Explaining the jargon – a quick glossary of website related terms

Posted on by Alex

dictionary

We have a huge range of clients spanning all business sectors. Some are very computer and web-savvy, such as software companies and IT practitioners, and some are small, local businesses who might have very little experience of computers or the internet because they have never had the need to.

However we have always prided ourselves in speaking in layman’s terms and explaining things in logical and less-technical ways. Here, in no particular order, we explain a few of the most commonly used terms that we use in the industry day-to-day.

Most common browsers

Browser

Sometimes called a “web browser”, this is the program that you open on your computer to access the internet with and view website pages. There are many different ones but the most common is Internet Explorer which comes as standard on Windows computers. Generally we recommend using Firefox or Chrome as these are considered the best and most secure. But most of all, keep your browser up-to-date with the latest version. Contact us if you need help with this.

Operating System

This is a piece of software that comes pre-installed on your computer and is used to run all the other programs and software on your computer. The most common are: Microsoft Windows, and Apple Mac OS X.

CMS (Content Management System)

This is the system that some websites have which allows you to update your own website without having to have any knowledge of how to build a website. When you login you can edit the text and images on your website and add things such as news articles or events.

Back-end

This term means the part of a website which you don’t see. IE: the CMS or other login area which is used to update the website.

Front-end

The Front-end of a website is just the normal website as seen by a visitor viewing it in a browser.

Example of an ecommerce website

Ecommerce

An ecommerce website is essentially an online shop. It’s a website that lists products with images, information and prices for each one. Visitors can then purchase these products through the website, paying with a credit or debit card. The ecommerce website owner then dispatches the products which are delivered by Royal Mail or other courier.

Cache

When you view a website, parts of the website are saved in a certain area of your computer. This area is called a Cache and it allows you to view a website quicker if you’ve viewed it previously. Sometimes if a website gets updated and you view it for a 2nd time, you may see the old version of the website because it’s loading from the cache. However you can clear the cache to view the new version, contact us if you need help with this.

Beta

This term refers to a website or computer program which is not ready to “go live” or is not the final version. It is a development or test version that is still being worked on.

Search Engine

Google is the most commonly used Search Engine. Essentially you type in words or phrases and the Search Engine will find websites that relate to them. It will also order the websites with what it thinks is the most relevant one at the top in descending order.

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)

Nowadays there is a lot of emphasis on getting a website to appear at the top of search engine rankings to attract the most visitors. Websites can be modified to do well in search engine rankings and this is called SEO. There is a large and growing SEO industry and we have our own in-house team of SEO Specialists.

Blog

The word Blog is short-hand for “Web Log” and is like a personal diary. It doesn’t have to be personal though, many businesses and organisations use them for marketing. A Blog consists of a list of posts about different subjects with images and videos complementing the content. In fact you’re looking at one right now!

ISP (Internet Service Provider)

An ISP is the company that supplies an internet connection (via a phone line or cable) into a home or business. Common examples are BT, Virgin and TalkTalk. Usually you pay them a monthly fee to provide you with an internet connection, and they may have packages which include TV and home phone use.

Credit: JonSeb

Server

A sever is a much simplified version of a computer and it’s role is to store information. This information can be a website, computer files or any type of data. When you view a website, you are accessing a server somewhere in the world which “hosts” that website.

Hosting

This is the service that you need in order to have a website. You pay a fee (usually monthly) to have your website “hosted” on a server somewhere in the world and allow people to visit it using their computers. The hosting company will maintain the server and solve any issues it may have whilst it is running.

Domain/URL

This is the address that is used to identify a website. You type this address into your browser and it allows the browser to find the website you are looking for. There are many types such as: example.com, example.co.uk, example.org, example.tv

Google Analytics

Analytics

Analytics is a system that tracks the number of visitors to a website. You can view detailed statistics about how many visitors a website has over time, where they have come from and what keywords they have used to find you in search engines.

Link

A link is a word or image on a website that can be clicked to view another part of the website, or a completely different website altogether. Links are essential for people to “navigate” around or between websites.

Social Media

This is a collective term for websites like Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin where users can interact with each other and display information about themselves and their daily lives. More and more companies are realising the potential that Social Media has in terms of online marketing.

Twitter page

Tweet

This is a message posted on the social network Twitter. It can be a general message for everyone to read, or can be directed at a particular user on Twitter. It can only be up to 140 characters and can contain links to websites or images.

Online Marketing

This essentially means any type of advertising done online. A website is only one part of this. SEO and PPC make up a large part and help drive visitors to a website which then hopefully turn into sales. It also takes into account brand recognition and reputation management.

PPC (Pay-Per-Click)

PPC is a type of paid-for advertising on Google or other search engines. Essentially you bid for certain keywords or phrases, and when people search for them, your website link will appear in the “sponsored listing” areas of the search engine website page. Each time someone clicks on one of these links to your website, you will be charged a small amount. This amount depends on the competitiveness of the keyword/phrase.

 

About

Alex is part of the Digital Marketing team, specialising in improving user experiences and increasing conversion rates across our client's websites and applications. He spends a lot of time looking at analytics data making sure we increase ROI, whilst also keeping up-to-date with new commercial tools, techniques and trends.

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