Technical Definitions in Plain English

Algorithm – An Algorithm is an effective method for solving a problem expressed as a finite sequence of steps. Algorithms are used for calculation and data processing, and have a list of well-defined instructions for completing a task.

Browser Cache – The browser cache, also referred to as the temporary Internet files folder, contains files from web sites you’ve visited. All modern web browsers maintain a cache of files for one important reason – faster display of web pages the next time you open those web sites. Thus, instead of retrieving files from the online web server each time, the files are feched from the browser cache (on your computer) which, as you can understand, speeds up the display of the web page.

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) – CSS is a Style-Sheet language used to describe the presentation of a document written in a markup language. Its most common application is to create a style for web pages (the look and feel of the web page) which is written in HTML language. The word Cascading means that the scripting is read, by your computer’s browser, from left to right, top to bottom (like you’d read a book), meaning that the information at the top of the CSS page can be overwritten by similar information at the bottom of the page, so the information needs to be implemented into the Style Sheet accordingly.

Cookies – Parcels of text sent by a server to a web browser and then sent back unchanged by the browser each time it accesses that server.

FTP – File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is a standard network protocol used to copy a file from one host to another over a TCP/IP-based network, such as the Internet. FTP is built on a client-server architecture and utilizes separate control and data connections between the client and server.

Handle – The name of the CSS stylesheet or JavaScript file used in WordPress, which should be unique as it is used to identify the script in the whole system.

HTAccess File – Hyper-Text Access – when a visitor/spider requests a web page via any means, your web server checks for a .htaccess file. The .htaccess file contains specific instructions for certain requests, including security, redirection issues and how to handle certain errors.

HTML – Hyper-Text Markup Language is the predominant markup language for web pages. It is written in the form of HTML elements consisting of “tags” surrounded by angle brackets within the web page content. It is the building blocks of all basic websites.

HTTP – Hyper-Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is an application-level protocol for distributed, collaborative, hypermedia information systems. HTTP defines how messages are formatted and transmitted, and what actions Web servers and browsers should take in response to various commands.

HTTPd.conf – httpd.conf is a configuration file which is used by the Apache HTTP Server. It stores information on various functions of the server, which can be edited by removing or adding a number sign “#” at the beginning of the line, thus setting values for each directive. Interpretation: This HTTPd.conf page can have information written in the server’s language to give directions for certain functions to be performed on the server.

JavaScript – JavaScript is a client-sided script (works with your computer’s browser) that can interact with HTML source code, enabling Web authors to spice up their sites with dynamic content, it allows greater interactivity in a document by responding to user events. Example (one of many): JavaScript can be used to enable a rollover image to appear when you mouse over an object.

jQuery – jQuery is a concise and fast JavaScript library that can be used to simplify event handling, HTML document traversing, Ajax interactions and animation for speedy website development.

Mod_Deflate – mod_deflate is an optional module for the Apache HTTP Server, Apache v2 only. Based on Deflate lossless data compression algorithm. This module provides the DEFLATE output filter that allows output from Apache HTTP server to be compressed before being sent to the client over the network.

Render Blocking – Simply put, render blocking is a way of saying that the file or script will not allow any additional information to download to the users browser until the render blocking file is completely loaded. This means that if there is a delay for the retrieval of the file, the remainder of the site will have to wait until it is complete.

Syntax Error – In computing, an error in a program due to a code that does not conform to the order expected by the programming language. A syntax error occurs when a user (or programmer) has put words in an order that a program does not understand.

URL – Uniform Resource Locator – which means it is a uniform (same throughout the world) way to locate a resource (file or document) on the Internet. The URL specifies the address of a file and every file on the Internet has a unique address.