There are many in the tech space who throw acronyms around like they are speaking the language of the aliens, but some people have no clue what they even mean! And that’s ok. That’s why I am here to give a you little cheat sheet so that you can learn to speak “tech” too.



This stands for, Content Delivery Network or Content Distribution Network. CDNs are a group of servers in different geographical locations. Together, they work to deliver internet content faster. The more content on a website, the slower it will go, so CDNs transfer the information allowing for faster loading. Think of them as a complex switchboard operator from your computer to your Internet Service Provider to other networks. 



Unfortunately, this has nothing to do with being “sassy”. SaaS stands for Software as a Service. There are two places where a business can use software, on-premises (on-prem), or in the cloud. SaaS is a cloud-based software option that can be accessed on almost any device. Depending on which SaaS service a company pays for, typically businesses pay using a subscription whereas, when purchasing software on-prem, they are paying a one time upfront cost. 



An Urchin Traffic Monitor has nothing to do with cars and everything to do with online traffic tracking. It’s a small amount of code that is added to the end of a URL and it specifically has to do with marketing and a way to determine who is viewing a site and how. There are 5 different ways this works:

  1. Type of visitor – someone from social media? An email? Or a referral?
  2. Where the visitor came from – Facebook? Twitter? 
  3. A campaign’s name – companies have ads all over the place but they want to know which one is working the best. This tag helps them determine which ad campaign it came from, say, on Facebook, a blog, or a website. 
  4. Which links were clicked – Think about this one in terms of picking “the red pill or the blue pill”. Except, in this case, both pills go to the same place. This tracking option lets the company know if people clicked more on the red pill versus the blue.
  5. A keyword parameter – Basically this means a UTM tag is added to a keyword and when people click on it, businesses can determine which keywords work better than others to draw people to their sites.


While they sound very similar to each other, they are in fact very different when businesses are trying to figure out what brings in traffic/customers and what does not. Regardless of which UTM tag is used, the goal is monitoring traffic to websites to see if a marketing campaign is working or not.


These definitions barely skim the surface of each term, but hopefully, you can feel a little more knowledgeable when hearing them thrown around your IT department and office.


Photo by Paul Zoetemeijer on Unsplash