Marketing

Website and Blogging Glossary

If you plan to launch a new website or blog, you might come across some unfamiliar terms in the process. This website and blogging glossary can help you sort through the confusion and get your new site online in no time.

Still running into terms you don’t know? Be sure to also check out our comprehensive startup glossary.

A

Above-the-fold – Content appearing on a website when it first loads, without requiring the user to scroll vertically; Frequently considered the most valuable screen real estate

Adsense – A popular ad network, run by Google, that allows you to publish contextual ads to make money from your website or blog

Affiliate – Someone who promotes another person’s (or company’s) products on their website or blog and collects a portion of the sale price as compensation for sales referrals; Someone who promotes your products and services and is paid via commissions

Affiliate Program – A program offered by a content creator or other business owner where a portion of sales is paid out to affiliates who promote the product or service and refer sales

Alt Text – See “alternative text”

Alternative Text (Also known as “alt text”) A text description of an image included in HTML to let search engines know the subject of that image; A description of an image on a website that is not visible to website visitors (as a caption would be)

Archives – A collection of older material on a blog or website, frequently sorted by posting date

Analytics – Statistics related to your website or blog’s traffic

Analytics Program – Software or a service that takes raw data about traffic to and from your website and displays it in easy-to-understand tables, charts, and graphs

Anchor Text – The text of a link on a web page featuring keywords or a phrase rather than the link’s URL; ex. This is the anchor text for a link to our home page.

B

Back End – The part of a website only the owner, webmaster, or other staff can see and control (such as the private administrative area of a content management system)

Backlink – A link on a third party website that directs people to your website

Blog – A website where content is posted in reverse chronological order; A social form of web publishing that frequently includes open comments to allow conversations between the blogger and readers

Blogger – Someone who publishes a blog or writes for a blog published by someone else

Blogosphere – A term referring to all blogs as one collective community

Blogroll – A list of links included in a blog’s sidebar to point readers to related or recommended resources (rarely included on new blogs as of 2017 due to Google looking down on sitewide linking and the spammy / link sale ways blogrolls used to often get used)

Blook – A book that was derived from blog content (turning blog content into a published book)

C

Captcha – A spam-control tool frequently used to prove a commenter is human and not a bot (can include anything from retyping text found in an image to solving a simple math problem or checking a box)

Cascading Style Sheet (Also known as “CSS”) – A file allowing a webmaster or blogger to control the look, design, and formatting of their website or blog content; allows sitewide design changes to be made in a single document instead of on individual web pages inline (Note: inline CSS can also be used to control the look of a single element or page)

Category – The primary organizational structure of most blogs; The topics under which blog posts are filed or organized on a website

Cloud Hosting – A hosting package where storage and resources are shared or split between multiple linked servers; an easily scalable hosting option where resources are available when needed and not limited to the constraints of a single physical system

Comment – User-generated content in response to a blog post or article; reader discussion related to a blog post or article

Commenter – Someone who publishes a comment to take part in a conversation on a blog or website

Content Management System – (Also known as “CMS”) A platform or software used to publish a website or blog and manage the content of that website or blog from any location with internet access (as opposed to making alterations offline and uploading all new material manually; ex. WordPress as a CMS for blogs)

Contextual Ads – Advertisements posted to a website or blog based on each individual web page’s content and keywords (Google’s Adsense is a popular contextual advertising network)

Control Panel – The dashboard that enables a blogger or webmaster to manage their hosting account, site files, analytics, and databases on the host’s servers

cPanel – A popular Web hosting control panel

CMS – See “content management system”

CSS – See “cascading style sheet”

D

Database – A collection of digitized and organized data (in terms of a blog, the database would hold post data, among others, that can be pulled and served to the website where requested)

Dedicated Server – A server with a web hosting company that only hosts websites or blogs for a single customer or user, allowing them full access to all server resources

Domain Name – The name of a website or blog as it would be typed into a browser’s navigation bar to access the site (ex: YourDomainName.com)

E

E-commerce Site – A website that enables buying and selling to occur online (such as an online retail shop)

Encryption – Concealing data for security purposes by converting common language and other data into code

Extension – The last component of a domain name, which may signify intended use or location (ex. .com, .net, .org, and .co.uk)

F

Feed – A way of presenting data on frequently updated sites (like blogs) that enables others to syndicate or subscribe to the content via a reader

File Transfer Protocol – A protocol that lets you move files from your local system (such as a new web design on your office computer) to a network (like the internet); a way to transfer files from your computer to your host’s server to have it appear online

Front End – The part of a website that is publicly-viewable to visitors (what we traditionally think of as a website, minus the back end admin area)

FTP – See “file transfer protocol”

G

Gravatar – A globally recognized avatar; a photo or other image representing your online identity which can be automatically recognized by blog comments and other online systems, generally tied to an email address you enter on the site when leaving a comment so your face appears beside your comment

Guest Posting – Publishing articles (without pay) to other people’s blogs in the hopes of getting exposure or traffic for your own site or blog through one or more backlinks (usually included at the end of the article); An example of content marketing

H

Home Page – The web page visitors see when they type your domain name into their browser’s navigation bar; the front page of your website or blog

Hosting Company – A company that provides server resources to webmasters and bloggers that host website files and databases and make the websites and blogs visible online to the public

HTML – (Also known as “hypertext markup language”) A common markup language used to code websites

I

Index Page – The default page a visitor sees when they access your website through the top-level domain; your home page

IP Address – A numeral assigned to a device on a network; a number identifying your computer, website’s host, or other device

J

JavaScript – A scripting language often used to add more interactive elements to a website or blog

K

Keyword Research – Researching the average monthly search volume for specific keywords and phrases that are relevant to your website or blog; frequently used to help bloggers decide what topics are popular enough to write about

L

Link – A referral from one website to another, or from one page in a website to another page in the same website; when a user clicks they are automatically taken from the referring page to the referred page

Linkbaiting – Creating content for a website or blog for the primary purpose of getting others to link to that content (to refer traffic and improve search engine rankings)

M

Meta Tags – HTML tags that do not appear on the publicly viewable front-end of a website or blog, but which describe or summarize the content of that page for search engines (most commonly used meta tags are the title and description tags)

N

Native Advertising – Paid content appearing on a blog or other website that is designed to look like natural content rather than an advertisement

Niche Blog – A topic-specific blog (such as a blog on dog training in general) as opposed to a personal blog (diary or journal-style) or a company blog (covering company news, announcements, or posts that market products or services — like a dog trainer’s company blog where the blogger offers special deals and blogs for their target customer market)

Nofollow – An attribute added to links in HTML (rel=”nofollow”) that tells search engines not to crawl the links (which search engines do to index linked-to sites and find new pages); A link attribute that should be added to all paid links in order to avoid Google penalties for selling link influence

P

Page – Content on a blog that falls outside of the chronological post order (such as a static “About Us” page)

Permalink – A URL at which a specific page or post on your website or blog can always be found; the address of any specific page or post on a website

Photoblog – A blog that relies on photos (and sometimes captions) as a primary form of content as opposed to articles

PHP – (Also known as “Hypertext Preprocessor”) A scripting language used to develop dynamic web pages and frequently used in content management systems and blog platforms (WordPress is an example of a PHP blog platform)

Plugin – A tool that allows you to add specific functionality in addition to the basic capabilities of your CMS or blog platform

Podcast – A series of audio shows or episodes; an audio blog

Post – An article or other chronologically-posted piece of content on a blog

Problogger – A professional blogger; The name of a popular blog on blogging

R

Raw Access Logs – (Also known as “raw logs” or “server logs”) Data recording the traffic for your website; Analytics programs use this raw data to display website statistics in visual form

Reader – A tool that allows you to access all feeds subscribed to from a central location (allowing you to read the latest posts from multiple blogs so you don’t have to visit each manually, for example)

Really Simple Syndication (Also known as “RSS”) – A feed format that allows bloggers and other producers of dynamic content to distribute or syndicate their content or make it available for private viewing via subscriptions and feed readers

Registrar – A company that allows you to register domain names for your websites or blogs

RSS – See “really simple syndication”

S

Search Engine Marketing – The act of purposefully using search engines to drive traffic to your website or blog (search engine optimization is one example of search engine marketing, but this term is broader and also includes paid placement in search results through advertising)

Search Engine Optimization – The process by which you make a website appear more relevant than competing websites according to search engines so your website will appear higher in the list of search results when a visitor searches for terms related to your website

Secure Socket Layer (Also known as “SSL”) – A security protocol that establishes a secure session between the user and end site by encrypting transferred data; a frequently used security protocol that protects users’ personal and financial data as it is transferred from the user’s computer to the seller’s system

SEM – See “search engine marketing”

SEO – See “search engine optimization”

Shared Hosting – Hosting accounts where several or many websites are hosted on a single server where they share resources; the least expensive form of Web hosting, but not capable of handling high traffic sites due to shared resource limitations

Spam – Unwanted comments on a blog, often unrelated to the blog content and usually posted primarily to try to secure backlinks from the blog

Splog – (Also known as a “spam blog”) A blog that exists solely to rank highly in search engines to attract visitors and have them click on ads for revenue; content is often stolen and automatically harvested (“scraped”) from other blogs and republished on the splog

SSL – See “secure socket layer”

Static – A page on a website or blog that never (or rarely) changes; A website where pages aren’t frequently updated such as they are on an ever-changing “dynamic” blog

T

Tag – A keyword associated with content (such as a blog post) that allows it to be searched for more easily by grouping similar content under the same labels

Theme – A blog design or template

Trackback – A notification on a blog or website that another blog or website has linked to it

Traffic – The movement and flow of visitors to and from your website or blog, or from one page to another within your site structure

U

Uniform Resource Locator (Also known as “URL”)– The address of a Web page or other piece of content on the Web (the character string you type into your browser’s address bar to access something specific)

URL – See “uniform resource locator”

V

Video Blog (Also known as “vlog”) – A blog where the primary form of content is online videos

Visit – An occasion where a visitor accesses your website or blog over a set period of time (a visit can include a single web page or multiple pages before the visitor leaves)

Visitor – An actual individual visiting your website or blog (sometimes over a set period of time such as a few hours or a day, whereas “unique visitors” are only counted once)

Virtual Private Server (Also known as “VPS”) – A type of web hosting plan where you share a server with others (but less than on a shared hosting plan), but where each user gets a dedicated amount of resources so their sites shouldn’t affect the performance of those on other users’ accounts

Vlog – See “video blog”

VPS – See “virtual private server”

W

Web Page – An individual page on a website

Weblog – See “blog”

Webmaster – A person who develops and / or maintains a website

Website – A collection of web pages and / or dynamic content linked under a single brand and domain name and used to publish content to the World Wide Web

Website Template (Also known as a “theme”) – A pre-designed website design that you can download or purchase and install “out of the box” as an often less-expensive alternative to custom designs

Widget – A small application or component that can be embedded on a web page and controlled by the site owner or webmaster; widgets are often used to display third party information or tools and in blogging are frequently used in the sidebar

WYSIWYG Editor – A “what you see is what you get” text editor often found in content management systems (similar to the familiar interface of word processing programs like Microsoft Word); enables you to add and edit content without knowing HTML

X

XHTML – (Also known as “extensible hypertext markup language) A language using XML to make improvements upon traditional HTML coding

XML – (Also known as “extensible markup language) A file or data format allowing you to store and exchange structured data

You can feel free to leave additional entries in the comments below if you’d like to share even more website and blog launch terms with your fellow site owners and bloggers. What things do you think a new site owner should know before launching their first website or blog?

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