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Web Design Glossary A-B

written by: Robin L.•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 12/27/2008

For those new to web design the terms used in the industry can be somewhat confusing. This portion of the series will help you become more familiar with some of the most common terms that begin with the letters A and B.

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    Above the fold Accessibility [ak-ses-si-bil-i-ty]

    This term refers to the content of a website that is immediately visible when the website loads. This content placed in this location should be

    Access service provider [ak-ses suhr-vis prO-vI-durh]

    An access service provider is the company which is providing internet access for any given individual or website. Methods of access can include cable modem, dial-up, and DSL.

    When used in regards to web design, accessibility refers to the usability of the website for people with disabilities. There are a number of disabilities that can make it more difficult for a person to access a website including; visual impairment, hearing impairment, and physical impairment.

    For more information on how to increase the accessibility of your website, visit the Disabilities and Web Design series by Summer Banks.

    Active X [ac-tiv X]

    Active X allows users to download interactive web programs. They are used primarily in Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and are similar to Java applets. Active X controls can be turned off in Internet Explorer or be set to ask for permission before running.

    AJAX [ay-jacks]

    In web design, AJAX is the acronym for Asynchronous Java Script and XML. This describes a group of related web development techniques that, when used together, can create interactive web applications.

    Alt text [ alt tekst]

    Alt text describes text provided in addition to an image as an alternative to viewing the image itself. This text can be viewed before the image loads, when a user hovers the mouse over the image, or instead of the image if the viewer has turned off his or her graphics. This is useful for visually impaired viewers, viewers with slower connections speeds, and the text helps search engines find the images placed on a website.

    Applet [app-leht]

    An applet is a small program written in Java that can be downloaded to provide a limited and interactive feature on a website.

    Authentication [aw-thin-ti-kay-shun]

    In regards to web design, authentication refers to the requirement of a username and password for a visitor to access a portion of a website.

    Autoresponder [aw-toh re-spawn-duhr]

    An autoresponder is a program that can automatically respond to email sent to a specific email address. These responses can be programmed to be any length and are useful for a number of responses including confirmations.

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    Bandwidth [band-width]

    Bandwidth describes the number of bits that can be transmitted between a server and client. The larger the files on a website the more bandwidth the site will require. Using large amounts of bandwidth can delay the load time of a website, causing visitors to limit the time they spend browsing. Large amounts of bandwidth can also increase the cost of website hosting limiting a website’s profitability.

    Below the fold

    This term is used to describe the content of a website that cannot be viewed unless the user scrolls down. Because many visitors do not take the time to scroll through a page when looking for information, it is advisable to put less pertinent information in this location.

    Blog [blahg]

    The term blog is short for web log. It describes a webpage featuring shot and frequently updated content.

    Bookmark [book-mahrk]

    When used in regards to web design, bookmark refers to the process of saving a website as a favorite for a specific user. This has traditionally been accomplished by saving the website to a favorites tab in a browser. With the recent development of bookmarking websites, however, users can share favorite websites. This is a useful way to gain traffic for websites.

    Bounce Rate

    This terms describes how long visitors stay on a site and how often they view only a single page. This statistic is helpful in determining the effectiveness of a website’s navigational structure as well as the ability of the site to hold the user’s interest.

    Browse [brouwz]

    Term used to describe the movement of a person on the Internet using a browser.

    Browser [brou-zuhr]

    A browser is a computer program that is used to find and interpret HTML documents, or websites, on the Internet. Popular Internet browsers include Microsoft Internet Explorer, Netscape, and Firefox.

Web Design Glossary

A series of glossary terms to help those new to web design become more familiar with commonly used terms.
  1. Web Design Glossary A-B
  2. Web Design Glossary C
  3. Web Design Glossary D
  4. Web Design Glossary E
  5. Web Design Glossary F-G