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A tech glossary: 20 web development terms you should know - Part 2

Monday, 28 March 2022
Danielle MeeCampaign manager
Advice6 min

Following on from part 1 of our tech glossary, we've compiled another 20 popular software development terms used by the team developing Contensis, to help non-developers new to the digital or web industries.

Following on from part 1 of our tech glossary, here are another 20 terms you might come across in your day-to-day work in a digital team. Because the web industry has too many technical terms that you should know.

Sit back and scroll through part 2 of our glossary, or bookmark it for later, to build your technical knowledge and navigate your way through the jargon.

1. API


API: An application programming interface, or API, is a software interface that connects an application with other applications and services. They are used to communicate, integrate, exchange, and relay data. For example, the Management API in Contensis allows you to import content from your favourite external apps and services such as Google Sheets.

APIs grant access to specific parts of an application, usually the parts that the creators of the application think other developers will want to use, and normally require a unique code, or "key", to work. This increases security whilst reducing the development work required to get data into and out of the application.


2. API endpoint


API endpoint: An API endpoint is one end of a communication channel. Each API endpoint is the location where APIs can access the resources they need to carry out their function. An API endpoint can include a URL of a server or service.

3. A11Y


A11Y: A11Y is an abbreviation of accessibility and it most commonly refers to accessibility online.

The numeronym is a number-based word that takes the first letter "A" then 11 characters (the number of letters between the first and last letter) and then the last letter "Y" to form the abbreviation A11Y. 

These kinds of abbreviations are often used in software and web development, for example, i18n for internationalisation or l10n for localisation. The abbreviation also makes the word more compact for the character limits on social media. 

4. Back-end development


Back-end development: Back-end development refers to building and maintaining the side of a website that a user cannot see – the 'server side' or 'back end'. Traditionally, front-end developers worked on the components that worked "client side", the website elements users interact with in their browser. Back-end developers wrote code that ran "server-side" to do things like integrate business systems, process transactions, and update databases. However, modern technologies, especially JavaScript frameworks like React, have blurred the line between back-end and front-end development.

5. Burndown chart


Burndown chart: A burndown chart is a visual representation of work left to do in a sprint, versus the time remaining to complete it. A burndown chart is a tool used by software development teams following the Scrum methodology to track and predict the likelihood of achieving the sprint goal. The burndown chart is represented in a graph to monitor sprint and project progress, to keep the project running on schedule, and monitor the team's actual progress.

6. Coupled and decoupled CMS architecture


Coupled & decoupled CMS architecture: A coupled CMS architecture refers to a traditional CMS, such as WordPress, where both the front-end website and content are managed in the same back-end system. A coupled CMS is a simple system that makes it easy to create websites, but very hard – if not impossible – to deliver content to other platforms. Essentially the management of the content and the display of the content is all determined in a single system.

A decoupled CMS takes that a step further, by separating the management of the content from the display of the content, but usually has a standard method of publishing the content in the form of a webpage.

A headless CMS, manages the content only, with API to push to any platform. 

7. Content repository


Content repository: A content repository is a digital database that stores digital content. In most cases, a content repository is a headless content management system (CMS), like Contensis.

The content repository acts as an enhanced library that allows you to modify, store, search and retrieve content. More complex than a digital library, the content repository, has an associated set of data management, search and access methods allowing independent applications such as websites, apps, wearables etc to access the content.

8. Digital transformation


Digital transformation: Digital transformation refers to a process of change that utilises new digital practices to replace older technology or non-digital practices within your business. The motivation behind digital transformation is often driven by business needs, market requirements, a desire for increased efficiency or the need to improve internal culture and customer experiences.

9. Front-end development


Front-end development: Front-end development involves building and maintaining the visual elements that a user interacts with when using a website or app. Front-end developers use languages such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript that run client-side – in a visitor's browser, rather than on a server. They often need a more detailed knowledge of accessibility, web design and search engine optimisation than would be required of a back-end developer.

10. GraphQL


GraphQL: GraphQL is a data query language for APIs. It allows clients to request only what they need from an API, therefore preventing excessively large amounts of data from being returned. Originally developed by Facebook, GraphQL is open-source and is designed to make APIs fast, flexible, and developer-friendly.

11. Monolithic CMS


Monolithic CMS: Monolithic is an alternative term for a traditional or coupled CMS.


12. MySQL


MySQL: MySQL or My Structured Query Language, is a popular and free open-source relational database management system. A relational database organises data into one or more data tables in which data types may be related to each other. MySQL is commonly used as a web database, however it can be used for data warehousing, e-commerce, and logging applications.

13. Open source software (OSS)


Open-source software (OSS): Open-source software (OSS) is computer software which has its source code available for anyone to inspect, modify, enhance and share for free because its design is publicly accessible. Open source products may be managed by a private company, who will check any code contributions, or by a community of independent developers. Examples of open-source software include the Mozilla Firefox internet browser, the Linux operating system, and Google's Android operating system.

14. PHP


PHP: PHP is an acronym for Hypertext Preprocessor and is a widely used, general-purpose scripting language. PHP is a server-side (back end) language that is orientated towards web development. Several older content management systems such as Wordpress, Joomla and Drupal are powered by PHP.

15. Query language


Query language: A query language, (QL), also known as a data query language, is a language used by a computer to request and retrieve data in a database. Query languages provide a flexible way to search for resources in a database. Popular query languages include SQL, GraphQL, and our own query language, ZenQL.

16. SDK


SDK: A software development kit, or SDK, is a set of software development tools used by developers to create applications. Each SDK is specific to a particular platform, such as Apple iOS, Google Android, or Microsoft Windows. SDKs include libraries of code that allow software developers to build applications without having to write the code from scratch.

17. Tech stack


Tech stack: A technology stack, or tech stack, is a combination of technologies that developers use to build and run a website, web app or mobile app. The stack will generally include back-end technologies for managing data and content along with front-end technologies to display this in a user interface. While a tech stack can be made up of any combination of compatible technologies, there are well-accepted stacks based around most popular langauges for building websites and apps. These include the LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP/Perl/Python), MEAN (MongoDB, Express.js, Angular, and Node.js) and Jamstack (JavaScript, API and Markup).

18. UI


UI: UI is short for user interface. A user interface is a place where an interaction occurs between a human and a website, application, or machine. There are different types of UI including graphical user interfaces (GUIs), command line interfaces (CLIs) that use text commands, and conversational interfaces that use voice commands. A user interface should make it as enjoyable, intuitive, and easy as possible for the user to reach their desired outcome.

19. UX


UX: User experience, or UX, encompasses the interactions a customer has with a product or service and their perception of its utility, usability, and efficiency. UX design aims to improve, enhance, and simplify all users' overall experience with a product or service.

20. Wireframe


Wireframe: Wireframes, in web design, are used as a visual guide when planning a website's structure and functionality. The wireframe is used to represent the operation, space allocation, and priorities for content and intended web behaviours of a page. Typically, wireframes do not include styling, colour, or graphics, just the fundamentals of the working webpage.

Create better content with Contensis.

Contensis is a flexible and scalable content management system that stores your content in small reusable chunks – making it easy for you to manage and use across all your platforms.