Web Development Project Management: Basic Terminology for Agencies and all beginners


After the last article, What I learned about project management, it is time for a new article in the series. It’s time for something more concrete. This one is for agencies, and all the Individuals who decided to start with web development projects and are beginners. As I mentioned before, I’m not a programmer. I started with web development PM 10 years ago, and I believe that I can give a good approach to all beginners – especially for (all types of) agencies who are in charge for leading web projects.

Of course, I will update this from time to time. And all comments and suggestions are welcome. My goal is to give good basics to all beginners (I will combine less theory with more practice). Why? Because I plan to provide an overview of Web development Project management from client inquiry to delivery. Of course, all from an agency perspective.

So let’s start with some basics.


Website or Web application 

If you are an agency worker, I believe that there’s no need to explain what is a website. 🙂 Sometimes terminology could be confusing. Website or web application is everything visible in your browser.

Mobile app, Application or Native application 

An application is everything driven on your mobile within a browser. It could be iOS, Android or WindowsPhone, etc. Try to be clear with your client at the beginning.

Please be noted once again: This is an article written for agencies. All the beginners who are starting with web development projects, from an agency perspective. I’m aware that application is a much broader term, but to write this series of articles, I’m going to use it its more narrow meaning.


A domain is the name of your website structured inside a form called URL. There are different forms of domains. For example: .com, .net, .me, .agency etc. You can register your domain in many places. My favorite is GoDaddy. Also, there you can check the availability of the domain you want to register, but any other service will also do. 


Hosting is a place where you store your website. Your website contains files (megabytes) that should be stored somewhere. There is countless of hosting providers and types of hostings. For example, we use Digitalocean, Siteground, Amazon, etc.


The abbreviation “CMS” stands for content management system. It’s a place where you can edit your website, upload content, and images. There are two types of CMSes. Open source and custom made. At Kontra, we believe in the WordPress CMS. Why? 25% of the top million websites use WordPress as of February 2017. (check statistics). Of course, custom CMS is more characteristic for specific kind of projects and industries, but there are no rules.



Let’ call everything you can’t see as a user, databases.


Frontend is everything you can see on a website. It’s structured from HTML/CSS, JavaScript…


Two technologies responsible for everything you see. A person in charge of creating them work is called a Frontend developer.

Responsive Web Design (RWD)

A standard in web development. All websites should be adaptive for mobile devices. Try resizing your browser window.

Responsive Web Design



A person (or a company) who ordered a website or an application from you (the agency).

Backend developer

A person responsible for the backend. Mostly communicates with the frontend developer.

Frontend developer

A person responsible for the frontend. Mostly communicates with a designer and the backend developer.

Full – stack developer

A person able to do both, frontend and backend.


A tester is a person responsible for website or application testing. Testing depends on PM workflow. In my case, we always test project after frontend and backend developer finish their work. This stage of the project is in its “beta version” – a website or an application placed on our test servers. Make sure you include your client in the testing phase so that he could give his feedback.

System engineer

A person responsible for servers and everything about that part; you will probably communicate with this person about DNS, domain migrations, extending your server space. But nowadays, almost everything is automated.

Project manager (YOU)

A project manager is a person who is responsible for the entire project delivery within agreed deadlines and with available resources. In a web development agency, this person is the link between the client and web designers/programmers.



A wireframe is a layout that represents elements of a website or application. With wireframes, your client could see how your website or app will look like before your designer starts working on it. We can divide wireframes into two parts:

  • Hi-Fi Wireframes – the ones with all detailed elements of a website or application
  • Low-Fi Wireframes – wireframes with main elements and composition of website or application but not detailed

Check our example here. 


Specifications relate to a detailed project scope between an agency and a client. It’s an integral part of any project and should be made if you want to meet time estimations and stay profitable. There are various kinds of specifications which are essential — not only for the client but also for your resources planning.

Programming language

A language used by programmers to write a web application. Check the info about most demanding programming languages in 2017.

Project management tool

A tool we need to track our project activities. It’s a place where all clients, partners and agency employees communicate. You could use an e-mail, but with complex projects, email is not enough. I prefer tools such as Productive, ActiveCollab, Trello, Asana, Basecamp, and others who provide you with the features such as task/milestone/owner/discussions/recurring tasks/labels, etc.

Test and production

Before publishing your web app, it goes onto test web servers for a client and testers to check it before going public, and after all the tests are finished, the web application goes into production.

In my next article, I will explain some project management tools and how to use them.