Web Acronyms & Crazy Web Talk

Web Acronyms

26 Jun 2014

Ever asked about getting a website built or anything else web related and the reply may as well been in another language? Welcome to our world! Every day new acronyms seem to be popping up. Together with web 'buzz' words, it's enough to make potential clients either give up hopelessly in ignorance, or run screaming for the hills!

It took us years to learn the ingo, yet clients are meant to know what we are talking about. In our dreams! It's like my mechanice tell me how to calibrate my brakes. It's just not going to happen! I'll just leave him to do it & hope he doesn't rip me off in the process.

So we've decided to make things just a little easier for you to understand what we are talking about. We wouldn't exactly call it "Web Class 101" & you won't be a wiz at the web lingo aftr reading it, but you will be a little closer to understanding what your webbie is talking about. Which, when it comes to spending your cash on such a big investment, can't be bad.

We've even thrown in some common used words than may have also left you scratching your head.

As for you fellow webbies.... if you know of any that should be added, feel free to drop us a line!



  • AJAX - Asynchronous JavaScript And XML — A web programming technique that uses JavaScript to transparently interact with a web server, eliminating the need to reload a web page to see changes.
  • API - (Microsoft): Application Programming Interface — Specifies how some software components should interact with each other. A way of allowing different services, such as social networks, blogs,software, to talk. The practice of publishing APIs has allowed web communities to create an open architecture for sharing content and data between communities and applications. In this way, content that is created in one place can be dynamically posted and updated in multiple locations on the web. Most APIs now offer XML or JSON, therefore allowing the programmer to choose which will best fit their need. JSON tends to be lighter to work with.
  • ASP - (Microsoft): Active Server Pages — A server-side script engine for dynamically generated web pages. Web pages with the .asp file extension use ASP, although some web sites disguise their choice of scripting language for security purposes (e.g. still using the more common .htm or .html extension, or chosing to end with a "" - i.e. /about/). Microsoft's ASP technology runs only on Windows platforms.
  • ASP - Application Service Provider — An ASP is any business that provides online, Internet-delivered applications to customers.
  • AVS - Address Verification System — A method of verifying the identity of a person using a credit card to make a purchase online.
  • AWS - Amazon Web Services — A collection of remote application services offered by Amazon.com.



  • bot - robot — An autonomous program on a network (especially the Internet) which can interact with systems or users, especially one designed to behave like a player in some computer games.



  • CGI - Common Gateway Interface — CGI is a protocol that allows server applications to interact with client web browsers. Provides an interface between the web server and programs that generate the web content. An example of a CGI program is one implementing a Wiki (i.e. Wikepedia). The user agent requests the name of an entry, the web server executes the CGI, the CGI program retrieves the source of that entry's page, transforms it into HTML, and prints the result.
  • clearFusionCMS - clearFusionCMS — A Content Management System used for making websites.
  • CMYK - Cyan Magenta Yellow Key — A subtractive color model used by computers to display various colors by subtracting different levels of cyan, magenta, and yellow.
  • CNAME - Canonical Name — An alias of one hostname to another.
  • CPC - Cost Per Click — The amount an advertiser pays every time a user clicks on one of their advertisements in a PPC campaign.
  • CPM - Cost Per 1000 Impressions — The amount an advertiser pays for every 1000 (or, roman numeral "M”) users who view their advertisement on a web page.
  • CRAP - Contrast, Repetition, Alignment, Proximity — A design methodology applied to the design and layout of web pages.
  • CRUD - Create, Read, Update and Delete — The four basic functions of any persistent storage system, most commonly a database system.
  • CRON - Command Run ON — A scheduling program on most Unix system. It is used to schedule time-sensitive activities for software programs to perform.
  • CSC/CVV - Card Security Code/Card Verification Value — A security feature available on most major credit cards that is used to prevent credit card fraud.
  • CSRF - Cross-Site Request Forgery — A common web page security vulnerability where an attacker poses as an authenticated user to execute actions.
  • CSS - Cascading Style Sheets — Style sheets defines how a webpage is presented and displayed in a web browser. Basically, it's the formatting of the document. It allows browsers to display web pages exactly how the designer would like to display them, and allows for very specific control over the look and feel of a web page.
  • CTR - Click Through Rate/Ratio — A measure of the amount of users who click an advertisement as compared to the number of users who see the advertisement.
  • CVS - Concurrent Versions System — A version control system that allows several developers to collaboratively work on a single set of code.



  • DBMS - Database Management System — A structured collection of data organized to allow for easy retrieval by computer programs using SQL.
  • DHTML - Dynamic HyperText Markup Language — Creating animated or interactive web sites using HTML, JavaScript & CSS. It allows HTML to interact more directly with readers. DHTML is what makes web pages fun.
  • DNS - Domain Name System — The phone book of the Internet. It translates human-readable hostnames such as solosignal.com into numeric IP addresses used by networking equipment.
  • DOM - Document Object Model — A standard object model for representing HTML and XML formats as objects. It's the specification for how the HTML, JavaScript, and CSS interact to form Dynamic HTML.
  • Drupal - Drupal — A Content Management System used for making websites.
  • DTD - Document Type Definition — A document used to describe and specify the structure and organization of an XML document.



  • EE - Expression Engine — A Content Management System used for making websites.



  • 508 - Section 508 — Section 508 is an amendment to the Rehabilitation act of 1973 that requires federal agencies to make their electronic and information technology accessible to people with disabilities. It is commonly used as a standard for accessible web sites.
  • FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions — A common support mechanism on many web sites that provides answers to questions that are commonly asked of the company.
  • FB - Facebook — A social network.
  • FLA - Flash Authoring File — The primary authoring output files of Adobe Flash
  • FTP - File Transfer Protocol — A commonly used protocol for transferring files from one computer to another over a network. If you see FTP in a URL it means that the file requested would be transferred to your hard drive instead of being displayed in the browser.



  • G+ - Google Plus — A social network.
  • GIF - Graphics Interchange Format — A popular graphics format most commonly used for graphics in web sites.
  • GUI - Graphical User Interface — A computer interface that allows users to interact with the computer through graphical icons and windows, typically with the aid of a mouse.



  • # - Hash Tag — A hashtag is a word or an unspaced phrase prefixed with the number sign "#". It is a form of metadata tag. Words in messages on microblogging and social networking services such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or Instagram may be tagged by putting "#" before them, either as they appear in a sentence, ["I love #Gardening"] or appended to it ["Bought some roses today #Gardening" ].
  • hack - Hack — To gain unauthorized access to data in a system or computer.
  • HTML - HyperText Markup Language — Markup language (code) using tags to create web pages. The backend of your website that gives your webpage life that people don't see. If you right click on a webpage & go to "view source" you can see the HTML code used to generate your website. All webpages use some kind of HTML. A Word document will always stay the same, whereas hypertext is meant to be easily changed and manipulated so that it can ultimately be dynamic and change on the page.
  • HTTP - HyperText Transfer Protocol — A communications protocol used for transferring data available on the Web. You will see HTTP in a URL at the front, e.g. http://webdesign.about.com. It means that you are asking the web server to show you a web page.
  • HTTPS - Secure HypterText Transfer Protocol — A variation of HTTP used to specify that the data being transferred is/should be encrypted and secure.



  • IA - Information Architecture — An emerging community of practice focused on bringing principles of design and architecture to the digital landscape. The combination of organization, labeling, search and navigation systems within websites and intranets. The art and science of organizing and labeling web sites, intranets, online communities, and software to support findability and usability. The structural design of shared information environments.
  • ICANN - Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers — A non-profit organization formed to oversee the management of domain names and IP addresses.
  • IP - Internet Protocol — A protocol for transferring data across a packet-switched network.
  • ISP - Internet Service Provider — Any business that provides online, Internet-delivered applications to customers.
  • IIS - Internet Information Services — A set of internet-based services for servers running Microsoft Windows.



  • Joomla - Joomla — A Content Management System used for making websites.
  • JPEG / JPG - Joint Photographic Experts Group — An image compression codec commonly used to encode pictures for the Web.
  • JSON - JavaScript Object Notation — Primarily to transmit data between a server and web application, as an alternative to XML. JSON is better when returning data to an AJAX call as JSON is Javascript so it's potentially quicker to parse and get the data from. Although originally derived from the JavaScript scripting language, JSON is a language-independent data format, and code for parsing and generating JSON data is readily available in a large variety of programming languages.
  • JSP - JavaServer Pages — A server-side scripting language used to add business logic and database interactivity to dynamic websites.
  • JS - JavaScript — A scripting language used for client-side (web browser) web development.



  • keywords - key words — When someone uses a search engine, they type in one or more words describing what they are looking for. These words or phrases are known as keywords.



  • LI - LinkedIn — A business social network.



  • meta - metadata — Provides metadata about the HTML document. Metadata will not be displayed on the page, but will be machine parsable. Meta elements are typically used to specify page description, keywords, author of the document, last modified, and other metadata. The metadata can be used by browsers (how to display content or reload page), search engines (keywords), or other web services. Example: <meta name="description" content="Free Web tutorials on HTML and CSS">
  • MID - Merchant ID — A unique identifier assigned to companies selling goods and used for billing purposes.
  • MODx - MODx — A Content Management System used for making websites.
  • myspace - MySpace — A social network.



  • noob - Newbie — A person who is inexperienced in a particular sphere or activity, especially computing or the use of the Internet.



  • OG - OpenGraph — The Open Graph protocol enables developers to integrate their pages into the social graph. These pages gain the functionality of other graph objects including profile links and stream updates for connected users.



  • PHP - PHP Hypertext Preprocessor — A server-side scripting language used to add business logic and database interactivity to dynamic websites. Software written in PHP can be run on Windows or Linux servers.
  • Pin - Pinterest Pin — Pinterest is a social network. To Pin or the Pin It button makes it easy to Pin things you find on the web to your boards on Pinterest.
  • PNG - Portable Network Graphics — An image format that was developed to replace the aging GIF image format for web sites.
  • PPC - Pay Per Click — An advertising model used on the Web in which advertisers only pay when a user actually click their advertisement.
  • PR - PageRank — An algorithm used to measure the value of a particular document relative to other documents in the same set. Commonly used by search engines to rank web site popularity.
  • PSD - PhotoShop Document — The primary authoring output files of Adobe Photoshop.



  • QoS - Quality of Service — The overall performance of a telephony or computer network, particularly the performance seen by the users of the network.



  • RGB - Red Green Blue — An additive color model used by computers to display various colors by combining different levels of red, green, or blue.
  • robots.txt - The Robot Exclusion Standard, also known as the Robots Exclusion Protocol or robots.txt protocol, is a convention to advising cooperating web crawlers and other web robots about accessing all or part of a website which is otherwise publicly viewable. Robots are often used by search engines to categorize and archive web sites, or by webmasters to proofread source code.
  • RSS - Really Simple Syndication — An XML specification for publishing frequently updated web content to subscribers. RSS allows us to feed our blogs to others and our other online content.
  • Ruby / RoR - Ruby on Rails — A web application framework based on the Ruby scripting language. It has been used by several popular Web 2.0 web sites.
  • RWD - Responsive Web Design — A web design approach aimed at crafting websites to provide an optimal viewing experience, easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling across a wide range of devices from mobile phones to desktop computer monitors.



  • S3 - Amazon Simple Storage Service — A storage solution that offers unlimited data stored for a small fee through a simple web service interface.
  • SE - Search Engine — A program that searches for and identifies items in a database that correspond to keywords or characters specified by the user, used especially for finding particular sites on the World Wide Web.
  • SEM - Search Engine Marketing — Search engine marketing (SEM) is a form of Internet marketing that involves the promotion of websites by increasing their visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs) through optimization and advertising.
  • SEO - Search Engine Optimization — The process of tweaking web sites so that they are more likely to be indexed higher in search engine results.
  • SERP - Search Engine Results Page — The listing of web pages returned by a search engine in response to a user search
  • SQL - Structured Query Language — A special programming language used to retrieve data from and modify relational database systems.
  • SLD - Second-Level Domain — A domain directly below the TLD. For example. In "solosignal.com”, "solosignal” is the SLD and ".com” is the TLD.
  • SM - Social Media — Websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking.
  • SMM - Social Media Marketing — Social media marketing is the process of gaining website traffic or attention through social media sites. Social media marketing programs usually center on efforts to create content that attracts attention and encourages readers to share it with their social networks.
  • SocMed - Social Media — Websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking.
  • Spam - Spam — Send the same message indiscriminately to a large numbers of Internet users.
  • SSI - Server Side Includes — SSI is a server-side scripting language used primarily to include the contents of one file in another.
  • SSH - Secure Shell — A network protocol that allows data to be exchanged over a secure channel between two computers.
  • SSL - Secure Sockets Layer — A cryptographic protocol used for encrypting sensitive data while being sent through the Internet.
  • SVG - Scalable Vector Graphics — An XML markup language used to describe two dimensional vector graphics.
  • SVN - Subversion — A version control system that allows several developers to collaboratively work on a single set of code.
  • SWF - Small Web Format/ShockWave Flash — A proprietary vector graphics format used to create animations on web sites.



  • TLD - Top-Level Domain — The last part of any Internet domain name. For example: .com, .net, and .org are all TLDs.



  • URL - Uniform Resource Locator — The addresses used to request files through the Web. The internet works like a post office, it needs an address to send information to and from. The URL is the address that the web uses for your website.
  • User-Agent - Software (a software agent) that is acting on behalf of a user. The User-Agent string is one of the criteria by which Web crawlers may be excluded from accessing certain parts of a Web site using the Robots Exclusion Standard (robots.txt file)
  • UX - User Experience — A person's perceptions and responses that result from the use or anticipated use of a product, system or service. User experience includes all the users' emotions, beliefs, preferences, perceptions, physical and psychological responses, behaviours and accomplishments that occur before, during and after use.



  • VPS - Virtual Private Server — A partition of a physical server that has the ability to run a separate operating system and reboot itself independently of other VPSs on the same physical server.



  • W3C - World Wide Web Consortium — The W3C is the international standards organization for the Web.
  • WAI - Web Accessibility Initiative — An initiative enacted by the W3C for improving the accessibility of web pages for people using software other than web browsers.
  • WAP - Wireless Application Protocol — An international standard for accessing Internet content on a wireless mobile device.
  • WCAG - Web Content Accessibility Guidelines — A series of web accessibility guidelines published by the WAI.
  • WML - Wireless Markup Language — An XML-based markup language for content accessed through a wireless mobile device. Similar to HTML.
  • WP - WordPress — A Content Management System used for making websites.
  • WYSIWYG - What You See Is What You Get — Used to describe web development applications in which the authoring environment closely resembles the final output of the program.
  • WWW - World Wide Web — The network of interlinked hypertext documents available through the Internet.



  • XHTML - Extensible HyperText Markup Language — A type of HTML that conforms to the strict rules of XML. It allows for cleaner code that can be understood by a wide array of software.
  • XML - Extensible Markup Language — A general purpose markup language for describing data in a structured manner. Often used in news feeds, passing data to and from API services such as facebook,etc.
  • XSS - Cross-Site Scripting — A common web page security vulnerability where an attacker rigs a site they do not own to run malicious code.



  • YT - YouTube — A video social network.



  • zip - Zip — A compress (a file) so that it takes less space in storage.


Cindy Arlott

By Cindy Arlott

Web Producer, Creative Director, Content Creator & Distributor at clearFusion Digital, & specializes in helping businesses plan & grow their website.

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