Website Terminology: Learn These Terms for Optimal Tech Savviness

Don’t let website terminology derail you when making a business site. Even if you’re using a platform that makes the process more approachable, it’s helpful to understand certain concepts and technologies. The following list provides a basic overview of some common tech terms so that you can get past the jargon to begin designing your WordPress.com website with ease.

API

An application programming interface (API) is a server’s “messenger service” that receives requests and sends responses. For example, to access this very page, your browser requested permission to enter it. WordPress.com’s API opened the door (metaphorically, of course).

CMS

A content management system (CMS) is a system or platform that allows you to organize and present content (such as a website). WordPress.com is one example of a CMS with approachable website themes that can display your contact info, “About Me” page, and helpful posts in an orderly fashion that your visitors will appreciate.

Domain name

Think of your website’s domain name as its home address. For example, if a business called Charlie’s Books wanted to choose an easily recognizable domain name, a suitable one might be charliesbooks.com.

Plugins

Plugins are handy software components that add flexibility and functionality to your site. They let you customize your site visitors’ experiences, improve search engine optimization (SEO), protect your comments section from spam, and much more. For example, WordPress.com offers plugins for advanced security, social media buttons, lead generation, and around-the-clock backups.

Responsive web design

Responsive web design (RWD) is how website information is displayed so that posts, pages, and feeds appear neatly across various screen sizes. After all, it’s crucial for business websites to be readable on all device types like mobile phones and tablets. Some platforms (like WordPress.com) include RWD for free, but it’s still wise to consider image size, white space, and other ways to improve user experiences as well.

Script

Eons before computers were invented, “script” simply referred to the “handwriting” or “penmanship” used to write poetry and stories. Today, script is code. This means that it still relates to writing, but refers to a programming language used to control software applications.

Server

A server interprets the information that you feed into your browser and then opens the page. For instance, if you type “www.wordpress.com” into your browser, you’re making a request to a server, and the server responds with the HTML code for the website. The web browser then turns this into a web page. It really doesn’t matter whether you’re sending or receiving an email, hosting a website, scanning a document, or searching for cute puppy videos — servers everywhere are standing by to deliver the requested information.

Social media algorithms

Behind the scenes, social networks liked Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, are using algorithms. These are an assortment of technical rules and calculations that sites use to learn what types of content each user prefers seeing. Using the gathered data, network giants decide which posts or advertisements to insert into their viewers’ social feeds.

Theme

In web design terms, a theme is a stylish blueprint for your website. A theme’s templates and style sheets display your posts and pages in an orderly fashion. Take a look at the various layout styles, color options, and other features found in WordPress.com’s business themes.

URL

URL stands for “universal resource locator,” which is essentially the name for a complete website address like the one currently in your browser’s address bar.

Knowing a bit of website terminology can turn the task of establishing your online venture into an adventure. Now that you’ve equipped yourself with some basic knowledge, put it into action and build your WordPress.com website today.

Thousands of small businesses and online stores call WordPress.com home.

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Lorna Hordos

Lorna Hordos is a home-flipping business owner and freelance writer.

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