Negotiating the world online can be intimidating. We’ve pulled together a handy glossary of terms to help you out.
@: In social media, used as a prefix to ‘tag’ or send messages to users (@giantpeach).
ALGORITHMS: Calculations or formulas. Google use complicated algorithms to set the terms for their results pages. If you make the algorithms happy, you get to the top of the search results page.
BLOG: Formally web log (ah HA!). In verb form, to blog is to update a site with your personal musings or news. Noun, a blog is an online journal of sorts. Loads of businesses, from tiny to huge, have blogs – it provides a more personal tone and connects with the audience.
COOKIES: A simple file downloaded onto your device when you visit a website. The site now “knows” that you’ve been there before and can then use that knowledge to tailor your experience.
CONTENT: What you give to your audience when they visit your site: videos, images, words, music – the lot. Keep it fresh and updated and use it wisely.
DOMAIN: A domain name is a unique name that identifies an internet resource such as a website.
E-COMMERCE: Shopping online!
FTP: File Transfer Protocol. The process of how actual files make it onto the internet and move from one place to another.
GOOGLE: Giant of the search engines. You ask of it a question, or tell it what you’re looking for and Google searches the internet for you. Results are presented to you in a way that Google thinks is most helpful and relevant.
HASHTAGS: # A hashtag is a label – a sort of tag within social media. By prefixing a word or phrase with a hashtag you’re highlighting it as new topic of discussion #GiantPeachRules (no space between words please).
HOSTING: Where your website is held. A host provides space for your website on their servers. Is it a place, is it in cyber space?
IP ADDRESS: Every device has an Internet Protocol address. It’s a label made up of numbers that identifies your device so that it can communicate within the web.
ISP: Internet Service Provider. The company that provides you with access to the internet. Think BT, Virgin, EE, Sky etc. These guys get you hooked up and keep you online (mostly).
JQUERY: It’s a bank of java script codes. It condenses hundreds of lines of code into handy little bite-size code references. It makes coding quicker, easier and fewer mistakes are made.
KEYWORDS: Words that your audience are using to search for businesses like yours. For example, ‘pizza’ and ‘restaurant’ and ‘Salisbury’, perhaps also ‘quick’, ‘delivery’ and ‘best’. Using relevant keywords within your website gives you a better chance of being found.
LANDING PAGE: A page on your website that a user arrives at having clicked on a link from outside your site. This page has got to work hard at enticing visitors to want to stay and convert into customers.
LINKS: Links connect you from one place on the web to another, usually by clicking on an image or piece of text.
META TAG: Meta tags are descriptions, usually hidden within coding, that consist of keywords about the thing it’s tagging (usually web pages or pictures).
NAVIGATION: How you find your way around a website. Lots of websites use tabs along the top of their homepage but it’s becoming increasingly fashionable to use the three bar (burger) icons to click on for a list of options for getting around the pages within a site.
OS: An Operating System is what your device runs on. It’s the structure within which your device can perform its functions, the brains of the operation. Without the OS your device is just a bit of machinery that hasn’t been told what to do yet.
PPC: Pay Per Click. Online ads that you pay for only when a potential customer clicks on it.
QUERY (DATABASE): When you ask a database for info. Usually you use a particular way of asking the question (see SQL).
RESPONSIVE DESIGN: Your website is designed to work on any device (mobile/tablet/pc/laptop etc).
SEO: Search Engine Optimisation is the quest to get your website favoured by Googlebots and appear at the top of their results page whenever a user searches for the product or service you provide.
SERP: Search Engine Results Page: you want to be on the first page of results, at the top preferably.
SERVER: Where files are physically stored, usually on machines held by your host.
SQL: Structured Query Language. It’s a way of asking a database for information.
TRENDS: Social media platforms use hashtags to gauge what’s ‘trending’ on their sites i.e. what are people talking about the most. The holy grail of twitter is to set up a hashtag that starts trending.
TWEETS: Status updates sent out from twitter using no more than 140 characters.
UX: User Experience: how your visitors use your site. Obviously the aim is for your users to have the best experience so design your site for your audience (visuals, content, ease of navigation, how quickly they can get to what they want etc).
VISIT: When a web user views your site and sticks around for a nosey; every visit will show up on your stats (even if the same person visits 20 times that day). Unique visits are determined by a user’s cookies and won’t count multiple visits by the same user.
WEB BROWSER: Safari, Google Chrome, IE: browsers are the gateway to the internet.
XML: Extensible Markup Language. A coding language used to describe data.
YOUTUBE: A video streaming site where users can follow each other, favourite videos, upload their own output, create playlists and watch anything from music videos to tv shows. Has a huge following so worth getting plugged in if you’re a business.
Z-INDEX: The Z-Index is a coding device – when terms overlap it decides which one comes to the fore.