This page contains definitions of specific technical words that you should be familiar with if you own or manage a website.
Because there are so many acronyms used for practically everything in IT lingo, it may occasionally be overwhelming to some – trying to figure out what means what.
It is quite common to feel confused at some point and ask –
“What do you mean by….?”
Website – A website is a place on the World Wide Web (Internet) that consists of a collection of online web pages that may be reached by typing in the domain name on the browser.
Web Pages – The pages of the website.
Address Bar – This is where you enter the URL of the website you intend to visit.
Browser (Web Browser) – A browser is a service that allows you to visit websites. Popular browsers include Google Chrome, Internet Explorer (IE), Firefox, and Mac’s own browser Safari. The browser you choose to view websites is entirely up to you.
Favicon – Short for “favorite icon”, it’s the icon that appears in your website’s browser tab.
URL – Stands for “Uniform Resource Locator”. A URL is nothing more than the address of a given unique resource on the Web. Each URL (web address) points to a unique resource. Such resources can be an HTML page, a CSS document, an image, etc.
HTML – “Hypertext Markup Language”- The programming language used to build a
PHP – “Hypertext Preprocessor” – A coding language used to develop dynamic web pages.
Server – The software that allows users to access your website — this is what houses the hosting.
Hosting – Ensures that your website’s content is accessible online. By purchasing a hosting plan, you rent physical storage space on a server to store all the website’s files/data.
Domain – The address for a website as entered into the browser (ours is techbear.com). If your server is the land your website is built on and the hosting is its house, the domain is its mailing address.
DNS – “Domain Name System.” It was developed to make it easier for people to visit servers (websites) by utilizing names rather than a string of numbers. By obtaining your server’s distinctive identification number, sometimes referred to as an IP Address, a browser may access data from it. The name given to this server (for instance techbear.com) is converted to the IP address that your browser accesses on the backend.
Firewall – It’s the system used to protect a secure network from an unsecure network.
CSS – “Cascading Style Sheet”. It’s a code that advises browsers on how to present a webpage to users. Fonts, colors, and other visual aspects are formatted using this programming.
Classes – These are identifiers in CSS that allow you to describe exactly what you want to style.
Cookies – Browsers receive cookies from Internet servers. Browsers send back data to each server they access as a method of tracking how (and how often) they access them.
CMS – Stands for “Content Management System”. The program that you use to create and maintain/manage your website’s content. We use WordPress (the no.1 CMS in the universe).
WYSIWYG – Short for ” What You See Is What You Get”. If you’ve ever highlighted text and selected “Bold” to make it bold on your website, you were using WYSIWYG. We don’t recommend it, but you may change information on your website without knowing HTML – just using this visual content editor (within the CMS).
CRM – Short for “Customer Relationship Management”. The software and techniques used to gather, examine, and preserve data from clients, prospects, contributors, donors, etc…
Front End – The part of the website or app that the user sees. When you visit a website, you see frontend – all the appealing images, layouts, animations, etc…
Backend Development – Think about backend development as the invisible – everything you don’t see happening on the site when you visit it ( like the talking of a server and a database).
Above the fold – This techy term is used to describe the website’s opening content or everything you see before you start scrolling. Often, this space is used to house the most important information (creating positive first impressions).
Below the fold – If above the fold refers to the content that appears before you scroll, then below the fold simply refers to the content that appears while you’re scrolling through the site.
Hero Header – It’s the heading section that takes up the majority of the screen above the fold when you visit a site. Static, animated, or video hero headers are all acceptable.
Body/Content Area – The primary area of any internet page.
Drop-Down Menu – It’s a navigational menu that contains categories or submenus behind it.
Hamburger Menu – It is a specific kind of menu that shrinks the navigation and expands or toggles upon click. It is called a “hamburger” because it often has three horizontal lines that resemble a hamburger. It was created in an effort to save space on mobile devices.
Screen Resolution – The pixel density of your screen is referred to as its resolution. A higher pixel density is required for larger displays/panels to show a sharp, clear image.
Smaller screens with higher pixel density will appear clearer than larger panels with lower density.
HP – Abbreviation used for “Homepage”.
Slider (a) – A carousel of images that rotates and highlights different content on a website’s homepage.
Slider (b) – Carousel of images usually featured on the homepage of a site that rotates, highlighting different photos, links, and content.
CTA – Stands for “Call to Action.” Every modern website has CTA buttons- these are buttons that promote certain conversions or goals, such as subscriptions, user memberships, newsletter signups, donations, etc.
Gravatar – It’s an image that follows you around from site to site and appears beside your name as it is linked to your email address (assisting in identifying your postings on blogs/forums).
Alt Text – This is the descriptive text you’ll see if an image doesn’t load or when you roll over an image on a webpage. Alt text is often used in search engine optimization (SEO) to help search engines grasp the picture and the context of the entire page. It’s also used to improve the overall user experience (supporting the visually impaired).
Cache – Storage. As cache temporarily stores particular components, sites load faster.
After an update we advise you to clear your browser’s cache.
Whitespace – It’s exactly what it sounds like: empty spaces or sections of screen on the site. Whitespace helps a lot with website design and user experience.
Crawl – It’s when search engines send crawls/spiders/robots to your website to gather information about pages that exist and do not exist in order to evaluate whether the content should be put out there on search engines or not. Often used in SEO.
Backlinks – A backlink is another website’s way of congratulating you. Gaining a backlink happens when a site includes a link to your website – often an article or an affiliate link. The more links you receive from other websites, the more authoritative your own website will be seen by search engines. Backlink strategies are frequently incorporated into SEO plans.
Hyperlink – Refers to a text link leading to another resource. The hyperlink may point to a webpage, image, email address, etc…
Meta Tag – It’s the information about web pages/sections on a site, such as how content should show in Google search results. Meta tags are crucial for SEO.
Bug – A bug is an issue or flaw in a website or program that prevents it from functioning properly.
404 Error – This means that a particular page is no longer on the server. Also, it could mean that the URL was entered incorrectly or that the page doesn’t exist anymore.
403 Forbidden Error – When this error occurs it could mean a lot of things – there is no index page, a WordPress plugin malfunction, incorrect IP address, new web page link or malware/virus infection.
HTTP 403 forbidden errors are frequently triggered by a client-side access misconfiguration.
Simply put – the server has decided that you are not permitted access to the resource you have requested.
301 Redirect – This is a permanent link/redirect from one URL to another. Typically from an old website onto a new website. 301 redirects are also used to redirect traffic from old web pages onto new pages that have taken their place and have replaced them.
508 Compliance – Also known as “Section 508”. It is a set of guidelines and requirements that must be fulfilled (provision of United States Workforce Rehabilitation Act) inorder for information to be accessible to people with disabilities. If you do not comply, they may lose out on important information.
HTTP/HTTPS – “Hypertext Transfer Protocol”. (HTTP) and HTTPS are two terms that are comparable to one another. HTTP = Connection Not Secure. The extra “s” in https indicates a secure connection. When you visit a website or click a link, data is sent from a server to your screen. This data travels in plain text online, leaving it open to intercept. For example – login information and passwords. This data is safeguarded while it transfers from one server to another when a website uses a secure (HTTPS) connection, making it more difficult for hackers to access your information.
SSL – “Secure Sockets Layer”. Often known as an SSL certificate, is a tiny file that is stored on a server that encrypts all data exchanged between the server and browser. SSL certificates are crucial for the security of websites that transmit and retain sensitive data like credit card numbers and personal information (eCommerce).
Cloud Computing – This term is used when people use the internet rather than their own computer’s hard drive to store, process, or exchange data from remote servers. You can accomplish this by subscribing to a service or by purchasing time-limited access to a server’s space.
Database – A database organizes information by storing it in several tables with multiple columns. It’ll allow you to store, access, and query the data stored in it. eCommerce sites use databases to store stock inventories and return that information back to the website.
API – Short for “Application Program Interface.” Simply put, APIs are just interfaces for using various programming tools or services. When programmers want computers to
interact/communicate with one another, they must first agree on how they will communicate – which computer will say what and in what sequence, when, and how. We refer to this arrangement/agreement as an API protocol. API’s are vital for the internet because they allow one software to communicate with another and share information.
UAT – “User Acceptance Testing”. Website designers and developers often use UAT to construct your website before launching. The UAT of your site, as the name implies, allows you to observe, test, and adjust your site before it is made public to the world.
Widget – A piece of computer programming that helps website designers and developers to add functionality to your website without having to reinvent the wheel every time.
Hover State – A hovering state is commonly used on website buttons that need user interaction (as they make elements bounce, expand, or even change color).
Tap To Call – A feature that allows people to call you straight from their phone by tapping a button/phone icon on the website. This saves users time as they don’t have to manually enter your phone number into their phone to get in touch.
Tooltips – The user is given access to extra information through tooltips on a site. When clicked, they offer further information or a definition of the word or phrase they were
placed next to.
Blog Posts – The term Blog is short for web-log. One of the main purposes of blog posts is to keep your site fresh with new content on a regular basis. Posts, unlike Pages, are published according to time and date; they are syndicated through RSS feeds – which provide readers with notifications about new posts. Because a website that has blog posts will usually have many more Posts than Pages, they can be categorized to help organize them on the website.
Because IT (“Information Technology”) is now so important to everyone — It is vital to understand fundamental IT lingo.
Your business will require some type of IT sooner or later, so study up on the wording techy ones like TechBear use – And be on point!