For someone just getting started on a web project, the technical jargon can be overwhelming. From DXP to CSS, jQuery to Bootstrap, UI to UAT, the world of web can often seem like it’s in a different language.

Here to make things easier, we’ve collated the jargon we commonly hear questioned and provided a straightforward description for each.

See it as your go-to web dictionary when a phrase you’re unaware of makes an appearance.

Web jargon, explained

CX

Customer experience (CX) is the customer’s formed perception based on the interactions with your product or services.

UX

User experience (UX) is the interaction and experience users have with your products or services. UX’s primary focus is how the product or service feels including whether it’s easy to use and what the overall experience is like.

When undertaking user experience design, this refers to the process design teams use to create solutions that provide relevant experiences to the user. When creating a product, UX designers take the users’ pain points into account and explore a way to resolve them to create a better UX.

UI

At a basic level, the user interface (UI) is the series of screens, pages and visual elements such as buttons and icons that enable a user to interact with the site.

UI designers are responsible for making the user interface that the UX designer has created look good, laying it out in a way that’s straightforward to interact with.

IA

IA stands for information architecture. This broadly means the arrangement of things in a way that’s understandable. Usability.gov defines IA as “organising, structuring and labelling in an effective and sustainable way.”

CMS

CMS stands for content management system. A software or application that can be used to manage and update all of your content, it’s also used for developing and updating your website.

DXP

A digital experience platform (DXP) is a solution that supports the management, delivery and optimisation of digital experiences across more than just a website. Able to handle content and manage assets at scale, with a DXP solution you’re able to sync, manage and promote content across multiple touchpoints.

Headless

A headless CMS is a browser without a user interface. The content repository (known as the body) is decoupled from the front-end user interface (known as the head). Headless keeps the head and body loosely couple - the body is where your content is stored, and the head is where your content is displayed.

Your content is then provided as data over an API or network connection. This means your content can have as many heads as it needs so your CMS can be used for any channel such as a webpage or app.

PWA

PWA stands for progressive web application. In this context, web application simply means an app running as a website. Progressive means that the user experience is enhanced based on the browser’s capabilities.

Built using common web technologies such as HTML, CSS and JavaScript, the web application works well in older browsers but can leverage new technologies to improve the experience.

CSS

Cascading style sheets are the foundational technology of the web alongside HTML and JavaScript. They’re essentially a style sheet language used for describing how HTML elements will be displayed.

SASS

Standing for syntactically awesome style sheets, SASS is a preprocessor scripting language that is compiled into a CSS.

H3: LESS

Referring to leaner style sheets, LESS is a backwards-compatible language extension for CSS.

HTML

HTML stands for hypertext markup language. Alongside CSS, this is one of the core technologies for building webpages. HTML provides the structure of the page while CSS provides the visual layout for a variety of devices.

VueJS

VueJS is a progressive framework ideal for building single-page applications. lets you extend HTML with HTML attributes called directives. These HTML directives provide functionality to HTML applications and offer built-in directives and user-defined directive.

AngularJS

AngularJS is similar to VueJS in the fact they are both web application frameworks. However, AngularJS is known as being opinionated which means there is a certain way the application should be structured whereas VueJS is modular and flexible.

JavaScript

JavaScript is the programming language for the web. It can calculate, manipulate and validate data as well as updating and changing both HTML and CSS.

jQuery

jQuery is a JavaScript library that greatly simplifies JavaScript programming and is relatively easy to learn.

React

React is a free and open-source front-end JavaScript library for building user interfaces or UI components. Maintained by Facebook and a community of individual developers, React can be used as a base in the development of single-page or mobile applications.

TypeScript

This is an open-source programming language that builds on JavaScript and is maintained by Microsoft. Designed for the development of large applications, TypeScript is a superset of JavaScript which primarily provides optional static typing, classes and interfaces.

One of the significant benefits of TypeScript is to enable IDEs to provide a better environment for spotting common errors as you type code.

Bootstrap

This is a popular HTML, CSS and JS framework for developing responsive, mobile-first projects. It’s essentially a large collection of reusable bits of code written in HTML, CSS and JavaScript that allows developers to quickly build fully responsive websites. It saves a lot of time writing CSS code, giving you more time to design the web pages.

Full-stack JavaScript

JavaScript has been around for 20 years. At the start, it was a language for the web client (browser), but we now have the ability to use JavaScript on the webserver (with Node.js). Full-stack JavaScript means that all software in a web application – both client and server-side – should be written using JavaScript only.

Full-stack developer

A full-stack web developer is someone who can develop both client and server software. In addition to understanding HTML and CSS, these developers also know how to:

  • Programme a browser such as JavaScript, jQuery, Angular or Vue
  • Programme a server using PHP, ASP, Python or Node
  • Programme a database using SQL, SQLite or MongoDB

FE

The front end of a website is everything the user sees or engages with on your site. It forms the overall look and feel of the online experience.

BE

The back end of a website includes a server, an application and a database. A back-end developer develops and maintains the technology that powers those components. When used together, this enables the user-facing side of the website to exist in the first place.

SSL

An SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate is a digital certificate that authenticates a website’s identity to enable an encrypted connection. This is a security protocol that creates an encrypted link between a web server and web browser.

CDN

A Content Delivery Network is a distributed platform of servers that helps minimise delays in loading web page content by reducing the distance between the server and the user. CDNs allow for the quick transfer of assets needed for loading web content such as HTML pages, JavaScript files, stylesheets, images and videos and can also reduce bandwidth costs, increase content availability and improve security.

Web farm

A web farm is a collection of servers housed in a single location called a data centre. It’s a coordinated group that can be controlled and managed easily.

Tech spec

A technical requirement specification for a website that defines its purpose and functionalities. This specification defines what the site is for, what it should do and how it should do it. A technical specification is also a popular term to describe the project requirements.

Integration

Integration involves the process of connecting all the outputs of all activities and components required for the website to work effectively.

Faceted search

An easy and practical way for users to search for products or pages, faceted search uses the product or content features to allow website visitors to refine their search results.

MVP

MVP stands for minimum viable product. This is a development technique where a new website is built with sufficient features to satisfy users. The complete set of features is then designed and developed after considering feedback from the site’s initial users.

UAT

User acceptance testing (UAT) is one of the final stages of website development. It’s performed by site users after the website has been thoroughly tested.

Sandbox

A sandbox is a testing environment that isolates untested code changes from the production environment. Sandboxing protects live services, data, code and content from changes that could be damaging or difficult to revert.

DevOps

DevOps is a combination of the words ‘development’ and ‘operations’. It was created to represent a collaborative or shared approach to the tasks performed by a business's IT team. This is an approach that encourages better communication and collaboration between different teams across the organisation.

ERP

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is the type of software that businesses use to manage daily business activities such as compliance, accounting, project management, risk management, supply chain management and procurement.

CRM

CRM stands for customer relationship management. This is a technology used to manage interactions with customers and potential customers. A CRM helps businesses build customer relationships and streamline processes to increase sales, improve customer service and increase profitability. Often, businesses want to integrate their website with their CRM system.

PIM

PIM stands for product information management and helps businesses create and deliver enhanced product experiences. This solution provides a single place to collate, manage and improve your product information, create a product catalogue and distribute it to your wider teams and channels.

B2B

Business-to-business (B2B) is the term given to transactions between businesses rather than between a business and a consumer. For example, a B2B transaction could occur between a manufacturer and wholesaler or a wholesaler and retailer.

B2C

Business-to-consumer (B2C) refers to the process of a business selling directly to the end consumer of the product or service. For example, a business sells a cup of coffee to a thirsty customer.

D2C or DTC

D2C (or sometimes referred to as DTC) stands for direct-to-consumer and involves the manufacturer selling its products directly to the customer. Unlike more traditional retail models which usually see the manufacturer goods pass through to a wholesaler or distributor to a retailer and then finally the consumer, a D2C model cuts out the middlemen and sells straight to the final customer.

CTA

A call to action (CTA) refers to the next step you want and suggest your audience or reader to take.

CTR

CTR stands for click-through rate and refers to the number of clicks on a specific link or CTA compared to the number of times people were shown that link.

SERPs

SERPs is an abbreviation of search engine results page – the page a search engine returns after a user submits a search query. Alongside organic search results, SERPs usually include paid search ads.

Personas

Personas are made up characters that a business creates based upon customer research. They are used to represent the different user types that may use your website. Creating personas is an important task that can help you understand your users’ needs, experiences and behaviours.

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Have we missed something off the list? If there are any areas of web development and design you’re unsure of, feel free to reach out to our team who will be happy to share their knowledge.


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