Web Industry Jargon Buster

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Our website industry Jargon Buster aims to address some terms that you’ll come across when working with a company within the web development industry.

 

For ease of navigation through this jargon buster, we’ve laid it out alphabetically…We also address specific jargon within the pages of our site where appropriate.

Accessibility

In the same way we must make buildings accessible for all, we must do the same for websites. Accessibility online relates to how easy the text is to read for someone who has a reduced ability to see, all the way to using specific tools that enable those with varying abilities to fully use your website.

Alt attribute/tag

The text that appears on a page when an image cannot be displayed. It functions to tell the user what would have been there when for whatever reason the image is unable to load. They can also be used to describe the image to blind people using screen reader software and can help with Search Engine Optimisation.

Back End

A Back End refers to the part of the website that is not on public display, sometimes called an “administration panel” – it’s an area where an authorised user can login to edit a website.

Backlinks

A backlink is quite simply a link to your website from another. It may be that you’ve been featured in the local press and they’ve included a link on their article, or a partner business has suggested that you both may benefit from linking to each other’s websites. This USED to be the main way to get a site higher in the search engine results but can still be useful for a variety of reasons.

Bandwidth

Each webpage is a certain file size, just as an image or document would be to save. Each time your webpage is viewed, it is actually downloaded onto the users computer and displayed on their browser. If you webpage had 1000 hits in a month, this would mean the full size of the webpage file would be downloaded 1000 times. This is what is called your bandwidth. It is the amount of data transferred from your server to a computer that views your webpage.

Bounce Rate

A “Bounce” is when a user has visited your website and left without clicking on anything else or viewing another page. Bounces can happen for a number of reasons but usually because the user was looking for something else and had stumbled upon your page. A low bounce rate is one of the indicators of a good marketing campaign.

Breadcrumb

This is a trail (usually places at the top of a website) that shows you where you are on that website, so the user never gets lost. For example you are on our website, in our blog, in the beginners guide category and at the very top of this page, below the menu, you can see the breadcrumb saysL
“Website City (UK) Limited > Blog > Beginners Guides > Jargon Buster – A Beginners Guide!”

Browser

A browser the piece of software that you use to browse the internet. This will usually be Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome or Safari although there are many excellent browsers available.

Cache

A Cache is a little bit of memory that is allocated somewhere, to save files in, so that they load quicker next time. Sometimes you will need to empty your cache if you’re having trouble seeing a latest version of a webpage and sometimes websites have a cache too, to increase the loading speeds of your site.

CAPTCHA (Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart)

This is simply the swirly text you have to input or image selection process you go through when you’re accessing certain sites, trying to log into emails etc.This confirms you’re a human not an automated system.

Client

The ‘client’ often refers to the web browser. You might ask a server for a web page, which the client/web browser will display. However there might also be JavaScript code in there which adds extra features, and it will be the client displaying this info rather than the server where the information is held.

Code (Source Code)

Web Developers use code to create a working website. The code tells the browser how to display the website. We use two different types of code: HTML and PHP mainly.

Cookies

These are small files which hold data on lots of things, for instance your browsing habits, username and password details to name a few.

CSS (Cascading Style Sheets)

When a website is written, there are several parts to it that hold different pieces of information. A style sheet is where we declare all of the styles, such as fonts, colours and generally how we want elements of your webpages to display. Keeping it on a separate style sheet means that we can keep your webpages consistent, as each page looks to the one style sheet to see how it should display.

CSS3

Allows you to add shadows to text, create rounded images and do a multitude of other things that would normally be created within Photoshop. If you have an older web browser, you’ll just see a simpler, less snazzy version of the website.

Data Centre

A purpose built building where the internet connection is always on that houses computers (Servers) that are required to be accessible through the internet 24/7.

DNS

These 3 letters stand for Domain Name Service and this what sends your domain name to the correct server location, so that when a user types your domain, they reach your website. We have our own DNS servers and look after this for you.

Domain

This is the name of your website and it always ends with a domain extension, such as .com, .net, .co.uk, and many other weird and wonderful extensions.

E-Commerce

Quite simply, a website that you can purchase from.

Favicon

A fav icon is the little icon that appears in the tab when you’re looking at a website. They’re extremely small, you can see ours is the first part of our logo – “Web” in a red circle.

Fold

Or more specifically “The Fold” – this refers to the line where the webpage reaches the bottom of the screen. It’s what you can see before you start scrolling down. Many experts agree that all your important information should be above the fold to ensure a user can see it straight away, even if you have to encourage them to scroll down later.

Font / Font-Family

A pretty basic one perhaps – it is simply the style that text is presented and we can set almost any font to suit the look of your website. A font family is a series of similar fonts, a technique that is sometimes used to ensure that no matter what browser is being used, the user has a similar experience (even if the user doesn’t have that font installed).

Front End

This is the part of the website that the user can see. It is usually referred to the front end when there is a “back end”, a login or content management system of some kind for editors.

HTML

This is the most basic type of code required to build a website. Every website in the world uses HTML to convert a file into a website that can be read by a browser.

HTML5

The latest version of HTML aims to support the latest multimedia content. Previously HTML4 had to be upgraded with lots of software patches and JavaScript to make things work smoothly on more demanding tasks, for example videos. However in some cases this ‘patching’ actually caused glitches and faults within a website… so the latest version HTML5 essentially combines HTML4 and JavaScript assisting the display of more complicated, dynamic and interactive websites, whilst reducing the chance of faults.

HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol)

This defines how messages are sent and received on the web. When you enter a website domain HTTP sends a command to collect the requested web page. HTTPS is a secure version of this data request, often used when confidential information is involved.

IP address (Internet Protocol address)

An individual number assigned to an internet ready devices such as a PC or smartphone, but also to any peripheral devices like printers. Its and online address that allows the device to receive information in the same way your postal address allows you to receive post.

JavaScript

This is a programming code that adds more interactivity and fun to a web page’s behaviour than HTML.

Jpeg

A compressed image, to allow quicker transfer of data.

Keywords

A Keyword is a word that you wish to be found for when people search for you. You can have many keywords on your website, but you should ensure your content focuses on a handful.

Landing Page

A standalone page that a user will land on after being attracted by a campaign. It is usually specific to a product or service and is a particular promotion within itself, encouraging an action from the user or signposting the user to a place that they can purchase.

Meta Tags

These are the original hidden tags within webpages that tell the search engines some basic information about the page, it’s title and a brief description. They are still relevant for basic information, including what text actually displays on your listing when you get found on a search engine.

Navigation

A term to describe the method that users will move around your website. A clean and clear navigation is essential as a lost user will simply log out of your site. Usually this is achieved with a simple menu in a consistent place on every page of a website.

Open Source

Many systems exist that allow website designers, for free, to use their code to achieve their aims when building a website of their own. Some Open Source systems such as WordPress and Magento, are secure, well maintained and save users tens of thousands of pounds each in comparison to a web development company attempting to write all those features from scratch for a client. Thanks to Open Source technology the cost for an average website that includes an ability for a user to login and manage has dropped from £40,000 to around £5,000.

Page View

This is one single view, by one single user. For example you are viewing this page now, that is on our statistics as 1 page view. One user may view 10 pages. One user may view one page 10 times.

Pixels

A pixel is a dot on a screen. Your screen is made up of thousands of pixels. A screen will usually display 72 pixels per inch, a high quality printed document will average 300 pixels per inch.

Resolution

This refers to the size of a screen in pixels. Your screen may well 1920 pixels wide by 800 pixels high, for example.

Responsive design

Uses CSS3 (see above) to respond on how to best display a websites on mobile, tablet or desktop computers. For instance you might want to increase the text size on your mobile.

RSS

You may have come across RSS feeds (Really Simple Syndication), it is quite simply a method that content authors use to share their content very quickly and simply.

Server

A server is a computer that is always connected to the internet. To ensure that the connection is always on, they are usually kept in datacentres. A user types in a domain name, which sends the user to the server that you website is kept on. If the server is off, or the connection is down, your website is not accessible.

SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics)

This is a file format, which unlike other images allows pictures to be zoomed into so that it scales the image accordingly. This stops the image from losing quality, using vectors instead of pixels.

UAT (User Acceptance Testing)

This is where you get a team of real people to test out a program or website in a bid to find any bugs or glitches before it goes live on the internet

URL

A URL is the full address to a particular website, page, document or image. The URL is what is displayed in the address bar above. For example this page has a URL of: http://www.websitecity.co.uk/introduction-beginners-guide/

Web Browser

This is basically the software program you use to access the web for example Firefox or Google Chrome.

XML

A slightly different way of transporting and storing data from HTML – think of HTML and XML as close relatives.


We Hope this Jargon Buster has helped… If there is anything that isn’t covered in this blog that you feel should be included, please Contact Us» at your convenience. We will be more than happy to supply you with the information you require and update our site accordingly.