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Tech Terms: Test Your Online Business IQ

Have a website? Make sure you're up on the lingo.

80% of smartphone users check their mobile devices as soon as they get up in the morning. 

If you’re starting the day immersed in technology, then you’re no doubt going to be connected all day long; first at home and then at the office. And you're going to need to talk the walk.

Technology has changed the way we do business, and it has taken over our workdays. We collaborate with teams using new software and devices. And we deal with IT tasks that we didn't know existed just a few years ago. From small business to larger enterprises, everyone is connected online, and your business's web presence is a key part of your strategy.

Having your finger on the pulse of every area of tech is impractical when you’ve got an endless to-do list. This guide will help close the knowledge gaps when it comes to your online presence, giving you and your teams a step up in the evolution of business.


Software that has advertisements embedded within it, which are automatically displayed to users. Adware is considered a legitimate alternative offered to consumers who do not wish to pay for software.

Cloud Storage

Data is stored online by a third party which should be secure and accessible from anywhere there is an Internet connection.

CMS: Content Management Systems

A software management tool used to edit and format content, which includes a web-based publishing feature. Content management systems do not require the use of web coding language, like HTML.

CRM: Customer Relationship Management

Customer relationship management (CRM) is an approach to managing a company’s interaction with current and future customers. It often involves using technology to organize, automate, and synchronize sales, marketing, customer service, and technical support.

Data Centre

A large group of networked computer servers and data storage systems. They are typically used for remote storage, processing, or distribution of large amounts of data. Many data centres are owned by ISPs (internet service providers) or information and communications technology (ICT) providers, such as MTS.

       Read Related: How Secure is Your Business Data?        

Cloud Storage

Despite the name, cloud storage does not mean your information is floating in the sky. It is held at data centres in secure facilities all over the world. People and organizations buy or lease storage capacity from the providers.

Web Cookies

As delicious as it sounds, web cookies have no taste. Cookies are arbitrary pieces of data, usually chosen by the web server, and stored on the client computer by the browser.

Dynamic Web Content

Web material produced in real time, such as blogs, tweets, Facebook posts and LinkedIn updates. The point of dynamic content is to be fresh, well-thought out and compelling enough to drive customer awareness.

E-commerce (electronic commerce)

Business conducted by transferring funds, goods, services and/or data electronically over the Internet. This is done through applications such as e-mail, instant messaging, shopping carts, web services, UDDI (Universal Description, Discovery and Integration), FTP (File Transfer Protocol), and EDI (Electronic Data Interchange), among others.

Email Marketing

The promotion of products and services via email. It usually involves using email to send ads, request business, or solicit sales or donations, and is meant to build loyalty, trust, or brand awareness.

Hosting Server

This sounds like a party but it’s really a service dedicated to hosting a company’s information – its website, email, data, etc. Hosting servers that are dedicated to a single client are referred to as a dedicated server. Dedicated servers are common for larger websites where the hosting needs of the website owned require more control or bandwidth.

HTML: HyperText Markup Language

The authoring language used to create and format the layout of documents on the World Wide Web. “Hypertext” refers to the hyperlinks that an HTML page may contain. “Markup language” refers to the way tags are used to define the page layout and elements within the page.

IoT: Internet of Things

Refers to the network of physical objects that feature an IP address, allowing them to be connected to the Internet, and the communications between them. This includes traditional computing devices such as laptops, tablets and smartphones, as well as an increasing number of Internet enabled devices including home appliances, wearable electronics and more.

       Read Related: The Internet of Things Will Change Your Office Forever!      

IP Address: Internet Protocol Address

The unique string of numbers separated by periods that identifies a particular computer or other device on a network. IP addresses use the Internet Protocol to communicate over a network.

ISP: Internet Service Provider

Refers to a company that provides Internet services, including personal and business access to the Internet.

LBS: Location Based Services

Services that deliver information instantly based on users’ location. These apps provide users with accurate information regarding their location. Businesses use LBS as to analyze trends in certain locations, and use those findings to optimize their services and messages.


Short for malicious software, malware refers to software designed specifically to damage or disrupt a computer system. Common examples of malware include virus, spyware and Trojan horses.

Merchant Account

A type of banking account necessary for businesses to accept credit and debit cards for payment. In exchange for converting credit card payments into cash, banks charge merchants interchange fee as well as other fees.


The practice of frequently posting brief and often frequent text updates using a social networking site such a Twitter or Facebook.

Mobile Application Development

The process by which application software is developed for handheld devices, such as smartphones or tablets.


A network is a group of two or more computer systems linked together.

Offsite backup and recovery

The primary purpose is to recover data after its loss, be it by data deletion or corruption. Data loss can be a common experience of servers and computers. The secondary purpose of backups is to recover data from an earlier time, according to a user-defined data retention policy, typically configured within a backup application for how long copies of data are required. Though backups popularly represent a simple form of disaster recovery, and should be part of a disaster recovery plan, by themselves, backups should not alone be considered disaster recovery.

POS: Point of Sale

The checkout of an online store where transactions are completed. Many POS systems also include tools for tracking inventory and sales volume.

       Read Related: 5 Point-of-Sale Tips for Your Retail Business      

QR Codes

Quick Response (QR) codes are machine-readable code made up of black and white squares that reveal URLs, images and other information when scanned by a smartphone camera.

SaaS: Software as a Service

A software delivery method that can be installed over the Internet rather than on a computer, which provides access to software.

SEO: Search Engine Optimization

Strategies, techniques and tactics that are used to increase the amount of visitors to a website by obtaining a high-ranking placement in the search results page of a search engine.

Trojan Horse

A destructive program that appears to be a benign application to users. A Trojan horse may disguise itself as a program that claims to rid a computer of viruses but instead introduces viruses onto the computer. Taken from an ancient myth, Greeks entered the city of Troy in the belly of a wooden horse, it is any malicious computer program which misrepresents itself to appear useful, routine, or interesting in order to persuade a victim to install it.


Similar to a group of individuals with common interests, formed to provide helpful information this is a group of two or more computer systems linked together.

Virtual Merchant

A merchant that uses a website to sell goods and services. Virtual merchants engage in e-commerce, accepting electronic payments from customers online.

Web Cookies

Small text files (up to 4KB) given to a web browser by a web server. The information is sent back to the server each time the browser requests a page from the server. Their purpose is to identify users and prepare customized web pages for them.

Web Host

A web host provides server space, web services and file maintenance for websites controlled by individuals or companies that do not have their own web servers.

Have a tech term you want explained? Let us know in the comments.

Mark Glucki

Mark has been developing digital blog communities for 10+ years that connect business and tech pros with their inspirational stories. He developed a North American best practice on creating great experiences on social networks and spends as much time learning about entrepreneur success stories as he does producing content for others to enjoy. Mark is also a commercial photographer focusing on product and location images. His work can be seen at Wonderlab Photo.

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