E-commerce Industry Terms

Above the Fold:
The content is viewable on a website or landing page initially without scrolling down to read more. Anything above the bottom of the monitor without scrolling is considered ‘above-the-fold content’.

Anchor Text:
This is the text that refers to your site in a link. For example, Epic Design Labs will refer to the “Epic Design Labs” home page. Search engines like the anchor text to be relevant to where it’s linking, so be sure to keep that in mind when creating links to your site.

This refers to the part of a website that is hidden from visitors. It usually holds the info structure, CMS (see below), and applications for the site.

These are links to your website from other websites. If many highly regarded sites link back to yours, it has a profound effect on improving your search rankings. Keyword-rich links back to your site from these sites are very important.

This refers to how quickly data is transferred, or the amount of allowable data that can be transferred within a month before incurring charges for exceeding the predetermined total.

Below the Fold:
This refers to what site visitors would see if they scrolled beyond the view of the page when it was first loaded.

Bounce Rate:
This number is the frequency percentage of visitors that leave your site from the same page they entered. It often indicates poor navigation capabilities on your site or a lack of quality content. Obviously, you’ll want this to be a low number.

Bread Crumb:
These are traditionally found at the top of a web page, and they show you the pages before the page you are on. For example, if you were to look at a page about a team in the Super Bowl, you would see Sports Website X>NFL Football>Team X>Super Bowl>

This is the program that web visitors use to view the internet. Examples include Chrome, Edge, Opera, and Safari.

These files are downloaded or saved by browsers to improve loading speed the next time you use them.

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS):
These allow websites to adjust their look and presence by defining them outside of HTML files. By simplifying the HTML files of a website, you can now make changes to the style of your website without also changing the content. CSS gives you that ability by only needing to change one file. This is also excellent search results boost for your website

There are two definitions for citations. One is referring to, or giving credit to a website as a source of information, often accompanied by a direct link to that source. The other definition, also sometimes referred to in local directories as a “local citation”, is any mention of your website on the internet. These mentions are often associated with local directories or informational sites such as Yelp and include your name, address, and phone number (NAP), as well as the URL to your website where applicable.

Citation Aggregator:
These pull your NAP information from local directories and provide it to Google, which then uses this information to verify your business. Each of these directories should be correctly listing your information in order to be recognized and accredited as legitimate by Google.

These are scripts that run within the browser of the viewer, rather than the web server.

See Content Management System.

Content Management System (CMS):
This system is a tool from the backend that keeps the design and functionality of a website separate while allowing you to manage the content of the site. It can make content additions from non-designers easier as well.

This is the term used in web design to describe information in either HTML files or XHTML files that a browser will ignore. If comments are done well, a designer will have the ability to make changes to the website much easier. It will clearly denote what function each part of the code performs.

Conversion Rate Optimization:
This system is implemented in order to either increase the number of conversions from a website’s visitors or to prompt visitors to take a specific action on a web page.

See Conversion Rate Optimization.

See Cascading Style Sheets.

This typically refers to code that has become less efficient or less accessible and is now not included within the language specifications.

Domain Name Servers/Domain Name Service:
This is what converts an IP address into a domain name. These servers take the IP address that you’ve assigned to your web server and translate your domain name to the IP address to point a visitor to the correct web server.

See Domain Name Servers.

This is the unique name that a website is identified by, and is associated with an IP address.

An abbreviation for electronic commerce, it’s the process of buying and selling online from websites. These products can be either digital or physical products, delivered either electronically or via shipping.

Small, customized icons that are displayed in most browsers next to the web address bar.

Fixed-width Layout:
This is a set width, set by the designer, that remains unchanged regardless of the browser window or monitor size, as well as screen resolution. This allows designers to control the appearance of a site across various platforms.

Fluid Layout:
Also known as a Liquid Layout, this percentage-based version will optimize the amount of content that can be viewed on-screen, regardless of browser size.

Font Family:
Used in CSS documents to define the typefaces, this group designation lists the various fonts to be used.

Font Style:
Determines whether a font is italic or not in CSS.

Font Weight:
A term used to describe how bold or light a font appears.

This describes the parts of a website that a site visitor is able to see or use, such as content, images, or pages.

Graphical User Interface (GUI):
This allows you to interact with a web application without the use of code. It uses an input device such as your mouse and provides visual representations of how a user can use a web application.

Growth-Driven Design:
This allows a website to make changes according to continuous learning, research, and site-based testing. This is vastly different from complete site redesigns and appears to be gaining steam according to both popularity and success due to its responsive advantages.

Hex code:
Programmer code is used to essentially talk with, or give computer instructions.

This is the primary language that is used to write web pages. It can be used to determine CSS styling and layout displays but is more frequently intended for providing a way to display content.

These are the rules that pertain to the transfer of hypertext requests between web servers and browsers.

Same as HTTP, except that it is encrypted on a secure connection.

The term describes the link from one web page to another, from the same site or a different one. Usually, it refers to images or text.

Computer-based text that includes hyperlinks (see above).

Iframe (Inline frame)
Used to display one or more web pages within another web page that is not a frameset page.

Landing Page:
The entry point for a visitor when they first enter a website.

A selected connection within a word or phrase, informational object, or picture, that references (and usually takes you) to another document or website.

Meta Data:
Contained within meta tags (see below), this refers to information contained in the header about the web page that a visitor is currently on.

Meta Tag:
An HTML tag that’s used to include metadata within the header of your web page.

The system enables site visitors to move around within a website.

This is the placement of an HTML element into another element.

Open Source:
This allows a computer program's source code to be available to the public.

Page View:
This term applies to an entire web page document request from the server of a visitor’s browser.

The permanent web address of a blog post. Allows readers the ability to link to, or bookmark posts that are no longer on primary or home pages.

Third-party code is used to broaden the capabilities and functionality of a website. The use of a plug-in can be done without redoing the core coding of a website.

Property (Internet Property):
Similar to an HTML tag, a property defines the way a style will appear on a web page.

Is a family of standard web feed formats to publish frequently updated information, such as blogs, news headlines, or audio/video.

Resolution (Display Resolution):
Denotes the number of displayed pixels on a screen.

An XML (see below) document is used instead of a DTD (document type definition) to describe other XML documents.

A part of the code on an HTML page that allows for more dynamics and better interactive capabilities.

Search Engine Optimization:
The process of improving a search engine’s unpaid (organic) results in order to rank higher (and be found easier and more often).

See Search Engine Optimization.

The technology of standard security for an encrypted link between a browser and web server

Markup characters around an element to denote its starting and ending point.

The file is used across a website to create a consistent design. This will often include structure and style information.

URL (Uniform Resource Locator):
The address of a website specifies where it can be found on the Internet.

The term is used to describe “ease of use” for viewing or navigating your site in its intended manner.

Usability Design:
Methods that improve the “ease of use” during the design process.

See Usability Design.

Web Design:
The design process related to the client side (front end) design of a website including markup. This generally includes web graphic design; interface design; authoring, including standardized code and proprietary software; user experience design; and search engine optimization.

XML (Extensible Markup Language):
An extensible language used for creating custom markup languages.

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