Here is a list of commonly used tech terms in web development with brief descriptions to help better understand web development terminology:

  1. API (Application Programming Interface) - an interface implemented by an application for other applications to communicate with and use its resources. For example: you use Google Maps API to implement a version of Google Maps on your website.

  2. Bandwidth - the amount of data that can be transmitted over a connection within a given time. In web hosting, the term bandwidth is often used to describe the amount of data to and from a website within a set period. For example: 500gb/month - if the total traffic exceeds the limit (500gb) for that particular month, the web hosting company may shut down public access to your website until the next month.

  3. Cache - data stored on your hard drive of recently used information for easy and fast access. For example: web browsers use cache to store pages, images, and URLs of recently visited websites - effectively reducing website load times. Now, instead of downloading pages and images each time you visit a website, your browser has access to a cache.

  4. CMS (Content Management System) - software that is used to manage content on a website. It allows you to easily write, edit, and publish content from a central interface.

  5. Cookies - data saved by your web browser that identifies you or your preferences. Cookies store your unique identification, like information saying you’re logged into your Facebook account.

  6. DNS (Domain Name Service) - websites are located by their IP address rather than domain names - which they are commonly remembered as. DNS helps to translate domain names to IP addresses when requesting a website.

  7. Domain Name - a unique name that identifies a website. Each website has a domain name that is used to access the website. For example:
    Note: Domain names actually translates to IP addresses by DNS when a website is requested.

  8. E-Commerce (Electronic Commerce) - a rapidly growing industry of business transactions conducted over the Internet with potential to incorporate other technologies such as mobile devices, social media platforms and automated data collection systems.

  9. Error 404 - an error message indicating the server cannot find what was requested by the user. For example: landing on a page that does not exist on a website.

  10. FTP (File Transfer Protocol) - a common method of transferring files from one computer to another over the Internet.

  11. HTTPS - HTTP layered with Transport Layer Security (TLS) or Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocols. With HTTPS any data that you send from your computer will be encrypted and will only be decrypted once it has safely arrived at your intended location. For more information take a look at our blog post on online browsing security.

  12. IP Address (commonly referred to as an IP) - is an address that identifies a computer on the Internet. IP addresses consist of four groups of numbers separated by three dots. For example:

  13. ISP (Internet Service Provider) - a company that provides access to the Internet and other Internet services.

  14. LAN (Local Area Network) - a computer network where a group of computers share a common connection.

  15. Paid Inclusion - paying a search engine a fee to include your website in their search results.

  16. Pay Per Click Advertising (also known as Cost Per Click) - advertisers pay websites for ad placement based on clicks. For example: Facebook Ads - advertisers pay Facebook based on how many clicks the ad receives.

  17. Phishing - attempting to steal one’s personal information through impersonating legitimate establishments. Commonly in the form of emails that are masked to look like they are from a trustworthy source - asking for username, passwords, or credit card information.

  18. Pixel (px) - Picture Element - the smallest unit of a point on a display device. Commonly used to measure the dimensions of a graphic image. For example: 800px by 600px.

  19. ROI (Return On Investment) - an analysis used to evaluate the effectiveness of an investment. Compares profit to initial investment.

  20. SEM - Search Engine Marketing - includes any type of marketing and advertising for best search engine visibility. This includes SEO, and paid methods like paid inclusion, and pay per click advertising.

  21. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) - the process of modifying and creating content on a website for best visibility on search engines. For more information take a look at our blog post on what is search engine optimization.

  22. UI (User Interface) - a means to control the interaction between user and computer with a textual/graphical/auditory interface.

  23. UX (User Experience or User Experience Design) - an element of design that includes and addresses all aspects of a user's interaction with a product or service.

  24. Wireframe - a web design tool used to show visual representation of proposed functions, structure, and content of a website.

  25. WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) - software that accurately displays content during editing as it would look as a final product. For example: Microsoft Word and Dreamweaver.

    If there are other tech terms you would like to see on our list, please let us know. We would love to help clarify any terms and add them to the list.

Back to Help Center