Glossary of Web Terms

Components of a Webpage

Originally referring to the upper half of the front page of a newspaper, "Above the Fold" refers to the portion of a webpage that is visible without scrolling.

Carousels show a collection of items one at a time. They are also known as “slideshows” and “sliders.” Typical uses of carousels include scrolling news headlines, featured articles on home pages, and image galleries

Content blocks are the components of web pages. Each page is made up of one or more content blocks, which may contain text, images, video, or other forms of content.

A hero image is a large banner image, prominently placed on a web page, generally in the front and center.

Website Basics

A browser is a software program used for accessing information on the web. Common browsers include Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, and Microsoft Edge.

 A content management system is the assortment of computer software that is used to manage the creation and modification of digital content (including web content).

“Parent” and “child” are terms used to describe the relationship of web pages within a hierarchy. A "child" page is a page that falls hierarchically underneath the main "parent" page.

A server is a computer that manages access to a centralized resource or service in a network. When you request the resource or service (like a web page), the server “serves” it to you.

URL stands for Universal Resource Locator. Generally referred to as a ‘web address,’ a URL indicates the location of a web page or other resources such as images.

A webpage is a single document on the Internet with a unique URL (https://www.example.com/page-name).

 

A website is a collection of webpages, typically around a topic or theme, that share a domain name (https://www.example.com).

Website Accessibility and Usability

A responsive website is built to automatically adjust for different screen sizes and devices. It “responds” to the size of the screen.

Web Accessibility means that websites are designed to allow people with disabilities to perceive, navigate, understand, and interact with the information presented on the site. Mason websites are required to meet certain accessibility standards as detailed on the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Accessibility Standards webpage. 

A virtual host is a subdomain under the domain gmu.edu that directs users to a particular website (i.e. ulife.gmu.edu or wellbeing.gmu.edu).

 

These links can also redirect users to a page within a site. They are often shorter and easier to remember than a longer URL.

A shortlink is a shortened URL or link, which has significantly fewer characters than the original link. There are many URL shortener tools, like bitly.com.

 

Shortlinks are useful for social media, where there are particular character limits. They also sometimes have additional traffic tracking features.