June 6, 2019

Commonly Used Website Terms You Need to Know

No idea how to talk to web developers?

We’ve all been there. You’re chatting with a developer and they drop a term like “CMS”. You then attempt to cover your puzzlement all while making a mental note to Google the term later. Don’t fret, we’ve compiled this list of commonly used terms to give you a little boost of confidence before delving into a website project.


Content Map:

A content map outlines the planned pages and subpages for your website. The map might also include future pages that you don’t intend to build out right away, but are important to include for future development.

User Flow:

Similar to a Content Map but documents the pages of a site based on the flow/path a user might follow through the website to complete a task.


  • The user starts on the Home Page

  • From the homepage the user clicks onto a Service Page

  • From the service page, the user clicks to the Contact Page where they complete a lead generation form

  • After submitting the form, the user is directed to a Thank You Page


The blueprint of your website. Wireframes determine the layout of each page and the type of content on each page. In wireframes you would not see any colours or images and likely not even content. At this stage you can get a clear sense of how a user would navigate the website, and what will be available to them at each step of their journey.

Frontend Design:

The phase of development in which visual design is added to the website. This includes things like fonts, menu styles, buttons, images, etc.

QA (Quality Assurance):

The process of reviewing the website for bugs or browser compatibility problems to ensure it is running smoothly before launch (e.g. testing it on internet explorer vs chrome or in a desktop view vs on a mobile device).



While planning out a website, persons visiting/using your website are referred to as a user.

CTA (Call To Action):

The invitation to get a user to take the desired action; it can be a link, button, image, with a text description for what the user should do next.

Example of a Call To Action

Social Proof:

Evidence that other people have had a positive experience working with the company before. Can be shown through testimonials, logos of clients you worked for, Google reviews, case studies, etc.

Responsive Website:

The process of formatting the content on a website to provide an optimal viewing experience on any device. (e.g.mobile phone or tablet). When viewing a responsive website, the content will adjust to fit any screen size so all users get the same browsing experience.

UX (User Experience):

How efficiently the user can find the information they’re looking for on a website. Websites that are slow to load or hard to navigate can lead to a poor (frustrating) user experience.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization):

The practice of enhancing the website to improve your search ranking. If you ask “how do I get to be on the first page of Google” the answer is SEO.


CMS (Content Management System):

A CMS is a platform used to create and edit digital content on a website. It allows you to make simple edits to your website’s content without requiring edits to the website’s code.

API (Application Programming Interface):

A tool that allows your website to communicate (get information from) a third party application. For example, an API could be used to display information from the weather network’s website on your own.


A space where your browser or server stores certain parts of a website so that it doesn’t have to reload them for returning users. After making changes to a website, developers may ask you to “clear your cache.” This clears the storage space, so the next time you load the webpage, everything will be downloaded anew and you will see any recent updates.


Domain Name:

The name of your website e.g. google.com


Your website address. It is slightly different than the domain name as it includes http://www (http://www.google.com)

URLs and domain names


The storage space on a server where your website lives. Website hosting is required for all websites but is usually managed separately from your website development project. Sounds Interesting? Check out our website hosting blog!

DNS (Domain Name System):

Every domain has an associated DNS, which manages a list of rules (records) for your domain. Each record is an instruction for your domain and could include things like, how to direct your email or how to direct traffic with they enter your domain into the search bar.

Google Analytics:

A free tracking tool that provides useful information about how users are navigating through your website. With Google Analytics installed on your website, you can track the number of visits, mobile users vs desktop users, time spent on a page, etc.


We will definitely guide you through the process, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to have some developer’s lingo under your belt. No need to be a web expert; we’ve got it covered, but this way, you can feel ready to delve into more detailed conversations with your developer. Reaction uses all these things to build some pretty awesome websites that will connect you with your clients.