Skip to main content

Definitions

Listed below are just a few of the definitions you are likely to encounter when researching, planning, executing, or creating a website. This list is by no means exhaustive, but it does cover more than just the basics.

bookmark To bookmark a web page means to record that particular address in your browser for future use. The browser will pull the identifying icon and the page titele from the web page automatically, though the user can change at their discretion.

blog A regularly updated website or web page, typically one run by an individual or small group, that is written in an informal or conversational style. Typically associated with a Content Management System such as WordPress that allows the owner to login via a web-based interface to manage and compose postings.

browser A program with a graphical user interface for displaying HTML and associated web files like graphics to a computer or phone screen. Browsers are the tools with which we navigate the World Wide Web.

cable modem A modem is a device that modulates the signal between the ISP and the computer. A cable modem is a type of modem that connects a computer or local network to broadband Internet service through the same cable that supplies cable television service.

cloud computing Cloud computing is a metaphor for the storing and accessing data and programs over the Internet instead of your computer's hard drive. The cloud is the Internet. Is also referred to as cloud storage.

CMS The acronym stands for Content Management System, a software suite that is used to create and manage documents and websites. The software is installed on a web server and access to the site's administrative features is made via a log-in web page. The most popular open source CMS platform is WordPress. Joomla! and Drupal come in a distant second and third.

cookie A small text file created by a website that is stored in the user's computer temporarily or permanently. Cookies provide a way for the website to recognize you and keep track of your preferences and tailor content accordingly. However, they can also be attacked, and those same personal preferences, and website log-ins can be used for unlawful purposes.

First-Party Cookies are created by the website you visit and are necessary for the current session. Third-party cookies are created by websites other than the website you are currently visiting (i.e. advertisers) to track your preferences. Most browsers block third-party cookies by default, but you might want to check your browser settings to make sure.

CSS Cascading Style Sheet. Style sheets control the appearance of web pages, telling the browser information such as the fonts(s) to use, colors, spacings, etc. Style sheets separate the content of a web page from the presentation. The cascading part of the name is a reference to the ability of just one style sheet to control the appearance of many web pages via a link in the header section of the web page.

CSS3 The third specification of CSS, offering more control over the presentation of web pages via the CSS code.

dark web Websites intentionally hidden and not accessible through a standard web browser. A subset of the deep net that, as the name implies, can be generalized as up to no good.

deep web Web pages and other content sources like databases and bank records that are not indexed by search engines. The deep web is thought to be even larger than the visible internet.

DNS Domain Name System. The Internet's system for converting alphabetic names into numeric IP addresses. Each easy to remember alphabetic domain name, for example (www.interondesign.com) has a numeric IP address associated with it. Behind the scenes, DNS servers return the IP address of the Web server associated with the name, thus allowing the site to be found.

firewall A firewall allows or blocks unauthorized traffic into and out of a private network or the user's computer. In the home, a personal firewall typically comes with or is installed in the user's computer. This software should be regularly updated and maintained.

hosting server Every website needs a hosting server. They are essentially powerful computers with power supply back-ups, extensive security systems and specialized software in place. A hosting server can be shared among many clients (shared hosting servers) or dedicated to a single client (dedicated servers). The latter is particularly common for larger web sites where the hosting needs of the website owner necessitate more control and/or bandwidth.

HTML Hypertext Markup Language is the set of symbols or codes inserted in a file intended for display on a web page. The markup code tells the web browser how to display the web page's words and images for the user.

HTML5HTML5 is the current standard of the Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), the standard programming language for describing the contents and appearance of Web pages. HTML5 was developed to solve compatibility problems that affected previous standards. (Under previous standards, a Web page that was built and tested in one browser may not load correctly in another browser.) HTML5 provides one common interface to make loading elements easier. One of the design goals for HTML5 is to support for multimedia on mobile devices.

IP Address An Internet Protocol Address is a unique numerical label assigned to each computer on the Internet that uses the Internet Protocol for communication. The IP Address serves to provide the device location and the units of transmitted data.

ISP The acronym for Internet Service Provider. An ISP is a company that provides the hardware and streaming connection to the Internet from your home or office. Usually different than your mobile provider.

Javascript A programming language commonly used to create interactive effects within web browsers. If HTML5 provides the structure of a web page, and CSS provides the look, Javascript provides the action. Common examples include mouseover visual effects and navigation dropdown menu actions.

keyword Not to be confused with the Keyword Meta Tag, the keyword is the main word (or short phrase) in the web page content for which you would like to focus your SEO efforts. Ideally, each web page on your site should have a unique keyword or keyword phrase to mazimize the SEO impact.

keyword meta tag Until recently, it was standard practice to include a meta tag in the header section of the web page code that would provide a comma separated list of keywords or key phrases that would attempt to describe the content of the web page. The keyword meta tag has fallen out of favor with search engines, thus is no longer needed and should not be included on a web page.

meta tag Meta tags are snippets of HTML code placed within the head section of the web page that help define the contents of said page. For example, a description meta tag is used by Internet search engines to display a description of your page in their search results. There are a number of meta tags available for use.

phishing Phishing is the attempt to obtain sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details (and money), by sending an email that looks as if it is from a legitimate organization, but contains a link to a fake website that replicates the real one.

query In computing terms, a query is a request for information from a database. For example, a query in the Google search box is a request for information from the Google database of web pages.

responsive web design Responsive Web Design is the practice of designing one website that will look good across all devices, from mobile phones to large desktop monitors. The design of the site will expand and contract according to the device screen width on which the site is being viewed. The site will change appearance depending on screen size to maximize the viewing experience for the visitor. Responsive designed is accomplished via CSS. Responsive design is the current web design standard.

SEO An acronym that stands for Search Engine Optimization. It is the process of affecting the visibility and rankings of a web page on a seach engine results page (see below). There are many components involved in the search engine rankings.

SERP An acronym that stands for Search Engine Results Page. It is the page displayed by a web search engine in response to a query by a searcher. The main component of the SERP is the listing of results that are returned by the search engine in response to a keyword query, although the page may also contain other results such as advertisements.This term is used in relation to SEO, as a high placing on the first SERP is the key goal of SEO.

server A server is a computer running special software designed to process requests and deliver data to another computer over the internet or a local network. One type of server is a web server, the very large, high-powered machines with multiple back-ups, security features, etc. where web pages can be accessed.that function as the pumps pushing and pulling data from the internet.

sitemap The sitemap is an HTML Web page that includes a list of all the web pages on the web site, or, in the case of very large sites, the main sections of the website. A sitemap should be easy to read and to follow, as some site visitors prefer to visit the sitemap page as a means to access the information they seek. For SEO purposes, it is recommended that every website have a sitemap accessible to visitors.

SSL Secure Socket Layer. It is the standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. This link ensures that all data passed between the web server and browsers remain private. An SSL Certificate, proving that the connection between the website and the site visitor is secure, is required for any online financial transactions and ecommerce, and now Google is recommending SSL for all sites. Security is not currently a major rankings factor, but Google is definitely moving in that direction. A site's security can easily be checked by looking at the site address in the browser address bar: https:// means the site is secure, http:// means that it is not.

URL Uniform Resource Locator. The website address as alphabetic characters. Usually given as http://example.com or www.example.com.

W3C The World Wide Web Consortium is the main international standards organization for the World Wide Web. This group is responsible for developing, revising, and coordinating the standards that comprise the Web, such as the HTML code used to create web pages, etc.

WHOIS WHOIS is not an acronym. WHOIS is an Internet service used to look up information about a domain name. Since there is no central database of domain registration information, WHOIS search engines look up data across multiple registrars such as Name Cheap, Blue Host, GoDaddy, et al.

WordPress Wordpress is a free publishing software and content management system (CMS). The software is stored on a web hosting server, and accessed via a web page log-in. Once logged in, the administration section of WorPress allows the site administrator to create the site as he or she desires, using a wide range of plug-ins, themes and widgets.

WWW The World Wide Web is combination of all resources and users on the Internet that are using the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP). Web pages and other resources are identified by their Uniform Resource Locators (URLs), interlinked by hypertext links, and can be accessed via the Internet.

XML sitemap An XML sitemap is a sitemap written in Extensible Markup Language and included on the websites host server. The XML sitemap should include the addresses of every web page and document file on the webstite. An XML sitemap is intended for search engines. Like the sitemap for human visitors, it is recommended practice to include an XML sitemap.

Share


Learn More