HTML – Hyper Text Markup Language.
This is the language or code which is at the base of everything you see on the web. It is the language that all web browsers understand. The job of the web browser is to convert the HTML code into graphics and type that you see when you open a web page – so every time you look at a web page, what you see is a graphic representation of the HTML code.
CMS – Content Management System.
Websites used to be built in HTML editors and then uploaded in their entirety onto a hosting server. To make any changes or updates to a website – the site, or the page that needed updating had to be edited in a HTML editor and uploaded again. This proved quite costly as every little website change required a fair bit of technical knowledge and had to be carried out by a web designer. CMS web sites use a system to provide the user with a simple way of editing text and images on their website, meaning that news updates and simple changes can be performed in-house. A note of caution here: even with a CMS site, you will still need a basic understanding of how websites work, and the changes you can make will be most likely limited to text and image additions/deletions.
Some commonly used CMS engines are WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, TextPattern.
SEO – Search Engine Optimisation.
This is a process of making your website Google-friendly. Whether you’re running an online shop or simply promoting your brand it is important that your website is well referenced by all search engines – meaning it comes up higher in the list when searched for with relevant keywords.
FTP – File Transfer Protocol
This is a process of transferring files directly from your computer onto a web server and vice versa. The FTP Server you might hear your web designer mention quite often is the server that holds all your website files.
WYSIWYG – What You See Is What You Get
You will see this terms used with many CMS systems – WYSIWYG interface. To put it simply a WYSIWYG interface hides the code and provides a graphic overlay so that when for example you want to make a typeface bold you click on the “bold” button rather than having to type the html code for bold.
Flash is a platform on which a lot of animations are built. It’s a platform frequently used for banner ads and online games. In addition to the animation, Flash also supports video and audio streaming.
Want to know how your website is performing? Ask your web designer to hook you up to Google Analytics. A tracking pixel inserted into your website will provide volumes of useful information about the traffic your website is getting.