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Building a new website, or redoing yours? Here’s the web design industry jargon you should know

benefits_of_building_with_PHPIf you’re considering updating your company’s website or starting a new one from scratch, you’ll likely want to be in on the conversations with your web development team as your site, and online identity takes shape. Unfortunately, developers aren’t always the easiest people to communicate with as they tend to casually throw out development lingo they might expect everyone to know. Here’s Absolute’s quick and easy cheat sheet for understanding basic web development vocabulary.

FTP

FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol, and in computing terms, its name signifies the standard for transferring files between a client and a server over the Internet. If you’re building a website, it’s fundamental tool, because it serves as access to a directory or a sub-directory of all your files. Let’s say you’re going to use WordPress as your CMS (explained in a minute) and develop a website over a web server; then you will likely use FTP to move your files over. FTP is one of the OG’s of the web development world and has been around since 1971.

CMS

CMS stands for Content Management system, and it is a computer application that supports creation and editing of digital content, typically, a website. Many have touted it as the most powerful web development tool since the invention of PHP (which we feature in another blog by one of our stellar senior developers!). CMS’s use a database to create, edit, and house HTML content in a way that can be managed by a user or group of users.

Content Management Systems are simple and easy to use, but when choosing one, always make sure that it will support the features and functionalities you need for your website. Some of the more popular CMS’ include WordPress (our pick), Joomla, and Drupal, but there are dozens of others. When selecting a CMS, consult not only with an IT professional, but a creative agency that also is versed and understands best practices for that particular CMS.

HTTP vs HTTPS:

HTTP stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol, and it is a protocol that is used to transfer information between a web browser, and a website you are using. If the website were to be intercepted, the person making the interception would be able to see the information you’re viewing on a website and sending on a website.

A site that has HTTPS is further secured by a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate.

SSL

SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer and is a separate security protocol that can be added to your website to increase security. It’s recommended to purchase these security certificates if your website requests sensitive information such as credit card information, or locations.

SMTP

Simple Mail Transfer Protocol is an Internet standard for e-mail transmission. Dating back to 1982, it is a function that opens communication between two mail servers.

CSS

CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets, which is a coding language that gives developers the ability to customize the appearance of web pages. Modifying CSS files can allow you to edit fonts, web page layout, colors, and more.

HTML

Hypertext Markup Language, aka HTML, is a coding language that describes the structure of a web page and can give web developers the ability to publish documents with headings, tables, lists, photos, hyperlink content, and multimedia content such as videos and clip clips. It can also be used to design forms that perform specific functions, such as make reservations, order, and purchase products online.

SSH

SSH stands for Secure Shell and is a protocol that provides a secure channel on an unsecured network. Its most popularly known application is for remote logins to computer systems or applications by users. The encryption that is used by SSH is intended to provide confidentiality of your data over an unsecured network like the Internet.

CDN

CDN stands for Content Delivery Network and is a system that stores a cached version of its content in multiple locations, to minimize the distance between you and your content. Why would this be beneficial? Because it increases the speed of the delivery of your content. Today, more than 50% of traffic is being served by CDNs, because every second matters when you are trying to convert a customer on your website.

Hosting

A web hosting service provider is a company or business that provides the technology for a website or webpage to be viewed on the Internet. It does this by storing your website’s information on a special computer called a server. On some occasions, if a site isn’t available or accessible online, it requires contacting the web hosting company to see if something is malfunctioning on the server.

If you have a partner that performs website maintenance services for your business (wink wink), they can handle these types of situations that could easily cost your business if undetected and untreated.

Domain Registrar

According to Wikipedia, a domain name registrar is “an organization or commercial entity that manages the reservation of internet domain names. A domain name registrar must be accredited by a generic top-level domain (gTLD) registry and/or a country code top-level domain (ccTLD) registry.”

There are many domain name registrars to choose from. Some of the more popular ones you may have heard are GoDaddy, Network Solutions, and Name.com.

Building a new website is an exciting time for your business. If you don’t understand all the language your developer uses, don’t be afraid to ask what those terms mean. Do you have any other web development jargon that we haven’t covered here? Contact us to learn more!

Alfred Goldberg

Co-founder and President of American Operations at Absolute Mobile Solutions. Alfred Goldberg has over 15 years of experience as a small business owner and is one of two individuals in Florida to hold the distinction of being a Mobile Marketing Association Certified Mobile Marketer.

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