Web Design Terms Every Marketer Should Know

If you have teens in your home, you no doubt understand what ROFL, 2F4U, and IDK mean just as well as you know FYI, FAQ and B2B.

But what about, Lossless, Visual Hierarchy, Widow, 404, and more? If these are Greek to you, have no fear. Take a look below for a short dictionary of the web design terms we feel every digital marketer should know.


The A-Z of Web Design

Alignment: When the visual elements of a web page are lined up so that the page is balanced, ordered and has a logical layout.

ALT Attribute: This is used to specify alternate text for images and is identified inside the IMG tag in HTML. The ALT attribute contains text that the image placeholder displays during page loading. Some browsers show the ALT attribute when a page visitor rolls his mouse over the image. The ALT attribute text plays a small role in SEO.

CMYK: This stands for primary pigments (not colors): cyan (aqua), magenta (pink), yellow, and key (black) and is something of an “upside down” version of RBG (red, blue, green). RBG often is used for computer screens while CMYK is used on your hard-copy brochures, ads, etc.

Compression: A compressed file has been made smaller, making it easier and faster to upload and download. JPEGs use compression, which makes them ideal for websites.

Content Management System: Also known as CMS, allows a user to edit a web site’s content within a browser-based interface. No HTML skills are needed. WordPress is an example of a CMS.

Cookies: These are messages delivered to the web browser you’re using to surf the Internet that identifies you, letting the site “know” if you’ve been to the site before or are a first-time visitor. Your computer stores the cookie and the web site retrieves it when you return. Cookies save bits of information such as user preferences.

CSS: Cascading Style Sheets are codes used by developers to designate how a web page will be presented to a page visitor/end user. It lays out the look and feel of your website, setting global styles for colors, fonts, menus, images, and more.

Domain: Your website’s name as a visitor would type it in to access it. For example, Ingenex’s domain is ingenexdigital.com.

Gradient: A gradual change of colors. For example, blue gradually changing to green. Linear and radial are common types of gradients.

Hex Code: This describes the composition of a color in a specific color “space” (most likely RGB). Speaking of RGB, the first value refers to red, the second to green and the third to blue, with decimals indicating value from 0 to 255 or hexadecimal 0 to FF. White, for example, is #FFFFFF or 255, while yellow is #FFFF00 because it is made of red and green.

HTML: Hypertext Markup Language is used to build web pages and to display images, video, text, and links. Often used with languages that allow a developer to add functionality (such as CSS, PHP and JavaScript).

Lossless Compression: This reduces the size of a file without losing quality and can be applied to  image and audio files. Lossless compression rewrites the original file’s data in a more efficient way. However, since quality isn’t lost, resulting files often are much larger than those that have undergone lossy compression.

Negative Space: Sometimes also referred to as white space, negative space is the area between copy, images and other graphic elements on a page. While it’s often referred to as white space, negative space can be any color.

Google’s home page is a great example of negative space.

Responsive Design: This refers to a website that adjusts its screen automatically depending on whether the page is being viewed on a desktop, smartphone or tablet.

Vector Image: GIFs, JPEGs and BMP images are comprised of pixel grids. Vector graphics, on the other hand, are made up of paths, with defined with start and end points. Vector images aren’t made up of thousands of dots (pixels) and so when scaled to a larger size, they don’t lose image quality.

Visual Hierarchy: An important principle when it comes to web design, visual hierarchy refers to those design elements you prioritize as more important than others. This allows you to make sure that important content or images look important. Visual hierarchy organizes and prioritizes the elements of your page.

Widows and Orphans:  Widows are short lines – sometimes just one word – at the end of a paragraph. They’re undesirable because their result is too much white space between one paragraph and another or at the page’s bottom. An orphan is a word, short phrase, etc. that appears by itself at the beginning of a paragraph or column.

Wireframe: This is a visual guide, also known as a website schematic, that shows a web page’s skeletal framework without design elements and depicts how the site’s content is arranged, including navigational systems and interface elements.

Error 404: You’ve no doubt come across the “Error 404” page several times over the years. It’s your browser’s way of telling you that an Internet address or web page can’t be found.


So long as you partner with a digital marketing agency such as Ingenex Digital Marketing, you’ll only need a grasp of the overall picture — your goals, opportunities and challenges.  We’ll partner with you to implement web design as a part of an effective marketing strategy.