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This is a brief list of acronyms, jargon and terms that you are likely to see and hear while researching websites. Rather than baffling you, we want you to understand exactly what is going on with your site. If you come across something you don’t understand while researching your new website, feel free to contact us!


Active server pages – Code used in webpages that access databases.


Content Management System – A database driven control panel that is used to edit your website content. This is great news for you, as you can change your web site as much as you like, whenever you like! Examples of content management systems are WordPress, Expression Engine and Textpattern.


‘Cost per click’. This is the amount it costs you when a potential customer clicks on your advert when using a pay-per-click channel such as Google AdWords or Facebook ads.


‘Customer Relationship Management’. Software like Salesforce or Hubspot that helps you keep track of customer information, leads and sales.


Conversion Rate Optimisation’. A method of increasing the percentage of visitors to your website that convert into actual customers or perform another action like contacting you or joining your mailing list.


Cascading style sheets – files used to control the layout and appearance of your website. CSS makes your pages load quicker than other types of styling and improves the search engine visibility of your website.


A list of records held on your server such as customer or product details. A website can read and write to a database, as well as searching through the database if required. MySQL is an example of a database technology.


‘Domain Name System’. When a domain is typed into a web browser, it’s converted to an IP address which then takes you to the right server. DNS is complicated and best handled by your web designer or hosting company.

Domain Name

This is what people type into their web browser to get to your site, such as www.mycompany.co.uk.


The process of selling products online, using a website to display your products and a system that takes payment and generates the orders for you to process.

Expression Engine

Expression Engine (also know as EE) is a content management system for blogs and websites. It is a very flexible system and can handle community websites that have lots of contributors. An Expression Engine install can also run more than website from one control panel, so it’s great if you want to have multiple sites.


‘File Transfer Protocol’. This is a method of uploading files to a web hosting account. FTP programs include Filezilla (Mac/PC) and Transmit (Mac).


Your web hosting is where your website actually lives. This is usually a powerful server located in somewhere like London Docklands that has a very fast internet connection. We offer green web hosting for your website and emails.

IP address

The location of a server or other device connected to a network. This could include your computer/router or the server that is hosting your website or email. IP addresses look like or similar.


Internet Service Provider – these are the guys that connect you to the internet such as Virgin Media, BT or Blueyonder.


MySQL is an open source implementation of SQL, and is used for websites that need databases such as online shops, blogs or content managed websites.


An aspect of DNS. When you change your nameservers on a domain, this sends all requests for web and email to the specified server.


OpenCart is a free, open source eCommerce system. With an excellent set of features as standard, OpenCart web design is a good choice for those wanting to sell online. Free or cheap plugins can are available to add extra features such as blogs, product import etc.


osCommerce is a free, open source eCommerce system. There are several systems developed on top of osCommerce such as Holbi Trueloaded, CRELoaded and Zen Cart.

Payment service provider (PSP)

A payment provider (such as PayPal, SagePay or Worldpay) takes the customer’s credit card details, processes the order and transfers the funds into your bank account.


Paypal is a payment services provider, used on websites like eBay and some eCommerce sites.


Another type of code used in webpages that access databases. Our content managed websites using WordPress and OpenCart are written in PHP.

Responsive Web Design

This means that the site will change format to suit different screen sizes, such as desktop monitors, tablets and mobile phones. Rather than having a separate mobile site, responsive web design uses the same back end system and content, formatting it differently for different users.


‘Search engine optimisation’. A broad term that covers a variety of ongoing tasks you do to improve your search engine rankings. This starts with keyword research, involves optimising your onsite code and content, and also means generating links back to your site.


A server is a fast computer that holds huge amounts of information. A web server usually has a very fast internet connection and stores all the information required by a number of websites so they can be accessed by anyone at any time. It is possible to rent space on a shared web hosting server where there are other websites hosted, or to rent a dedicated web hosting server where you have sole use of that server. A dedicated server is recommended for sites that generate a high volume of traffic.


‘Secure Socket Layer Certificate’. A technology installed to your website hosting that increases security behind the scenes and also shows a green padlock on visitor’s browser address bar. Our green web hosting packages now offer free SSL certificates.


“Structured Query Language” – Basically, SQL is used to connect your website to a database such as a product catalogue or blog entries. SQL can be Microsoft SQL (which can be expensive) or the open source MySQL (which is free, and used by internet giants such as YouTube, Wikipedia and Flickr).


Textpattern (also known as TxP) is a content management system for websites. It allows you to enter, edit and delete text and images to be displayed on your website. We upload Textpattern to your web hosting and then you log in to make changes to your content, which is then shown to your website visitors.


The most popular ecommerce plugin for WordPress, developed by Automattic, the developers of WordPress. We offer WooCommerce web design for a fast loading, custom designed online shop.


WordPress is a content management system for websites. Similar to Expression Engine and Textpattern, you log in to your site to post articles which are then shown to your site visitors. WordPress is free and really easy to use. While it began as a blog system it is now capable of running your whole business or ecommerce website. We specialise in WordPress web design and like it a lot, so much so that this website runs on WordPress!

Zen Cart

Zen Cart is shopping cart and content management software used to run eCommerce websites. It is very similar to osCommerce, using a lot of the same code but developed to be more user friendly. Zen Cart allows you to enter all your product details, upload images, handle user accounts and process payments online. It then helps you process your orders and despatch the goods to the customer.

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