Glossary of terms

If you feel a little daunted by some of the terms used when creating and managing your website we’ve created a quick reference guide for you.

Whether you’re a builder just looking to have some online presence so people can contact you or an artist trying to sell prints online we hope our glossary will help.

Caching

‘Clearing your cache’ sounds like what happens after a good night out but when it comes to your website it often confuses people, because most people don’t even know they have a ‘cache’. A cache is an area within your browser where it stores files from frequently visited websites, meaning next time you visit your favourite website it loads faster.

We often suggest people clear their cache when we make updates websites because if your browser has cached files it may take longer than usual to view the changes.

If you want to see how to clear or refresh your cache you can find out here.

CMS

As experts in WordPress we often talk to clients about how it’s the best open source CMS out there. CMS just stands for Content Management System. Essentially it’s just a tool to manage your websites content, so for example if you run a WordPress website and go to /wp-admin/ you are managing your content with a CMS.

CDN

You’ve probably seen this one floating around if you’ve looked at speeding your site up, a CDN is a content delivery network.

A content delivery network is a system of servers that are spread across the world. They then display your website to the user accessing them based on there location, allowing the page to load faster.

It’s basically a very advanced cache.

Domain / Domain Name

A domain name is how your website is identified, without one it’d just be a collection of files. Basically the website url is the domain / domain name. They can be purchased with letters, numbers and hyphens in with various extensions.

Have a look at what’s available with our preferred hosts TSO.

DNS

DNS stands for Domain Name Service. What this does is point your domain name to a server where your website files are hosted. It’s very similar to a phone book, allowing a domain or domain name to be pointed towards an IP (Internet Protocol).

E-commerce

As one of the pioneers of WordPress e-commerce, we’re very familiar with this one. E-commerce stands for electronic commerce, it’s the process behind every shop buying and selling products or services.

It’s probably one of the most popular types of websites people set up, just look at websites like Big Cartel, Shopify and Music Glue. Whilst these e-commerce solutions are great, if you want a complete website that also includes a shop WordPress e-commerce is what you want (link to e-commerce post once it’s live?)

IP

A term you’ve probably heard of, but you probably have no idea what it means. IP is short for Internet Protocol, which is the internet’s version of an address.

If you Google, what’s my IP, you’ll see you even you have one. But for websites we point domains to them, that’s how a domain can show files on a server. You point the name at the server.

Optimisation

Optimisation comes in many different forms and can be done in several different ways.

What it means in web is making something more efficient. This can be making sure your images are small as possible, enabling caching or having code written cleanly – all in an effort to make the web page load faster because the elements that make up your website are being as efficient as they can be.

SEO

SEO is short for Search Engine Optimisation, which is the act of making your website rank better on search engines. It can be done in a variety of ways including keyword aggregation, link building, content modification and code optimisation.

It’s become a whole sector within the web industry with companies specialising in getting you to the top, it’s also one of the most profitable forms of marketing available to online businesses.

SSL

Probably a term you’ve seen us throw around in blog posts a lot in the past 6 months, SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. It’s used to keep communications between browsers and servers secure. You know if a website has one because the URL will start with https and will usually have a green padlock next to it.

You should not run an e-commerce website without having one, it’ll make sure all customer information is kept safe.

Though all sites now benefit from them as Google now highlight sites as insecure if they don’t have one.

404

You’ll receive a 404 message if you go to a page that doesn’t exist or previously existed but the page is now taken down. So all it means is the page you’re trying to view cannot be found.

Whilst this can be seen as a negative thing, last year we spoke about how you can create opportunities from your 404 pages.

They can even be interactive, why not have a look at ours?

Hopefully with this glossary, you can understand some of the commonly used terms by people within the web industry. But of course, if you are stuck why not drop us an email so we can help?

This will more than likely be a post that’s updated so why not drop in and see if its changed in a few weeks?

Written by Luke Reid Webbie

Luke is an aspiring Front-End Developer who also enjoys WordPress theming. Luke is eager to expand his knowledge & take in as much code as possible.

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