Designers and developers often use their own language in communicating with each other, and always use a unique language in communicating with a computer. In order to help our customers and potential customers understand some of these many terms, we present to you this web development glossary.
There are four main language groups in web development - those we use to speak to other people, those we use to communicate with individual computers, those we use to communicate from servers to our computers via browsers and those we use to communicate between databases. Sounds complicated? Yeah, we get that a lot.
Most of the language here is more about specific changes in vocabulary than complete languages:
Social - Anything concerning websites where people socialize, like Facebook, Twitter, SnapChat, and so forth. You can have social media, reach, presence, sites, and development. Closely related terms are crowdfunding and crowdsourcing. The main difference between a social site and a crowd site is a purpose: if your website is going to include public development of your next product, this is crowdsourcing. If you just want a really active forum discussing your industry, that is a social networking part of your site.
SEM/SEO - Search engine marketing (SEM) and optimization (SEO) are both terms related to getting your website found on Google, Yahoo! and Bing, the three main search engines. SEM is what you pay for (ads), SEO is your online location for various searches (also called organic reach).
Cloud - The cloud is a term used to define hosting your programs, websites, and even servers in a data center which meets certain qualifications for safety, speed, power and data back-ups. The cloud is useful for businesses because it gives you access to technology that was cost prohibitive 10 years ago.
as a Service - Anything with "as a Service" is a product which you pay for on a regular basis. This provides developers, database designers and others a regular source of income while spreading out costs to businesses and giving them always up-to-date software.
There are two types of programming languages, those used to communicate with personal computers and those used to communicate to browsers.
Because of the expanding power of websites through the cloud and mobile computing, many robust programming languages are finding their way into computer use. Rather than defining each of these, we are going to give you a list of the languages that programmers and developers use to communicate with other computers.
Basic, C, C+, C++, C, Pearl, Java
These are the basic languages computers use to interpret commands (called code) given to them by programmers. These are important to understand because with websites integrating with apps, and more businesses offering cloud-based programs, there is large amounts of interactions between desktop computing, laptop, mobile, and browser-based.
Web-Based Languages (Server Side)
Web-based languages are the code which a server delivers to your browser. Your browser then interprets that code to create a website. As websites grew more complex over the last 30 years, web-based languages have grown more complex as well. There is often little difference in functionality between a personal computer's programming language and a website's but the location still matters.
It is important to note the difference between a web-based programming script like those above and the simpler design languages used specifically for creating the structure, content, and tone of a website.
CSS, HTML, XML
Notice HTML gets a mention in both locations? That is because modern versions of HTML have the capability producing both design and function. CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) bears a special mention here because this is the script that designers and developers use to simply make your website a coherent and aesthetic whole. CSS tells HTML and other web scripts what colors to put in different parts of the page, how to stylize your headings, font color and more.
The last languages you may run into in designing your website are the languages servers and computers use to talk to each other. Although many developers use the languages too, their main purpose is providing the framework on which all your websites run, from computer to computer.
Although there are many other languages in this category, SQL is the most commonly used language and one most people run into.
Many of these languages are not as complex as they seem, however you may still need help interpreting them and that’s okay. We hope this glossary has given you a better understanding of the different categories.