There are so many website acronyms and terms and it can be not very clear. My handy guide will help you understand some of the common terms.
Above the fold
An old term that stems from the world of journalism and print media. The idea is that you want your most important information at the top of the page; anything below the fold could be missed by the user.
Refers to the ability to make your website easy for every user to access. This includes planning for users who may be visually impaired so that everyone can understand the information you are sharing
Ummm what? No not that LOL. A website’s back end refers to what makes the website do what it does, the stuff that users don’t see when they visit your website. It’s what’s going on behind the scenes and where admins log in to edit their website.
Abbreviation for Content Management System. A system that manages your website content so that you can make changes without needing to know how to code. A CMS makes it easy to update text and add images, posts and pages etc. WordPress, Squarespace and Wix are some of the most common CMS platforms.
There are 2 types of CMS
Hosted CMS are platforms such as Wix, Squarespace, Kajabi, Shopify and wordpress.com. Hosted platforms take care of everything including hosting so it’s like renting and you pay by the month. If you don’t pay your site disappears. Hosted CMS platforms are easy to use (great for DIY) but there are limitations on what you can and can’t do. Specifically, you can be removed from the hosted CMS if you do something against their Terms and Conditions.
I don’t use hosted CMS as I don’t want to build a business using rented space.
Self Hosted CMS
I develop my sites using self-hosted WordPress.org which is open source. Self Hosted WordPress has got a bit of a bad reputation over the years as a website built with WordPress.org is only as good as the developer. With so many options for hosting, themes and plugins it can be a bit of a mind field learning what to use and some people use stuff that isn’t good. If you want to know what I know is good, check out my resources page
Short for Cascading Style Sheets. CSS is a style sheet language that allows you to style different elements on your webpage without relying on the theme. An experienced web developer will know CSS.
All-inclusive online manual for all things WordPress. You can find documentation for everything that pertains to WordPress, if you have a question, The Codex can probably answer it, or at least give you more information.
The Dashboard is the screen you see when you log in to the backend of your website.
The Domain Name System (DNS) is like a phone book. A domain provides essentially directions. If I didn’t have domains I would need to use an IP Address which is the number where something actually lives on the internet. A domain is made up of different records such as MX records which are for your email service.
A favicon is a small logo that shows in your browser tab so that the user can easily see the sites they currently have open.
The front-end of a website is what the website visitor sees such as the home page, contact form, and blog. Changes made in the back end affect what is shown on the front end.
The static bottom of your website. Often the footer contains a logo or a sub mark (logo variation), links to your social media icons, contact information etc.
My favourite web development tool. Google gives a page a score out of 100 for performance, accessibility, best practice and SEO. Google also provides a list to show ways to make the page better.
The static top of your website, normally your logo and menu + other things can be added such as a phone number or links to social media
Software where the source code is available to the public to be used or modified. WordPress is open source, which is why it is free to use and why anyone can build a theme or plugin.
Helps you create web pages without needing to know how to code. WordPress page builders can come as a plugin or a theme. Divi, Elementor & Beaver Builder are the most popular WP page builders. The downside to Page Builders is that they can make your site slow and website site speed matters.
Pages / Posts
Posts are used to publish articles on your WordPress blog.
WordPress pages are static pages that make up your website. Home, about pages, contact pages etc, pages
WordPress plugins add functionality to a wordpress site. They can help turn a simple website into an eCommerce store, membership site, or Elearning platform. They can also do things like speed up your site, assist with SEO or integrate with payment processors so you can payments online.
Responsive Design ensures that a webpage looks good to all visitors whether they are on a computer, tablet or mobile device.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the art of getting a website to rank high on search engines like Google & Bing. The higher a website ranks the more traffic it will receive.
Stands for Secure Socket Layer. I won’t bore you with what it does but all websites these days should have an SSL Certificate installed. A padlock icon next to a website’s URL in the address bar or if the URL starts with HTTPS instead of just HTTP are two signs that a site has an SSL Certificate installed.
I develop websites on staging which is a non-public website where we can design and develop the website and once completed and approved, the website is added to a live domain. I also use staging sites for testing new functionality before pushing it to a live site.
Generally, a WordPress theme controls the appearance of your website and some functionality. There are thousands of themes available for download, or you can build your own. An experienced WordPress developer will know which theme or theme choice is best for their client’s needs. Most developers have a preferred theme which is part of their build stack (what a developer uses to create their websites. Hosting, theme, plugins etc)
The person who does the techy stuff.
Often abbreviated in the industry as WP, WordPress is an open-source CMS website platform. It powers over 40% of the internet.
Is the foundation upon which every single WordPress site is built. Never mess with the core and always keep it updated to the newest release of WordPress.
WordPress User Roles
Standard WordPress has 6 different user profiles. If you have an e-commerce store or a membership site there will be additional user roles
- Super Admin – Top Level access for network administration features and all other features.
- Administrator (slug: ‘administrator’) – has access to all the administration features within a single site.
- Editor (slug: ‘editor’) – can publish and manage posts including the posts of other users.
- Author (slug: ‘author’) – can publish and manage their own posts.
- Contributor (slug: ‘contributor’) – can write and manage their own posts but cannot publish them.
- Subscriber (slug: ‘subscriber’) – scan only manage their profile.
I hope you find this list of Website Acronyms helpful
Until next time
Let’s get your website sorted!