Web Design Acronyms Your Web Designer Wish You Knew


LOL, HTTP and JPEG. For many of us, it seems like the internet is speaking a whole new language. You’re not wrong or alone. These types of abbreviations and many web design acronyms can be very confusing especially for lay men. If you’re having a website set up, learning about these acronyms can help conversations and discussions flow more easily. If you are new to web design or e-commerce, here are some common web design acronyms.

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  • SEO

SEO is short for Search Engine Optimization. It is the process of getting traffic from organic sources. Search engines like Google and Bing show search results based on what users think is the most relevant search term. The goal for any website owner is to show up on the first page of the result pages to get noticed and attract more visitors.

  • CTA

Call-to-action or more popularly CTA is a vital philosophy for inbound marketing. It is best described as the action you want your reader to do; whether it is contacting you, leaving their email or purchasing a product. You can think of a CTA as the final push your guest needs to get them to act.

  • CTR

CTR or click-through-rate refers to the number of people who clicked on a specific ad compared to the number of people who saw it. This metric is usually used in pay-per-click (PPC) ads but can also be used within your website. For example, if you have a promotion or campaign running you will want to measure how many people actually clicked on the link versus how many ignored it. The number will tell you if your graphic or promotion was attractive enough to persuade readers to click.

  • KPI

Key Performance Indicators (KPI) are statistics that can tell you if your website is doing well. Companies and websites have different KPIs. Here are common examples.

  • Visits or sessions refer to the number of people who visited your site in a month including repeat visits during the same period.
  • Average time on site is the time spent by users on your website.
  • Bounce rate refers to single page visits to your website.
  • HTML

This is short for Hyper Text Markup Language, a.k.a. the building block of websites. It is a standardized system for tagging text files to determine color, graphics and other elements of a website.


  • CMS

CMS or Content Management Systems allows you to manage the content of your website behind the scenes. It allows you to answer comments, add keywords, edit content or change copy on a product. CMS are generally easy to use regardless of web development experience.

  • CSS

Cascading Style Sheets or CSS is used by developers to change the look and feel of your website. If HTML defines structure, CSS is responsible for design and layout.

  • GIF

GIF is short for Graphics Interchange Format and is familiar to many social media users. Most of us have seen short videos that go on a loop which are all good examples of GIF. It is created by multiple images in one file forming a short animated clip.

  • PNG

Portable Network Graphics or PNG are graphic images. If you’re familiar with JPG format, GIF offers a clearer and sharper image. Web developers prefer to use PNG for graphic design like your logo.

  • UX

User Experience or UX covers the end-user’s interaction with your company, website, service or product. Web designers nowadays want users to have a positive experience so that they will keep coming back to the site. Creating a positive UX might be common sense but it can be challenging for designers.

Did we miss any acronyms? What other abbreviations do you want to learn about? Let us know by leaving your comments.

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