Online Technology Glossary

 

Accessibility (Web) – This means that website pages, tools and technologies are designed so that people with disabilities are also able to use and access those resources.

Add-ons – A program or application that can be added to a membership site that provides extra functionality to the site. An example is a plugin or a program specific add-on that MemberPress offers like Affiliate Royale which provides affiliate management functionality to the MemberPress website.

Analytics – A collection of data about a system such as a website and using that data to gain information about the performance and/or metrics of the website. An example is tracking how many users land on your website and how long they stay on your site for and what pages they view. This gives insights into what can be improved on your website.

API (Application Programming Interface) – it is software that processes requests and interactions between data, applications and devices. This is different to an integration.

Application – Software/program (app for short) designed for end users to achieve specific goals or technology tasks.

Authentication (Website) – This is a security process that allows users to verify their identities in order to gain access to personal accounts on a website. It is to ensure that they are who they say they are and that they have permission to access that specific information. An example is if you sign into your Google account, Google checks your authentication by requesting your username and password.

Authorisation (Website) – This is more about the process of controlling user access via assigned roles and privileges, as seen in the WordPress user roles.

Automation – Replacing manual tasks with task completed by programs automatically, based on triggers and resulting in actions eg a trigger is someone booking an appointment, the action could be adding them to your mailing list.

Back End – What you see when you are logged in to your website as an administrator, ie all the pages and settings of the website.

Block Editor – An approach to building content in the backend of a WordPress website using blocks. The Gutenberg editor is a block editor.

Browser (Web) – This is software for accessing and presenting information from the internet (or World Wide Web) on a user’s device. Examples of web browsers are Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, Opera, Duckduckgo, and many more.

Caching – A high speed data layer, most commonly known in web browsers, that store data from webpages to speed up the browser process for users so that when a user revisits the website, that data does not have to be called from the server again, instead the cached page is provided, making the loading of the page fast.

Child Theme a theme that “inherits the functionality and styling of another theme, called the parent theme.” Child themes are recommended when wanting to modify the core files of a theme. These modifcations are made to the child theme instead so that the modifications are not lost when the main theme is updated.

Classic Editor – Used in older versions of WordPress (version 4 or older) and is based on text editing.

CMS (Content Management System) – WordPress is a CMS. It is software that helps users to create, manage and modify content on a website. Other examples of CMS’s are Drupal, Joomla, Wix, Squarespace and Weebly.

Configuration – How to correctly set up the settings to ensure everything works correctly.

Content (also known as Copy) – the text, images and media that is displayed on a website that describes what the website is about.

Cookies – Website Cookies are small pieces of data stored on a users computer and created specifically for website browsers to track, personalise and save information about a user to a website.

Coupons – A voucher or ticket entitling the holder to a discount on a product or service. Coupons are usually for a set amount or for a set percentage.

CPanel – This is a control panel for web hosting which provides the ability to for website administrators to access and control components of website and server administration through a web browser.

CRM (Customer Relationship Management system) – a database of customers. Advanced versions of CRMs also track the sales pipeline.

CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) – A style sheet programming language used to specifically manage the design and layout of a website’s content.

CTA (Call to Action) – an image or text on a website that prompts visitors to click on it to take some kind of action. For example, Book a call, Learn More, Buy Now.

Curriculum – The outline or framework of the course. Usually there is a topic or module that contains various lessons that cover all the material about that topic.

Dashboard or Back End – The Home screen in WordPress where you can quickly access your site’s content.

Debugging – This is the process of identifying and removing errors from code on computers, websites or software.

Defer parsing of Javascript – This means to stop calling java scripts on a web page when they are not needed immediately. By calling them first when they are not needed, it slows down the loading of your site.

Divi – A website theme and page builder used on WordPress, created by a company called Elegant Themes.

DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) – This is an email authentication that allows a receiver to check the email was sent and authorized by the owner of the domain. It is used in conjunction with SPF and it helps ensure the deliverability of emails to the inbox instead of the spam/junk folder.

DNS (Domain Name System/Server) – A protocol that helps internet users discover websites using human readable addresses based on Internet Protocol (IP) addresses. It works by having a DNS record point to a particular domain or subdomain IP address and a CNAME record points to a domain or subdomain name.

Domain Name – The website address or URL that people input into a web browser to visit a website.

 

Ecommerce – Short for electronic commerce. It means shopping on the internet.

Embed (usually a video) – This means a video link is placed on a website and the video is hosted on a third party website. When it is played it uses the third party resources to play the stored video.

Enable Compression – a website optimisation term. It usually refers to GZIP compression. It is done by adding code to the htaccess file so that your content is compressed when it is served from the server to your client’s computers.

Facebook Pixel – A piece of code from Facebook that is an analytical tool to measure the effectiveness of your advertising, by tracking the actions of visitors to your website.

Favicon – An icon or image associated with a particular website. It is usually displayed in the browser tab.

Front-End – All the components of a website that a visitor sees when they land on the website, ie the content, the images, the layout etc.

FTP (File Transfer Protocol) – the ability to move files from one destination to another through a piece of software specialising in this. A well known example is FileZilla.

Google Analytics – This is a web analytics service provided by Google with the sole purpose of collecting and tracking data of users that visit a website. 

Google Search Console – A web service provided by Google so that website administrators can manage and monitor the visibility of their websites in Google search results. The service checks indexing of the website and its content and flags errors so that administrators can rectify such errors. This is where you request Google to recrawl your site after you have fixed broken links and 404 errors on your site.

Google Tag Manager (GTM) – This is a free tag management system provided by Google that allows for one place to add all code fragments for tracking purposes to your website  without code. This means you can add multiple tracking codes such as Google Analytics, Facebook pixel and any other tracking code for a website in the GTM withough having to go to your website to add it.

GUI (Graphical User Interface) – A program that provides access to specific programs and technologies.

Gutenberg – The new block editor in WordPress which helps to build the website.

Hosting (Website) – A company that provides the technologies and services required so that pages of content can be posted and viewed on the internet.

HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) – A coding language that was one of the first used widely for websites. It is a simple code to learn and it can be used to create the text/image content of a website.

HTTPS (See SSL)

Image Compression (used for website optimisation) – A form of data compression to reduce the unnecessary components of an image and store it in an efficient manner. This makes the image smaller so that it loads faster on websites.

Image formats – Image file formats are a standarised way of organising and storing digital images. There are many different types of image file formats and they all have very different purposes. The most common image file formats are .PNG, .JPEG, .GIF, .EPS, .RAW and many more. WebP is a more modern image format that was developed to make images smaller and faster to help speed up website loading.

IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) – is a way of allowing you to access and store your emails on a mail server. With IMAP you are accessing the emails directly from the server so if you delete an email, it is deleted from the server, so it is synched and removed from all devices that access the emails using IMAP. This protocol is best used when accessing emails over several different devices.

Inspect Element – A functionality in many popular browsers that allows web developers to inspect specific sections of a website and be able to temporarily change the code in the browser to see what the effect would be. It is not actually editing the website. For the changes to be added to a website, the code needs to be copied and added to the website style sheet for it to take effect.

Integration – The process of joining two applications so that they can communicate with each other and pass data between them. Well known integration tools are Zapier, Integromat, Integrately and Pabbly.

Joomla – A CMS for websites.

Leverage Browser Caching (see also caching) – This means to use a caching plugin so that the browser stores your website content so that when someone visits your site it is stored on their browser and so loads quicker the next time they visit.

LMS (Learning Management System) – A LMS on a WordPress website helps to manage a student’s progress and learning by tracking completion of the modules/lessons of the  courses that they have purchased.

Manage Redirects – This means redirecting old pages to new pages, eg is when http is changed to https with the SSL, you need to redirect the old http link to the new https link. It is also important if you have pages you have deleted so you put a redirect on it so it goes to another page instead. This means google won’t find errors on your website and flag it as an error.

Media Library – A library within WordPress that stores the images and assets (sometimes pdf files) that are used on your website. It can store videos as well, but it is highly recommended that videos are stored on third party video hosting platforms to reduce the load on the website.

MemberPress – A WordPress membership plugin that lets you control access to memberships and/or courses through the use of rules.

Membership – A subscription program (usually monthly) for a like-minded community to come together for learning.

MySQL – An open source relational database management system used on WordPress websites to store essential website data like users and their passwords as well as other important information.

 

Optimisation (see website optimisation)

Payment gateway – A means of collecting payments for products or services provided. Paypal and Stripe are well known third party payment gateways used on many ecommerce websites.

PHP – A popular general purpose scripting language used for web development.

Pixels and Tags (also see Facebook Pixel) – A tracking pixel, or pixel tag, is a graphic with dimensions of 1×1 (a single pixel) that is loaded when a user visits a website or opens an email. Pixels are typically used by marketing teams to track certain user-based activities. Popular tools like Facebook, Google Analytics, and MailChimp all use pixel tracking to provide campaign analytics.

Plugin – Application or program that adds extra functionality to your WordPress website. Well known plugins are WooCommerce for ecommerce functionality and WordFence for security functionality.

POP (in relation to email management – also see IMAP) – POP protocol is also a way of accessing emails. It is different from IMAP in that it downloads all emails from the server to your device. That means if you delete an email from your device and you view your emails from another device, the email will still be there, as it was not deleted from the server. This protocol works best if accessing emails from only one device.

 

RSS (Really Simple Syndication) – Is a web feed that allows users and applications to access updates to websites in a standardised, computer readable format. Often used for getting blog updates automatically.

Responsiveness – This is an approach to web design that ensures web pages render well on many different devices ranging from computers, to tablets and smartphones.

Server – A piece of hardware (computer) or software that provides data to other computers. In website terms it provides the data to display website pages on a browser.

SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) – A protocol  used to communicate between mail servers to send emails over the internet.

SMTP plugin – Installing this and using a WordPress SMTP plugin means you are not using the WordPress email sending service, but instead you are using your existing email service like Gmail, Outlook or Office 365 to send emails from your website.

SPF (Sender Policy Framework) see also DKIM – It is a DNS record that is added to the DNS zone of your domain. It specifies which IP addresses and/or hostnames are authorised to send email from a specific domain. Setting an SPF record helps your email to not be identified as spam and helps ensure emails are delivered to customer’s inbox.

SSL or Https (Secure Sockets Layer) – It is the phrase used for keeping data transferred over an internet connection secure and preventing it from being read or modified by third parties. You know a site has SSL installed if the URL starts with https and has a secure padlock in the url field. If the site is not secure it will show http instead and there will be an open padlock symbol in the url field.

Sub domain – An additional part of a main website. It is usually used to organise and direct users to different sections of a website. For example a membership site, or sales funnels.

Subscriptions – The term used to describe users who pay a regular amount of money each month or year to access a site, application or product. In MemberPress it is usually used for Membership payments on a monthly basis.

Theme (WordPress Theme) – Known as a collection of designs, templates and stylesheets to manage the content of a WordPress website. These designs, templates and stylesheets can be modified to make the website have the look and feel that you want.

Transactions (in MemberPress) – A transaction is the process of someone purchasing a course or membership and paying for it and then being able to access the content. MemberPress records the transaction to keep track of revenue and who purchased what.

UI (User Interface) – the graphical layout of an application so that users can access the application functionalities.

URL (Uniform Resource Locator) – otherwise known as a website address.

Users (in WordPress) – People who can access the frontend and backend of the website through different roles and responsibilities. The roles and responsibilities provide the different level of access and ability to add or make changes to the website. The roles are Administrative, Editor, Author, Contributor and Subscriber. The Administrator has the most capabilities whereas the Subscriber has the most restricted capabilities.

USP (Unique Sales/Selling Proposition) – Your point of difference of why people should buy your solution/product/service.

UX (User Experience) – how a visitor to your website experiences the visit, what they see and where their focus is directed to.

Website Optimisation – This refers to the process of making websites responsive so they can be viewed clearly on all kinds of devices, as well as making sure the website loads speedily and provides the best performance for users/customers. It also refers to the process of making the website pages load faster.

Website Responsiveness – see Responsiveness

Widget – In WordPress, a widget is a block of content that can be added to your website’s footers, sidebars and other areas.

WordPress – A free open source content management system (CMS). See CMS.

Zapier – A specific, well known integration tool for connecting programs/applications to talk to each other via triggers and actions. Other similar tools include Integromat, Integrately and Pabbly.