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28 Web & Development Terms For Managing Web Scoping Sessions

Are you a manager that has found themselves lost in a really important, but crazy-technical, web or development scoping session? Are you apprehensive of an upcoming meeting?

We’ve all been in situations where we’re not quite sure what’s being said because someone’s thrown a curveball of a term, phrase or abbreviation. By the time you’ve potentially worked out a feasible meaning for the word, the conversation has moved on 20 paces and you’re out of tune with the group.  

I mean…nooooo, that’s never happened to us.

If you’re a middle manager, or even a CEO who simply doesn’t have the technical know-how that comes with understanding your upcoming technical scoping session or project briefing meeting, we hope this rundown of 28 terms helps you.

Of course, if you have any specific questions just give us a shout. Indeed, if you’re reading this post-meeting, and thinking back to that truly awkward and confusing meeting, think back and ask yourself, “Would anyone have minded if I had admitted I wasn’t sure what something meant?”

Probably not. Then again, we all have different knowledge levels and fields of expertise - there’s nothing wrong then asking your agency to ‘hold their horses’ and ‘rein it back’ whilst you gather your thoughts and double-check your understanding.

1. 301 Redirect

This is a permanent redirect from one URL to another and is usually used to redirect people landing on old website pages to a new webpage.

2. 404

The error page that a user sees when what they requested (or clicked upon) cannot be found, as URLs maybe have been updated, or the URL was time-restricted. This is the error page most people have stumbled upon and had a giggle at, because there are some really genius ones out there.

3. ALT Tag

ALT isn’t “alternative”, but music lovers are close with that answer - it actually stands for “alternative descriptive text” (trust us!). This is the piece of text that is added to an image in your CMS or in the “back end” of your web build. It plays a major role in your SEO ranking, helping the search engines to read what an image represents (they can’t see images, so this piece of text is what they will read).

4. Breakpoints

Typically speaking these are industry-set and tend to land in the categories of desktop, mobile and tablet. However they can be custom-set by developers to match your specific audience requirements.

They are the points at which your website will automatically adjust to accommodate the screen size your user is viewing, ensuring the best possible user experience.

5. Bounce Rate

This is the percentage at which a person leaves your site from the entrance page without interacting at all with the page. Basically speaking, ever clicked on a webpage and thought “Nope! Not what I’m looking for” and disappeared - you bounced - adding to the site’s bounce rate!

A high bounce rate is usually a sign that you’re not ranking for relevant terms or your marketing campaigns are misleading people about what they expect to find once landing on your site.

For example, are you a plumber based in Dorset? Don’t set Google Ads campaigns for customers in Newcastle (an exaggerated example, I admit!).

6. Cache

This is the temporary data storage that helps site speed by storing relevant information on your computer the very first time you visit a website. It allows your computer to not need to reload all of the website information again - some of it has been saved.

7. Cookies

“Mmm, cookies!”

We all have heard about the troubles and legalities of cookies, thanks to GDPR and cookie policies in recent years. But what do they do and why does it matter when building your new website/app?

Cookies are the name given to text files made up of data that is saved by your web browser onto your computer/mobile/tablet. It identifies you and can tell a great deal about you as a web user - from how often you visit a site, to what parts of the site you visit most, to even your wider browsing preferences, i.e. page layouts, colour schemes.

This data helps websites to personalise content for you when you return to a website.

Have you been dreaming of that new splashback for your kitchen? Visited the website three times to swoon over it? Fancy that! It’s prominently placed above the fold upon your return! Hey , they’re even offering 10% off!

8. Classes

No, you don’t need to go back to school to understand your developer! But classes are important. They are an identifier, of sorts, allowing developers to define different sections and elements of your website to help them style certain sections in a particular way in your CSS file… bear with us, explanation coming up…!

9. CMS

This is an abbreviation of Content Management System. It is a software application that allows you to create and manage digital content, without technical training. The most common CMS is WordPress, but there are many others out there including HubSpot, Drupal and Joopla.

10. CSS

This is an abbreviation of Cascading Style Sheets. It is the piece/s of code that tells your browser how to display your website and includes global styles (spans your whole website) for fonts and font sizes, colours, image appearance, menus and navigation etc.

11. Crawl

This is what a search engine does to gather information on your website about what pages exist and no longer exist, as well as what they include. It then updates its database with the latest information it has on your website and its content, dictating how you will be indexed and appear in search engines.

12. DNS

This is a tricky one and our developers will gladly explain it to you as we go, but for a basic outline, I’m giving it my best shot…

The DNS (Domain Name System) is basically an address book for the whole internet.

If you’re looking for Perfect Pizza, a nearby takeaway, you need to know its address to pick up your Pepperoni taste-fest. Once you know the address you can walk to Perfect Pizza and put in your order. Simple!

In the same way, if you’re looking for a website - you know you want Paperchase, but typing that into the address bar won’t work - you need their website address. So, to find someone online you need access to their “online address book entry” - https://www.paperchase.com/en_gb.

13. Favicon

My favourite web-related word! A favicon is the small icon that appears in your internet window/tab which visually identifies the website you’re on - usually a logo, or initial representing the company name.

What does it stand for? “Favourite icon”, of course!

14. Framework

This is a set of software tools that your developer will use to build your website.

15. FTP

This is short for ‘File Transfer Protocol’ and describes how files are uploaded to the internet, when talking about websites.

16. Hosting

This is the web server where the files for your website are stored.

A helpful analogy to remind you is if your DNS is the address book for your website, then your hosting provider is the house for your website.

17. HTML

Also known as ‘Hypertext Markup Language’, this is what is used to build your website pages and display content like content, images, video and links on the web.

Example of Coding

<h1>Headline</h1>

<p>This is a <em><strong>perfect</strong></em> example of HTML working at its finest. HTML allows you to <em>edit</em> the appearance of your website and is the language your developers "speak in" to actually <em>create</em> your site.</p>

<p>With a&nbsp;basic knowledge of <span style="color: #ff6600;">HTML</span> you can <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>edit</em></span> the following:</p>

<ul><li>Colours</li>

<li>Image Sizes</li>

<li>Font and Font Sizes</li>

<li>Header Tags</li>

<li>Insert Links</li></ul>

Example of Coding in Action

Headline

This is a perfect example of HTML working at its finest. HTML allows you to edit the appearance of your website and is the language your developers "speak in" to actually create your site.

With a basic knowledge of HTML you can edit the following:

  • Colours
  • Image Sizes
  • Font and Font Sizes
  • Header Tags
  • Insert Links

Or you could cheat with this handy online tool, if you’d like to make basic web edits.

18. HTTP and HTTPS

HTTPS is the secure version of HTTP (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol), this is the protocol over which data is sent between your browser and the website you’re connected to.

A secure version of this protocol means all of your communications between the browser and website are encrypted - crucial for protecting highly confidential online transactions, such as online shopping and banking activity.

As Google continually reviews its search engine algorithm it now gives kudos to websites that are secured with HTTPS.

19. Javascript

A programming language more commonly used for producing interactive effects within web browsers, i.e. the dropdown boxes for our FAQ page.

20. Navigation

Otherwise known as the menu for your website - it’s how your visitors will “navigate” to other parts of your site, i.e. About Page, Services, Contact Us etc.

21. Plug-in

These are add-ons for your CMS (such as a WordPress-built site) that allows you to add additional features or functionality to your site, i.e. TripAdvisor Reviews widget or Yoast SEO plug-in for improving and maintaining your SEO elements via the WordPress platform.

22. Responsive Design

This is a website built to automatically respond to the user’s behaviour and environment based on screen size. It is done with ease and without prompting by using the breakpoints already set up in the CSS file behind your website.  

23. SERP

This an abbreviation for your Search Engine Results Pages and are the pages that display the results from a searcher’s query.

24. Sitemap

An organisation chart of all the pages on a website, for example check out our sitemap.

25. User Experience (UX)

The interaction a user has with an interface (whether that’s a website page or app).

26. User Interface (UI)

The interaction between the visitor and a computer.

27. Wireframe

A visual interpretation of a webpage without any design elements, typically a key part of your web scoping project. This helps everyone understand the requirements your webpage needs to fulfil, from a content and functionality perspective.

28. WYSIWYG

You might have already heard of this term in other ways - “What You See Is What You Get”. It’s an interface inside some CMS that allows you to apply styles to text and insert graphics.

This allows marketers to edit content without technical coding knowledge and see what the finished product looks like as they're making live changes.


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