20 tech terms you’ve probably heard but never understood

The world of technology can be a bewildering place. Not only is it full of complex tools and systems that can take a lifetime of training to understand, but there are also countless unique terms to discover and translate. You may have come across abbreviations like “SEO” and “CMS” before, but you may not know what they mean or why they are important to you.

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Fortunately, we’re here to help. The following list covers some of the most important tech terms that you should probably know if you are involved in the tech scene.

SEM (Search Engine Marketing)

Search engine marketing or search engine marketing refers to all the online marketing methods that help in boosting the visibility of a website in search results. The term “SEM” can refer to strategies such as search engine optimization, to improve organic rankings, and paid advertising methods.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

Perhaps one of the most important terms in internet marketing, search engine optimization is the art of optimizing your website and its contents so that it is more likely to appear on search engine pages. SEO includes a number of diverse tactics, from link building and keyword research to competitive analysis and content marketing.

CMS (Content Management System)

A “CMS” or Content Management System is a software platform designed to help users create, manage, and edit online content. WordPress is an example of a content management system – one of the most popular in the world, responsible for powering a large part of the Internet. Without a CMS, you will have to create and manage your website using codes.

CRM (Customer Relationship Management)

A customer relationship management system, or CRM, is an environment where businesses can gather valuable information about their customers or users, as well as track potential sales and opportunities. With the data collected in a CRM, it is easier for companies to understand their customers and their unique needs and preferences.

PPI (pixels per inch)

Pixels per inch is a term that you may be familiar with if you use graphics a lot in your daily life. This is the number of pixels per inch on the device screen. The higher the number of pixels per inch, the clearer the text and images.

User Interface (User Interface)

A user interface is the set of parts of a website, computer, smartphone, or application that a user can interact with. For example, when you use WhatsApp on your phone, the list of contacts you see and individual chat pages are two examples of the user interface.

UX (User Experience)

Crucial in the era of modern design, user experience includes all the situations, emotions, and experiences a person experiences when interacting with a particular service. UX design is the process of using design to improve the communication between the user and the product, in order to increase customer satisfaction.

VPN (Virtual Private Network)

A VPN or Virtual Private Network is a service that protects your internet connection and defends your identity online. A VPN essentially creates an encrypted tunnel for your data and activity while you’re online, so other people, including your ISP, can’t see what you’re doing online or store files about you.

Pay Per Click PPC

One form of digital marketing, “PPC” is the most common form of paid advertising used to improve your search engine presence. This term refers to the way you pay for the attention you receive, as you are charged for each person who “clicks” on one of your ads. You can also run PPC campaigns on platforms like Instagram and Facebook.

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

This term has become increasingly important for companies to understand in recent years. The term GDPR refers to a set of rules that coordinate data protection and privacy laws for individuals in the 28 member states of the European Union, as well as in Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein. The GDPR may also apply to UK customers.

Business Intelligence (BI)

Business intelligence is a term used to refer to the set of tools, best practices, infrastructures, and applications that allow companies to collect and analyze information about their company. Business intelligence focuses on using data to help companies make better decisions based on facts.

PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard)

A common term for anyone involved in the e-commerce industry, PPI DSS are security standards created to ensure that all organizations responsible for accepting, processing, transmitting, and storing credit card information maintain a safe and secure environment.

SSO (single sign-on)

Single sign-on is an ideal service for people who have a large number of social media accounts and other profiles on the web today, and it is a service that allows users to use a single set of credentials (single login name). username and password) to access different applications. The service authenticates the end user for all the applications they need in one go.

2FA (two-factor authentication)

Two-factor authentication and multi-factor authentication are two aspects of the security and privacy landscape. The term refers to a verification process that requires users to submit more than one set of credentials to confirm their identity. For example, you may be asked to enter a temporary code that is sent to your phone after you give your password to the account.

IoT (Internet of Things)

The Internet of Things, or the Internet of Things, is the term used to refer to the network of interconnected devices in our daily lives, capable of communicating over the Internet. For example, your smart speaker and your smartphone are both components of the Internet of Things space.

NLP (Natural Language Processing)

A component of artificial intelligence, natural language processing is the technology that allows machines to understand human language. Natural language processing and natural language understanding (NLU) are often used in systems that need to understand human commands, such as Alexa or Siri, as well as in systems responsible for reading text.

XR (Extended Reality)

This term has caused a lot of ink to flow in recent years. The term “extended reality” or “XR” refers to all forms of immersive technology in the digital landscape, including virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality.

SaaS (Software as a Service)

Another term hugely popular in a world of ever-changing digital transformation, software as a service refers to cloud-based software that allows users to access software hosted on a service. This means that you can access as many software as you want, when you need it, without having to install anything on the device.

Application Programming Interfaces (APIs)

An API is a protocol that programmers and programmers can use when writing code to help different systems communicate with each other. For example, if you are building a website, you can use an API to add an Instagram feed to your homepage.


Metadata is simply data about other data. For example, an image file’s metadata might include information about image resolution, file size, and even the creation date. Some forms of metadata are automatically generated when a file is created, while others are created by a user.

And there you are! 20 terms to make you more confident in your technical knowledge!

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