Online & Website Term Glossary

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The Glossary is an educational tool to help people understand the different aspects of website development and internet marketing. 

A way of determining which of two designs performs better based on user response. This technique can be applied to webpages, email campaigns, and more. 


This term refers to everything the user sees upon viewing a website in their browser prior to scrolling further down the page. 


This refers to how easily users can access web page content. For example, if someone is hearing impaired and the web page requires sound to understand the meaning then that page is considered not accessible. The term is also used frequently with mobile websites e.g. a mobile website is more accessible than a non-mobile optimized site.

Ad copy, short for advertisement copy, pertains to text on the internet written for paid advertisements typically on PPC or Social Media campaigns.

In regards to PPC ad copy takes the form of the meta description. For Social Media, it pertains to the copy that is written for the post on the social account.

This refers to the Americans with Disabilities Act. Section 508 of this act covers electronic communications, specifically that web pages need to be understandable to people who are hearing, visually or otherwise impaired. For example, images on a web page need to have a text description (Alt Tag) so that a screen reader can translate the text audibly so a visually impaired person can understand what the image is of.

What it is: A web content management system geared toward large corporations. CQ5 creates, optimizes and analyzes site content and user experiences.

Type: Fee based licensed software

Cost: $120,000

Additional Cost Info: Depends on deployment size, but starts at $50,000.

Features: Being an enterprise CMS, Adobe CQ5 helps large companies manage massive amounts of information, workflow, media, and websites.

Pros: Inexpensive organizational training costs, strong control over representation of brand.

Cons: Expensive, not for small businesses.

This is a PPC management site for Google. Here you set up campaigns, ad copy, and bid on keywords that you'd like to run ads on. 

You only pay when someone clicks on your ad. Best practice is to develop dedicated landing pages for these campaigns.

The strategy by which an organization partners with an affiliate (a separate organization or individual) to promote their product or service in the marketplace. In return, the affiliate receives payment or a product discount for acquiring new customers through their online marketing channel(s). 

This refers to a type of project management process. Projects that use the Agile process utilize an iterative and incremental process for the design and development of a website or web application. See also Waterfall which refers to a more standard, less time-consuming Project Management process.

This is the formula that search engines use in order to determine what your website does, the type of products/services that are available and what type of search queries that your website should be ranking for. Search Engines keep these secret from competition so that they are not able to copy them and from marketers so that they cannot beat the system/algorithm. 

These algorithms are constantly updated and some large updates, for example by Google, are even named: Penguin, Panda, and Hummingbird to name a few.

This is the first release of the site for the client to review. The site is not yet live but has been tested internally by BI. It is typically staged on a development server.

A description of an image in a website's HTML. Search engines read the Alt text of an image because they can not "read" the image itself. Alt text is now a part of search engine optimization (SEO).

Any application of analysis, especially with the purpose of optimizing a user's experience online.

The text within which a hyperlink is embedded that is visible to the user. 

For example, in the string, "BI is a Boston-based web design firm," the anchor text is "Boston-based web design." 

Apache Solr is an open source enterprise search platform written in Java from the Lucene project. Solr is a popular search platform for Web sites because it can search within PDFs and Word docs, as well as display recommendations for related content based on the search query's taxonomy. Other features include faceted search, real-time indexing and database integration. We have used Solr on multiple projects such as the Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive and Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnership.


The means by which you can retrieve information from third parties and integrate it with the website or application you're building.

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