Commonly-Used Coding Terms

Commonly-Used Coding Terms

If you've been looking at our reviews on HTML editors, you're probably thinking about doing a little work on your website. You may be thinking about creating an entire website for the first time.

While there are plenty of support forums to help you along your way, the web development community has created an entire language for itself. Get two developers together and you might hear words like  pixels  or things like,  I m getting a $end error. Bad code in the include.  Unfortunately, this is often the same language they use in the support forums.

Like any foreign language, you need to know some key terms if you re going to travel into web development country. Below are some commonly-used coding terms:

WYSIWYG (whiz-e-wig)
WYSIWYG stands for  what you see is what you get  and is used to describe a visual editor. Visual editors span the gap between beginners and web developers, making it possible to create websites without learning HTML. Much like you can highlight and change the color of text in a document, you can change the text, colors, where you want images to go and more on your website. Visual editors do have flaws, so what you see may not always be what you get, but they make web creation much faster and easier.

Server
Your website is hosted on a server, a large computer built specifically to hold tons of information, such as your website files.

HTML
HyperText Markup Language. HTML is the base code of a website. Written in tags using <angle-brackets> to set code apart from normal text, HTML tells the browser how to view your website. It s fairly easy to learn the basics; it s possible to learn the actual language in an hour or so. Putting the basics to use is a little harder, but time and patience can turn pretty much anyone into an HTML coder.

CSS
Cascading Style Sheets. If you thought of HTML as a gift box, or framework, CSS is the gift wrapping. The HTML says,  this text goes here as a heading. This space is a sidebar. This box is the content.  CSS defines what each piece looks like:  This header text is large and bold. The sidebar is blue. The content box is 500px by 500px. 

PX (picks)
Short for  pixel . Your monitor is made up of single points called pixels, which are used as measurement increments. Instead of  two inches , you might use  200px  or two hundred pixels. The pixels of an image combine to show you the whole image.

PNG
Portable Network Graphics. PNG is an image format, like JPG (j-peg). PNGs are often used in website work. Instead of using an image with a white background on a website with a multi-colored background, the background can be transparent. All you see is the image, not the box around it.

CMS
Content Management System. Simply put, a content management system is a clean, organized file vault for your website data. A CMS can be set to specific user definitions with varying levels of security access to your core files. For instance, a website owner would have a higher security access than someone editing text. Good examples of a CMS are WordPress, Joomla and ExpressionEngine. To find out which CMS is right for you, please visit our CMS Review site.

FTP
File Transfer Protocol. FTP makes it easy for you to make changes to your website on your computer and then upload those changes. Many HTML editors have FTP capabilities, but you may need a separate program, such as FileZilla or Fetch. Some kind of FTP program is essential if you plan to work on a website.

Front End
The front end of your website is the part that visitors see. If you have an online account with a website, the page you land on that says  log in  is part of the front end.

Back End
The back end of your website is the part that only authorized users can see. With the online account example above, the back end is the My Account page after you log in.

PHP Include
PHP stands for Hypertext Preprocessor and is a type of scripting language. Sometimes, a developer might want to write a separate file that s only PHP. They  call  that file in the web page with the use of PHP includes. The include tells the server  get this .php file and put what it does here. 

Code
Code is the universal term used to define the various tags, symbols, numbers and so on that combine to form a program or web page. There are thousands of coding languages and hundreds of web coding languages.

Script
Script is a subset of code. Scripts are the go-to guys that run repetitive tasks like auto-filling parts of a web form. They can also be used for more exciting things, however, like sliding or flipping images.

The language of web development is full of techie terms, acronyms and odd syntax. In fact, it s complicated enough that you can learn HTML before you ll understand half the tech terms. While you re stepping into the world of development, don t be afraid to ask what a term means if you don t understand an answer to a question or website critique. Developers make speak another language, but they re nice about it.

At TopTenREVIEWS We Do the Research So You Don't Have To. 

 

 

More Top Stories