In the world of web design and development, we often find ourselves sifting through pages of documentation or answers on Stack Overflow which, in more cases than not, contain strange looking abbreviations/acronyms/terms which can easily perplex those who may perhaps be none the wiser.  So I have compiled a short list of 5 of the more common abbreviations which you will invariably come across in your journey down the road of web development.Solving the abbreviation conundrum

Above the fold:

When you load up a web page, the first thing you see, without having to scroll at all is what is considered above the fold.  This is prime real estate on any website and the content you put here should be carefully thought out.  What the user sees first on your site is what is going to determine whether they stay or leave.  You want them to stay.

Asynchronous JavaScript and XML (AJAX):

These backend technologies can be extremely useful depending on what you are trying to achieve on your website/webpage.  In short, Ajax allows users to make server-side requests without having to reload a web page. For example, if you have a huge form on your website and you need to break it up into more than one page, you can use ajax to request the next page of the form, without the browser window reloading, this can allow the user to navigate back and forth through the form without losing any of the data they have already input. Very handy indeed.

CMS (content management system):

This is web software such as WordPress, Joomla! or Drupal (there are much more), that allows you to create and manage the content on your website dynamically.  They generally work by storing all the websites data and configuration settings in a database which connects to your website and is requested on page-load. Content management systems have become extremely popular because they are generally really easy to use, even for people who have no coding experience at all.

 FTP (File Transfer Protocol):

FTP is a network protocol which is most commonly used to transfer files to or from a website directory.  There are various FTP clients that can be used to access your website files such as Filezilla.  Once you have access to your site via FTP you will be able to set file permissions, view or edit your website files, upload new files or delete files.

MySQL:

MySQL is a database software which is used across the world wide web for dynamically driven websites.  It allows you to access data stored in a database through scripting.  You can retrieve, alter or store new information in a database using MySQL.  A common example is with most web forms – they use MySQL to store users information in a database once the form has been submitted.

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