Website Abbreviations and Acronyms

Glossary | |

Following on from our Design Abbreviations Blog, we thought it would be helpful to go through some website abbreviations too.

HTML – HyperText Markup Language

HTML is the standard language for creating web pages, and is used to create the structure of websites and tell the browser how to display content. It is made up of a series of elements or tags, with each element needing a closing tag.

For example, to create paragraph text on your website, the HTML would look something like this:

<p>This is your paragraph text.</p>

CSS – Cascading Style Sheets

As we’ve discussed, HTML is used for creating the structure of website pages. CSS is then used to create the layout of the website pages, and design how the pages look on screen. CSS allows you to create attractive looking websites, and can also control the layout of multiple pages at once. For example, CSS is responsible for the space between elements, the colours of the website, and how your contact form looks.

SEO – Search Engine Optimisation

You’ll probably hear us talk about SEO regularly, and with good reason. SEO is the process of improving your website to increase its visibility when people search on search engines – such as Google. The better visibility your website has on search results pages, the more likely you are to reach your target audience and attract customers. Examples of SEO tactics include:

  • Adding Alt Tags to your images
  • Optimising Meta Descriptions and Page Titles
  • Adding headers to your content

CTA – Call to Action

A Call to Action is a marketing term for a design that prompts a user to take action or encourages them to do something, for example ‘sign up here’. CTAs are used on buttons and in links, and in website design they should be bold and attract the user’s attention. Having multiple CTAs on each of your website pages increases conversions.

CMS – Content Management System

A CMS is a software application that allows you to manage your website without having to code – allowing you to create, manage, modify, and publish content in a user-friendly interface. A CMS also allows you to add multiple users – encouraging collaboration and also ensuring that your website is secure. A common CMS used for websites is WordPress.

DNS – Domain Name System

When using the internet, we access information via domain names – also known as URLs. However, computers can only communicate using a series of numbers (IP Addresses). DNS is a system that translates domain names to IP addresses, to allow browsers to load the internet resources.


Communication between computers and web servers is done by sending HTTP – Hyper Text Transfer Protocol. This includes fetching resources such as HTML documents, to load web pages for you to view and browse.

IP Address 

An IP (Internet Protocol) Address is a unique address that identifies a device on the internet or a local network. This identifier allows information to be sent between devices, due to the internet needing a way to differentiate between different computers.


PHP is a scripting language used by website developers, and stands for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor. It is used to develop Static websites or Dynamic websites or Web applications.

SQL – Structured Query Language

SQL is a language used for communicating with, accessing and manipulating databases. Statements/keywords are used to perform tasks such as updating a database. It is used in the backend of websites for data storage and data processing.


A URL (Uniform Resource Locator) is the address given to a resource on the web – such as a website or image. It is used by browsers to retrieve information and published resources on the internet.

You can also learn more about website design and marketing by reading our Glossary blog posts – that delve into the alphabet of all key terms that you should know.

Headshot of Rebecca young new team member


Rebecca helps to keep the team organised and supports all of our clients with day to day activities and content. She also runs all of Ballyhoo's internal marketing.