The A to Z blogging glossary
All the popular words bloggers like you need to know from the social-media, web-design and internet-marketing worlds.
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A to Z of blogging termsAre you new to blogging or eager to learn more? This glossary is made up of a collection of popular words from the social-media, web-design and internet-marketing worlds. nd it’s complete with short, simple (and geek-free!) definitions, you’ll want to print, laminate and frame it – stat! (Or, you know, you could just add it to your favourites…)


A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z


(PS: Want a clickable A-to-Z list like this? Just grab the HTML from the HTML Cheat Sheet!)

A

  • Above the fold: A newspaper term that also refers to the top area of a website that can be seen when the page first loads, before scrolling down.
  • A/B testing: Testing of an advertisement, sales page or piece of content conducted by creating alternate versions and seeing which one visitors respond to the best.
  • Advertorial: A piece of content that is an advertisement, but written and designed to look like a regular post (editorial). See also: Sponsored post.
  • Affiliate: A person who engages in affiliate marketing.
  • Affiliate link: A URL that identifies an affiliate and tracks traffic sent to a merchant’s website. Related list: Affiliate tools
  • Affiliate marketing: One way bloggers can monetise their site by using a special link to link to another website’s products or services in return for a commission, usually a percentage of the sale price, if purchased within a specified period of time.
  • Affiliate program: A program where a merchant (seller) rewards an affiliate for sending them traffic, sales or leads. May also be called a referral program, associate program or revenue-sharing program. Related list: Affiliate programs.
  • Ajax: A technique that allows users to send and receive data without reloading the entire page.
  • Akismet: A popular WordPress plugin design to filter spam. Related list: Anti-spam tools.
  • Alexa: An analytics website often referred to when comparing websites against one another. Provides a ranking and information on traffic, audience demographics, and inbound links. Related list: Analytics tools.
  • Algorithm: The formula that determines how one of your blog’s pages or posts ranks within a search engine’s search results.
  • Alt attribute: The alt attribute within HTML or XML documents specifies alternative text to be displayed should elements not render on a page correctly.
  • Anchor text:The clickable text in a hyperlink. The choice of words used in anchor text is important for search engine optimisation.
  • API: Application Programming Interface. The set of programming instructions and rules by an application that allows other applications to communicate with it.
  • App: Short for application. Optional  software used on your computer or phone. Related list: Apps.
  • Audience: The people who read your blog, follow your tweets, like your Facebook page etc.
  • Automattic: The company behind popular blogging resources including the WordPress platform.
  • Avatar:The graphical representation of yourself on a website. That is, the image you use to create a profile on forums, online accounts etc. See also: Gravatar.
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B

  • Backlinks: Links that point from one website to another.
  • Backup Buddy: A popular WordPress plugin used to create full blog backups and restorations. Related list: Back-up tools.
  • Back end: The area of a website where authorised users can modify content, sometimes referred to as the administration area or panel. See also: Front end.
  • Badge: A badge is a way for bloggers to encourage other bloggers to promote their blog by placing an image on their site that links back to the badge owner’s blog. Usually 125 x 125 pixels in size. See also: Button.
  • Bandwidth: The amount of traffic and data that is allowed to occur between your website and the internet.
  • Banner: A banner can refer to a blog header. It is also sometimes used as another name for a blog ad.
  • Bing: The name of Microsoft’s search engine.
  • Bit.ly: A website that lets you shorten and track URLs. Related list: URL shorteners.
  • Blackhat SEO: Methods of improving a website’s ranking in search engines that are considered wrong or deceptive.
  • Blog: A type of website with content called posts that are often presented in reverse chronological order. Visitors can usually leave comments on posts.
  • Blogger: A person who owns a blog. Also the name of a blogging platform owned by Google. Related list: Blog platforms.
  • Blogosphere: The blogging community.
  • Blog roll: A collection of links on a blog, usually favourites as chosen by the blog’s owner/s.
  • Blogspot: The subdomain of blogs created using Google’s Blogger platform.
  • Bookmark: To save a URL for visiting later.
  • Bookmarklet: Code (usually JavaScript) used to create a faux bookmark, that when clicked, performs a function such as the Pinterest “Pin It” bookmarklet.
  • Bounce rate: The percentage of people who arrived on your site and only viewed one page before leaving.
  • Browser: A program such as Google Chrome, Firefox and Safari, used to view pages on the internet. Related list: Browser tools.
  • Button: See badge.
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C

  • Captcha: Letters and/or numbers you’re sometimes required to enter before submitting a comment, password or other data on a website, designed to ensure the response is created by a human and not a computer.
  • Carnival: A blogging event where bloggers create posts based on a theme or topic. Generally one blogger “hosts” the event, and participants submit links to show their participation. Related list: Carnival tools.
  • Category: A way of grouping blog posts into topics.
  • Child theme: Within WordPress, a child theme is a theme that inherits the functions of a another theme (a parent theme), and allows you to modify it.
  • Click-through rate: The number of times an add is clicked on, presented as a percentage of the number of impressions it receives.
  • Cloaked links:  Affiliate links that have been converted into a different-looking link (eg: yourblogname.com/recommends/shopname) for reasons including ease of listing or sharing, tracking clicks, or to simply make them look less like an affiliate link.
  • CMS: Content Management System. Software that allows creation, publishing and management of a website’s content. See platforms.
  • Comments: The thoughts or feedback left by a blog’s readers in relation to a blog post.
  • Commission: Income an affiliate earns for generating a sale or lead for a merchant’s products or services.
  • Conversion rate: The percentage of visitors who convert visits or page views into some type of action, such as signing up for a newsletter, or purchasing an e-book.
  • Contextual advertising: Advertisements that display on a website based on a visitor’s search history, or words (keywords) that have been used on the website.
  • Cookie: Small text files stored on your computer designed designed to save information on a user’s computer for a blog or website to retrieve later (such as login details).
  • cPanel: A web-hosting control panel that provides an interface and tools for the user to manage the hosting of their blog or website.
  • CPC: Cost Per Click. The amount you may earn each time a visitor clicks on an ad displayed on your blog. The amount is determined by the advertiser.
  • CPM: Cost Per Mille (mille = thousand). The amount you’ll earn from an ad each time is displayed 1000 times on your blog.
  • Creative Commons: A non-profit organisation that released several copyright licences designed to help the creators of works (photos, music tracks etc) communicate which pieces are available for others to use, adapt or share.
  • CSS: Cascading Style Sheets. Files that define how to display HTML elements. You’d edit a CSS file, for example, to make all of your post headlines a different colour.
  • CSS sprites: A collection of images or icons combined into one larger image called a sprite sheet. They are used to render performance and are displayed using CSS.
  • CSV: Comma Separated Values. A type of file that stores plain-text data (such as newsletter subscriber information) made up of records and fields. Each field is separated by a comma or tab.
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D

  • Dashboard or dash:The “behind the scenes” admin area of your blog where posts are created, comments are moderated and so on.
  • Deep linking: Creating posts with links pointing to numerous pages on your blog, excluding the homepage, with the purpose of driving traffic to various articles, thus encouraging visitors to stay on your blog longer.
  • Div: A CSS term that divides content into containers so that each container can be formatted (styled) differently.
  • DIY: Stands for Do It Yourself; a term used by many craft and decorating bloggers when creating tutorial-type posts.
  • Domain name:A string of letters, numbers and/or hyphens, separated by periods, that you type into your browser to visit a particular website. Related list: Domain name registrars
  • Domain-name registrar: An accredited organisation that handles the registration of domain names. Related list: Domain name registrars.
  • Dooced: To lose one’s job because of one’s website. Coined by popular mommy blogger, Heather Armstrong of Dooce.com.
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E

  • E-book: A PDF document, sold or given away by bloggers either in return for money, or as a tool to encourage visitors to sign up for a blog’s newsletter, liking a Facebook page or more. Related list: E-book resources.
  • E-mail marketing: A form of direct marketing which uses email to communicate broadcast messages to its audience (also known as sending newsletters). Related list: Newsletter tools.
  • Embed: To place content from another website within your own blog’s post or page. Related list: Embeddable content.
  • Evergreen content: A type of post that does not date quickly, and is therefore as relevant today as it will be in years to come. For example: 25 Timeless Trends (as apposed to This Season’s Top 5 Trends).
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F

  • Favicon: Also known as a favourite’s icon, a favicon is the small symbol (usually adapted from a website’s logo) that appears in browser tabs, book marks. Related list: Favicon tools.
  • Facebook: A social-networking website. Related list: Facebook tools.
  • Flat design:  A web design term that refers to a way of designing without adding three-dimensional attributes. See also: Skeuomorphism.
  • Flickr: A photo-sharing and networking website that also provides creative commons content. Related list: Creative commons content.
  • Footer: The bottom area of your blog that usually contains a copyright notice as well as links to about and contact pages, terms of service, privacy policies and monetisation disclosures.
  • Forums: Discussion boards where users can connect, share thoughts, and/or seek support. Related list: Forum software.
  • Front end: The area of your blog that your visitors see when they visit your site. See also: Back end.
  • FTC: Federal Trade Commission. A US department that aims to (amongst other things) prevent business practices deemed unfair.
  • FTP: File Transfer Protocol. Used to upload website files from your computer to your server. Related list: FTPs.
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G

  • Geotargeting: Delivering different content (espeically advertisements) to a reader or visitor based on their geographic location.
  • Gravatar: A global avatar. Uses an image associated with an e-mail address to show the author’s avatar (image) whenever they leave a comment with that address.
  • Gallery: Collection of images displayed within a blog post. They either display when enlarged one-by-one, or as a click-through style slideshow.
  • Ghost blogging: To write a blog post or manage a blog anonymously or under a different name.
  • GIF: Graphics Interchange Format. A file type best used when saving logos or graphics with block colours. Supports transparency and animation.
  • Geotargeting: A method of determining a blog visitor’s whereabouts, and displaying content to them based on their location.
  • Gmail: A free e-mail system created by Google.
  • Google+: A social network created by Google.
  • Google Adsense: A contextual advertising program created by Google.
  • Google Analytics: A free and powerful analytics tool created by Google.
  • Google Feedburner: A web-feed management tool provided by Google. Related list: Google tools.
  • Google Reader: A free RSS reader by Google.
  • Gravity forms: A WordPress plugin designed to make creating and managing forms of all kinds easy and powerful. Related list: Form tools.
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H

  • Hashtag: A method of tagging a post within networks such as Twitter or Instagram so that viewers can see all related updates or images by other users.
  • Header: The top area of your blog that contains your blog’s logo.
  • Heat map: A map of your blog, showing which areas of a specified page are clicked on the most, usually represented using colours where one colour indicates a high number of clicks while another represents a low number of clicks. Related list: Heat map tools.
  • HTML: Hyper Text Markup Language. A language that uses tags to describe the content of a website’s page. Related list: HTML tools.
  • Hotlinking: Using an image on your website that’s being hosted on another website.
  • .htaccess: A file placed in the directory level of your website that allows for decentralised management of web server configuration.
  • Hyperlink: A linked image or text on a website or digital document that, when clicked, takes you to another page on the internet.
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I

  • IAB: Interactive Advertising Bureau. Website dedicated to the growth of interactive advertising. Provides guidelines, standards and best practices.
  • iFrame: A method of including one HTML page within another HTML page.
  • Impression: A view of a single item, whether it’s a page, or an ad, on your blog.
  • Inbound link: A link on a blog or website that points to your blog or website.
  • Indexed: A web page that has been found by a search engine and included within its search results.
  • Instagram: A photo-sharing app and social network, popular for its photo filters. Related list: Instagram tools.
  • Internal link: An internal link is a link that points to another section or page of the same website.
  • IP address: A unique string of numbers that identifies every computer that’s connected to the internet.
  • IRL: Stands for In Real Life.
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J

  • JavaScript: A programming language used to make websites interactive.
  • JPG/JPEG: Joint Photographic Expert’s Group. An image file format used to compress information within a photo or picture.
  • Jump: Creating a “jump” means adding in a link so that your visitors see a summary of your blog post with a read-more link for them to click on should they wish to view the whole post.
  • jQuery: A JavaScript library designed to make it much easier to use JavaScript on your website.
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K

  • Keywords: Words that users enter into search engines to find a relevant page or pages, these words can also be used by bloggers within their posts to get traffic via search.
  • Keyword stuffing: The practice of using too many (and sometimes irrelevant) keywords in posts or the blog’s HTML in an attempt to get traffic via search engines.
  • Keyword research: The act of finding out which keywords search-engine users are searching for to find information. Related list: Keyword tools.
  • Klout: A website that aims to measure the influence of social-network users including those on Twitter.
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L

  • Landing page: A dedicated page on a website created with the intention of converting visitors into sales leads or e-mail marketing subscribers for a particular product or database list.
  • Leader board: The name for a popular-sized website advertisement that’s 728 pixels wide by 90 pixels high.
  • Lightbox: The practice of showing images or files as an overlay on the current blog page (causing the rest of the page to be darkened) instead of causing a new page to load.
  • Link bait: Website content created with the aim of gaining attention and inbound links.
  • LinkedIn: Social-networking website for people interested in connecting with others for business opportunities. Related list: Social networks.
  • Live pinning: A way of creating engagement on Pinterest by pinning images (such as those from a runway show) in real time.
  • Long-tail keywords: A keyword phrase made up of at least three to five words.
  • Loop: In WordPress, the loop is the PHP code used to display posts.
  • LOTD: Look Of The Day. A fashion blogger term for a daily outfit post.
  • Lurker: Someone who regularly reads a blog but does not leave comments.
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M

  • Malware: Short for malicious software. Code or scripts designed to disrupt software or collect information such as passwords.
  • Media kit: Document, slideshow or web page containing information about a blog’s traffic, achievements, advertising rates, and sponsorship opportunities used when forming partnerships or selling ad opportunities.
  • MedRec: Short for medium rectangle. The name for a popular-sized website advertisement that’s 300 pixels wide by 250 pixels high.
  • Meme: On the internet, a meme is a concept or idea (image, video etc) that spreads quickly. E.g.: the Sh*T Girls’ Say-related videos.
  • Merchant: A person selling goods or services.
  • Micro blog: A blog with very short content. Twitter is considered a micro blog.
  • Micro niche: A subset of a niche. For example, a blogger could target the beauty market with their content, but to specialise they could target the niche market of make-up, and to go one step further they could target the mineral make-up market.
  • Mobile site: A website or blog that’s been optimised to be viewed on a mobile device such as a smart phone or tablet.
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N

  • Navigation: A collection of text or image links that form a blog’s menu.
  • Newsletters: An e-mail communication tool used by bloggers to alert their subscribers of updates, important news, downloads or more. Related list: Newsletter tools.
  • Niche: A subset of a market. For example, a blogger could target the beauty market with their content, but to specialise they could target the niche market of make-up.
  • Nofollow: The nofollow value is like a stop sign given to certain hyperlinks, instructing some search engines that the link should not influence the targeted site’s ranking in search engine results. It’s designed to help reduce spam, especially in blog comments.
  • Notification bar: A bar that sits along the top or bottom of your blog, with the intention of sending a message of your choice to your visitors. For example: a link pointing to a free download you may be offering. Related list: Notification bars
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O

  • Organic search results: Listings that appear on search engines results pages because their content is relevant to the searched word or phrase, unlike those results that appear due being paid advertisements.
  • Orphan: In typesetting, an orphan is a word, or short line, at the end of a paragraph of text.
  • Outbound link:A link that points to an external website or web page.
  • Outsourcing: Hiring third-party help to carry out blog-related tasks including design and technical support. Related list: Outsourcing websites.
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P

  • Page: A static page within a blog that does not form part of the blogging content. For example, an “about” or “contact” page.
  • PageRank: An algorithm used by Google to rank websites in their search engine results.
  • Page view: The loading of a single HTML page on the internet. Also known as page impression.
  • Parallax: A web-design trend that involves the background moving slower than the foreground when scrolling, giving a 3D effect.
  • Parent theme: A theme that’s declared a parent because of the existence of a child theme.
  • Permalink: A permanent link to a specific article, document or forum entry.
  • PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor. A scripting language designed to be used with HTML to create dynamic pages.
  • Pillar content: Meaty (and usually tutorial or how-to style) content that has long-term appeal, that becomes the backbone of your blog and what it’s about (such as this glossary!).
  • Pingback: Also known as a trackback, a pingback is an automated notification that another blogger has linked to your post.
  • Pinterest: A social-network/bookmarking website best described as an online vision board. May also be a valuable traffic-driver for bloggers who’s post images have been added to the site. Related list: Pinterest tools.
  • Platform: A blog platform is the software used to create and maintain a blog. Related list: Blog platforms.
  • Plugin: In WordPress, a plugin is folder of files added to the blog in order to give it extra functionality or features.
  • PNG: Portable Network Graphics. An image file type that unlike JPG doesn’t lose quality when editing, but also does’t support animation like GIFs do.
  • Podcast: A digital file available for downloading to a media player (such as an iPod) or computer. Related list: Sound editors.
  • Pop-ups: A form of online advertising displayed in a smaller window that appears upon visiting a site, or performing an action (such as sumbitting details). May include an ad, encouragement to sign up for a newsletter or enter a competition.
  • Post: An article on a blog
  • PPC: Pay Per Click. An advertising model in which the advertiser pays a blog owner each time their ad is clicked on the blog.
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Q

  • Quantcast: An analytics website that measures traffic along with audience demographics, traffic and geography. Related list: Analytics tools.
  • Quora: A Q&A style website that aims to connect people via their interests, and lets you follow certain topics.
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R

  • Rate card: A document or web page that outlines the pricing and placement options of advertising opportunities on a blog and its related properties, such as newsletters.
  • Reblog: To repost content from one blogger’s post into your own blog, usually performed by simply clicking a “reblog” button, and indicated with a credit of sorts. 
  • Reciprocal link: An agreement between two bloggers to link to one another’s blogs, performed to benefit each site’s traffic.
  • Rectangle: The name for a popular-sized website advertisement that’s 180 pixels wide by 150 pixels high.
  • Redirect: To force a website browser from one URL to another.
  • Repin: The act of adding an existing Pinterest image, pinned by someone you follow, to one of your Pinterest boards and sharing it with your followers.
  • Responsive design: Refers to a blog theme or website layout that changes in response to the size of the screen or device it’s being viewed on.
  • Retweet: The process of one Twitter user sharing the content (tweet) with their own audience by reposting it.
  • Rich-media ads: Advertisements that may be interactive and may HTML, Flash or video.
  • RSS: Stands for Rich Site Summary (and also Really Simple Syndication). It’s a format (feed) for delivering website and blog content via an RSS reader or aggregator.
  • RSS reader: A website or application that allows you to read the RSS feeds you’ve subscribed to in one place. Related list: RSS readers.
  • Robots.txt: A file on your web server that tells search engines which blog content they should ignore.
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S

  • Self-hosted blog: A blog that requires the owner to purchase their own hosting services in order to use it. WordPress.org blogs are self-hosted, WordPress.com blogs are not. Related list: Website hosting options.
  • SEO: Search Engine Optimisation. Techniques used to improve the visibility of a website within search results in order to increase site traffic.
  • SERP: Search Engines Results Page. The list of web pages returned by a search engine as a result of the word or phrase being searched for.
  • Shortcode: A short WordPress-specific code that can be used to quickly and easily embed pieces of content, files or objects.
  • Sidebar: A column used to display content on a blog, other than the post or page’s main content. For example: newsletter sign-up forms and advertisements.
  • Site map: A list of pages on a website or blog that are accessible by visitors and search-engines. Like a table of contents.
  • Slug: Keywords that describe a post or page (usually found in the title) and are used to form a URL.
  • Social media: Websites (including blogs) and applications that encourage users to create, share and discuss conten
  • Social network: A platform or website that focuses on connecting those with similar interests. Users typically have a profile, and are encouraged to interact with one another. Related list: Social networks.
  • Spam: Unsolicited advertising in the form of e-mails, blog comments, etc.
  • Split testing: See A/B testing.
  • Splog: A spam blog. Usually create with the purpose of improving the search-engine of the owner’s other websites, to sell text-link ads, and/or, promote affiliate links. Content is typically poorly written or stolen.
  • Sponsored post: A blog post that’s paid for by a sponsor. Usually written by the blogger in their tone and style, and approved by sponsor. See also: Advertorial.
  • StumbleUpon: A social-bookmarking website, that can drive traffic to website pages that have been submitted. Users “stumble” to find internet content related to their interests. Related list: Bookmarking websites.
  • Subscriber: A person who has chosen to stay updated on your latest blog posts via RSS.
  • Su.pr: The little brother of StumbleUpon, Su.pr acts as a way of shortening URLs, submitting them to StumbleUpon, tracking their stats and sharing on Twitter – all from one location. Related list: URL shorteners.
  • SWF: Shockwave Flash. A type of file designed to deliver vector graphics, text, video, and sound over the internet.
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T

  • Tag: A word or name that classifies a blog post similar to a category, though usually more specific.
  • Tag cloud: A collection of the words used to create post tags. Usually displayed in the sidebar in a manner that shows which has been used on the blog the most.
  • Tagline: A short phrase or sentence, like a slogan, describing your blog. For example: “The stylish guide to blogging”.
  • Taxonomy: Classification of pages, posts and custom post types on a WordPress blog into categories, tags and link categories.
  • Technorati: A blog search engine and directory. Also considered an authority on the state of the blogosphere. Related list: Blog search engines.
  • Text editor: A program that edits files in plain text format.
  • Text link ads: Ads that consist of hyperlinked text. It’s purchased by advertisers with the intention of improving the search engine ranking position of the page the ad links to.
  • Theme: Files that modify the way a blog is displayed, like a “skin”.
  • Time on site/Time online: The amount of time a visitor spends on your blog.
  • Timestamp: The date and time attached to digital data, such as a blog post or photo.
  • Tool bar: An area of your screen at the top or bottom that contains useful info such as login links, sharing icons, and other features. Related list: Tool bars.
  • Trackback: A method of notifying a blogger that another blogger has written something about their blog post and linked to it.
  • Troll: Someone who leaves negative or hurtful comments on blog posts, usually in an anonymous fashion.
  • Tumblr: A blogging platform, with features that encourage easy posting and reblogging. Related list: Blog platforms.
  • Tweet up: An event organised on Twitter for people to meet up in real life.
  • Twitter: A microblogging platform. All posts (AKA “tweets”) are 140 characters or less.
  • Twitter client: A desktop or mobile application designed to help Twitter users manage their accounts. Related list: Twitter tools.
  • Twitter party: A virtual party, using the microblog, Twitter. Participants use a a pre-selected hashtag to chat with other attendees on a specific topic.
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U

  • UGC: User Generated Content. Posts or articles created by your visitors, and not you (the blog owner).
  • Unique visitors: An analytics term that represents the number of visitors who visited your site during a certain time frame. Differs from visits in that the visitor is only counted once.
  • URL: A Uniform Resource Locator (URL). The full address that identifies an exact location on the internet, includes all the colons and slashes.
  • URL shortener: A tool that creates a shortened version of a URL. Related list: URL shorteners.
  • Users:In sites such as WordPress and Google Analytics, a user is a person who’s been given access to an account.
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V

  • Viewability: An advertising metric used on blogs and websites that tracks only impressions that can be seen by users (for example: An ad at the bottom of a page that a reader can’t see because they haven’t scrolled far enough isn’t viewable).
  • Viral: Content, such as posts, photos and videos, that is popular and quickly shared on the internet.
  • Vlog: A video blog. Related list: Vlogging tools.
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W

  • Webinar: An online seminar, workshop or presentation. Related list: Webinar tools.
  • Weblog: A web log, also known as a blog. See blog.
  • Web server: A computer containing software for hosting a website. Related list: Website hosting options.
  • Wide skyscraper: The name for a popular-sized website advertisement that’s 160 pixels wide by 600 pixels high.
  • Widget: A tool or content you can add to your blog’s sidebar, such as a calendar, list of pages or archives menu. Related list: Blog widgets.
  • Widow: In typesetting, a widow is a word, or short line of words, at the start of a new column of text.
  • WordPress: An open-source (free) content management system, used to create customisable blogs and websites using themes and plugins. Related list: Blog platforms.
  • WordPress Multisite: A WordPress mode that allows you to create a network of multiple WordPress sites that run on a single installation of WordPress.
  • WYSIWYG: Stands for What You See Is What You Get. This refers to what’s being displayed in your post editor corresponding with what appears when the post is published.
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X

  • XHTML: Extensible HyperText Markup Language. Considered a “stricter” version of HTML.
  • XML: Extensible Markup Language. Designed to transport and store data, where as HTML was designed to display data.
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Y

  • YouTube: A Google-owned social video-sharing platform.
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Have I missed any words you’re unsure of? Let me know below!

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