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Glossary of Terms we often use

by  David Dwyer on  08/01/2016

In web development we use a lot of jargon.  We don’t like to confuse people (honest!), so here’s an explanation of some of the more common terms.

DNS (Domain Name System) controls your domain name's website and email settings. When visitors go to your domain name, its DNS settings control which company's server it reaches out to. For example, if you use GoDaddy's DNS settings, visitors will reach GoDaddy's servers when using your domain name.

Hashing: the transformation of a string of characters into a (usually shorter) fixed-length value or key that represents the original string. This is used to index and retrieve items in a database as it’s faster to find the item using the shorter hashed key than to find it using the original string.  It’s like the shortened versions of web addresses that you see on social media.

HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) is a markup language for describing web documents. HTML documents are described by HTML tags. Each HTML tag describes different document content.

IPS Tag (Internet Provider Security Tag) is used on .uk domain name transfers.  Each registrar that registers .uk domains has one, and the tag is required to transfer domain names from one registrar to another. 

KML (Keyhole Markup Language) is an XML notation for expressing geographic annotation and visualization within Internet-based, two-dimensional maps and three-dimensional Earth browsers. KML was developed for use with Google Earth, which was originally named Keyhole Earth Viewer.

Mandrill App - Mandrill is an email infrastructure service developed by MailChimp in 2010.  Mandrill is used to send automated one-to-one emails like password resets and welcome messages, as well as marketing emails and customized newsletters. It’s easy to use and extremely stable. 

A Mobile Specific website is one that’s compatible with mobile devices.

PHP is a scripting language designed for web development but also used as a general-purpose programming language. Originally created by Rasmus Lerdorf in 1994, the PHP reference implementation is now produced by The PHP Group.

A Rainbow Table is a pre-computed table for reversing cryptographic hash functions, usually for cracking password hashes. Tables are usually used to recover plain text passwords up to a certain length and consisting of a limited set of characters

A Resilience Unit is defined as the maximum energy that can be absorbed without creating a permanent distortion. It can be calculated by integrating the stress-strain curve from zero to the elastic limit.

RWD (Responsive web design)  is an approach to web design aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing and interaction experience (easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling) across a wide range of devices, from desktop computer monitors to mobile phones.

Salting is the expression for random data that’s used as an additional input to a one-way function that’s hashing a password. The primary function of salts is to defend against attacks on a list of password hashes, and against pre-computed rainbow table attacks (see below).

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the process of improving the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine's unpaid results—often referred to as "natural," "organic," or "earned" results.

SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) is an Internet standard for electronic mail (email) transmission. First defined by RFC 821 in 1982, it was last updated in 2008 with the Extended SMTP additions defined by RFC 5321, which is the protocol in widespread use today. SMTP, by default, uses TCP port 25.

3rd Party SMTP Relay - An email SMTP relay service is used every time you send an email to someone outside your address domain. SMTP, or Simple Mail Transfer Protocol, does the heavy lifting of sending the message. 

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is a standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a server and a client, typically a web server (website) and a browser; or a mail server and a mail client such as Outlook.

SSL EV - Extended Validation of Secure Sockets Layer. 

TXT is a file extension for a text file, used by a variety of text editors. Text is a human-readable sequence of characters and the words they form that can be encoded into computer-readable formats.

UAT (User Acceptance Testing) also called beta testing, application testing or end-user testing - is a phase of software development in which the software is tested in the "real world" by the intended audience.

V-Model Testing (Verification and Validation model) is an extension of the waterfall model and is based on association of a testing phase for each corresponding development stage. This means that for every single phase in the development cycle there is a directly associated testing phase. 

XML (Extensible Markup Language) is a markup language that defines a set of rules for encoding documents in a format which is both human-readable and machine-readable. It is defined by the W3C's XML 1.0 specification and by several other related specifications, all of which are free open standards.

Hopefully that’s cleared up a few misunderstandings – let us know if there’s any other jargon you’d like decoded!

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