. In fact, WordPress is one of the best CMSs available on the planet today. If you need a CMS website at an affordable cost, talk to a WordPress developer in Singapore.

#4 CSS

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) is a style sheet language used for describing the presentation semantics (the look and formatting) of a document written in a markup language.

Cascading Style Sheets describes the look and formatting of a document for different screen sizes.

Both website designers & developers should know CSS to build a professional website.

#5 Web hosting

Web hosting is a service that allows you to put your website online. 

You can think of it as an apartment building for your website. 

You rent space in the building and install the electricity, water, and other services you need to keep your website running.

#6 PHP

PHP is a server-side scripting language designed for web development but also used as a general-purpose programming language. 

PHP can be added to HTML to create web pages dynamically. 

PHP code is usually processed by an interpreter, which is either implemented as a native module on the web server or as a common gateway interface (CGI).

PHP codes are handled by PHP developers who are different from the website designers or the WordPress developers.

#7 Domain name

A domain name, or a website address, is a human-readable label that types in a web browser to get a website.

A domain name is your website’s address on the internet – essentially, it’s the equivalent of your street address for your site.

Domain name extensions could be like .com, .com.sg, .sg, etc.

#8 Database

A database is a collection of data and information. 

Databases are used for storing data. 

A database management system (DBMS) is a database system that allows us to store, manipulate, and query data in a logical manner.

All the web developers know how to handle a database.

#9 Website mockup

A website mockup is a visual representation of a website. 

They are typically used by web designers to give clients an idea of how the site will look when it is finished.

The mockup is a graphical design of a website or webpage. 

It is a visual representation of how the site will look and function.

The website mockups are created by the website designers or the graphic designers.

#10 Website theme/template

A website theme is a set of design templates and assets that are used as the foundation for building a website. 

A theme is usually made up of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript code. This code is the foundation of your site and lays out the visual elements that will make up your site’s design.

It’s the responsibility of a website developer to customize a template and create a website according to your own design preferences.

#11 Plugins

A website plugin is a piece of code that you add to your website in order to extend or enhance certain features or functionality. There are thousands of different plugins available and most of them are free to download and install.

For example, if you want to add a contact form to your site, you can use the Contact Form 7 plugin to do it for you. WordPress plugins are really easy to install. Plugins are like apps for your WordPress site.

You need a website developer (preferably a WordPress developer) to customize plugins.

#12 Control panel

A control panel is a feature of a server that allows an administrator to manage the server. 

It typically consists of a web-based interface that allows an administrator to manage the server, much like a control panel on a physical device.

Control panels are commonly used to administer files, emails, MySQL databases, etc.

Your website designer and website developer should know how to manage a control panel.

#13 SSL

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is a security tool that’s used to secure transmissions of data online. 

SSL is the most widely used standard for encryption on the web. It allows for sensitive information like credit card numbers, social security numbers, and login credentials to remain encrypted while in transit from the user to the website.

SSL encryption is the best way to keep your customers’ data safe. 

If you’re in the market for a new web host and you’re looking for one that ensures your data is as secure as possible, make sure you look for a host that uses 256-bit encryption.

#14 FTP

FTP or File Transfer Protocol is a way to send and receive files between servers. It’s the most common way to transfer files between your computer and your web host. 

FTP clients are used to connecting to your web host and transfer files to the server.

Again, your website designer and website developer should know how to manage the FTP.

#15 Web design proposal

Web design proposals are one of the most important things you can get from a web designer.

It is important to always have a proposal in place when hiring a web designer, as this will set out the scope of work under which you will be working with them. This will help to ensure that your needs are met and that you are satisfied with the work that is carried out.

Need a website? Hire a website designer!

#16 Web design contract

If you’re thinking about hiring a web designer to help you with your website, then you should definitely consider getting a contract.

A contract protects both you and the designer and will be an important part of your relationship as you work together on your project.

#17 Website maintenance

Maintenance is the most important thing you can do to your website.

I can’t emphasize enough how important it is for your website to be updated with fresh content. Website maintenance also covers updating plugins, themes, and the core software of your website.

If you’re not an expert in website design, then it’s a good idea to hire a professional.

#18 Website header

A website header is the visible part of a website, generally, at the top of the page, that contains the logo, name, and slogan of the website. 

The header also usually contains navigation links and a search bar.

A website header is also sometimes referred to as a site header or masthead.

#19 SEO-friendly website

What is an SEO-friendly website?

An SEO-friendly website means that it is coded in a way that search engines can understand.

In other words, an SEO-friendly website is one designed to be found by search engines like Google.

#20 Site’s navigation

Website navigation is one of the most important aspects of web design. Website navigation is a term used to describe the way in which users can move around a website.

#21 Website cache

A website’s cache is a record of the web pages on that site that are stored on a web server.

Caching makes your site load faster because the webserver doesn’t need to process the same content over and over again. 

The more often a webpage is requested, the longer it stays in the cache.

#22 Call-to-action

A call to action (CTA) is a word or phrase that tells readers to take a specific action. 

Calls to action can be placed at the end of a blog post, web page, or email. They can be as simple as a sentence or two or as detailed as a bulleted list of instructions.

#23 Cookies

Cookies are small files of data that are stored by your web browser when you visit a website. 

They are then sent back to the originating website on each subsequent visit, or to another website that recognizes that cookie. 

Cookies can be used by web servers to identify and track web users.

#24 Favicon

Favicon is the small icon that appears next to your website’s name or URL in a browser. 

It appears next to the page title in the tab of the browser. 

It could also be called a bookmark icon or site icon.

#25 DNS

DNS is short for Domain Name System. 

It’s a global network that connects Internet domain names to the numeric addresses that computers use to talk to each other.

#26 Landing page

A landing page is a page that your traffic is directed to after clicking on an ad.

Landing pages usually have a specific purpose such as collecting information, checking out a service, signing up for an email list, or downloading a free ebook.

Your website designer can create a nice landing page while your website developer can transform the landing page design into a webpage.

#27 Responsive website

Responsive web design is a web design approach aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing experience (from desktop computer monitors to mobile phones).

Both website designers & website developers should know how to design a responsive website.

#28 Slider

A slider is a great tool for those who want to display a lot of images without taking up a lot of room. 

Sliders work by displaying a small image that links to a full-size image. When a user clicks on the small image, the larger image is displayed.

#29 Wireframe

A wireframe is a visual guide that displays the structure and layout of a website or application. 

Wireframes are designed to look like the final product, but they’re created in simple black and white, without any color, imagery, or text.

#30 SEO

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization

This is the process of getting traffic from the “free,” “organic,” or “natural” search results on search engines (like Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.).

Need a website? Hire a website designer!