Glossary of Web related Terms

See Web Address.

Alt text
Text provided with an image as an alternative to viewing the actual image. It will appear before the image is fully loaded, if your visitor has their graphics turned off, and if your visitor positions their mouse on the image. Alt text is also important because search engine spiders often read it.

A measure for the speed (amount of data) you can send through an Internet connection. The more bandwidth available, the faster the connection.

Bandwidth (in detail)
How much data is transferred between the server and its visitors. The more (and bigger) graphics and downloadable files you offer on your website, the more bandwidth your site will take, increasing the time visitors must spend on your website, and the amount of resources your host must spend on you. Taking up too much bandwidth may drive visitors away or force your host to charge you more to support your website.

Term to describe a user's movement across the web, moving from page to page via hyperlinks, using a web browser.

(See Web Browser)

A web browser or web server feature that stores copies of web pages on a computer's hard disk.

Information from a web server, stored on your computer by your web browser. The purpose of a cookie is to provide information about your visit to the website for use by the website & host server during a later visit.

CMS (Content Management System)
Is a piece of software running on a server, usually a database application. Using an open source Web Content Management System (CMS) is a very cost effective way to deliver your website solution, as the software itself has NO upfront or ongoing license fees.

CSS (Cascading Style Sheets)
They let you assign the look of different elements of each web page in your website. They're an HTML 4.0 feature; so older browsers may not support them.

Data stored in a computer in such a way that a computer program can easily retrieve and manipulate the data.

Database System
A computer program, (like MS Access, Oracle, and MySQL), for manipulating data in a database.

A list of websites usually organised by category. Many directories are searchable, but they are different from search engines because they just list your home page. They don't spider your site, so any hidden descriptions or keywords will not count toward the relevancy of your page in any given search.

Domain name
The text name assigned to a website. A domain name example would be

To transfer a file from the Internet to your computer. The information could be a web page, images, email, or a program. (See also Upload)

DNS (Domain Name Service)
A computer program running on a web server, translating domain names into IP addresses.

E-mail (Electronic Mail)
Messages sent from one person to another via the Internet.

E-mail Address
The address used for sending e-mails to a person or an organization. Typical format is

To convert data from its original form to another form that can only be read by someone who can reverse the encryption. The purpose of encryption is to prevent unauthorised reading of the data.

Gif (Graphics Interchange Format)
A type of graphic understood by all graphic browsers. Compuserve introduced them back when graphic browsers were young. Now, they are the most flexible graphic format, allowing transparent backgrounds and animation.

Same as Gigabyte. 10GB is ten gigabytes.

1024 megabytes. Commonly rounded down to one billion bytes.

GPL (General Public License)
The licenses for most software are designed to take away your freedom to share and change it. By contrast, the GNU General Public License is intended to guarantee your freedom to share and change free software - to make sure the software is free for all its users.

The creation and manipulation of picture images for website, computer or printing use.

Hits are requests for files from visitors. Each HTML document and graphic file counts as a separate hit, so they aren't an accurate representation of the number of different visitors to your site, it's a better idea to look at the number of unique visitors when analysing your website statistics.

Home Page
The top-level (main) page of a website. The default page displayed when you visit a website.

Your Internet service provider host is the computer you connect to for Internet access. Your website host is the computer where your website files are located, which allows visitors access from the Internet.

The action of providing web host services.

HTML (Hypertext Mark-up Language)
HTML is the language of the web. HTML is a set of tags that are used to define the content, layout and the formatting of the web document. Web browsers use the HTML tags to define how to display the text.

HTTP (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol)
The standard set of rules for sending text files across the Internet. It requires an HTTP client program at one end, and an HTTP server program at the other end.

HTTP Client
A computer program that requests a service from a web server.

HTTP Server
A computer program providing services from a web server.

HTTPS (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure)
Same as HTTP but provides secure Internet communication using SSL. (See also SSL)

(See Link)

IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol)
A standard communication protocol for retrieving e-mails from an e-mail server. IMAP is much like POP but more advanced.

A worldwide network connecting millions of computers. (See also WWW)

Internet Browser
(See Web Browser)

Internet Explorer
A browser by Microsoft. The most commonly used browser today.

Internet Server
(See Web Server)

A private (closed) Internet running inside a LAN (Local Area Network).

IP address
The Internet protocol address identifying a computer connected to the Internet. Every computer (including yours) is assigned one when they log onto the Internet. Servers always use the same IP address, but if you get Internet access through a large dial-up Internet service provider, you may be assigned a new IP address every time you log on to the Internet.

ISP (Internet Service Provider)
These are the companies who supply Internet access &/or web hosting to people who don't have their own servers.

A scripting language developed by Netscape and Sun Microsystems that is loosely related to Java. JavaScript code can be included in a web page along with HTML and is easier to write than Java. It is not a true programming language, though, and has limited functionality. In order for visitors to see the JavaScript on your site, they must have a browser that supports it, such as Mozilla Firefox.

JPEG (Joint Photographic Expert Group)
(Also JPG). A graphic file format that stores images in a compressed form. They aren't as small or versatile as GIFs, but they offer better resolution, and are especially useful for photographs you want to display on the web or send via email.

Same as kilobyte 10K is ten kilobytes..

Same as kilobyte 10KB is ten kilobytes..

Kilobits per second - the standard measurement of modem speed.

Key phrases
Phrases you want associated with your website in search engines. Most people search for combinations of words rather than single words, and writing your list of keywords grouped into phrases can give you a search advantage.

The words which best characterise your business and website. If you include them in the text of your website, search engines will associate them with your site, and return your site in searches for them.

Keyword weight
The number of a particular keyword in your document divided by the total number of words. Calculate it by copying the text of your website into your favourite word processor. Count the words, and count the keywords by using the Find/Replace option. Replace all your keywords with themselves, and the program will tell you how many there were.

LAN (Local Area Network)
A network between computers in a local area (like inside a building) usually connected via local cables. (See also WAN)

A pointer to another document. Most often a pointer to another web page. A hyperlink is a synonym for a hotlink or a link, and sometimes called a hypertext connection to another document or web page.

Same as Megabyte. 10MB is ten megabytes.

1024 kilobytes. Commonly rounded down to one million bytes.

Meta tag
An HTML tag which is not visible when the document is viewed. It is placed within the head tag to tell search engines the description you would like them to use in their database, and the keywords you want your page associated with.

MP3 (MPEG-1 Audio Layer-3)
An audio compression format specially designed for easy download over the Internet.

MP3 File
A file containing audio compressed with MP3, most often a music track.

MPEG (Moving Picture Expert Group)
An ISO standard codec for computer audio and video.

Common file extension for MPEG files.

A presentation combining text with pictures, video, or sound.

Free open source database software often used on the web.

Open Source
Open source is a set of principles and practices on how to write software, generally released under a GPL license. One of the most important factors of open source is that the source code is openly available.

Optimise Images for the web
It is best practise to optimise images for website use, (also for emails & documents use). Optimising images reduces the size of your images so that they take as few bytes as possible while maintaining a level of quality. By lowering the file size you lower website bandwidth use and your web pages load faster in your visitors browsers.

A typical image directly inserted into website content should be no greater that 450 pixels in its longest length, however, if your website allows images to pop up then the recommended longest length should be 700 pixels.

The main image formats to use for logos and navigation buttons is .gif and .jpg for photographs. Another image recommend for website use is the .png (see PNG)

Page Hits
A measure of the number of times an HTML file was requested from the server. Unlike hits, image files aren't counted. Unlike unique visitors or users, one person visiting the same page multiple times may be counted.

Page Impressions
The same as Page Hits.

Page Views
The same as Page Hits.

Page views
The same as Page Hits.

PDF (Portable Document Format)
A document file format developed by Adobe, most often used for text documents. A useful way to lock/secure your documents contents so they cannot be edited by recipients.

Pixels or px
A unit of picture measurement. One pixel is about the size of a period (.) in 12 point font. Web banners and other graphics are measured in pixels. A standard banner size would be 468 pixels long and 60 pixels high (468 X 60). Monitor resolution is also measured in pixels. The most popular monitors display 1000 pixels wide and 800 pixels high (1000 X 800).

An application built into another application. A program built in (or added) to a web browser to handle a special type of data like e-mail, sound, or movie files. (See also ActiveX)

PNG (Portable Network Graphics)
A format for encoding a picture pixel by pixel and sending it over the web. A W3C recommendation for replacing GIF.

POP (Post Office Protocol)
A standard communication protocol for retrieving e-mails from an e-mail server. (See also IMAP)

PHP (PHP Hypertext Preprocessor)
A technology allowing the insertion of server executable scripts in web pages. Mostly for Unix & Linux platforms.

A website where visitors can find what they are looking for. Generally, a search engine or directory. A "vertical portal" specialises in one industry or target market. A "horizontal portal" tries to have something for everyone, like Yahoo!

The placing your website gets when visitors conduct a search for your keywords or keyword phrases using a search engine. (The most "relevant" response would be the top ranking.)

RGB (Red Green Blue)
The combination of the three primary colors that can represent a full color spectrum.

Search Engine
Computer program used to search and catalogue (index) the millions of pages of available information on the web. Common search engines are Google and AltaVista. Search engines allow a visitor to search for words or phrases in a database of web pages.

Search engine algorithm
The criteria a search engine uses to determine which websites match the words or phrases a visitor is searching for.

(See Web Server)

Source code
The HTML and Java programming of a web document. Look in your browser under View Source Code to look at a page's code. If their page does something nifty you want to copy, cut and paste their source code into a word processing program and save it.

Unsolicited email. This term encompasses everything from those annoying jokes your friends send you to the multi-level marketing schemes appearing in your email box every day.

A program that follows links through websites to add or update a database (usually for search engines). They look at HTML code and add information to their search engines.

Addressing a web page or e-mail with a false referrer. Like sending e-mail from a false address.

SSL (Secure Socket Layer)
Software to secure and protect website communication using encrypted transmission of data.

A method of sending audio and video files over the Internet in such a way that the user can view the file while it is being transferred.

Target audience
The people most likely to buy your product or service, or most interested in the information you provide. The more you know about them, and have designed your product or service with them in mind, the easier it will be to sell it to them.

To transfer a file from a local computer to a remote computer on the Internet or another way, to transfer a file from a web client to a web server. The information could be a web page, images, email, or a program. (See also Download)

URI (Uniform Resource Identifier)
Term used to identify resources on the Internet. URL is one type of an URI.

URL (Uniform Resource Locator)
A web address. The standard way to address web documents (pages) on the Internet, like:

A visit to a website. Commonly used to describe the activity for one visitor of a website.

A visitor of a website. Commonly used to describe a person visiting (viewing) a website.

VPN (Virtual Private Network)
A private network between two remote sites, over a secure encrypted virtual Internet connection (a tunnel).

WAN (Wide Area Network)
Computers connected together in a wide network, larger than a LAN, usually connected via phone lines. (See also LAN)

WAP (Wireless Application Protocol)
A leading standard for information services on wireless terminals like digital mobile phones.

A background image that doesn't scroll along with the rest of the page.

Web Address
The same as an URL or URI. (See URL)

Web Browser
A program used to find and interpret HTML documents on the Internet. The most popular browsers are Microsoft Internet Explorer, Firefox and Netscape.

Web host
A company that operates web servers that "hosts" web services like providing website space to companies or individuals.

Web hosting
The action of providing web host services.

Web page
One HTML document accessible form the World Wide Web. One page on a website.

Web Server
A server is a computer that delivers services or information to other computers, typically a server that delivers web content to web browsers.

Web Server Error
A message from a web server indicating an error. The most common web server error is "404 File Not Found".

A collection of related web pages belonging to a business or an individual accessible from the world wide web.

WMA (Windows Media Audio)
Audio file format for the Internet developed by Microsoft. (See also WMV)

WMV (Windows media Video)
Video file format for the Internet developed by Microsoft. (See also WMA)

Abbreviation of "What you see is what you get," often used in regards to HTML editors. With a WYSIWYG editor, you don't have to learn HTML code in order to design your own website.

Web Address
The same as an URL or URI. (See URL)

WWW (World Wide Web)
A global network of computers using the Internet to exchange web documents. (See also Internet)