Developer Lingo

There is a lot of lingo to get the hang of when diving into the world of coding.  Below is a list of terms we use a lot here at Bizstream Academy. 

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Back End

The inner workings and functionality of a website or application.

Box Model

All HTML elements can be considered as boxes. In CSS, the term "box model" is used when talking about design and layout. The CSS box model is essentially a box that wraps around every HTML element. It consists of: margins, borders, padding, and the actual content.


A Web browser is a program that retrieves and displays pages from the Web, and lets users access further pages through hyperlinks.

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A person or organization using the services of a web designer/developer.


Code that runs on the client's (users) machine.


A content management system (CMS) is a computer application that supports the creation and modification of digital content using a common user interface and thus usually supporting multiple users working in a collaborative environment. (ex. Kentico, Squarespace, Wordpress, Weebly)


In computer programming, a comment is a human-readable annotation in the code of a website. They are added with the purpose of making the code easier to understand. Comments do not affect the functionality of the code.


An element that can contain other elements or content.


Web content is the textual, visual or aural content that is encountered as part of the user experience on websites. It may include—among other things—text, images, sounds, videos and animations.


CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) is a declarative language that controls how webpages look in the browser. The browser applies CSS style declarations to selected elements to display them properly. A style declaration contains the properties and their values, which determine how a webpage looks.

CSS - Attribute

An attribute extends a tag, changing tag behavior or providing metadata. An attribute always has the form name=value (giving the attribute's identifier and the attribute's associated value).

CSS - Class

In object-oriented programming, a class defines an object's characteristics. Class is a template definition of an object's properties and methods, the "blueprint" from which other more specific instances of the object are drawn.

CSS - Declaration

The combination of the CSS property and value. (i.e. color: red;)

CSS - Embedded

Emedded (or internal) styles are defined within the <style> element, inside the <head> section of an HTML page.

CSS - External

A linked file with the .css extension that can be shared across multiple pages. Much more easily maintainable.


A selector used to define a unique element (should only be used once per page). Targeted with the "#" symbol.

CSS - Inline

Inline styles use the "style" attribute within an HTML element. Difficult to maintiain.

CSS - Property

The quality of the targeted element(s) that you desire to change. (ex. background-color, width, font-size)

CSS - Selector

A CSS selector is a pattern rule that matches style rules to a specific element (or elements). The selector begins a rule set and precedes definitions of how the element(s) should look.

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Document Type. It is an instruction to the browser about what version of HTML the page is written in.


DOM (Document Object Model). The result of your HTML code after the browser has translated and rendered it onto the page.


Don't Repeat Yourself. This is a coding method to help reduce repetition of information. This helps greatly in maintainability and performance.

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An individual HTML component. (ex. <div>, <h1>, <p>)

Element - Block

A block-level element always starts on a new line and takes up the full width available (stretches out to the left and right as far as it can).

Element - Inline

An inline element does not start on a new line and only takes up as much width as necessary.

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A virtual container in a computer's file system, in which files and other folders may be stored. The files and subfolders in a folder are usually related. (Think your school folders)

Front End

The outwardly visible elements of a website or application.

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HREF (hypertext reference) The attribute of an HTML "a" (anchor or link) tag, whose value gives the URL of the web page or other resource that the link points to. For example, a href=""


HTML (Hypertext Markup Language), a standardized system for tagging text files to achieve font, color, graphic, and hyperlink effects on World Wide Web pages.

HTML - Body

The <body> tag defines the document's body. The <body> element contains all the contents of an HTML document, such as text, hyperlinks, images, tables, lists, etc.

HTML - Head

The head contains the title of the page & meta information about the page. Meta information is not visible to the user, but has many purposes, like providing information to search engines.

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IDE (Interactive Development Environment). This is the software you use to code a website. (ex. Sublime Text, Brackets, Visual Studio)


A type of data represented by a whole number; a number that is not a fraction.


The global communication network that allows almost all computers worldwide to connect and exchange information.

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JavaScript (JS) is a programming language mostly used client-side to dynamically script webpages, but often also server-side.

Javascript - Argument

An argument is a value passed as input to a function.

Javascript - Event

"Things" that happen to HTML elements. (ex. a page has finished loading, an element was clicked, a key was pressed).

Javascript - Function

A function is a code snippet that can be called by other code or by itself, or a variable that refers to the function. When a function is called, arguments are passed to the function as input, and the function can optionally return an output. A function in JavaScript is also an object.

Javascript - Parameter

A parameter is a named variable passed into a function. Parameter variables are used to import arguments into functions.

Javascript - Variable

A variable is a place to store values.


A fast and feature-rich JavaScript library. It makes things like HTML manipulation, event handling, and animations, much simpler.

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Lorem Ipsum

Dummy text used as a placeholder for real content to fill out a website during development.

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How easy your code is to update during and after the development process.


The set of tags used by HTML to build a website.

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Nesting is what happens when you put other containing tags inside other containing tags. For example, you would put the <p> inside of the <body> tags. The <p> is now nested inside the <body>.

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An object is a collection of properties, and a property is an association between a name (or key) and a value.

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A software component that adds a specific feature to an existing computer program. (ex. An image slider, countdown timer, or a social media sharing utility)


The combination of the structure, styles, and content that creates the visual that users see on your website.


A pseudo-class is used to define a special state of an element. For example, it can be used to: Style an element when a user mouses over it. Style visited and unvisited links differently. Style an element when it gets focus.

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A CSS rule consists of a selector and a declaration block: The selector points to the HTML element you want to style. The declaration block contains one or more declarations separated by semicolons. Each declaration includes a CSS property name and a value, separated by a colon.

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A hardware server is a shared computer on a network that provides services to clients. A software server is a program that provides services to client programs.


Code that runs on the server.


A plugin that allows sections of similar content to be shown in series and scrolled through either manually or automatically. Also called a carousel. (see


The means by which browsers decide which CSS property values are the most relevant to an element and, therefore, will be applied. Specificity is based on the matching rules which are composed of CSS selectors of different sorts.


Abbreviation for "Source".


A type of data represented by letters and numbers that are displayed as text.


The architecture or organization of the HTML elements on the page.

Style Sheet

A CSS file.


In coding, the syntax of a computer language is the set of rules that defines the combinations of symbols that are considered to be a correctly structured document or fragment in that language.

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Tables are used to display tabular data (think spreadsheet). They are defined with the HTML <table> tag.


A command inserted in a document that specifies how the document, or a portion of the document, should be formatted.

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A URL is one type of Uniform Resource Identifier (URI); the generic term for all types of names and addresses that refer to objects on the World Wide Web. The term "Web address" is a synonym for a URL that uses the HTTP or HTTPS protocol.

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The contents of a CSS property or Javascript variable.

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Web Design

The process of planning, structuring and creating a website.

Web Development

The process of programming dynamic web applications.


A single page within a website.


A collection of related web pages, including multimedia content, typically identified with a common domain name, and published on at least one web server.

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