Web Agency Glossary

Written by Finn Taylor on 26th November 2014

(Last updated 28th October 2020)

Whilst we all like to think we are a plain speaking, down to earth agency and we pride ourselves on not bamboozling clients with jargon, the reality is that there are still plenty of acronyms that fly around in every day conversation, which can be a bit bewildering to non-web folk.

So - here is a small, non definitive, short summary of terms and acronyms we find ourselves using:

AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript And XMLA ) are a group of web development techniques used for dynamically updating content within a page by requesting data from a database via JavaScript and updating it without having to reload the entire page.
CMS Content Management System, which is a web based tool that allows you to update the content in your website without requiring any technical knowledge.
CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) A simple styling language for applying visual design to HTML pages. A different CSS stylesheet can be applied to an HTML page, altering the look of the page without having to change the HTML page template.
CSS3 a new version of CSS which allows for new capabilities, but like HTML5 has compatibility issues with older browsers.
Git A version control system which enables changes to be tracked, traced and (if needed) reverted.
HTML (stands for HyperText Markup Language) markup language that structures your content in the page...this is how your pages are ‘semantically' structured, but this generally does not include visual styling.
HTML5 A more up-to-date version of HTML, which includes new capabilities, however this is not backwardly compatible with older web browsers.
HTTP A request made over the internet. A HTTP server accepts these requests and can do different operations based on the request
IA stands for Information Architecture which is simply a fancy name for a sitemap or to be more precise - a visual representation of a website's content organisational structure.
Java A popular programming language designed to be platform/operating system agnostic. (Note - Despite the name Java & javascript are unrelated.)
JavaScript (or JS) A programming language that generally runs inside the web browser, providing interactivity within a webpage allowing for a richer user experience. (Note - Despite the name Java & javascript are unrelated.)
jQuery A framework / library of JavaScript routines providing developers with 'pre-made' functionally, without having to write it from the ground up.
PHP is the server-side programming language we use to make a website function.
RAM Random Access Memory - this is hardware component of a computer which, stores the current "state" of something, but will not be remebered when your computer turns off
Responsive website a website that has been planned and coded so that its content and layout adapts to and is optimised for the viewer’s device screen size (mobile, tablet, desktop etc)
RWD Stands for Responsive Web Design (See Responsive website)
SaaS (Software AA Service) - includes any software that is generally provided online through a browser rather than as a ore typical  desktop app - examples include services like Gmail, Campaign Monitor, BaseCamp etc. (Not to be confused with SaSS - see below)
SaSS (Syntactically Awesome Style Sheets) Is an extension (Preprocessor) for CSS that provides a number of additional features that aren’t otherwise available in CSS 
SEO  Search Engine Optimisation is a process to improve how a website performs in search engine results
TYPO3 Is an open source Content Management System
UX stands for User EXperience..this is the core of what we do..it is all about creating an exquisite experience for visitors of websites

There are obviously many other terms and acronyms in our industry, but this is a start - let me know if there are any other options you want added and this can grow.

by Finn Taylor