Website Terms Glossary - Executive Snippets

A glossary of jargon terms used in the HTML and Web Development industry! In alphabetical order!

Content management system (CMS)

A centrally managed computing system that allows non-technical users to easily update text and images and modify their organization within a website.


Someone who uses a programming code or a software package to transform the content and visual design into a functional site.

Hyperlink / hotlink / link

A clickable item in a site, usually represented by words or images, that will take a user to information in another page or elsewhere in the same page.

Information architecture

The structure or organization of your website, particularly the way in which the different pages of the site relate to one another. It also includes the order in which information is displayed on each page, as well as the navigation scheme selected.

Key stakeholders

The people who set the tone and overall goals of a website and give required approvals at various stages of the site’s development.


Descriptive links or buttons that are grouped together to give a visual cue that your users can click on them to find their way to the information in your site.

Project scope

An outline of your site’s goals, parameters and resources. Developing the project scope includes several important activities, such as identifying key audiences, assessing existing and needed content, determining the essential and custom-built functional features and establishing the budget and timeline.

Screen Reader

A type of browser that speaks Web text aloud, often used by site visitors with vision impairments.

Site map

A visual representation of the content areas and their relationship to one another in your site.

Target audience(s)

The primary audience(s) for which a site is built.


Someone who visits your site for information or to complete a task.

User testing

Sessions in which actual users are observed navigating and assessing your site to determine whether or not they can find information easily and complete desired tasks. It also can be used to gauge the user’s overall experience and impression. These findings are often useful when making adjustments to the site’s organization, visual presence and/or functional features.

Validate / validation

Ensuring that the decisions you’ve made in your site’s organization, visual presence and/or functional features fulfill your users’ and key stakeholders’ goals. This is often accomplished with user-testing.

Visual designer 

A person who creates the visual presence of a site.

Visual presence

This is the look and feel of a site: the images, typefaces and colors used, the placement of visual elements (based upon a wireframe) and the style of the navigation.

Web accessibility

An accessible website provides equal or equivalent access to its content for everyone, including those with varying technical access, language skills and physical abilities. Accessibility can be considered a subset of Web usability.

Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 requires that people with disabilities — including people with visual, hearing or physical impairments and people with photosensitive epilepsy — are given access that is comparable to access available to others. In 1998, Congress amended the act to make electronic and information technology accessible to people with disabilities. 1

Web usability

This refers to the concept of creating sites that are intuitive and allow visitors to accomplish their goals quickly and efficiently. The site’s logic should be easy to learn and easy to remember. It should always be clear what the user should do next, and the site should behave as expected when the user interacts with it.2


A sketch or blueprint that closely represents how the content areas within the pages of your website will be organized.


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