Bluffer’s guide to web technical terms part I

Banner-par-1_v3 copyAt mark-making* we are aware that sometimes the industry jargon gets the better of us. However, we also know that hiding in amongst the jargon are some genuinely useful technical terms.

So, for your information, we have compiled a series of web glossary blog posts, a bluffer’s guide, if you will. Starting at the server end of things and working forwards towards the bits of a website that the user actually sees, our developers have picked out and explained some terms that might come up in meetings, or get dropped into emails.

Part one is made up of terms to do with servers, storage and relevant languages.

Web server

The web server is where files are stored, mainly for websites and assets (images etc). The server delivers files to users when they are requested via the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP).


‘Server-side’ refers to any action that happens on the server as opposed the user’s machine (see ‘client-side’ below). Events that happen server-side include things like logging into a web service, and requesting, retrieving and displaying information from a database. These events are most commonly seen affecting products on ecommerce websites.

Server-side copy


Client-side commands are executed on the machine you’re working on at the time, mainly via your browser. Client-side commands include things like clicking the mouse to reveal a pop-up menu, and entering information into a web-form. The playing of animations, video and audio are all executed client-side, too.


Localhost usually means ‘this computer’. It is most commonly used in development stages, where it is used as a test environment for websites, only accessible from a single computer.


PHP is a server-side executed programming language. It is popular among developers, and was created by web developers Rasmus Lerdorf, Andi Gutmans and Zeev Suraski (The PHP Group). PHP is an open-source language; there is no license and can be distributed freely. Anybody who programs in PHP can be a contributing member of the community. WordPress is entirely built on PHP. is a proprietary Microsoft framework in which developers can build dynamic web pages. tends to be used by enterprise-level, corporate systems.

Cloud storage

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There are cloud storage services for both enterprise and personal usage:

Personal cloud storage amounts to a hosting service designed to store user files. They can be accessed from almost any computer or device with an internet connection. Many applications for personal cloud storage will be familiar names: Dropbox, Google Drive, and iCloud.

Enterprise cloud storage is operated by big hosting centres, which lease data storage capacity to companies that need it. Stored data can be accessed through web-based content management systems or a cloud storage gateway. The data is stored and backed up in several places, so for enterprise, Cloud storage is a very secure and reliable system.


A variable is a word that is given a data value, so that a developer can describe an element easily. Within a script, it ‘contains’ data for example:

name = Mr Mark Maker

Hello [name] we really like your blog.


A function can contain variables. It is an operation that can be used many times without having to write new code.

Thanks for reading our quick guide; we hope you’ve found it useful. If you have any questions, leave us a comment and we’ll answer as soon as we can!

See you next time for part II: terms to do with front-end development.

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