Anatomy of a Website (Terms in Website Design)

by | Apr 25, 2014

We know that sometimes we use terms when referring to websites that not everyone knows. We try to keep jargon out of our communication, but sometimes, we just don’t know where to draw the line. So, today, we’re going to meet you half way and show you the anatomy of a website (or terms we use to describe different areas of a website) so that we, at Transformation Marketing, can better communicate with you!

1. Main Navigation
Many times we just refer to this as your “Site Nav”, but it’s the “main menu” so to speak. This gets you to where you need to go throughout the site and it’s typically found horizontally across the top of your site or vertically down the side. Either way, every site has a Main Navigation. (And if yours doesn’t, call us! We need to fix that!)

2. Slider
Although not every site has a slider, many do and most of our sites do, so we wanted to be sure to put that in with the terms we are going over today. A slider is simply the (usually large) image area that changes every 3-5 seconds. Sometimes there is text with this, sometimes not and there are many different ways this can function and look. However, the concept is still there.

3. Header Area
This area is similar to letterhead. It typically stays consistent, no matter what is on the rest of the page. It should contain your logo, your site nav (if your site nav is horizontal) and typically a header image of some sort, whether it’s a slider or a stationary design.

4. Side Bar Area
Many companies use side bars for additional important information they want their clients to see. This area can be located on the left hand side or right hand side of the page, can have content areas, buttons, or sometimes even the main navigation.

5. Main Content Area
This is where the meat and potatoes of what you want to say to your client goes. You can add images here or simply just say what you need to say. This is the piece we tell all of our clients that they can change up until the point they decide to get a new website. With the content management systems (CMS) we use, changing this area is made easy for anyone who can edit a word document!


6. Content Area (Widget)
We typically don’t call these areas widgets, because we know that’s a term that many people don’t know. Typically we just call them a content area or box. They are not found on all sites, but are useful on home pages if you have a lot you want the client to see right off the bat.

7. Footer Area
There are many different things you can put in your footer area. Many people keep it simple and put their copyright info and footer nav there, but there are also many who put their contact info, important links, disclaimers and other important info there. You can find this area at the bottom of the web page and it is typically found on every site. (Again, if you don’t have one on your site, call us. We need to talk!)

8. Footer Navigation
Your footer navigation (or footer nav) is used for a couple of different reasons: 1. to get your users to the next page they want to visit if they’ve scrolled to the bottom of your site instead of having to scroll back up to the top again and 2. To reiterate all those very important terms on your website for SEO purposes.

9. Home Page
Your “Home Page” is the first page that people see when they go to your site. Sometimes the layout is a little different than the rest of the pages, sometimes it’s the same. But either way, it is the most important page on your site. You want your most vital information here along with a sleek look to make the viewer feel welcome and comfortable doing business with you. (We always say, “Have you ever bought something from a poorly designed website? We sure haven’t!”

10. Sub Pages
This is any page on your site that is not the home page. The look of these pages will be based off the look of the home page and most of the time all of these pages will be the same, sometimes the layout between each one with very slightly. The thing that will change the most between these pages is the content area. Each page should have a unique reason for existence, which should be displayed in the contact area.


So, there you have it! The anatomy of a website! Hopefully next time we throw out one of those words that we have said so much that we think everyone knows it, you’ll be right there on the receiving end, proud that you do know it! As always, if we do happen to use a term that doesn’t quite make sense to you, call us on it! Let us know that it’s not a common term and you need a better explanation of what we’re talking about and we’ll be happy to give that to you! (And we’ll make a mental note for the future as well!)

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