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Web Development Terms

 

Apache

n. A public-domain open source web server. The first version of Apache was developed in 1995 by 20 volunteer programmers (called the Apache Group) and is based on the NCSA httpd web server.


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API - Application Program Interface

n. A set of routines, protocols, and tools for building software applications. Overall, a good API makes it easier for a programmer to develop a program by providing all of the necessary building blocks (think of them as shortcuts). API’s come in libraries that contain routines, data structures, object cases, and other variables.


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AWS – Amazon Web Services

n. A hosting server for websites through Amazon.com. The server is advertised to provide a large computing capacity faster and cheaper than building a server farm from the ground up. AWS was officially launched in 2006 and was intended to offer functionality that other developers could use in their applications.


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Back-End

adj. The term for an application, processor, or program that is not directly accessed by the user. The back-end is where the data is stored that is then provided to the application or program upon request but not necessarily seen by the user.


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BC – Basecamp

n. A web-based project-management tool that was originally launched in 2004. Basecamp offers everything from to-do lists, file-sharing, and  milestone management to time-tracking and e-mail integration. It is also compatible with a host of other mobile and web apps.


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Blog

n. A regularly updated website or webpage where people creatively write about nearly anything (passions, hobbies, lifestyle, etc.) Blogs are typically written informally and run by one individual but some focus on art, videos (video blogs or “vlogs”), photography, music, and audio (podcasts) and are contributed to by many individuals.


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Boilerplate (code)

The sections of code that have to be included in many places with little or no alteration. For more information see “Boilerplate (text).”


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Bootstrap

v. One of the most popular front-end frameworks used to make websites responsive to different devices. The program contains a set of common components that developers use to speed up the process of building a website by using plugins and code made to interact with each other. Historically bootstrapping also refers to an early technique for computer programming development or the development of new hardware.


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Cache

n. Actually pronounced “cash.” Used for storing recently used information so it can be accessed at a later date. Computers have different types of “caching” in order to run more efficiently such as browser cache, memory cache, disk cache, and processor cache. Most caching is also done in the background so you don’t have to manually control it. However in some cases, such as browser cache, you can clear or set parameters for the cache to run.  


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CDN – Content Distribution Network

n. A large system of servers in multiple data centers. The goal of a CDN is to serve content to end users with high availability and high performance. CDN’s are a large part of internet content today including web objects, downloadable objects, live stream media, and social networking. This is sometimes also referred to as a “content delivery network.”


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Centershift

n. A cloud-based data management system designed specifically for self storage businesses. Centershift’s goals are to help self storage businesses reduce costs by making them more efficient. The system integrates seamlessly with websites, call centers, mobile devices, and centralized mailing systems to provide a better user experience.


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CMS – Content Management System

n. A computer application that allows publishing, editing, and modifying content as well as general maintenance. Some content management systems also provide workflow in certain work environments while helping run websites containing blogs, news, shopping, etc.


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Codero

n. A hosting platform that specializes in, “On-Demand Hybrid Clouds” that can seamlessly connect cloud resources together. It is built to enable private connections through a hosted infrastructure.


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CSS

n. A style sheet language used for describing the look and format of a document written in a markup language. This language can also be applied to any kind of XML document. CSS is typically used to create visually engaging websites and web applications and houses a centralized copy of the design elements to be applied to web pages within the site.


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DNS – Domain Name System

n. The naming system for computers or servers. It assigns different networks with differentiating domain names and is used primarily by users as a directory to look up different networks. In other terms, DNS is used as a phone book for the internet by using easy host names to represent IP addresses.


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Domain

n. A group of computers and devices on a network that are administered together with common rules and procedures. A domain is a place to group devices to easily manage them, such as user accounts and shared folders.


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Doorswap

n. A 100% cloud based self-storage software solution. Using the cloud is an easy solution, for data storage is accessible anywhere at anytime through the internet.


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Drupal

n. An open source software application that can be used by anyone who is looking to create and manage different types of websites. The application has a content management platform and development framework. Drupal can be used for many different thing such as blogs, personal websites, forums, and social networking sites.


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Dynamically generated page

A page with content that is generated and displayed based on unique factors, often varying by user. Those factors may include the user’s language, geography, searched product information, etc. SEO best practices dictate that dynamically generated content should be kept to a minimum, as some search engines have difficulty indexing such URLs. See also static page.


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EMD – Exact Match Domain

n. Domains that are literally what is being searched for. An EMD is a domain name that exactly matches a search engine query. EMDs are often recommended domain names because search engines give high importance to domain names that refer to a specific topic.


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Flash

n. A software used to create vector graphics and animation programs. Most commonly used on the web because of the way it can display graphics. However, due to the large files it creates, flash is becoming less commonly used on websites because it doesn’t load well on slow servers and mobile devices.


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Foo

n. The word “Foo” is usually used by programmers to refer to a variable. See also “widget.”


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Foundation

n. A mobile-first responsive framework that allows users to build their websites using a grid-based system. As an open-source product, developers are able to contribute to the improvement of the program.


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Framed sites/pages

A website or webpage that is divided into sections, each having its own vertical and/or horizontal scroll bars. SEO best practices dictate that frames should be avoided when possible. Learn more.


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Framework

n.  A reusable software environment used to develop software applications and product solutions. A framework contains the building blocks for a program, and is there to serve as an area to support applications and high-level coding.


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Front End

n. The front end of an application is what the user is seeing and interacting with (i.e. when you visit Google and see the main web page with visuals, this is the front-end.)


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FTP – File Transfer Protocol

n. A standard network protocol used to transfer large files from one host to another, using a network like the internet. An FTP can act as online storage and even provide direct access to your website.  It is built on a client server architecture and uses different data connections between the client and the server.


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Honeypot

n. A trap used to counteract attempts of unauthorized use of information systems. A honeypot consists of three parts; a computer, data, and a website that is a part of a network. This network is actually monitored and is used to reel in potential attackers. Two or more honeypots being used at one time is a called a “honeynet” and is usually used when monitoring larger and more diverse networks.


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Host

n. Any computer that has two-way access to other computers on the internet. A host usually has a specific host number that, added to the network number, makes a unique IP address. Generally a host provides services to other devices or programs.


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HREF

n. An HTML attribute that defines the document to which the link leads. This can be a web page, a location on the same server, or any kind of document stored on another server. You can also reference a document relative to the website’s root by using the file folder after the domain name. Appears as <x> in code.


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HTML – HyperText Markup Language

n. The standard markup language used to create web pages. It is written in HTML elements of tags and angle brackets. Web browsers can read HTML files and make them into visible and audible web pages. HTML dictates the structure of a website along with cues for how it is to be presented.


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HTTP – HyperText Transfer Protocol

n. The protocol used by the World Wide Web. HTTP shows how messages are formatted and transmitted and what actions servers and browsers need to take to respond to commands (i.e. when you enter a URL in your browser this sends HTTP a command to the server to find the web page.)


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iFrame – HTML inline frame element

n. An inline frame, or iFrame, is used to embed one HTML document within another, or even a website within a website, through the use of tags. An iFrame can also act as the target for other links.


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Java

n.  A popular programming language that allows application developers to write one script and run it on every Java-supported platform.


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JavaScript

Programs that run on a user’s server rather than a web server; therefore, search engines cannot run JavaScripts. Most common uses of JavaScript include drop-down menus and expandable content.


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Joomla

n. An open-source, user-friendly, free Content Management System (CMS)  that helps to easily publish content to the web. Joomla can assist you with different projects such as blogs, polls, and overall searches.


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Open Source

adj. A way of implementing the use of a certain program or tool (usually a form of code) to the public for anyone to use and manipulate to their needs. It allows everyone access to tools and code for free and is typically one of the best ways to get developers to widely use a specific code format.


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Perl – Practical Extraction and Report Language

n. Perl is a high-level programming language that is very dynamic. It is sometimes referred to as the “the Swiss Army Chainsaw” of scripting languages because of how powerful it is. It is used on everything from graphics and networks to finance programming.


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PHP – Hypertext Processor

n. A scripting language that is free (open source) and available for everyone’s use. PHP is used to interpret and perform operations on a web page before the page has been requested by a specific user.


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Ping

v. A way of locating specific users or items within a server. To ping is to send out a call that returns specific results, similar to sonar. Used to verify IP addresses of users online to ensure they are using the right address.


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Plug-in

n. Applications that can be downloaded and used on your web page to add capabilities not included in a template. They are considered easy to use since they are automatically recognized and can easily integrate into your page.


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Protocol

n. A set of standards that show how traffic and communications are handled by a computer or network.


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Radio Buttons

n. A set of predefined options in a graphical web-form. Usually these are present as small dots that get filled in once selected. At least one must be selected before the prompt can continue. Typically this format is used in online surveys for multiple choice questions.


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RSS

n. Commonly expanded as Really Simple Syndication. RSS is a web feed format that utilizes XML to syndicate frequently updated information such as blog posts, forum threads, and news headlines.


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Sandbox

n. An area within a website that is blocked off so software developers are able to test new code and make changes without affecting the rest of the site.


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Server

n. A computer or network of computers that serve as a central resource in a network of many other computers and users. Servers are there to fulfill requests for specific users and clients and connect them to even larger networks.


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SQL – Structured Query Language

n. An interactive programming language used for updating specific databases. SQL became a standard for the American National Standards Institute in 1986 and is the programming language most used today.


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SSI – Server Side Includes

n.Scripting commands within HTML pages that include dynamic content of one or more files into a web page. They are easily updated, and are useful for including a common piece of code throughout a site, like headers, footers, and navigation menus.


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Static Page

A webpage that does not use attributes of a dynamically generated page. It shows the exact same content from user to user and usually doesn’t need updating. Most 'about us' pages or bios are static pages. Generally, these are favored by search engines due to their consistent nature.


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Unicode

n. An industry standard for setting up binary codes in text. Unicode provides a unique number for every character. Incorporating unicode into different applications can help with cost savings.


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Unix

n. A popular multi-user operating system often used by programmers. Unix can be installed on any computer and is a cost-effective option, making it very popular at technical universities. It’s also open-source so it can be modified and changed to suit various needs.


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WHOIS

Protocol which is widely used for querying an official database in order to determine the owner of a domain name, an IP address, or an autonomous system number on the Internet.


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Widget

n. A simple software application that can be used in different software platforms. Widgets take up a space on a web page and are not used until an action occurs and information is needed to be displayed in their place.


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Wireframe

n. A visualization tool to show what a website will look like and what functions it will have before it is actually built. Wireframe creates an environment where developers can show how users will interact with a specific site.


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WP – WordPress

n. A free program that helps developers build aspects of a website including blogs or other web pages. Wordpress has different templates and design options to format and customize websites. Wordpress was first released in 2003 by its founders Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little and is known for being user friendly.


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XML

Acronym for Extensible Markup Language. XML is a scripting language used to define the properties of a document. Common uses of XML include RSS feeds and XML sitemaps.


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