hosted by: John Dockins
hosted by: John Dockins

Website Jargon Explained

Weekly tips, strategy, and advice for building & leveraging your website to maximize your business.


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Show Notes

Welcome to episode 13 of Websites Made Simple podcast where we are covering Website Jargon and Lingo.

In this episode of Websites Made Simple Podcast I am covering website jargon. No this does not mean I’m going all technical on you today. Quite the opposite really.

Today I want to provide help by demystifying website terminology that is frequently used because knowing and understanding the basics will be invaluable when building your own website. I promise this is not a technical discussion.

So let’s get after it.

You'll Learn


Basic Elements


The top part of your website that doesn’t change as you venture to different pages. The header usually displays your navigation bar and may incorporate items such as your logo/name, social media icons, your phone number, and a search bar.

Sticky Header (also called a fixed header) is a website navigation bar that’s locked into place so that it doesn’t disappear when the user scrolls down the page. It is useful for its accessibility from anywhere on your website without having to scroll back up to the top of the page.

Main Navigation / Menu

Navigation refers to the system that allows visitors to a website to move around that site. Navigation is most often thought of in terms of menus, but links within pages, breadcrumbs, related links, pagination, and any other links that allow a visitor to move from one page to another are included in navigation.

Dropdown Menu

A drop-down menu is a navigational menu that has sub-menus or categories below it. When hovered or clicked on, the sub-menus “drop down” and are then visible to the user.

Hamburger Menu

A “toggle” navigation menu that is mainly used for mobile versions of website navigation, as it compresses the navigation and opens/toggles when clicked. It is called a “hamburger” because it is usually displayed with three horizontal lines that look like a hamburger. These menus evolved from the need to save valuable space on a mobile screen.

Content Area / Body

The main area of each page on a website


A repeating section on the side of certain or all web pages within a website. Sidebars display information that may need or be desired to be accessed from all or certain pages on a site, such as a mailing list sign up form, special navigation, or a list of recent blog posts. With the advent of Responsive Design, sidebars are used less frequently, since more people are accessing websites on mobile devices, which push the sidebar content to the bottom of the page since the mobile screen width does not accommodate two columns.


The footer is the bottom part of your website that doesn’t change as you click on different pages. A number of items can be displayed here, such as contact information, a social media feed, or a subscription form.

WordPress Terms


A plug-in is a bit of a third party code that extends the capabilities of a website. It’s most often used in conjunction with a CMS or blogging platform. Plug-ins are a way to extend the functionality of a website without having to redo the core coding of the site.


A collection of files that work together to produce the look/style and some functionality of a website. A Theme modifies the way the site is displayed, without modifying the underlying software.


Widgets are various repeatable components that can be added to a site without having to write the code or enter it on multiple pages.

Back-end / Dashboard

The back-end of a website is the part hidden from the view of a website visitor. To log in to view the back-end, you need a username and password. Most WordPress website back-end Dashboards can be accessed by typing the URL plus “/wp-admin” (e.g.,


The front-end is the opposite of the back-end. It’s all the components of a website that a visitor to the site can see (pages, images, content, etc.) Specifically, it’s the interface that visitors use to access the site’s content. It’s also sometimes referred to as the User Interface.

Website Layout and Page Terms

Call to Action (CTA)

A clear place on your website for users to take an action step. Links to other pages on your website, contact forms, and buttons are common CTAs. 

Hero Image

A hero image (or hero spot) is the first image visitors see on your page.


Opting-in means that someone has specifically requested to receive emails about a particular topic or from a particular entity.

Site Map

A document that shows a hierarchical view of a website’s pages and content.  A site map can also be a web page that offers links to all the pages within a website.


Schema markup is code that you put on your website to help the search engines return more informative results for users. Schema tells the search engines what your data means, not just what it says.


Favicons are 16×16 pixel customizable icons displayed in the web address bar next to the web address. They’re either 8-bit or 24-bit in color depth and are saved in either .ico, .gif, or .png file formats.


Breadcrumbs are navigation elements that appear near the top of a given web page that show you the pages and subpages that appear before the page you’re on. For example, on a blog, the breadcrumbs might look something like: Home > Category > Year > Month > Post. 

404 Page Not Found

A page a user sees when they try to reach a non-existent page on your website. Usually, this is due to someone reaching a page that has been deleted or they have mistyped the URL. 

301 Redirect

A permanent redirect from one URL to another, usually from your old website to the new website. 301 redirects are also used to redirect traffic from old Web pages to the new pages that have taken their place. 

Web Design Terms


This is the ability of a website to be used by people with disabilities, including visually impaired visitors using screen readers and hearing impaired visitors using no sound.  

Above/Below the Fold

The fold is a term carried over from newspaper design. The fold on a website is the point on the webpage that rests at the bottom of the browser. So to see below the fold a user will need to scroll down.


Usability refers to how easy it is for a visitor to your site to use your site in its intended manner. 

Technical Terms


The text used to describe the web page at the top of the browser window.


The alternate text used to describe an image. Used by search engines and screen readers in place of an image.


Stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol. HTTP is a set of rules for transferring hypertext requests between a web browser and a web server.


Similar to HTTP, HTTPS stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol over SSL (Secure Socket Layer) or, alternately, HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure. Like HTTP, it’s a set of rules for transferring hypertext requests between browsers and servers, but this time it’s done over a secure, encrypted connection.


Backlinks are links from other sites back to your own. Having many backlinks from high-ranking sites can greatly improve your search engine results.

Bounce Rate

A website’s bounce rate is the percentage of people who leave the site from the same page they entered the site, without clicking through to any other pages. 

Organic Search

Organic search results are based on the content on a website. A search engine evaluates this content to determine which websites are relevant to a search term. 

SERP (search engine results page)

The page(s) that a search engine shows in response to a user’s search term. The order in which the resulting websites are listed is called rankings. 


Stands for Really Simple Syndication. RSS is a standardized format that allows content to be syndicated from one site to another. It’s most commonly used on blogs and for podcasts.


Short for permanent link. A permalink is a link that is the permanent web address of a given post. Since most websites have constantly-changing content, the permalink offers a way for readers to bookmark to specific posts.


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I am a proud affiliate of some of these tools. That means if you click the links and then make a purchase of those products, I will earn a small commission. Affiliate links absolutely do not cost you anything additional. 

All of the affiliate links are clearly marked for your benefit. Please know that I recommend these products and chose to be an affiliate because I truly  believe in them, use them, and know they work.

About the Show

Created for the non-techie entrepreneur, John Dockins reveals all of his website and online business strategies, income sources and killer marketing tips so that you can be ahead of the pack with your website and online business. 

Self proclaimed “coffee addict”, you’ll learn how to build authority online using content management systems like WordPress, email marketing, search engine optimization, content marketing, and much more so that you can create something amazing without burning yourself out. 

about john dockins


John Dockins

Websites Made Simple Podcast

John is a family man who also owns his own web design agency and has won several design awards for his work.

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