Internet website acronyms and abbreviations

 Internet website acronyms and abbreviations After years of discussions with thousands of business owners, I’ve come to the realization that there’s no single location to find clear, concise and non-technical descriptions of keywords related to our industry.  For this reason, I’ve decided to create a list of acronyms and abbreviations used when describing projects related to Internet presences on all mediums – web, mobile and social media.

Because technology evolves so quickly I will be adding to this on an ongoing basis so that hopefully it can remain a helpful and useful resource for our leads, clients and any website visitors that may come across this.   If there are acronyms or abbreviations that you feel are too technical and require a more simplified description, or if you feel I’ve missed one that should be added to the list, please leave a comment.

Please feel free to bookmark this resource and refer to it on an as-needed basis.

Brent Mondoux
CEO, N-VisionIT Interactive

Ottawa web design

Web & Mobile

  • General 
    • 404 Page Not Found
      A 404 page shows on a user’s screen when they reach a page that doesn’t exist on the website.
    • 301 Redirect
      A permanent redirect from one URL to the other.  Very important to use so that search engines know where a page has been moved to.
    • FAQ (Frequently asked questions)
      A common support mechanism on many web sites that provides answers to questions that are commonly asked.
    • HTTP (HyperText transfer protocol)
      Protocol which is used to transfer information on the web.
    • HTTPS (Secure HyperText transfer protocol)
      Similar to HTTP cited above, however, specifies that data is/should be encrypted and secure.
    • URL (Uniform Resource Locator)
      The global address of documents and other resources on the World Wide Web.
    • SSL (Secure Socket Layer)
      Used to transmit private information via the Internet (e.g. account information, credit card information, etc.)
    • W3C
      International standards organization for the web.
    • WAI (Web accessibility initiative)
      Enacted by the W3C for improving the accessibility of web pages.
    • WCAG (Web content accessibility guidelines)
      Guidelines published by the WAI (cited above).
    • WWW (World Wide Web)
      A network of interlinked documents available through the Internet.
  • Design & Development
    • 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.
    • CRON (Command Run ON)
      A scheduling program used to schedule time-sensitive activities for software programs to perform.
    • CSS (Cascading Style Sheets)
      Used to define how a web page written HTML or XHTML should be presented and displayed in a web browser.
    • CVS (Concurrent Versions System)
      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)
      A term used when HTML, JavaScript and CSS are used to create animated or interactive web sites.
    • Favicon
      Small pictures you see beside some URLs in your browser’s address bar.
    • FTP (File Transfer Protocol)
      A protocol for transferring files from one computer to another over a network.
    • FLA (Flash Authoring File)
      The primary authoring output files of Adobe Flash.
    • HTML (HyperText markup language)
      Tag-based language used to create web pages.
    • JS (JavaScript)
      A scripting language used for client-side (web browser) web development.
    • RSS (Really Simple Syndication)
      An XML specification for publishing frequently updated web content to subscribers.
    • 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.
    • SQL (Structured Query Language)
      A special programming language used to retrieve data from and modify relational database systems.
    • WML (Wireless markup language)
      A tag-based language used to create web pages displayed through a wireless mobile device.
    • XHTML (Extensible HyperText markup language)
      A special type of HTML that conforms to strict rules of XML.
    • XML (Extensible markup language)
      A general purpose tag-based language used to describe data in a structured manner.
  • eCommerce
    • API (Application Programming Interface)
      An API is a way for website or service to talk to another website or service via programming. APIs let you mix information and media from other services into your own site or application.
    • B2B (Business to business)
      Business-to-business, denoting trade conducted via the Internet between businesses.
    • B2C (Business to consumer)
      Business-to-consumer, denoting trade conducted via the Internet between businesses and end consumers.
    • OOS (Out of stock)
      Out of stock
    • Payment gateway
      A payment gateway is an e-commerce application service provider service that authorizes payments for e-businesses, online retailers, bricks and mortar locations, etc.
    • POS (Point of sale)
      The point where money is exchanged for products or services.
    • VTP (Visits to Purchase)
      A metric that indicates how many sales a website completes in comparison to how much traffic it gets.
  • CMS 
    • WCMS, CMS (Content management systems)
      A web content management system (WCMS or CMS) is a software system that provides website authoring, collaboration, and administration tools designed to allow users with little knowledge of web programming languages or markup languages to create and manage website content with relative ease. 
    • WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get)
      A user interface that allows the user to view something very similar to the end result while the document is being created.
  • SEO & SEM
    • CPC (Cost Per Click)
      The amount an advertiser pays each time an ad is clicked.
    • CPM (Cost per “mille”)
      Cost per thousand impressions (or displays).
    • CRO (Conversion rate optimization)
      The practice of increasing the amount of online sales and leads on a website, without increasing the amount of web visitors.
    • CTR (Click Through Ratio)
      A ratio of the number of times an ad was clicked on by the viewer and the number of times the ad was displayed. For a banner that was clicked 100 times and displayed 1000 times, the CTR is 100:1000 or 1:10. This can be changed to a percentage value by multiplying by 100: 1/10 * 100 = 10%, meaning 10% of the impressions have led to clicks on the banner.
    • META tags
      A special HTML tag that provides information about a web page to user agents, such as search engines.
    • Organic search results
      Listings on search engine results pages that appear due to their relevance to the search terms.  In contrast, non-organic search results may include pay per click advertising.
    • PPC (Pay Per Click)
      An advertising model where advertisers pay only when a user clicks on an ad to visit the advertiser’s website.
    • PR (PageRank)
      What Google uses to determine the importance of a web page. It’s one of many factors used to determine which pages appear in search results.
    • SEF URLs (Search Engine Friendly URLs)
      Contain words and proper filenames only. They do not contain any special characters or spaces (when necessary, use dashes to separate words). Using SEO-friendly URLs can dramatically improve your organic search rankings, simply because they emphasize keywords that actually mean something and are easier to index than numbers and strings.
    • SEM (Search engine marketing)
      Search engine marketing includes any activity aimed at increasing visibility in search engines, whether it be paid or organic listings.  A strong SEM strategy typically involves a robust mixture of both.
    • SEO (Search engine optimization)
      Aims to increase exposure in organic search results (e.g. unpaid).  At its most basic level, the purpose is to increase rankings for a website in search engines for keywords that are relevant to its content.  This involves writing top-notch content, optimizing the website in question and doing external marketing.  The nature of the website backlink profile also plays a big role in how well its pages will rank and how much traffic it will get organically from search engines.
  • Security
    • XSS (Cross-Site Scripting)
      A hacker injects javascript into your site.
    • DOS (Denial of Service)
      Brute force attack from multiple servers at once to overload a site’s server.
    • LFI (Local File Inclusion)
      A hacker includes a file onto a site’s server.
    • RFI (Remote File Inclusion)
      A hacker includes a remote file onto a site.
    • CSRF (Cross-Site Request Forgery)
      A hacker executes commands through an authorized user.

Social media

  • General
    • SMM (Social media marketing)
      This is something of an enigma to most people.  Everyone knows what social media is, and everyone knows that no one wants to be marketed to when they’re spending time on social media websites.  Generally speaking, old-fashioned marketing (hey, here’s our product, buy it now!) is destined to fail on social media platforms.  Good social media marketing involves engaging the consumer base as real people talking to real people on the social media platforms that they use.
    • Blog
      A web site which individual(s) record opinion(s), information, etc. on a regular basis.
    • Vlog (Video blog)
      A web site which individual(s) record opinion(s), information, etc. on a regular basis using video as their communications medium.
  • Facebook
    • Tagging (@)
      Tagging individual(s) or page(s) in a comment. Your tag optionally begins with @ to indicate to Facebook that you are intending to tag.  Once tagged, the ‘@’ symbol is no longer displayed.
  • Twitter
    • At replies (@)
      People say lots of things on Twitter, and sometimes you want to say something back. Your reply will always begin with @username (insert username of the person you are replying to). Any Tweet that is a reply to you will show up in your Mentions tab on the Connect page.
    • DM (Direct message)
      Message sent to one of your followers.  You cannot send a direct message to a user who is not following you.
    • Hashtag (#)
      The # symbol, called a hashtag, is used to mark keywords or topics in a Tweet. It was created organically by Twitter users as a way to categorize messages.  The third party site offers an overview of popular hashtags used on Twitter
    • RT (Retweet)
      Used to indicate that you are retweeting another individual’s tweet
    • TMB (Tweet me back)
      Used when you want individual(s) to respond to your tweet
    • Tweets
      A tweet is a post or status update on Twitter, a microblogging service. Because Twitter only allows messages of 140 characters or less, “tweet” is as much a play on the size of the message as it is on the audible similarity to Twitter.

5 comments on “Internet website acronyms and abbreviations

  1. Nice list. SEM and WML were new to me.

    Security is big for me these days so I will add:

    XSS (Cross-Site Scripting) – a hacker injects javascript into your site.
    DOS (Denial of Service) – brute force attack from multiple servers at once to overload a site’s server.
    LFI (Local File Inclusion) – a hacker includes a file onto a site’s server.
    RFI (Remote File Inclusion – a hacker includes a remote file onto a site.
    CSRF (Cross-Site Request Forgery) – a hacker executes commands through an authorized user.

  2. Wow, this is amazingly useful! I’m pretty good at these types of things, but I only knew about 75% or so of them! It’s great to have these in one place so I can come back and search next time I find one I don’t know. Cheers!

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