Web Terms to Know

Every industry uses terms that are unique to what they do and/or produce. A wine’s vintage – or simply the year in which the grapes in the bottle were grown! A logo’s PMS – why not simply a logo’s color? Web development, design and maintenance are no different. Cloudflare? Host? Footer? (not what you think) Yep, this part of our industry has quite a few that can seem overwhelming. Knowing the meaning of some of these terms (and how they connect!) will help you understand the process and how they apply to you, your business or your work.

DNSDomain Name System. The system that translates human readable domain names to machine readable IP addresses. DNS are all the records we need to link a domain to its website and other third parties. For example A records, Cnames, TXT records etc.DNS connects a URL to our website files. Servers around the world need to be updated when these records are changed. This process can take 4-48 hours depending on the service used. Cloud Flare is a very good option to speed this process.
IP ADDRESSInternet Protocol Address. This is a unique string of characters that identifies each computer on a network.Every device you connect to the Internet will receive its own, unique IP address. Each device’s online activity is tracked and/or granted permissions using this unique number. Because everyone has their own, we can sometimes use these unique addresses to deliver re-targeted digital ads.
CDNContent Delivery Network. A group of geographically distributed servers that speed up the delivery of web content by bringing it closer to where users are.A big grid of proxy servers around the world that help to get our website to different parts of the world quickly.
cPANELAn online interface used as a control panel to simplify website and server management.Cpanel is the software or interface used by multiple server providers, here you can manage your domains and website files.
A RecordThe Address Record maps a domain name to the IP address of the computer hosting the domain.Similar to the CNAME, this record links your domain with your website by using the IP address.
CNAMEA Canonical Name is used in lieu of an A Record, when a domain or subdomain is an alias of another domain.Similar to an IP address, the CNAME is used to link your domain to your website.
TXT RECORDA type of DNS record that contains text information for sources outside of your domain.TXT records manage the proper functioning of our clients’ email addresses.
CLOUDFLAREA web infrastructure and security company that provides content delivery network and DDoS mitigation services.CloudFlare is a third-party DNS manager that gives an extra layer of security and speed to websites.
CREDENTIALSThe user name and password.In order to manage our WordPress sites, we type in our credentials to sign in (I.E. a username and password).
DOMAIN NAMEThe name of a website that the user types into the browser. (Usually hosted in GoDaddy and Bluehost)Abovo’s website domain it owns and uses for its website and email addresses is TeamAbovo.com.
URLUniversal Resource Locator. A web page’s unique address. (Commonly known as the website’s URL)When you click on a link to go to a website, you are clicking on the site’s URL.
SERVERA computer system that hosts websites and delivers web pages to the internet and users. (Owned by WPEngine or Bluehost)Although we are able to access and manage all of the information on the websites we run, we don’t have to store all of the files for the website because they are hosted on a server.
HOSTA service that provides the technologies and services needed for a web page to be viewed on the internet. A site being “hosted” refers to where the necessary files for the website are stored. (Usually WPEngine or Bluehost)So they are safely and reliably stored, Team Abovo hosts many of its websites on WPEngine.
SHARED HOSTINGShared hosting is an arrangement in which multiple websites are hosted on one server. Resources such as disk space, CPU, and memory are shared and split between all the users on that server.One of Bluehost hosting services is shared hosting. By buying a share hosting service we can host multiple websites in the same space. Every website will have its own environment but they all will share the disk space and hosting resources.
VIRTUAL PRIVATE SERVER (VPS) HOSTINGA virtual private server (VPS) is used for hosting websites (e-commerce, content, visual media) and software applications (portals, extranets, collaborative solutions, wikis, CRM). Unlike shared hosting, the data is isolated onto a virtual machine which is dedicated to the user.VPS is hosting that virtually mimics dedicated server environments within a shared server.
DEDICATED SERVER HOSTINGDedicated hosting is an internet hosting option in which a physical server (or servers) is dedicated to a single business customer. The customer has complete control over the machine, so they can optimize it for their unique requirements, including performance and security.Mid to large companies with 500+ employees that manage large amounts of data can benefit from dedicated hosting. If a site contains databases, large inventory/supply chain infrastructure, and hundreds of ecommerce transactions hourly, you should consider a dedicated server.
DOMAIN HOSTINGAn internet service that manages your domain name.Team Abovo works with companies Bluehost and GoDaddy for domain hosting.
IPAA connection between computers or between computer programs. It is a type of software interface, offering a service to other pieces of software.An API unique address that identifies a device on the internet or a local network. EXAMPLE When the user clicks the “Pay with PayPal” button, the application sends an “order” request to the PayPal API, specifying the amount owed and other important details. Then, a pop-up authenticates the user and confirms their purchase. Finally, if everything goes to plan, the API sends confirmation of payment back to the application.
CMSContent Management Systems. Software that allows a user to create, manage, and modify content on a website with minimal coding.WordPress is a CMS that allows us to quickly and efficiently update our websites without needing to use time consuming hard-coding.
WORDPRESSA popular content management system used to build and maintain websites.WordPress has many plugins and features that allow us to create a variety of websites for different clients’ needs.
PLUGINSA software component that adds a specific feature to an existing computer program. WordPress plugins, for example, allow additional functionality that a WordPress site doesn’t have to start with. Example: Gravity Forms and Woocommerce are plugins.WooCommerce is a plugin we use for clients who would like the added functionality of e-commerce on their website. Two clients who utilize this plugin for their online storefronts are Carpet Garage and the ND FFA Foundation.
HTMLHyperText Markup Language. Standard markup language for documents designed to be displayed on a web browser. The skeleton of the website is built with HTML.The web browser reads the HTML code in order to know what information to display on the website.
CSSCascading Style Sheets is a language used for describing the presentation of a document written in a markup language such as HTML. For example, this code is used to give style to a website, for example, the colors, the font, margins etc.The CSS of a site tells the browser what colors, fonts, and other style elements to display.
JSJavascript is a text-based programming language that allows movement and interactivity in web pages.JavaScript allows interactive elements to display such as slideshows, lightboxes or games.
PHPHypertext Preprocessor is a scripting language well suited for web development.Some web developers are able to code in PHP, but content management systems allow developers to update websites without that knowledge.
SSL CERTIFICATESecure Sockets Layer. A security protocol that provides privacy, authentication, and integrity to internet communications. You know this is working when you can see the icon of a closed lock, to the left of the website’s URL.We add SSL Certificates to websites in order to keep our users information safe as well as secure from hackers or malware.
HERO/BANNER/SLIDERDigital advertisements displayed in the header, footer, or side bars of a website. The hero banner on Sandy’s Donuts’ site includes a moving gif of a donut.
GLOBALAn element or block of content that remains the same and that is used across the entirety of a website. For example, a global header or footer is displayed the same on every web page on a site. When we make changes to a global footer, it changes on every page of the website.
FOOTERThe section at the bottom of a webpage that usually displays copyright, contact information, or other important information on a website. The footer usually includes any helpful information that a user might be looking for quickly such as a phone number or social media links.
POPUPThere are multiple varieties of popups that are generally built into a website. These enhance the user experience. The term popup is a catchall term for anything that appears on your screen over a website. This is where variety in the terminology often gets blurry. Popup, modal and alert are often used interchangeably. Popups generally cover all of the following types of content overlay: Alerts, Modals, Dialog, Lightboxes, tooltips and popovers.

The Grain Designs website features a popup so the user can quickly and easily find a link to start a new project.
MODALIn terms of web design a modal is a box that will disrupt a page by overlaying on top of it and prevent interaction – just like an alert. The difference is that modals need direct interaction in order to be dismissed. They will often display a dialog box with a button that can be clicked to dismiss the box.There are multiple varieties of popups that are generally built into website. These enhance the user experience. Great Plains Food Bank is using modals to help clients get to the donation page quickly and without having to browse around the website.
LIGHTBOXA display on a website in which an image or video fills the screen, and the remaining background of the page is darkened. Using a lightbox on a website can help feature a product that you want the user to focus on individually.
HEADERThe top section of a website that the user sees first. This usually contains the company logo, the site navigation, and important information about the site such as a main image or title.The header of Abovo’s website features our navigation, logo and slogan.
HEADINGA section of text in a larger font that is meant to call out or bring attention to specific information.The headings on North Dakota FFA Foundation’s website stand out by using the FFA brand colors.
MAIN MENUThe primary menu, usually found in the top bar of a website, that allows the user to easily navigate the main options of a site.The main menu of a site is where the user can know where to start exploring the features of a website.
FAVICONA small icon that appears in the browser tabs, history archives, and bookmark lists to represent a brand or company.Abovo’s favicon is shown on the browser tab and is our logo mark of a falling apple.
SEOSearch Engine Optimization. A set of practices designed to improve the positioning of a website in search results like Google, resulting in more organic web traffic. There are a lot of steps we take behind the scenes to improve SEO including using keywords and linking pages correctly.
SITEMAPA list of pages on a website as well as the navigation and relationships between those pages.We always start with a sitemap to make sure the groundwork is done before starting on any design work on a website.
WIREFRAMESA diagram or set of images that displays a website’s structure. This is used to plan the navigation and functionality of the website before design elements are added.When the sitemap is completed, we create wireframes to show a client how the blocks of content will be organized on their completed site.
ANCHOR POINTAn element that allows a URL to link to a specific point on a web page.Using an anchor point is helpful in bringing the user to content on a specific spot on a page, without directing them to a different page entirely.
CALL TO ACTIONSpecific language on a website that encourages the visitor of a website to act. Call to actions are designed to move the user of a web page through the site in a predetermined way.In Kokada’s header, the call to action “Shop Now” encourages shoppers to buy the product.
RESPONSIVE DESIGNA website that adjusts to whatever screen it is being viewed on. Responsive design will display information clearly and accurately regardless of being viewed on a mobile phone, or large monitor.All of our websites are made with responsive design in mind, as about half of all web traffic now is done from a mobile device.
UIUser Interface is anything a user may interact with on a digital product or service.The UI on Black River Holdings’ website is simple and easy to navigate.
UXUser Experience is defined as the interaction a user has with an interface or website.Team Abovo’s primary goal when designing any and every website is positive user experience.
BACK-ENDThe section of a website that allows the developer to update the site, manage plugins, and make changes.In order to post a new blog for The Pines, we log into the website’s back-end to create a new blog and page.
GOOGLE ANALYTICSA web analytics service that provides statistics and analytical tools for SEO and marketing purposes.Google Analytics allows us to see how much web traffic is coming to a site, as well as other helpful information like time of day and locations of users.
FACEBOOK PIXEL / META PIXELA piece of code that can be put on a website in order to measure the effectiveness of advertising of Facebook ads.When running a Facebook ad campaign, having Facebook Pixel on your site allows you to measure more of the effectiveness of that campaign.
WORDPRESSWordPress is a free and open-source content management system (CMS) written in PHP and paired with a MySQL or MariaDB database. In 2021, roughly 45% of the world’s websites were built on WordPress!Almost all of the websites Team Abovo creates are built on WordPress. A few examples include GreatPlainsFoodBank.org, NDFFAFoundation.com, SandysDonuts.com and our own site, TeamAbovo.com.
WOOCOMMERCEA customizable eCommerce platform built on WordPress.WooCommerce can be added to any WordPress site in which the owner of the site wants to start selling a product or service. One of our clients who utilize WooCommerce for their online store is SandysDonuts.com.
E-COMMERCEConsumer and commercial transactions conducted electronically on the internet.We built BetterFed Beef’s ecommerce site, in which you can order beef on the website to be delivered to your door.
GRAVITY FORMSA WordPress plugin used for forms and allowing the owners to collect and manage information collected from a user.The ND FFA Foundation uses Gravity Forms to make all of their scholarship and grant applications available online! This plugin has allowed this nonprofit to save time and make judging applications easier than ever.
PAGESA hypertext document provided by a website and displayed to a user in a web browser.Every website consists of many unique pages.
BLOG PAGESAn online journal or informational page on a website that includes a published date.Carpet Garage’s site uses a blog to inform the reader about helpful information for picking out flooring or services.
CUSTOM FIELDA WordPress feature that allows additional data and information to WordPress posts and pages.This fields help us to create a much better client experience making the process of creating pages or custom funtionality simply.
ACF PLUGINAdvanced Custom Fields is a WordPress plugin that allows extra content fields to WordPress edit screens.ACF is a plugin used to create custom functionality in a website, such as Listings, for example. Black Kanyon uses ACF to create property listings. By filling a simple form on the backend a new property listing is created and published.
ELEMENTORA popular WordPress page builder.We use Elementor on many of our sites so we can efficiently design websites for our clients.
FIGMAA vector graphics editor that allows prototyping and mocking up a website or product in the design phase.When creating wireframes and designs for our websites, we use Figma so the client can see what the product will look like and make any changes before it goes live on the website.
FTPFile Transfer Protocol refers to the transferring of, usually larger, files between computers.FTP is used to upload or download files from the backend, when a website is down or not accessible from the front end.
FTP ClientA software that allows a user to transfer files from a local computer to a remote computer or server. Popular FTP Clients include WeTransfer and Filezilla.WeTransfer.com is an FTP Client Team Abovo uses for transferring files to and from our clients.
BROWSERA software that accesses and displays ages and files on the web. Popular browsers include: Google Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer and FireFox.Each web browser is slightly different than the other and is something we consider as we build websites for clients. What might work and/or function properly on one browser, might not be the case for another!
CACHEA reserved storage location that collects temporary data to help websites, browsers, and apps load faster.One use of storing information in a cache is when you don’t have to sign into your Amazon account every time you go to the site.
ERROR 404An error message that is triggered when a user is trying to access a page that cannot be found.If a company deletes their website and you go to an old linked URL, you will most likely get an Error 404 message.
REDIRECT 301A specific type of redirect where the user is sent to a different URL.Used commonly to redirect erased urls or pages from a website that has been indexed with Google. This means these erased pages will show on a Google search but when clicked they will redirect to a nonexistent page. By using a 303 redirect you can redirect these broken links to anything you like.
STAGING SITEA clone of a current website which allows you to preview updates or changes before making them on a live site.A staging site is very helpful in making changes for client approval, before permanent changes are made.
DEVELOPMENT SITEA site in which the developer can make changes and work out issues with design and functionality before transferring it to the live site where it will be viewed publicly.As we were building KnutsonDevelopment.com, one of the stages was building it on a development site so the client could actively see our progress, interact with the site, and actively engage in its changes.
SITE MIGRATIONThe process of moving a website to a different hosting services.Migrating a website means moving a website from one hosting provider to another. For example migrating a website from GoDaddy to WPengine. Example #2: We migrated SteinsInc.com from an unknown hosting provider to WPEngine, by creating a clone of the old website and installing it on our WPengine hosting.
BACKUPA saved record of all of the important components and data of a website.WordPress keeps backups of websites as an added security measure so data can’t be lost.
NAMESERVERSA server that organizes and routes traffic across the internet.Nameservers help connect URLs with the IP address of web servers. Nameservers are an important part of the DNS, which many people call the “phone book of the Internet.”


Fargo, North Dakota based Design-Marketing agency. Skilled in: Web design and e-commerce, social media, video, branding, graphic design, photography and more.



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