Website Development Jargon Explained

FamiliarizeĀ yourself with website development jargon to help your understanding of website development. There are a number of specialized terminology referring to all sorts of aspects of website development. You may have heard of some of them, and others may seem alien to you. Below are someĀ usefulĀ terms that could help you.

Website Development Jargon Explained

  • Access keys
  • Access keys is an attribute of HTML.
  • It provides keyboard shortcuts to parts of a web page or links.
  • As an advantage, users are offered assisted technology.
  • Conflict can be created with user agents


  • AJAX refers to Asynchronous JavaScript and XML.
  • This is a method that is used to create interactivity on the web through the use of JavaScript, XML and Document Object Model.

Alt Text

  • Alt text allows the display of text, as an alternative to an embedded object or image on a web page.
  • When an embedded object or image is not usable by the user agent, alt text is read.


  • Apache is a web server program.
  • The server program is widely used on the internet.
  • An apache server is Open Source Software.

Assisted Technology

  • Assisted technology helps a specific or general task to be performed.
  • Assisted technology includes audio browsers, Braille keyboards and alternative entry devices.


  • Bookmark-let is a piece of JavaScript.
  • A bookmark-let is embedded in a browser bookmark.
  • It can be used as a shortcut to perform a number of tasks.


  • C is advanced programming language.
  • It is used for advanced computer applications.

C++ (C Plus Plus)

  • C++ is advanced programming language.
  • It is used for advanced computer applications.
  • It also has object-orientated functions.

C# (C Sharp)

  • C# is a Microsoft version of C++.
  • It has functions similar to Java that have been added.


  • Canonicalization is the process of applying a URL as a web document location.
  • No matter how you arrive at a web page there is one address determined by the server.

Client Side

  • Client Side refers to the action taken by the web browser or user on the computer used to access a web page.


  • CMS refers to Content Management System.
  • CMS is software that is used to format, manage or store web information.
  • Examples of CMS applications include WordPress, Drupal and PhpBB.

A cookie is a small text file, which is sent by a website to a userā€™s computer.

  • A cookie allows the website to identify the user when they next visit the website.
  • User preferences, favourite lists and login data are amongst the uses of a cookie.


  • CSS refers to Cascading Style Sheet.
  • CSS is a document format that has style rules, which can be incorporated in an HTML or XHTML document.


  • Database refers to data that is stored on a computer.
  • The data is stored in a way that allows it to be retrieved and manipulated.


  • DOM refers to Document Object Model.
  • DOM represents the structure of a web document.
  • It provides a way for scripts to manipulate the layout and content of a web page.

Document Type Definition

  • Document type definition is a statement at the beginning of a ZHTML or HTML page.
  • It informs the user agent about the set of rules that should be applied on a page.


  • Focus refers to the state that an object receives attention from the user agent or user.
  • Usually, focus applies to anchor elements or form fields.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Frequently asked questions (FAQ) is a common way of offering ā€œhelpā€ information on a website.
  • FAQ allows additional information to be given about the website.

Graphical User Interface

  • A graphical user interface refers to a website or programā€™s visual aspect.
  • It makes it possible for visual user agents to have interaction with a website.


  • HTML refers to Hypertext Markup Language.
  • HTML is a language, which is used to structure a websiteā€™s content.
  • It should be used for the websiteā€™s structure, although it can be used for the pageā€™s appearance.

Information Architecture

  • Information navigation refers to the labelling of information, navigation structure and organisation.


  • Java is programming language.
  • Java was developed by SUN.
  • It is used for programming web applets and web servers.


  • JavaScript is scripting language that is used on the web.
  • It can be used by most user agents and is a client side programming language.


  • JAWS refers to Job Access With Speech.
  • JAWS is a screen reader that is commonly available.


  • MySQL is based on SQL vocabulary.
  • It is an open source database that can be used in a variety of server side languages.

Open Source

  • Open source software is a licensing model.
  • It allows people to have free access to a source code.
  • The source code of the software allows people to contribute to or modify the software.


  • Perl is an early server side scripting language.
  • It is a widely applied and supported language, although new projects do not always make use of perl.


  • PHP refers to Hypertext Preprocessor.
  • PHP is a general purpose server side scripting language.
  • It can be embedded into HTML and used for different applications.

Rich Media

  • Rich media relates to technology that involves special effects, animation or interactivity.


  • RSS is referred to as Really Simple Syndication, Rich Site Summary, Site Summary or Resource Description Framework (RDF).
  • RSS is an XML format that is used to share web content with other websites or programs.

Search Engine Friendly

  • Search engine friendly websites ensure that there are no barriers to prevent web crawlers from indexing web content.


  • SEO refers to Search Engine Optimisation.
  • It relates to the optimisation of a website, which aims at increasing its ranking in search engine results.


  • Scent is a term that is used to refer to a documentā€™s ability to indicate its purpose.
  • It also refers to the documentā€™s ability to guide the user towards an outcome that is desired by both parties.

Server Side

  • Server side refers to scripting that is done on the server.
  • The scripting occurs before the page is delivered to the user agent.
  • The user agent does not have to support the scripting language that is used.


  • SQL refers to Structured Query Language.
  • It is an ANSI computer language that is used for manipulating and accessing databases.


  • Tabindex is a characteristic of HTML that defines the anchor links that are to be followed when the ā€œtabā€ key is used to navigate a page.


  • URI refers to Uniform Resource Indicator, while URL refers to Uniform Resource Locator.
  • URI or URL is a web address.


  • Usability refers to the fact that applications and information on a website should be possible to access, while being easy to understand.

User Agent

  • User agent is used to refer to a device that is used to access the web, such as a mobile phone.
  • Web browsers are also referred to as user agents.

User Agent Accessibility Guidelines

  • User agent accessibility guidelines are a set of guidelines that indicate how user agents should be developed. This will ensure that the accessibility needs are met.

Web Accessibility

  • Web accessibility indicates that users on the web should be able to have access to web information.

Web Accessibility Initiative

  • Web Accessibility Initiative is part of the World Wide Web Consortium.
  • It is there to discuss and set web accessibility standards.

World Wide Web Consortium

  • The World Wide Web Consortium is a non-profit organisation.
  • Tim Berners-Lee founded the organisation.
  • The World Wide Web Consortium sets web creation and access standards.


  • XHTML refers to Extensible Hypertext Markup Language.
  • XHTML is a combination of HTML and XML.
  • A language is provided by XHTML, which makes use of HTML specifications under XML format constraints.


  • XML refers to Extensible Markup Language.
  • XML is a generic format that allows for flexibility.
  • It allows information to be provided in different structural formats.
  • Different XML specifications can be used for different applications.


  • XSL refers to Extensible Stylesheet Language.
  • It is a language that is used to describe the presentation and formatting of XML content.


  • WYSIWYG means What You See Is What You Get.
  • It is a word processor that allows images, text and graphic layout to be converted into HTML.

Web Development and Your Website

When developing your website you may need to turn to the experts. Contact usĀ for more information on our website services, which include design, audits and more.

Take the time to familiarise yourself with website development jargon. This will help you to understand the web and web development.

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