Accessible/accessibility: Allows people with disabilities to perceive, understand, navigate, and interact with online content. Accessibility encompasses all disabilities that affect access to the internet, including visual, auditory, physical, speech, cognitive, and neurological disabilities.
Alt text/Alternative text attribute: Specifies alternative text for any image that cannot be displayed.
Anchor tag: Consisting of a reference point and a reference, anchor tags allow users to jump from a specific location on the page to another specific location (e.g., from the bottom of the page to the top).
Attribute: One of three HTML components you can define, attributes modify specific characteristics of HTML elements (e.g., size 12 is an attribute of a paragraph element).
All definitions are given in terms of their use in Free and Easy Website Design for Museums and Historic Sites, and as such, additional uses and details may be omitted or simplified. Unless otherwise noted, they are compiled and adapted from www.w3schools.com, www.techopedia.com, and the Apple Inc. native Dictionary program.
Blank target attribute: When linking to an outside resource or page, a blank target attribute will open the page in a new window or tab rather than in the current window or tab.
Blog: Short for weblog. Regularly updated internet content written in an informal or conversational style, typically one run by an individual or small group.
Body tag: This tag defines the main element of an HTML document (a web page).
Browser: A program with a graphical user interface for navigating the internet.
Captcha: A program in the form of an image or audio transcription used to distinguish between human and machine visitors. Used to thwart spam and automated extraction of data from websites.
Closing tag: See Tag.
Cloud: When something is stored or run “on the Cloud” its computing takes place on the internet rather than on your computer. Many common services and software, such as Dropbox, Netflix, and Google Drive, run on the Cloud.
Color scheme: An arrangement or combination of colors on your website.
Color chord/color harmony: Two or more colors that work together to produce an pleasing aesthetic effect.
Compatibility mode: A setting in Microsoft Word so that documents it is used to create can be opened in earlier versions of Word, as well on different operating systems.
Cookies: A small bit of data that a website sends and stores in the visitor’s web browser for the duration of the visit and for return visits. Cookies help websites present custom pages for return visitors, such as when you log in to an email account once and, when you return later, you have your username already filled in.
Crowdsource: To obtain information by enlisting the help of a large number of people via the internet.
CSS (Cascading Style Sheet): A markup language used in conjunction with a programming language like HTML or XML to describe the look and format of a web page.
Dial-up: Remote access to the internet via a telephone line.
Digital curation: Much like in-house curation, its digital counterpart involves selecting, preserving, maintaining, collecting, and often archiving of digital assets. This term also describes the presentation of exhibitions that are hosted purely online. Omeka is commonly used to create digital exhibits.
Domain: The name of a website; the URL used to access a website.
Download: Copying data from the internet to a computer.
DPI (Dots Per Inch): A measure of color dot density on a printed medium. Also see PPI.
eCommerce: Commercial transactions conducted on the internet instead of at a physical location.
Element: (1) A building component in a WYSIWYG editor or (2) An individual component of a webpage.
Embed: Place an external application or other external content on a webpage.
Entity: One of three HTML components you can define. These are special or reserved characters, such as the dollar sign, the ampersand, and arrows.
Ethernet: Allows a computer to connect to a wired network rather than connecting via Wi-Fi.
Facebook: The largest social networking platform in the world, which allows users to connect to people, causes, businesses, events, and more.
Flash: Enables viewing of multimedia on the internet
Font: Not to be confused with typeface, this is a set of type of one particular face and size.
Font tag: Used to impose specific attributes on a text (e.g., paragraph) HTML element. A font tag can define the color, typeface, and size of specified text.
Footer: The bottom section of a website, typically containing contact information and commonly used links
Freemium: A pricing system in which the main or basic product is available for free, but premium versions or upgrades are sold to a smaller part of the user base.
FTP client: A software that transfers files to and from a remote computer using a specific protocol called Fire Transfer Protocol.
Functionality testing: A process used to ensure that a website displays properly and conforms with access requirements.
Google AdSense: A Google program that allows websites to host targeted third-party advertisements.
Hardware: Machines and other physical components of a computer system.
Header: The top section of a website that is the same across all pages. It typically includes the organization’s logo and navigation.
Hexadecimal color: A color in HTML and CSS that is defined using a hex triplet, a six-digit, three-byte number. The three bytes represent the amount of red, green, and blue in the color. See also RGB.
Homepage: A website’s introductory page.
Host(ing): A company that provides server space for another organization’s website data
Href attribute: An href attribute specifies the URL destination for a link.
HTML (Hypertext Markup Language): A standardized system for creating files that result in webpages with specific fonts, colors, graphics, and hyperlinks.
Hyperlink: See Link/Hyperlink.
Hypertext: Text that contains a link to other text online. Often used in place of term “HyperMedia,” which is a text link to videos, graphics, or sound.
Ideal visitor: The concept of an unnamed visitor with specific attributes (e.g., male, 25, using an iPhone) used to direct the construction of a website or business. The developer takes those specific attributes into account when designing the flow, content, and look of a website.
Image tag: Used to impose specific attributes on an image HTML element. An image tag can define the dimensions of an image.
Intradocument hyperlink: A link that takes the user to another location in the same HTML document (i.e., another location on the same web page). An anchor.
iOS: The operating system of Apple’s mobile device.
JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group): A standard for image files that defines how an image file is compressed. It is a “lossy” file format, so JPEG images may deteriorate over time with excessive editing and re-saving.
Keyword: A particular word or phrase that describes the content of a page or website. It is part of a site’s metadata that is used by search engines to match search queries with relevant sites.
Link/Hyperlink: A link from an image or text, activated by clicking, to bring the visitor to new content.
LinkedIn: A social networking platform used for professional purposes to associate with businesses, colleagues, schools, and professional groups.
Linux: An open-source operating system.
Menu/submenu: The list of site pages and links one can navigate to. The submenu includes subpages to top-menu items or may be a secondary menu on a discrete set of pages.
Multimedia: Non-text elements on a website, including slideshows, videos, Flash animation, audio, and more. Often involves a level of interactivity.
Nested tags: Several pairs of tags that are closed in the same order they were opened in. Important for restricting attributes to the correct content.
Nonbreaking space: An HTML entity used to create additional space within a line of text.
Omeka: An open-source online platform for publishing library, museum, and archival materials, especially in collections and exhibitions.
Online presence: Having a website and or social networking profile that is regularly updated.
Page title: More than just the name of the page, the page title is a piece of metadata that search engines read to return relevant search results.
PDF (Portable Document Format): A file format that can act as an unalterable image file.
Pinterest: A personalized media platform wherein users curate groups of links and images (“pins”) on various subject-based “pinboards.”
Pixel/pixelated: One point of illumination on a display screen. A pixelated image is one whose dimensions have been increased without a corresponding increase in the number of pixels, the result of which is that the viewer can see individual pixels and the image looks distorted.
PNG (Portable Network Graphics): A standard for image files that defines how an image file is compressed. PNG is a mostly lossless file form, though there is some compression when saved. This file form maintains transparency.
PPI (Pixels Per Inch): A measure of resolution on a screen. Also see DPI.
Primary color: One of the three colors from which all other colors can be created (red, yellow, and blue).
Publish/post: As opposed to just saving, publishing or posting a page or blog article makes it visible to the public.
Reference point: Used in intradocument hyperlinking to indicate where an anchor tag will take the user.
Reserved characters: See Entity.
Resolution: The degree of detail visible in an image.
RGB (Red, Green, Blue): A color model that uses additive light to reproduce a variety of colors through electronic media. It is device-dependent, meaning that different devices may reproduce the color values differently. Colors are defined using three numbers, one for each of the color values (e.g., white is 255, 255, 255 or #FFFFFF).
RSS/RSS Feed (Rich Site Summary or Really Simple Syndication): A standardization system used in the distribution of online content, especially from news sites and blogs. A feed is a ticker of such content pulled from other sites or pages.
Safari: Apple’s native web browser.
Sans serif (font): A typeface that does not have serifs—slight projections off a stroke of a letter.
Screenshot: An image that captures the display of a computer screen.
Search engine: A program that used keywords to search for items in a database, especially for finding sites online.
Secondary color: A color resulting from the mixing of two primary colors.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization): The process of improving the ranking of a website on search engine results.
Serif (font): A typeface that has serifs—slight projections off a stroke of a letter.
Server: A computer that manages access to a centralized resource or service in a network.
Singular tag: See Tag.
Site description: A description of an entire website. It is a piece of metadata that is used by search engines to match search queries with relevant sites.
Site stats: Data about the number and frequency of visits your website receives. May also include demographic and behavioral data about your site visitors.
Sitemap: A list of a website’s pages, typically in hierarchical order, that is accessible to search engine crawlers and sometimes visitors.
Smartphone: A cellphone that performs like a computer so that users can access the internet and other services available online.
Social icons: Small buttons, usually in the upper right-hand corner or at the bottom of a web page, that link directly to an institution’s social media profiles on Facebook, Twitter, and the like.
Source attribute: Used to specify a media resource for media elements (e.g., to direct an image element to the correct image stored elsewhere on the web).
Style (font): An attribute, such as bold, italic, or underlining, applied to text.
Style guide: A set of standards used in the writing of website pages to ensure consistency in voice and grammar across the site.
Tag: singular, pair, opening, closing, nested
Tag pair: See Tag.
Tertiary color: A color made by mixing either a primary and secondary or two secondary colors.
Theme or template: A preset layout and design for a website or webpage. The individual generic components can be changed out for the user’s own material.
Thumbnail: A smaller version of an image that usually has a lower resolution so it takes up a minimal amount of storage space.
TIFF (Tagged Image File Format): A standard for image files that defines how an image file is compressed. TIFF is a lossless file form. This file form maintains transparency.
Title: See Page title.
Top-level page: A web page that is a top menu item that usually acts as a landing page for a group of related subpages that have more detail.
Twitter: A social networking platform wherein users can send short 140-character messages (“tweets”).
Typeface: A particular design of type. Not to be confused with font, which is a specific size and stylization of a given typeface.
Upload: To add a file to another system, especially via the internet.
URL (Uniform Resource Locator): The address of a specific web page.
Vimeo: A video-sharing website on which users can upload, share, and view videos.
Visibility (search engines): A setting in WYSIWYG editors that allows your site to be searchable by search engines, such as Google and Bing. You can submit your site to these search engines to optimize your visibility.
W-Element: See Element.
Webmaster: A single person who gathers, edits, and puts a website’s content online.
Web reader: Also known as a screen reader, a web reader is important in making the internet accessible to visually impaired persons. The reader conveys website content to the user, often through text-to-speech technology.
Web-safe color: A mostly defunct concept that defines a set of 216 colors that were supposed to be consistently readable by every computer. With higher-bit displays on almost every personal device, web-safe colors are no longer necessary.
Wi-Fi: Allows computers, smartphones and other devices to access the internet wirelessly within a particular range.
Windows: A very common operating system for computers.
Wintel: Personal computers with an Intel processor that runs the Windows operating system.
WYSIWYG (What You See is What You Get) editor/platform: An online website-building program that hosts and builds websites. Allows users to see the content onscreen as it will be displayed to website visitors rather than only showing users the website code.
XML: A computer-to-computer language that defines the content of a webpage but not its display.
YouTube: A video-sharing website on which users can upload, share, and view videos.