From web design world

This web design glossary has been created to further your understanding of web design jargon & related wording that you will encounter in this site and elsewhere. This glossary’s intention is to be relevant and beneficial to your understanding rather than be comprehensive.

Accessibility – Refers to a web page or web site that people interacting with different kinds of disabilities, the difficulty they can experience due to physical and or technological barriers. A web page or site that address these users limitations is said to be Accessibly friendly.

Applet – An applet is a small program designed to run within another application. Java is one of the major languages used for creating Web-based applets.

ASP [Active Server Pages] – Microsoft technology similar to CGI that is used to create dynamic content for a web page. Pages using ASP are created with programming scripts (eg; JavaScript) and integrated with the HTML of a page. It is a server-side scripting language and is mostly used on Windows platforms.

Bandwidth – Bandwidth is the amount of data that can be transferred over the network in a fixed amount of time. On the Internet, it is usually expressed in bits per second (bps). A hosting server will allocate your site a fixed amount of bandwidth usage within a regular period of time.

Browser – Often called a Web browser, it is simply a software application used to interpret HTML commands and display page content. The two most popular browsers are Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) and Netscape Navigator.

Content – A word you’ll likely see around a lot is “web content” and by definition, content is the ‘stuff’ that makes up a web site. This could be words, pictures, images or sounds. In essence however, when we talk about web content, we are essentially referring to content in a textual nature. Content therefore is the ‘information’ in text form a web site provides.

CSS [Cascading Style Sheets] – A simple mechanism for adding style (e.g. fonts, colors, spacing) to Web documents. Not all browsers (of specific versions) implement the full specification of CSS.

Directory – A database edited manually by Humans. Sites are indexed by category making this feature the main difference to a Search Engine. Users can navigate through the categories to locate documents or information. Most directories offer searching options (which is similar to searching from a Search Engine) within its database.

DNS [Domain Name System (Service)] – An Internet system/service that translates domain names into IP addresses. Domain names are alphabetic so they’re easier to remember. The Internet however, is really based on IP addresses. Every time you use a domain name, therefore, a DNS service must translate the name into the corresponding IP address.

Domain Name – An unique name that identifies one or more IP addresses. Domain names are used in URLs’ to identify particular Web sites. Every web site is located by its unique IP address.

Frames – An HTML technique for combining two or more separate HTML documents within a single web browser screen. A web site using frames often causes great problems for search engines, and may not be spidered and indexed correctly.

FTP [File Transfer Protocol] – One of the common methods of transferring files over the Internet. A typical method used for uploading files (pages) to a hosting server for viewing on the Internet.

Hits – Are the individual requests a server answers in order to render a single Web page completely. The page document itself and the various images on the page represent a separate hit.

Home Page – It is a first page (also referred as an opening page, start page or main page) of a Web site. This would technically be your index page or default page of your directory.

Hosting – Usually refers to a computer (or a network of servers) that stores the files of a web site which has web server software running on it, connected to the Internet. Your site is then said to be Hosted.

HTML [HyperText Markup Language] – HTML is a basic markup language derived from the Standardized General Markup Language (SGML), providing the means for creating simple hypertext documents, intended for publishing on the World Wide Web.

Image Map – An image that has several links geographically mapped onto it.

Interactive – A Web page is interactive when it prompts a response from the user or in some way can interact with the user dynamically (eg; filling out a form or a poll etc).

Internet – A global network connecting millions of computers. Each Internet computer, called a host, is independent. The Internet is not synonymous with World Wide Web. The Internet and the Web are two related but separate things.

IP [Internet Protocol] – The method or protocol by which data is sent from one computer to another on the Internet. Each computer (known as a host) on the Internet has at least one IP address that uniquely identifies it from all other computers on the Internet.

JavaScript – JavaScript is an object-based, client-side scripting language developed by Netscape. Embedded in the head section of a web document, It can produce interactivity to a web page dynamically.

Link [Hyperlink] – An element in an electronic document that links to another place in the same document or to an entirely different document. Typically, you click on the hyperlink to follow the link. Hyperlinks are the most essential ingredient of all hypertext systems, including the World Wide Web.

Meta Tag – A special HTML tag that provides information about a Web page. Unlike normal HTML tags, meta tags do not affect how the page is displayed.

Mouseover – A JavaScript element that triggers a change on an item (typically a graphic change, such as making an image or hyperlink appear) in a Web page when the mouse pointer passes over it.

Perl [Practical Extraction and Report Language] – Perl is a server-side, interpreted language that provides much of the web’s interactivity.

Pixel – Refers to how monitors divide the display screen into thousands or millions of individual dots to display an image. A pixel is one dot.

PHP [Hypertext Preprocessor] – A server-side, HTML embedded scripting language used to create dynamic Web pages. Designed for Windows and Unix type platforms.

Ranking – The number (order of ranking; ie 1 being the highest) that a web site is listed for a specific search term in a specific search engine. Search Engines utilize a ranking algorithm (mathematical formulas, variables, and set of weights) to determine a site’s ranking for a particular keyword or keyword phrase.

Resolution – The resolution of an image describes how fine the dots are that make up that image. The more dots, the higher the resolution. When displayed on a monitor, the dots are called pixels. A 640 x 480 screen (resolution) is capable of displaying 640 distinct dots on each of its 480 lines, or about 300,000 pixels.

Script – A script is an executable list of commands created by a scripting language. Scripts that are executed on a web server (eg; Perl, PHP) are said to be server-side scripts. Scripts that execute on your own home PC (eg; JavaScript) are said to be client-side scripts. Scripts can be embed within HTML to produce a web page with dynamic actions.

Scripting Language – A scripting language is a simple programming language used to write an executable list of commands, called a script. JavaScript, Perl, VBscript are scripting languages rather than general-purpose programming languages.

Search Engine – A server (computer) or commonly a collection of servers dedicated to indexing internet web pages, storing the results in a giant database and returning lists of pages which match particular searched queries from within its database. The indexes are normally and automatically generated using spiders.

Server – A computer, program or process which responds to requests for information from an user. On the internet, all web pages reside on servers (computers).

Spider – An automated software robot that continuously crawls hyperlinks and pages on the Internet and collects data that is returned to its database for indexing. This is how Search Engines function. The process of crawling the web, storing URLs’ and indexing keywords, links and text, is the act of Spidering.

SSI [Server-Side Includes] – Tells a server to include information (source from a separate file) in a document before sending it to the browser. A very effective method of producing the same information over many pages as one file can be altered to produce the changes over the many the pages that includes the SSI file.

Sub-Domain (Name) – A sub-domain is a domain that is part of a larger domain name. DNS hierarchy consists of the root-level domain at the top, underneath which are the top-level domains, followed by second-level domains and finally sub-domains.

Tag – An HTML tag is a formatting command written into a document that specifies how it should be formatted. A web browser interprets these tags and outputs the intended command (action).

Template – HTML templates are skeletal HTML pages with the main content left out. Templates provide an effective solution in creating many pages with an identical look or navigational structure but different content.

Traffic – Similar to a real-world sense of traffic on a road or freeway, traffic in a web-sense is a measurement of the amount of users that visit a Web site.

URI [Uniform Resource Identifier] – The generic term for all types of names and addresses that refer to objects on the World Wide Web. A URL is one kind of URI.

URL [Uniform Resource Locator] – Each separate page accessible on the Web has a unique address which can by identified by it’s URL. The first part of the address (eg; http or ftp etc) indicates what protocol to use, and the second part specifies the IP address or the domain name where the resource is located.

Usability – Refers to the level or degree of a page’s operating friendliness for the user.

Validation – Validation is a way to make sure that your (HTML) code is compliant with current HTML specifications.

W3C [World Wide Web Consortium] – Established in October 1994 to lead the World Wide Web to its full potential by developing common protocols that promote its evolution and ensure its interoperability.

WWW [World Wide Web] – Is a way of accessing information over the medium of the Internet. Browsers, such as Internet Explorer or Netscape are utilized to access the vast collection of interconnected (hyperlinked) documents on the web.