Words you’ll come across as a web developer

When you get involved with making websites you’ll come across a lot of new words and expressions that seemingly all mean more or less the same thing. When I started out I was very confused about the difference between a “Web Hotel” and “Web Hosting”. As it turned out, they are the same thing:

Web hosting is a service that allows you to make your website accessible via the World Wide Web. You do this by renting space on a server connected to the Internet, so you don’t need to leave your own computer on 24/7 at home.

I’ve made this list which you may look up if you’re wondering about anything.

  • Web page: A document hosted on the World Wide Web
  • Web site: A collection of web pages hosted on the same domain.
  • Web application: Similar to a Web page, but with more interaction. E.g. log-in, forums, option to enter and delete data such as text, images and video.
  • Browser: or Web Browser, is a software application on your computer, phone, or tablet used for retrieving and displaying web sites. There are many web browsers, the most common ones being Google Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Opera, and Safari.
  • Domain name: A domain name serves as the online address of your website. Such as http://happybynature.net for this website.
  • HTML: “HyperText Markup Language” is the standard markup language for creating web pages and web applications. This is the most elementary code.
  • Markup: A markup language is a system for annotating a document. HTML have pre-defined presentation semantics – meaning that their specification prescribes how to present the structured data.
  • CSS: “Cascading Style Sheets”. Where HTML provides the content and structure of your document, CSS controls the visual presentation of the document in the form of typography, colours and layout among others.
  • JavaScript: While HTML and CSS are good for displaying information, JavaScript is a programming language that runs in the user’s browser. This allows it to change what is viewed in the browser based on the user’s interaction with it. E.g. open and close menus or navigate through slideshows.
  • jQuery: Is a JavaScript library made to make it easier to write JavaScript(!)
  • index.html: This is the default page, the home-page, of your website. If your website only has one page, this is it.
  • Code editor: Simple text editors that feature stuff useful for editing code, like syntax highlighting.
  • Git: is a program helping you to keep track of changes to your code, so you don’t end up with files like “design-final-version-3b-final-reallyfinal”
  • Static website: A static site is just HTML, CSS, and JS files which gets opened up in the browser, displayed, and that’s that.
  • Dynamic website: A dynamic site is backed by an application running on the server, written in a programming language, that often talks to a database and manages users, logins, changing data, posts, etc.
  • Server: A computer connected to the internet, used specifically for sharing files, such as websites.
  • Web hosting: Web hosting is a service that allows you to make your website accessible via the World Wide Web. You do this by renting space on a server connected to the Internet, so you don’t need to leave your own computer on 24/7 at home.
  • Shared web hosting: The cheapest option for hosting a website on a server. You share the server with many other websites, like buying an apartment in a larger apartment building.
  • FTP: “File Transfer Protocol”. Transferring files to and from your web host or server is often done with what’s commonly known an FTP client.
  • PHP: is used for making websites dynamic. It is a server side language, meaning it can connect to databases, translate information, do math, and more.
  • Ruby on Rails: Like PHP, it’s used for making websites dynamic by connecting to a database and so on.
  • Database: is an organised collection of data, like students’ names and grades in a class.
  • mySQL: is a popular database management system.
  • WAMP, MAMP, LAMP: These are servers you can install on your own computer, which is very handy when you are developing your website. They are respectively for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.
  • Apache: Is a popular open source web server, included in WAMP/MAMP/LAMP.
  • Front-end: A description of the code used to make the public-facing side of your website, in other words what you see in the web browser. Front-end coding consists of one or more of HTML, CSS and JavaScript.
  • Back-end: A description of the coding used for the “hidden” side of your website. That is, the code living on the web server, such as PHP or Ruby on Rails.
  • UI: User Interface. The visual surface or space which enables user to interact with a system, also referred to as GUI – for graphical user interface. Especially now as voice commands is becoming a more common way to interact with computers.
  • CMS: Content Management System. A CMS usually provides an easy-to-use interface that lets you create web pages and layouts, as well as create, edit, and manage content such as blogs, articles, images, videos, etc.
  • WordPress: Is the most popular content management system (CMS), primarily made for blogging.