Jargon Buster – Common web terminologies and their meaning

Confusing web terms explained.

So many things you read online are filled with jargon and acronyms that can be confusing. Even we get confused with new terms coming out all the time!

We’ve been guilty of throwing around these technical terms a few times. Hopefully this list will be able to clear up some of the confusion for you.

Bandwidth – A slightly vague term which can be applied to several areas such as internet speed and signal frequency among others. In terms of web hosting, bandwidth is known as the amount of data transferred to or from a website or server. For example if a web page is 1MB in size and you visit the page, your browser will download the page to display it to you. Your browser has effectively downloaded 1MB of data from the server which means 1MB of bandwidth has been used.

Caching – Caching in web terms is the temporary storage (caching) of web elements in order to save bandwidth, server load and speed up the loading of the page. For example, if you visit a website with caching enabled, your browser will download the elements needed (images, text etc) to display the page. The next time you visit the page it will load faster because your browser will load the “cached” (stored) elements rather than re-download them. This temporary storage (cache) can be on your computer, the database or the server.

Call to Action – A call to action in web marketing is an element such as a banner, button or image which is designed to get the visitor to take action. For example, a “Buy Now” button is a call to action because its purpose is to get you to click it to buy the item. More examples of call to actions are banner ads, images with text on them, newsletter sign up forms or other buttons.

Captcha – A captcha is one of those really annoying image things that get you to type the text in the image in order to proceed. You know, those things that say “please type the text in the image” and it’s like Chinese or something? That’s a captcha.

Content Delivery Network (CDN) – A CDN in terms of a website is a cool thing whereby elements of a site are located on several servers in locations all over the world so that when a user visits your site, it’s loaded using the server located closest to that user. For example, your website could be located on a server in London but a visitor could be located in the USA. If you have a CDN setup then when the visitor from the USA visits your site, it’s loaded using the CDN server located in the USA. This results in a much faster loading time and in some cases can keep your website online in the event your primary server goes offline.

Content Marketing – Content Marketing is a form of marketing which focuses on creating a sharing valuable content such as articles, guides, images and eBooks etc in order to spread the word about your business and get new customers. For example, I could publish a super helpful guide on managing your small business and share it with people in the hope that they also share the guide which in turn will get us more exposure to potential customers.

Content Upgrade – Content Upgrades are still relatively new but are quickly being adopted by many. The most common form of a content upgrade is to provide a bonus piece of content within an article in exchange for an email address or social media share. For example, a recipe article could provide a bonus video for people who provide their email address or share the article. This not only gets more exposure for the article but the visitor gets extra valuable content.

Domain Name – A domain name is the identifier and address of a website. Every website has one and it’s also the second part of an email address. For example, www.storsafeuk.com is a domain name.

Responsive (Mobile-Friendly) – Responsive or mobile friendly web design is when a site is designed to adapt itself automatically to different screen sizes from smartphones to tablets to desktop computers. A responsive website is one that looks good on all devices without needing to scroll or zoom to read the text.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) – SEM is a form of marketing which involves promoting a website in search engines such as Google. This is achieved by optimising SEO (see below) on your site or using paid advertising such as Google AdWords in order to get more exposure in search results.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) – There are two types of SEO; on-page and off-page. On-page SEO is the process of optimising your website in order to make it easier for people to find the site when using relevant search terms. For example, if you search for “pottery classes in slough” you should see results for websites that have been optimised for this term. It’s not just text that can be optimised, you can also perform SEO on images, page titles and descriptions. This is a big topic in itself which also involves the types of SEO in regards to on/off page as well as the techniques such as white, grey and black hat SEO. I won’t confuse you with all that for now.

Web Hosting – Web hosting is the place where your website is stored which makes it accessible from the internet. A web hosting provider can provide anything from just a basic block of space to a fully managed service. We provide web hosting for all of our clients to ensure their site is online and running smoothly.

Have you got any more you would like us to include? What terms have you heard lately that are new? Let us know in the comments.

Image credit – Wikipedia

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