How To: Understanding Tech Terms And Phrases

Understanding Tech words and phrases

When starting in business you are guaranteed to learn more in your first year than you ever have in your entire adult life to date. But one thing that can remain a conundrum for many is understanding web speak or tech terms and phrases, which is another language altogether. And whilst we become use to reading about them and even using them in sentences, if asked what they actually meant, we would struggle to define them. So we have created a cheats sheet for the most commonly used tech words and phrases.



An affiliate is a company, organisation or individual that markets another company’s products through their website. In exchange for marketing their products, companies pay affiliates a commission for each sale they generate.

How To: Understanding Tech Terms and Phrases


A backlink is an incoming link from an external website to a specific page on your website. For example, if you publish a webpage and 20 other websites link to it, your webpage has 20 backlinks. Links to the page from within your own website are not included in the backlink total.

As more links to a specific webpage are published on external sites, there is greater potential for traffic to be generated from other websites. This is called direct traffic. By increasing direct traffic, a website can gradually grow its presence on the Web and generate a steady stream of visitors from other websites.


Banner Ad

Perhaps the most prolific form of Web advertising is the banner ad. It is a long, rectangular image that can be placed just about anywhere on a Web page. Most banner ads are 468 pixels wide by 60 pixels high (468×60). They may contain text, images, or sometimes those annoying animations that make it hard to focus on the page’s content. Regardless of the type of banner ad, when a user clicks the advertisement, he or she is redirected to the advertiser’s website or to a page within your own site.



If you are signed up to an email marketing service such as Mailchimp, they will look at Bounce rates. It simply means when an e-mail message is sent to another person, the mail server processes the message and delivers it to the appropriate user’s mailbox; but if the user doesn’t exist, the mail server may bounce the message back to the sender, saying “Sorry, that user does not exist.” These messages often come from “Mail Delivery Subsystem”.



If you operate a wordpress site, you may find that any changes you have make to your site don’t appear immediately. This could be down to the cache, which you will need to delete. This can usually be done via the settings on your wordpress dashboard.

Cache, which is pronounced “cash”, stores recently used information so that it can be quickly accessed at a later time. Computers incorporate several different types of caching in order to run more efficiently, thereby improving performance. Common types of caches include browser cache, disk cache, memory cache and processor cache.



A cookie is a small amount of data generated by a website and saved by your web browser. Its purpose is to remember information about you.

While cookies serve many functions, their most common purpose is to store login information for a specific site. Some sites will save both your username and password in a cookie, while others will only save your username. Whenever you check a box that says “Remember me on this computer,” the website will generate a login cookie once you successfully log in. Each time you revisit the website, you may only need to enter your password or you might not need to log in at all.


CSSHow To: Understanding Tech Terms and Phrases

CSS stands for “Cascading Style Sheet” and relates to coding. Cascading style sheets are used to create and format the layout of web pages. They can be used to define text styles, table sizes and other aspects of web pages.  If you have ever had difficulty getting the design of your site right because it simply won’t do what you want it to, then this is where CSS and knowing how to code can help.

CSS helps web developers create a uniform look across several pages of a website. It makes it easy to change styles across several pages at once. For example, a web developer may want to increase the default text size from 10pt to 12pt for fifty pages of a website. If the pages all reference the same style sheet, the text size only needs to be changed on this one style sheet and all the pages will show the larger text.



Stands for “Hyper-Text Markup Language.” This is the language that web pages are written in and again relates to coding. The HTML structure is based on a list of tags that describe the page’s format and what is displayed on the web page. For example:

How To: Understanding Tech Terms and Phrases


Short for “permanent link.” A permalink is a URL that links to a specific news story or web posting. Permalinks are most commonly used for blogs, which are frequently changed and updated. They give a specific web address to each posting, allowing blog entries to be bookmarked by visitors or linked to from other websites. For example, this is a permalink:


If you would like a no-nonsense ‘plain English’ definition of any more commonly used tech terms and phrases not listed here, then visit

How To: Understanding Tech Terms And Phrases was last modified: December 29th, 2015 by TRS

Be first to comment