Web Development Glossary

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Web Development Glossary image

When ordering website development, you may encounter terminology that is not entirely clear to you.

At TFA, we bring years of expertise as a leading web development agency, and we’re excited to extend our knowledge to you! Our web development glossary aims to demystify essential terms and concepts in the field, giving you a better handle on some of the specifics of web development.

You can also check out Digital Marketing Glossary.

What is CMS?

A CMS (Content Management System) is a software application that allows users to create, manage, and modify digital content without requiring specialised technical knowledge. Essentially, it is a set of tools that help create a website and then manage it using a graphical interface, without resorting to the use of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript files.

With the help of a CMS, websites can be assembled from individual blocks similar to a constructor, connecting and configuring the necessary ones. It provides a user-friendly interface for content editing and publishing, facilitating collaborative workflows and simplifying website management.

Some of the most popular CMS are:

  • WordPress
  • Shopify
  • Joomla
  • Opencart
  • Drupal

What is WordPress

WordPress is a widely-used CMS platform known for its versatility and ease of use. Originally developed as a blogging tool, it has evolved into a robust content management system supporting various types of websites, from blogs and portfolios to e-commerce stores and corporate websites. WordPress is, without exaggeration, the most popular CMS in the world. This is due to its freeness, open-source nature, and countless number of plugins.

WordPress is an open-source system, which means that anyone can see how it is structured, modify it, and add customisable themes and plugins to address any of their needs. This makes WordPress a popular choice for individuals and businesses alike.

What is WooCommerce

WooCommerce is a plugin for WordPress that enables users to transform their websites into fully functional e-commerce stores. With it, you can create an attractive online storefront, integrate a shopping cart and payment gateway, organise promotions, scale the store as needed, and much more.

With its flexibility and scalability, WooCommerce is a preferred solution for businesses of all sizes looking to establish an online presence.

Front-end & Back-end

Front-end development refers to the process of creating and implementing the visual and interactive elements of a website that users interact with directly. Back-end development involves the creation and management of server-side components that power the functionality of a website or web application. It focuses on handling data storage, processing user inputs, and managing server operations to deliver dynamic content and functionality to the front-end.


Full-stack development encompasses both front-end and back-end development, allowing developers to work on all aspects of a web project. Essentially, a Full Stack developer is a professional who is engaged in full-fledged web development and plays the role of a kind of “jack of all trades.” He can interact with the client and server parts, create interfaces and adapt them to platforms.

Full Stack usually entails:

  • Frontend development;
  • Web design;
  • Backend development.

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What is HTML

HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) is the standard markup language used to create and structure the content of web pages. HTML serves as the foundation for everything happening in the browser. It instructs the browser on how content and all elements of a web page should be arranged.

What is CSS

CSS is a style sheet language used to control the presentation and appearance of HTML documents. HTML defines the structure of content on a web page, while CSS allows you to make it visually more appealing to visitors. It allows developers to define the layout, colours, fonts, and other visual aspects of a web page.

What is JavaScript

JavaScript is a programming language designed to create and manage dynamic content on web pages, enhancing a website’s interactivity. Simply put, HTML combined with CSS provides layout and design—you can fill out forms, navigate through links—there’s no interactivity. This is where JavaScript comes in. It allows you to add interactivity to buttons, forms, images, and any other components of the page.

What is PHP

PHP is a scripting programming language used for developing websites and web applications. Currently, the language is maintained by the PHP development team. It is particularly well-suited for building dynamic websites and web applications, thanks to its ability to generate HTML content, interact with databases, and handle user authentication and sessions.


MySQL is a relational database management system (RDBMS). A database refers to an organised structure (usually a set of tables) intended for storing and processing information. The term “relational” means that relationships can be established between data in different tables. After establishing a relationship through a foreign key, it becomes more convenient to perform selection, deletion, and other actions with related records in these tables.

MySQL has gained widespread popularity and is often used in conjunction with PHP in website and web application development. Website developers appreciate MySQL for its good compatibility with other server technologies: it forms a stack with Linux, Apache, and PHP (LAMP).


React is a JavaScript library for working with user interfaces, developed by Facebook. The library was first used in 2011, and in 2013, Facebook open-sourced React.

With React, developers create web applications that change the display without reloading the page. The goal of React is to provide high speed, simplicity, and scalability. As a library for developing user interfaces, React is often used with other libraries, such as Redux.


Bootstrap is a popular framework with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript code elements used in front-end development. Developed by Twitter, which open-sourced the framework in 2011, Bootstrap contains ready-made user interface elements, allowing developers to quickly layout web applications. With its responsive grid system and customizable design templates, Bootstrap simplifies the development process and ensures compatibility across various devices and screen sizes.


JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) is responsible for representing structured data based on JavaScript syntax. It is a text-based data exchange format that can be used in any programming language and on any platform. JSON is human-readable and easy to parse, making it ideal for exchanging data between different programming languages and platforms.

Mobile Responsive Development

Mobile responsive development is a design approach aimed at creating websites and web applications that adapt and optimise their layout and functionality based on the user’s device and screen size. By employing responsive design techniques such as fluid grids, flexible images, and media queries, developers ensure that their web content looks and performs well across a wide range of devices, including smartphones, tablets, and desktop computers.