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August 5, 2019

Commonly Used Web Terms: A Glossary for Speaking Web

Author: Valerie Baker

When talking about your company’s website, your web company might bring up some terms your not familiar with! Even if you know a little bit about web design and development, you might not know all the ins and outs depending on your industry. We’ve compiled some of the commonly used web terms you might run into during the web design and development process, and given their definitions to help you understand.

Responsive Web Design

Responsive web design is a web design that fits every device, as big as desktops to as small a cell phone. According to Stone Temple, a study made back in 2018, 58% of site visits we made from mobile devices. There are a lot of benefits to having a responsive design, one of which is having a wider audience. It also increases visibility on search engines, since back in 2015, Google updated its algorithm to make sure websites are mobile friendly; making your site higher on the search compared to one that is not mobile friendly.

ADA Compliance

Back in 2010, the Department of Justice created the Americans with Disabilities Act standards for accessible designs. These standards state that all technology must be accessible to people with disabilities. For example, the site must be navigable without a mouse, and images must be all have an alt tag and named correctly for text-to-speech.


Cache is the software component that stores data so that future requests for that data and be served faster. For example, the very first time you go on a site, the browser will download the logo into the cache and then display it as part of the page. Every time you visit another page and it is using the same logo, it doesn’t need to download that image again. It’s important to empty out the cache every time there is an update to a site.


The pagespeed is how fast your website is on both mobile and desktop. Ideally, a website should load within 2 to 5 seconds. However, anything beyond 2 seconds will result in a higher percentage of people leaving your site. According to dotcom-tools, if the page takes longer than 3 seconds to load there is a 90% bounce rate. The best tool that we use to check the speed is Google’s PageSpeed Insights. Make sure to pay attention to both your mobile and desktop speed. Just because your desktop speed is a high number, does not mean that your mobile speed will have the same results. PageSpeed Insights also suggests what needs to be done in order to get your numbers higher.


This refers to the process of removing unnecessary code or data without messing with how the resource is processed by browsers. You should always minify your HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. The point of minifying your data is to make it so that it would take less time for the computer to read the code, resulting in a faster time to upload the page.


HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure is a standard for securing the communication between two systems, the browser and the web server. Communication between the two systems is encrypted by the SSL. You could have a site that is not secure (HTTP) since it does cost extra to get an SSL, however, Google is now made this a standard, all sites that are not HTTPS will be marked as ‘not secure’. This makes it harder for your site to even be on the first page of google searches.


Secure Sockets Layer is the standard security technology for making an encrypted link with a server and a browser­. This link makes sure that all data that is passed between the two systems will stay private. Making it hard for hackers to steal any information off of these secured sites.

Valerie Baker

Valerie is the Senior Account Manager & Project Manager here at Atilus.

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