Browse this glossary of terminology for a list of Drupal and IndieCommerce terms and definitions.



An approved user on your site that receives a commission on sales they have brought into your site.

Attributes: Fields that can be added to products to obtain more information from your customer. Some examples are a price denomination, size, color, gift card message. Attributes either have a blank text field, or they have different options to choose from. For instance, if t-Shirt came in Red, Blue, and Green, that attribute would be color, and the option would be red.

Authorization: When a customer completes checkout, their card is authorized, or a hold is placed on their account for the amount of the sale. Authorizations can then be captured when the order is completed, or they will drop off naturally in a few weeks. Customers sometimes confuse authorizations, with actual charges, no money is physically taken when a card is initially authorized.

A piece of content that can display in different regions of your theme, and on specific pages.

Book: A set of pages tied together in a hierarchical sequence, perhaps with chapters, sections, subsections, and so on. You can use books for Staff Picks, Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), or whatever you’d like. You can create books by using the Book outline tool on your content type.

Booklist: A tool used to pull up product listings with an Add to Cart Button by SKU or ISBN.

Customer Information Manager, this feature allows the website to safely store a customer's credit card information for repeat purchases, or to reauthorize a card.

Content type: Every node belongs to a single “node type” or “content type”, which defines various default settings for nodes of that type, such as whether the node is published automatically and whether comments are permitted. Common "Content Types" that just about any website would have include: blog post and page. Content types can have different fields and modules can define their own content types.

Short for Domain Name Server, is an internet service that translates domain names into IP addresses. Because domain names are alphabetic, they're easier to remember. The Internet, however, is really based on IP addresses.

DNS Hosting: A DNS hosting service builds, operates and provisions domain name servers, which are used and integrated with domain name registrars, Web hosting services and Internet service providers (ISP). Website hosting provides server storage space and an IP address for your website. The website on that server can then be accessed from a web browser. Your web hosting provider is who gives your website the IP address that is entered into DNS. When someone types in your domain name the web browser goes to the hosting providers web server to pull up the pages for your website that you have stored on the server.

Domain Registrar: A domain name registrar is a service that allows you to officially register your desired website domain name so that it is unique to you, and no one else can own it. Popular registrars are Network Solutions, GoDaddy, etc. Domain registrars register a domain and enable it’s use on the rest of the internet. There is usually an annual recurring cost for this service. The one and only thing this service actually provides is to tell the rest of the web which DNS server to use for your domain.

DRM: Digital Rights Management, the use of technological means to control protection of copyrighted material so that it can't be duplicated. Many eBooks come loaded with DRM.

Embed Code:
When embedding content on a website, HTML embed tags are used. One of the tags is the "<embed>" tag, which calls to the browser where the content is hosted to place it on the Web page as a browser plugin. The content is hosted on another website, called the client computer, so it does not take place on the widget-hosting website.
Read more - The Definition of an Embed Code & Widgets |

Short for Favorite Icon, a page's favicon will appear in the browser's address bar and next to the page's name in a list of bookmarks. The default Favicon for Indiecommerce sites is the blue Drupal Drop, you can change this to a different image on the theme configuration page.

A drupal theme.


In Checkout:
Orders that have gone to the checkout page, but were never completed. Sometimes these orders are left because of a problem with the user's credit card, other times the customers just change their minds about an order. In Checkout orders should NOT be considered real orders, but they can be helpful when troubleshooting with a customer. A social networking site for authors, booksellers, publishers, and anyone who loves books! This site was designed to help drive traffic to IndieCommerce and other ABA member stores.

Input format: A tool for defining the processing that happens to user-entered text before it is shown in the browser. Generally, your site's Input format will default to Full HTML



Module: Software (usually PHP and CSS) that extends Drupal features and functionality. Modules are controlled by ABA Staff, but if compatible, additional modules can be enabled upon request.

MX Records: Short for mail exchange record, an entry in a domain name database that identifies the mail server that is responsible for handling emails for that domain name.

A piece of content in Drupal, typically corresponding to a single page on the site, that has a title, an optional body, and perhaps additional fields. Every node also belongs to a particular content type, and can additionally be classified using the taxonomy system.


Parent Item:
A piece of content that has subpages, or "Children". For instance, if you had an "About Us" Parent item, a possible child could be, "Directions".

Path: In Drupal terms, a unique, last part of the URL for a specific function or piece of content. For instance, for a page whose full URL is, the path is “indie-bestsellers”. Path can be used to add menu items, create links, and set page display options on blocks (it will always be anything after .com/)

PCI Compliance (PCI DSS): Short for Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS), PCI DSS is a standard that all organizations, including online retailers, must follow when storing, processing and transmitting their customer's credit card data.

Publishing Options: Three different types exist, "Published" (your customers can see the content), "Promoted to front page" (The content is posted to your home landing page) & "Sticky at top of list" (The content is on the front page, at the very top of the page regardless of when it was posted.)


Defined areas of a page where content can be placed. Basic regions include the Header, Footer, Content, Left sidebar, Right Sidebar. Different themes can define different regions so the options are often different per-site. Content is assigned to regions via blocks.

Roles: Sets of permissions that can be applied to individual users. Users can belong to more than one role. Two examples of roles are, authenticated users (those users that sign up for an account) and anonymous users (those either without an account or not logged in)


SSL Certificate: SSL or Secure Sockets Layer is a protocol designed to enable applications to transmit information back and forth securely. Your SSL Certificate makes sure that all of your customer data, including credit card information, is transmitted securely over the web. The place to send any Indiecommerce questions! We can also be reached by phone at 800-637-0037, option 2.

Suckerfish menu: A menu that will display submenu items when the mouse hovers over the 'Parent' or top level item.

Superfish menu: This is also another name for the Suckerfish menu. The Superfish module activates the Superfish menu.

The science of classification. In Drupal, Taxonomy is a powerful core module that gives your sites use of “terms”, organizational keywords known in other systems as categories, tags, or metadata. In Drupal, these terms are gathered within “vocabularies.” The Taxonomy module allows you to create, manage and apply those vocabularies.

Teaser: A short introductory sentence or paragraph about a piece of content that informs readers about the subject of the content. By default, the first paragraph or two of the content is used (there is a setting for how much), usually with a link to the complete node.

Theme: The theme controls how your site is displayed, including the graphic look, layout, and colors. A theme consists of one or more PHP files that define the HTML output of your site's pages, along with one or more CSS files that define the layout, fonts, colors, and other styles.


Views allow people to chose a list of nodes and present them as pages, blocks or RSS feeds. Think of nodes as a grouping of content (fields) and views as a way of selecting and displaying these groups of content.

The contact information associated with your domain name. Before going live, this information must be changed in order for our System Administrator to purchase a Security Certificate for your website.

WYSIWYG: What You See Is What You Get. An acronym used in computing to describe a method in which content is edited and formatted by interacting with an interface that closely resembles the final product. We currently us CKeditor for our WYSIWYG editor.



About ABA

The American Booksellers Association, a national not-for-profit trade organization, works with booksellers and industry partners to ensure the success and profitability of independently owned book retailers, and to assist in expanding the community of the book.

Independent bookstores act as community anchors; they serve a unique role in promoting the open exchange of ideas, enriching the cultural life of communities, and creating economically vibrant neighborhoods.



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