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Ultimate Website Terminology Glossary

The World Wide Web is an exciting place with plenty of things to see and do. As a web designer, you want to be competitive and present a website that looks professional, exciting, and has all of the necessary bells and whistles. There are many terms used in the world of web design, so it’s essential to know what all of them mean in order to get the most out of your website construction. Here are some prudent terms that can be used in web or Internet application:

ActiveX – A system of databases from Microsoft that allows websites to run on the Windows-based platform of programs.

Adsense – A service from Google that allows advertisers to post their website on other websites. Google then shares the resulting revenue with the Adsense member.

Affiliate – Someone who promotes another online business through specially coded links and shares the links on other sites.

Bandwidth – A measurement that determines network capacity between servers and the Internet; helps to determine connection speed.

BPS (Bits Per Second) – The speed at which data is transferred over the Internet or web.

Browser – A web client that accepts and displays websites, such as Internet Explorer or Firefox.

Byte – Computer storage size containing 8 bits. A Byte is about one character on a web page in size.

Content (web) – This term refers to anything appearing on a website: flash movies, photos, picture files, and text content.

Compression – Term used to describe the size of web documents and their delivery speed over the Internet.

Cookie – A temporary file that stores data on your computer, which indicates files or pages visited on the web.

Database- Large cache of information stored on a computer.

Dedicated Host- A computer that is dedicated to storing and transmitting information on one single web domain.

Dial Up Connection – The communication between modem and telephone; the first method of Internet connection ever created.

Disk Space – This is the measurement that determines how much memory something is taking up within its full capacity; for Internet servers it can also be known as server space.

DomainHow a website is recognized; .com, .edu, .biz, and .gov are examples of domains.

Download – The transference of files from one server or computer to another.

DNS (Domain Name Server) ­– Computer that translates URLS between domain names and IP numbers that work hand in hand with computers connected to the Internet.

E-Mail (Electronic Mail) – Communication sent between two parties or people completely over the web.

Ethernet  - A form of local connection, typically using hardware called an Ethernet cable.

Extension – File type that consists of a period with a series of letters behind it, depending on the type of file.

Forum – A website or place online where users can discuss various topics through written discussions.

GIF- A type of image file that is one of the most commonly used on the Internet.

Google – The world’s most popular Internet search engine.

Hit/Hits – The number of times any given website has been clicked on or viewed.

Host – A company that sells server storage space to website authors so they can be published online.

HTML – Acronym for HyperText Markup Language. This is the term used to refer to web code.

HTTPS- A form of secure file transfer over the Internet, usually to transmit credit card or other personal, sensitive information online.

Hyperlink – An embedded link that is usually linked to other pages or websites, often found in the text of a web page.

Intranet - A private Internet connection that is performed over a LAN or VPN (virtual private network).

IP Address – A number that is assigned to a specific computer that identifies it on the Internet.

IRC (Internet Rely Chat) – A form online communication that allows computer users to talk to each other over the Internet in real-time.

Link – Clickable words on a website that take the user to another site.

MP3 – A type of file, typically a music file.

Navigate – To browse or move throughout the Internet or any particular website.

Newsgroup – Online email newsletter or website forum where one particular topic is discussed.

Pay-Per-Click – A program designed to pay revenue to those who participate by clicking on certain links or websites, generating traffic to that site.

PDF File – A type of file that is opened using Adobe software, designed to allow users to open it no matter what software the document was originally created with.

POP (Post Office Protocol) – Assigned mailbox that helps transfer email from one server to another.

Protocol – A set of rules that must be followed in order for a specific action to occur.

Quicktime – A program designed to play and view media files, created by Apple.

Router – A piece of hardware that moves data between different computers within a network.

Search Engine  - A website designed to help Internet users find websites using their own designated search terms. Websites like and are examples of search engines.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – The use of keywords to help increase a web page’s exposure. SEO writing can help boost search term results for any given website if those key words are utilized in a search.

Server - Storage that holds memory and web files designed to allow websites to transfer information back and forth, thus “serving” it to the web.

Streaming Media- A form of Internet entertainment, usually consisting of movies, television, radio, or music, that begins shortly upon broadcast and continues until the user terminates it by exiting the web page or program.

Universal Resource Locator (URL) – The actual address of any given website or web page.

Virtual Domain – Web server that can be hosted on several different domains. Often multiple IP addresses are assigned to different domains, and then the web server determines which IP address is assigned to which computer or domain.

Virtual Host- A computer that hosts virtual domains.

Web Page – A web server-based file that is transferred using http protocol.

World Wide Web ­– Another commonly used term for the Internet.

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