Graphic Design Dictionary | Web Basics

This month I’m starting a new series to help explain some of the common terms that I use everyday as a graphic designer, but that may not be as commonly known to others. I’ve found myself answering questions about these more than a few times, so I thought it might be helpful to start defining some of these terms that I commonly use when talking with clients. This time I’m starting with a few basic terms that anyone with a website or who is planning to have a website should know.


Domain: A website’s domain is the name or web address of your website. My domain is and that’s where users can find me on the Internet. If your website was a house, the domain would be the physical address you give so people can find you.

Hosting: Along with a domain, your website also needs to be hosted somewhere. Hosting is usually purchased separately from a domain and is the space where all the information for your website is stored. If the domain is your house address, hosting is the actually house where your family and all your things actually live.

Front End: This is all of your website that visitors see, which is why we work so hard to make sure it looks great and functions well. All pages that are visible to your users are included in the front end of your website. 


Back End: The backend of your website is the part that normal visitors do not see. This is where you make all the changes to your website and how the account and site structure is set up. This may also include your Content Management System, which is a fancy term for a system that has been set up to make using the backend of your website easier.

Search Engine Optimization or SEO: This term is thrown around a lot, but I find that many of my clients don’t actually know what it means. SEO is all the things that you can do on your website to make it easier for search engines, like Google, to find your website. This includes things like using optimal keywords, adding names and alt tags to images, content creation, and so much more.

Have you heard these terms when talking about your website? Are there other terms that you haven’t been able to figure out? Leave any requests in the comments and I'll address them next time!