Glossary of Web Terms
Address, e-mail The specific location of a person's electronic mailbox on the Internet. An e-mail address typically consists of a variation of the persons name followed by an @ symbol followed by the domain of the service on which the electronic mailbox is stored (example E-mail addresses are usually all lowercase letters.

Address, web page The specific location of one single Web page on the Internet. A Web page address is a unique combination of letters, numbers, and symbols that identifies one single HTML file within a larger Web site.

Address, web site The specific location of a Web site on the Internet. A Web site address is a unique combination of letters, numbers, and symbols that identifies a collection of HTML files that are collectively referred to as a Web site. For example, if you wanted to see the Web site for Concentric Network, you would type the following into your browser http//

Anchors Anchors are used to mark specific locations within a document. Once an anchor is placed in location, you can create a link to that spot.

ATM (Asynchronous Transfer Mode) A common Internet protocol for transferring data across the Internet. ATM is a dedicated-connection switching technology that organizes digital data into cells or "packets" and transmits them over a connection using digital signal technology.

Backbone, Internet A larger transmission line that carries data gathered from smaller connections that interconnect with it. A backbone is a set of paths that local or regional ISP networks connect to for long-distance interconnection. The local or regional ISP network connects to the backbone at a network access point (NAP).

Background What displays behind all the graphics and text on a Web page. A background can be a color or a tiled graphic.

Bandwidth A measure of the amount of data that can be sent across a connection per unit of time. Bandwidth is normally measured in megabits per sec (Mbps); a megabit being one million bits. The amount of bandwidth a Web server requires depends on the applications that will be running on the Web server. Simple HTML Web pages do not require a large amount of bandwidth, but full-motion video requires a large amount of bandwidth.

Base Display Target The frame that a linked file displays in.

Base URL Sets the URL for which all links in the Web page are based.

bps Bits per second. Refers to how fast a modem can transfer data.

Browser The local application you use to connect to an Internet server. It interprets and displays HTML encoded documents in graphic format.

CGI Scripts Common Gateway Interface A standard way for a Web server to pass a user's request to an application program and to receive data back to forward to a user. CGI scripts are used for tasks such as submitting forms to a Web server. The Web server will typically pass the information in the form to a small application program that processes the data. The application may send back a confirmation message telling the user that the form was submitted correctly or incorrectly. The method for passing the form data back and forth between the Web server and the application program is called the common gateway interface (CGI).

Client The application that connects to a server.

Co-location The provisioning of space for a customers Web server in the ISPs data center. Co-location is a basic service offered by Web hosts for customers who own their own Web servers. Co-location includes the rental of space in the data center as well as the connection of the Web server to the Internet.

CyberCash A commercial provider of digital cash services. Digital cash is a system of purchasing cash credits in relatively small amounts, storing the credits in your computer, and then spending them when making electronic purchases over the Internet.

Disk Space A measure of the quantity of a Web server's hard disk space allocated to each Web hosting customer. Disk space is normally measured in megabytes (MB). Disk space is one of the variables by which most Web hosting companies charge their customers. The total disk space your Web site will require is simply the sum of the size of each Web site file. HTML files take up almost no disk space compared to larger picture, graphic, and audio/visual files.

Dithering If the user's browser or system only supports 256 colors, the image is adjusted automatically by a process called dithering. The image displays but its quality is frequently diminished when this happens.

DNS Domain Name Server

Domain Name The specific address of a computer on the Internet - (see address, web page). A domain name is a combination of the top- and second-level domains. This combination uniquely identifies one computer on the Internet. The alphanumeric equivalent of an IP address.

Domain, second level The domain level that identifies a group within the top-level domain - (see Domain, top level). Second level domains are used to identify one group or company. For example, concentric in is a second-level domain name underneath the .net top-level domain.

Domain, top level A general domain level for a group of computers on the Internet.

Download To copy a file from a computer (server) on the Internet to your personal computer.

Electronic Commerce Buying and selling over the Internet. Any transaction where a customer purchases a product or service at a Web site, as opposed to calling a telephone number to purchase the product or service, is considered electronic commerce.

Firewall A set of related programs located at the gateway server of a network that protects information contained within the network from users outside the network (on the Internet).

Form A Web page element that is used for the creation of HTML-based input and processing of data.

Frame Target The frame that a linked file displays in.

Frames These divide parts of a Web page into two or more independent parts, or frames. Each frame displays a separate HTML file.

FTP An acronym for File Transfer Protocol. The File Transfer Protocol is the common command set used to upload and download files from Web sites.

GIF An acronym for Graphic Interchange Format. Developed by CompuServe, the Graphic Interchange Format is a common cross-platform, WWW format for graphics. Another common WWW graphic format is the JPEG format.

Host, web A company that hosts Web sites. The most common Web host is an Internet Service Provider. The size and scope of the Web host's computer network and the quality and configuration of the hardware system on which Web sites are stored and delivered to the Internet determine the performance and reliability of the Web host.

Hosting, dedicated A web server that delivers Web page content for a single customer. Enterprise and Internet-centric customers who require a secure, high-performance hosting solution for a popular Web site typically seek dedicated hosting.

Hosting, shared A web server that delivers Web page content for multiple customers. Shared hosting is a flexible Web hosting solution for individuals and small businesses. Shared hosting provides lower cost while retaining performance and reliability of a dedicated hosting solution.

Hosting, web The storage of a Web site and delivery of that Web site to the nternet. Web hosting has two basic parts - web pages are stored and web pages are delivered to the Internet. Web hosting may be shared or dedicated.

HTML Hypertext markup language An acronym for HyperText Markup Language. It is descended from SGML and is used to "markup" or identify which parts of an .html or .htm text file to display in which format. A system of codes (called tags) that control the appearance and function of Web pages. HTML is a universal language that all computers can understand allowing computers from different manufacturers with different operating systems to understand each other. HTML tags format the Web page text, insert links to other Web sites, position pictures and graphics on the Web pages, and draw tables and borders for the page.

HTTP Hypertext transfer protocol The language used to request and transfer Web pages across the Internet. Every Web page address starts with the header http// or https//. The only difference between the two is that the "s" stands for a secure connection.

Hypertext Computer documents that contain links embedded in text or graphics. Hypertext links display related information when you click on them.

Image Map A graphic with linkable regions within it. There are two types of image maps: client side, which contain coordinate information within the graphic file, and server side, which contains its coordinate information in a seperate file on the server.

Image Scaling Proportionally changing an image's height and width.

Internet Service Provider A single computer network, connected to the Internet, that provides access for individual computers to the Internet. ISPs provide local dial-up access for your personal computer to their computer network. When you dial-in and connect to their network, you connect to the Internet since their network is part of the Internet.

Internet A public interconnection of various computer networks around the world. Millions of computers around the world are connected to thousands of different computer networks. These different computer networks are all connected together at network access points around the world. The Internet is the sum of all these networks connected together.

InterNIC The organization that registers the .com, .edu, .gov, .net, and .org domain names on the Web. If you are creating or already have a Web site for which you would like to have your own domain name, you must register the domain name with InterNIC. The registration fee (after April 1, 1998) is $70 for the first two years and $35 a year thereafter. Reputable ISPs will register a domain name for you without additional charge.

Intranet A private network of various computers within an organization. An Intranet is used to share company information and computing resources among employees. An Intranet uses regular Internet protocols and in general looks like a private version of the Internet.

IP Address The specific address of a computer on the Internet - (see Address, web site). An IP address is a 32-bit number that identifies each sender or receiver of information that is sent across the Internet.

ISP Internet Service Provider, see above.

JAVA A computer language created by Sun Microsystems compatible with many different types of computers and hand-held devices. Web developers write JAVA applets, small programs written in JAVA, that run on Web pages. Examples include games such as tic-tac-toe and programs that let you calculate mortgage interest.

JavaScript A system of programming codes created by Netscape that can be imbedded into HTML to create additional functionality not supported by HTML. JavaScript programming codes allow Web developers to insert functions into Web sites such as animation and interactivity.

JPEG A acronym for Joint Photographic Experts Group, the creators of the JPEG file format. The JPEG format was developed for high-quality photographs and supports 24-bit images. Another common WWW graphic format is the GIF format.

Line Break A method of creating a space between lines without applying the previous paragraph's formatting.

Link These are "hot spots" embedded in text or graphics which display related information when you click on them.

Local Site A collection of Web pages that is installed on your local computer.

Local Refers to something that is on your computer, as opposed to on a server.

Merchant ID An account number from a merchant bank that allows a company to accept credit-card payments. Merchant banks establish bank accounts for the purpose of enabling companies to accept credit card payments. The merchant bank account allows a company to receive and process credit card transactions online and transfer money from the buyer's account to the seller's account.

Metadata An HTTP tag which defines certain top-level information about the web page or web site. Usually contains keywords for search engines, a description of what the site contains in terms of subject matter and audience, can contain information about the author and tools used to create the page or site. Is one of the highest priority elements of a website when used in conjunction with search engines. Search engines typically weight the text found in the metadata tags higher than the text found in the actual contents of the pages.

NAP Network Access Point One of several major Internet interconnection points in the United States that serve to tie all the Internet access providers together. NAPs were created and supported by the National Science Foundation as part of the transition from the original U.S. government-financed Internet to a commercially operated Internet. Companies apply to use the NAP facilities and make their own inter-company peering arrangements. Much Internet traffic is handled without involving NAPs, using peering arrangements and interconnections within geographic regions.

NT, Microsoft A computer operating system by Microsoft Corporation. Microsoft NT is a popular operating system for higher-end computers called workstations as well as Web servers and other types of servers.

POP Post Office Protocol. This is the heading and routing information which you sometimes see at the top of emails. The Post Office Protocol allows computers (such as your Windows or Mac desktop) to send messages to other users. The protocol requires a receiving machine, designated the SMTP host, from which users have accounts. These accounts are actually holding directories for mail addressed to end users. The portion of your email address in front of the "at" sign is your end user address and the portion after the "at" sign is the internet location of the SMTP host. (See also SMTP).

Publish To upload your Web pages to a Web server, thus making them available to others across the Web.

RAM Random Access Memory.

Remote Refers to something that is on a server, not on your local machine.

Search Engine A computer program that searches the Web to find Web pages on a given subject. Search Engines help you find information on the Web. Some well-known search engines are Alta Vista, Excite, HotBot, Lycos, Infoseek, Web Crawler, and Yahoo!.

Server A fast, high-power computer that is used as the repository and distributor of data, and to control various applications such as e-mail. Servers can be used for a variety of applications including hosting Web sites, e-mail databases, and other types of database applications.

Shopping Cart A list of items a customer wants to purchase from an online storefront. Shopping cart software allows customers on an electronic commerce Web site to select items they wish to purchase and store them in their virtual shopping cart. Customers can view, add, or delete items in their shopping cart before making their electronic purchase.

SMTP Simple Mail Transfer Protocol. This is the set of instructions which allow a machine to act as a Post Office for a group of users. If the machine is on the internet, it can communicate with other Post Offices using this protocol. End user electronic mail (email) is sent using Post Office Protocol to SMTP hosts which sort and store the information for users who have accounts (User Name) on that machine. (See also POP).

Solaris A computer operating system by Sun Microsystems. Solaris is a popular operating system for higher-end computers called workstations as well as Web servers and other types of servers.

SSL Secure Socket Layer SSL is a technology that provides security for Web site transactions. SSL handles authentication and data encryption between a Web browser and a Web server. Most electronic commerce applications on the Web use SSL.

Traffic A measure of the quantity of data transferred from one computer to another computer per unit of time. Traffic is normally measured in megabytes (MB). For billing purposes, traffic is normally quoted in MB per month. Traffic is one of the variables by which most Web hosting companies charge their customers.

UNIX An open-standard computer operating system for Web servers and other server and workstation applications. UNIX originated at Bell Labs in 1969 as an interactive time-sharing system. UNIX has evolved into a type of freeware product, with many extensions and new ideas provided in a variety of versions of UNIX by different companies, universities, and individuals. Various versions of UNIX are available from a number of companies.

Upload To transfer your files from your local site to a server.

URL An abbreviation for Uniform Resource Locator. A specific address used by Web browsing software to locate and access information on the WWW. Pronounced "You Are El."

Web Developer An individual or company that specializes in the development of Web sites. Web developers handle all programming aspects of creating a Web site including HTML programming, creating graphics, adding pictures, creating links, and everything else that goes into building a Web site.

Web Host (See Host, web)

Web Hosting (See Hosting, web)

Web Page A text document which is encoded in HTML, displayed by a browser application, and accessible from remote sites via the WWW.

Web Publishing Software Software that allows a user to write HTML without having HTML programming experience. Two of the most popular examples of web publishing software are Adobe PageMill and Microsoft FrontPage. They contain all the tools necessary to create a Web site.

Web Server A type of server dedicated to storing Web-based files.

Web Site A collection of files that are linked to a central Web page, made available via the World Wide Web. The part of the Internet that contains hypertext documents. Also abbreviated WWW.

WYSIWYG An acronym for What You See Is What You Get. WYSIWYG is used to describe applications that let you see what documents will look like when finished while you're editing them.