A list of useful definitions when talking to web designers, developers and other IT professionals.

Cloud
A new term referring to any process or data that is stored on a remote server.
CMS
Content Management System. These use PHP or ASP (from Microsoft) to make online website editing and management possible. There are many to choose from. The two main types are Open Source and Proprietary. Rinet IT specialises in open source CMS’s, mainly WordPress, Joomla! and Drupal, although we can also learn about proprietary systems.
Content
The term referring to the information the website is displaying. Content can be text, images or video.
CSS
Cascading Style Sheets. These are used to handle all of the presentation and formatting of an entire site.
Drupal
A community supported open source Content Management System. Drupal’s strength is its ability to display data from databases.
Dialogue box
A small box which typically contains text and fields. Usually requires something from the user, either to enter some data into the fields or to simply press an OK button to dismiss or remove the dialogue box from the screen.
eCommerce
The term used to describe the result of putting a shop onto a web site. As for CMS there are open source and proprietary systems available. Some work on their own, eg Magento and Opencart, while others are extensions to a CMS, eg Virtuemart for Joomla! and Woocommerce for WordPress.
GIF
Graphics Interchange Format. A file type that supports images as well as basic animation. Limited to 256 colours they are best used for line drawings, flat cartoons (no shading), logos etc. GIF also supports transparency. First introduced by the online service provider CompuServe in 1987.
Host
A network connect computer that stores and transmits websites as required. Usually they are Linux/Unix powered and running Apache. Windows servers use asp.net.
HTML
Hyper Text Markup Language. Currently up to version 5 (HTML5), used to compose web pages.
Internet Explorer
The web browser that comes with Microsoft Windows. Notorious in the past for not properly supporting web standards the newer versions are getting better. Internet Explorer 6 was probably the worst, unfortunately some large corporations still persist in using it.
Java
A Just In Time interpreted language that can be used by almost any computer system. Now owned by Oracle.
Javascript
A scripting language that nearly all browsers support. Allows more interaction for the user with a web page. Not to be confused with Java, although the syntax is similar.
Joomla!
A community supported open source Content Management System. Currently up to version 3 which fully incorporates Bootstrap.
JPG
Created by the Joint Photographics Group, JPG files are the most common format for images due to the very efficient compression technique used to save valuable bandwidth. Unlike other formats the compression method causes loss of image information. JPG does not support transparency.
Linux
An open source version of Unix, widely used by home users and many commercial applications through large corporations.
Lorem Ipsom
A place holder for text on a web page. It’s used to test how readable a page is. Typically uses text from any Latin based work.
Mail Client
An application that runs on a PC, tablet or smart phone that allows the reading of email. They vary greatly in features. Windows comes with Live Mail and most smart phones come with a feature limited mail client.
MySQL
An open source database management system that many CMS’s use to store data including the content of the pages. Now owned by Oracle.
Opera
A Web browser that has many unique features including being able to act as a mail client as well as a web browser. Not as common as the others. The mobile version has a feature which reduces the amount of data download for sites with images. Well worth checking out to avoid high mobile data charges.
PHP
Pre Hypertext Processing. An easy to learn scripting language that is run by the server. Works with MySQL to make many web applications possible including Facebook and WordPress plus many more.
POP
Post Office Protocol. The method by which a mail client retrieves mail from a mail server. To connect to one a username, password, address and sometimes a port is needed.
Port
Part of the TCP/IP rules. A port is assigned to each piece of software or session that needs to communicate on a TCP/IP network, ie the internet. For example FTP often uses port 21, POP 110 and SMTP 25. The ports need to be correct otherwise communication is not possible.
PNG
Portable Network Graphics. A format created to replace the patented GIF format. Supports more colours than GIF with a smaller file size along with two types of transparency. It uses loss less compression and is widely used on the internet. It’s also the native format for Fireworks.
Responsive Template
Describes if a template can automatically resize its width to suit the narrow displays of tablet computers and smart phones. A site is said to be responsive when the contents are still readable and accessible when the width is reduced.
SEO
Search Engine Optimisation. A technique to make web pages as easy as possible for search engines to index and categorise; and in turn make it easier for your customers to find you.
Server
Any computer connected to a network that can serve or data upon request from a client. Any Windows or Apple computer can be made into a server but it’s not an exclusive process. Servers used in large offices and on the internet are typically dedicated to the task using Windows Server or a version of Unix. Unix is most commonly used for servers on the internet.
SMTP
Simple Mail Transer Protocol. Used by a mail client to send mail to the mail server.
TCP/IP
Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol. The rules governing how computers communicate with each other on the internet. Every computer connecting to the internet must support it, including smart phones.
Templates
Data files used by Joomla to format a web page. It determines how a page works (can include JavaScript) and along with CSS, how a page will look. Equivalent to the theme files used by WordPress and Drupal.
Themes
The term used by WordPress and Drupal to describe a page or pages that the whole site is based upon. The theme is populated with the content by the server. Equivalent to Joomla!’s templates.
Transparency
Used to describe whether or not the background can be seen from behind an image or not. GIF and PNG formats support transparency.
Unix
A high performance multi-user operating system which forms the back bone of the internet.
WordPress
WordPress is probably the most popular Content Management System today. Starting life as an aid for bloggers it is now capable of becoming many different types of sites including e-commerce.