Say What? Deciphering Website Design Acronyms

Here at Kiwi Creative, we tend to steer clear of most marketing buzzwords. (You won’t hear us wanting to “circle back about that touchpoint by EOD.”) However in our industry and within Cleveland's graphic design scene there are some acronyms that you just can’t avoid…and they can sound like a completely foreign language to non-developers.

Want to talk like an expert website developer? Here’s your non-official guide to common web design acronyms and their easy-to-understand (and very oversimplified) definitions.

  • CMS = content management system
    an online application (like WordPress) that lets users update their websites without having to know code
  • CSS = cascading style sheets
    a language/file that controls the styling of web pages (fonts, spacing, color, etc.)
  • DNS = domain name system/server/service
    the phone book of the internet — translates a domain name to an IP address
  • FTP = file transfer protocol
    a way to transfer files between computers on a network
  • HTML = hypertext markup language
    a programming language that web browsers read to display web pages
  • IE = Internet Explorer
    the world’s worst web browser that’s (thankfully) been discontinued
  • IP = internet protocol
    a series of numbers that represents your computer/network’s “address”
  • SEO = search engine optimization
    tweaking your website so it ranks higher in Google (and other search engines)
  • SVG = scalable vector graphics
    a vector image file for the web that can scale up in size without becoming pixelated
  • UI/UX = user interface/user experience
    how a user interacts with a website, app, etc.
  • URL = uniform/universal resource locator
    the unique address for every individual file on the web
  • WWW = world wide web
    a network of all public websites connected to the internet from around the world


Now that you can talk like a professional website designer, stay tuned for our next edition of “Say What?” where we’ll teach you how to talk like an award-winning graphic designer or marketer. Until then, we’ll CMYK you later.

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