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A tech glossary: 20 web development terms you should know – Part 1

Wednesday, 24 November 2021
Danielle MeeContensis
Danielle MeeCampaign manager
Advice and expertise6

If you're a marketer or other non-developer new to the digital or web industries, there might be a few technical terms you've not come across before. There’s a lot of jargon out there, and it can be difficult to navigate your way through it all. To save you from frantically Googling, we've compiled 40 of the most popular software development terms used by the team developing Contensis.

Scroll through part 1 of our tech glossary to learn about the terms that you should know. You can thank us later!

1. AngularJS


Angular: Angular, originally called AngularJS, is a framework and platform for building single-page mobile and desktop web applications using TypeScript and HTML. 

2. CDN


CDN: A CDN, also known as a content delivery network or content distribution network, is a geographically distributed group of servers that work together to speed up the delivery of content. These servers are normally located around the world and store cached content from a website or application’s main web server. This helps to minimise delays in web content loading by reducing the physical distance between the server and the user. 

3. Content modelling


Content modelling: Content modelling is the process of designing how content is stored, structured, and connected. A good content model makes it easy to manage and use content across all platforms and devices.

4. Continuous delivery


Continuous delivery: Continuous delivery is a development approach where software is produced in short cycles, to ensure the software can be reliably released at any time. All code is subject to either manual or automated tests as soon as it is committed, and upon passing those tests, is available to be released at the discretion of the development team. The approach aims to deliver software that can be deployed at any time through manual releases.

5. Continuous integration


Continuous integration: Continuous integration is a software engineering practice where working copies of multiple developers' code are automatically tested before being combined into a single software project. Continuous integration is considered a development best practice, where developers frequently combine code changes into a single repository.

6. Data latency

Data latency: Latency refers to the delay between something being requested and it actually happening. In terms of the internet or other network, latency is the delay between a user making a request, such as clicking a link on a website, and receiving a response, such as a page being loaded by that website’s server. Latency can be caused by both the poor performance of the servers or other infrastructure equipment involved and by the physical distance the data has to travel. 

7. DDoS


DDoS: A DDoS, or distributed denial-of-service, attack is a targeted cyber attack that seeks to make a machine or network deny service and become unavailable to users by overwhelming it with traffic. It can cause temporary or indefinite disruption to the system or network being attacked. DDoS attacks are relatively easy to carry out, but potentially very damaging, so protection against them is important.

8. Git

Git: Git is a version control system used to track changes in any set of files during software development. Git also supports distributed development, allowing multiple developers to work on local copies of the same code while keeping their changes in sync. It is popular with developers as it creates an audit trail of changes, allows work to be reverted back to previous versions if required and makes it easier for developers to collaborate on the same code.

9. Headless CMS


Headless CMS: A headless content management system (CMS) is a content repository which enables content to be delivered via an API to any device, unlike a traditional CMS – in which content and front-end code are closely tied together, making content difficult to repurpose. With a headless CMS, while your content is stored in the CMS, the code that runs your website or app is stored separately, usually in a distributed repository. Because a headless CMS keeps your content separate from your code base, it also allows developers to follow continuous delivery practices, such as version control and automated testing to release features faster and more safely.

10. MathJax


MathJax: MathJax is an open-source JavaScript library that can display mathematical notation written in LaTeX or MathML markup. MathJax is only meant for displaying mathematics in web browsers. Because it outputs text rather than images, MathJax can be read by search engines – making it useful for universities who want to ensure students or researchers can find relevant equations.

11. MVP


MVP: MVP is an abbreviation for minimum viable product. An MVP is the earliest version of a product, with only the features that are essential to make it usable. The development team will observe how customers use the MVP and gather feedback to help determine how to improve further iterations of the product.

12. Node


Node: In computing, a node is either a connection point, redistribution point or a communication endpoint in a network. Nodes contain data and also may link to other nodes. 

13. Payload


Payload: In computing, the intended information or message being transmitted as data between two systems is known as the payload. A message can contain other information, such as headers and metadata, but these are only used to ensure the successful delivery of the payload.

14. Proprietary software


Proprietary software: Proprietary software, sometimes referred to as closed source, is software that is owned by a company and legally remains the property of whomever created it. Users of proprietary software pay a fee in exchange for using the software. Users of proprietary software rely on the creator or vendor to support and update the product, as they are in charge of update cycles and development of new features.

15. RESTful API


RESTful API: A RESTful API, often referred to as a REST API, is an API that conforms to Representational State Transfer (REST) design principles. REST is an architectural pattern created to guide design and development of web services, creating a standard between computer systems and the web. REST makes it easier for systems to communicate with each other. 

16. SaaS soluton


SaaS solution: SaaS stands for 'Software as a Service'. A SaaS solution is a licensed product, which is provided on a subscription basis. You access a SaaS solution via the internet, instead of installing, updating, and maintaining the software or hardware yourself. Examples of SaaS products include Netflix, Uber, Zoom, Dropbox, and Contensis.

17. Waterfall vs. Agile

Waterfall vs. Agile: Waterfall and agile are two distinct methodologies and processes for completing projects. The waterfall model is a sequential, linear approach, following an order where each project phase flows down to the next. The next phase in a waterfall project cannot be started until the previous one is completed. An agile approach is more flexible and is an incremental model whereby the project is broken down into smaller tasks to be completed in short timeframes. The project is completed in increments, with features being released and improved in response to user feedback.

18. WCAG


WCAG: WCAG is an acronym for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. They are part of a series of web accessibility guidelines published by the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) – a part of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the main body which develops international standards for the Web. The guidelines outline how to make websites and digital content more accessible to users with disabilities.

19. Webhooks


Webhooks: Webhooks are automated messages that can be sent to another service or third-party integration when data in a system is changed or an activity has taken place. For example, if an entry is published or unpublished in Contensis, or if site navigation is changed, a webhook can be sent to notify another system of these changes. Webhooks allow you to create real-time integrations with applications outside of your CMS. Contensis webhooks are flexible, allowing you to trigger a webhook on a variety of different conditions and to template your payload with Liquid.



WYSIWYG: WYSIWYG, pronounced 'wiziwig’, is an acronym for “what you see is what you get”. A WYSIWYG editor is a type of HTML editor with a user interface that resembles how a web page will be displayed once published. Because of the way a WYSIWYG editor closely ties content to the way it is presented, this kind of editor creates content that is difficult to reuse in anything other than its original context.  

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