Glossary of Terms

The terms found in this glossary are related to web design, online marketing, and basic computer terms. If there is a term you don’t see here, please contact us and we will both provide you with the information as well as add it to the below list for other who visit our website.

Glossary Menu:
Numbers | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

Numbers  back to top ↑

301 redirect

A permanent redirect from one URL to another, usually from your old website to the new website. 301 redirects are also used to redirect traffic from old web pages to the new pages that have taken their place. (e.g. “” is now “” on the new website.

404 Error Message

A page a user sees when they try to reach a non-existent page on your website. Usually this is due to someone reaching a page that has been deleted or they have mistyped the URL. An effective 404 error page should communicate why the page doesn’t exist and what users can do next.

A  back to top ↑

Address Bar

The address bar is a text box, usually at the top of your browser window, which displays the address of the web page you’re looking at, or which a web address can be typed into. With many browsers, the address bar can also be used as a search box.


Web sites which receive commissions in exchange for sending sales or other desired conversions to ecommerce sites.


Related to Search Engines and SEO. An algorithm is a set of rules used to rank the listings contained within its index relating to an exact keyword query. SE algorithms are black boxes: no one knows exactly how their algorithms function, to protect from competitors and those who wish to SPAM. That said, by observation and experience, there are fairly well know guidelines of how the algorithms work – for instance see SEO.


Appearance of motion created by displaying a series of still images in sequence; used to make Web pages more visually interesting or draw attention to important information or links


Relates to eCommerce and authorization. – Authentication is the process of attempting to verify the digital identity of the sender of a communication such as a request to log in or purchase a product via credit card. Authentication is a way to ensure users are who they say they are – that the user who attempts to perform functions in a system is in fact the user who is authorized to do so. Credit Card verification for eCommerce Web sites uses authentication and verification is done by a dedicated service that receives the input and returns success or fail indication.

Authentication is the process of verifying a person’s identity, while authorization is the process of verifying that a known person has the authority to perform a certain operation. Authentication, therefore, must precede authorization.


Relates to eCommerce and authentication. – Authorization is the process of verifying that a known person has the authority to perform a certain operation, while authentication is the process of verifying a person’s identity – so authentication must precede authorization.

B  back to top ↑


Links from other website pages to yours. Backlinks are used to increase a site’s popularity with search engines and to get more people to visit your site. The quality of a backlink and its anchor text is factored into Google’s algorythm when deciding how much importance to place on it.


Duplicate of a file, program, or disk that can be used in case the original is lost, damaged, or destroyed.


It may help if you read “traffic” first, but very simply, bandwidth relates to how much a resource is used. An analogy would be a freeway. The wider the freeway, the more traffic (users) it can handle. The narrower it is, the less people can use it at once (without problems). When a website gets a lot of visitors, it will use a lot of bandwidth.


A banner is a graphic that is placed around a website for the use of advertising. Graphics can use static images and text, or even be animated. Banners are a great way to draw attention to special information or offers, whether it’s on your site or an external site.

Banner Ad

Online banner ads are the closest thing to traditional advertising as they contain a high degree of creative and reach a large audience. Formats range from static images to rich interactive media such as Flash animation and full video.

Banner ads should carry out a specific campaign advertising goals or contribute to an overall corporate branding goal for your organization. Either way, eye-catching animations alone are not the only considerations for an effective marketing campaign. Banner ads should be part of a marketing strategy to ensure traffic converts. Acro Media will ensure that your banner ads are a direct fit into that strategy for call-to-actions, landing pages, and conversions to sales. Common uses of Flash banner ads include:

  • Branding (corporate or product)
  • Advertising a specific incentive, product or service
  • Call-to-action, conversion and persuasive navigation


An online journal or diary and a very popular current method of sharing your thoughts with the world. It is also very popular as a marketing tool. This article is found within Thinking IT’s blog.

Body Copy

Text set in columns, usually in sizes ranging from 8 to 12 sized font . Also referred to as text or type.


See Spiders.


When you send an email to someone and it comes straight back to you with an error message, it is said to have bounced. It’s like the internet version of “return to sender” except it is a computer or piece of software automatically sending it back to you, not a person. Emails can bounce for many reasons. The most common are: you made a spelling or typing error in the address, making the address invalid; the person you are sending to no longer has that email address; the person you are sending to has let their mailbox become too full to accept new emails; a piece of software on the receiving end thinks that your email is spam or that it includes a virus and sends it back to you.

Bounce Rate

A website’s bounce rate is the percentage of people who leave the site from the same page they entered the site, without clicking through to any other pages. This can be a good indicator of how good a website’s navigation is, as well as an indicator of the quality of the site’s content (a very high bounce rate doesn’t bode well for either of those things).


  1. The combination of a number of visual elements (symbols, logos, signs, names, marks etc.), the whole of which make up a brand.
  2. A brand is the perception of an organization (or person, place or thing) – the intangible sum of an organization’s makeup (name, reputation, client list, history, packaging, advertising, etc.).

Brand Elements

Primary brand elements include: signature, colors, typography, and secondary graphical elements (if applicable).

Brandmark (logo)

A simple graphic element (with or without text) used to identify a company. Notable examples include the Nike “swoosh” and McDonald’s “golden arches.”

Brand Platform

A summary of all tangible and intangible aspects of a brand: brand name, logo and tagline.


Relates to a type of internet connection. When someone says they have a broadband connection it means they are connecting using a service that provides greater speed. ADSL is one example of a broadband connection. It also often means greater reliability because you will not experience as many time-outs and also because more people can use a broadband connection at the same time without it causing “traffic congestion” (which slows everything up – just as it does when you are driving on a busy road).


When you visit a website, you are seeing it on a browser. Websites look very different in reality to what you see when you visit it. Everything is in fact encoded. A browser is the piece of software that decodes everything so that what you see is an attractive page rather than a lot of coding. Most people use the Microsoft Internet Explorer browser, which comes with all Windows software. If you look at the top right of your screen right now, just under the “X” you will see a little picture. This picture tells you what browser you are using. If the picture is a wavy square with smaller squares in red, green, blue and yellow, you are using IE (Internet Explorer). If it is something different, then you probably know all this already.

Browser Window

The browser is the type of software you use to view things on the internet – the browser window is the actual screen that the software displays everything on. If someone tells you to open a browser window, they are telling you to activate your browser so that an internet window opens up on your computer. You normally do this by clicking on an icon on your computer screen or task bar (at the bottom of your screen).


Going to different websites on the internet and looking around. A bit like window shopping, but on the internet instead of in a mall. Think of going into a bookshop and browsing. It’s the same thing. – Taking a casual look around for anything that may be of interest.

Business-to-business (B2B) eCommerce

E-commerce that takes place between businesses.

Business-to-consumer (B2C) eCommerce

Sale of goods and services by businesses to the general public.

C  back to top ↑


Every time you do anything on your computer, it stores this in memory so that the next time you try to do the same thing, it happens quicker than having to wait from scratch. The place where it stores all this is called the “cache”. The irony is that if your cache gets too full, it in fact makes your computer work a lot slower. It’s a good idea to empty your cache regularly to keep your computer working optimally.

Click through rate (CTR)

A measurement of the user-initiated action of responding to (such as clicking on) an ad element causing a redirect to another Web location or another frame or page within the advertisement. The rate is the ratio of ad clicks throughs to total ad impressions. There are three types of ad clicks:

  1. click throughs
  2. in-unit clicks
  3. mouseovers

Ad click throughs should be tracked and reported as a 302 redirect at the ad server and should filter out robotic activity, a.k.a. Ad click and Ad click rate.


A small text file sent which includes an anonymous unique identifier and visit information that is sent to a browser from a website and stored on a visitor’s computer hard drive. This data can provide information about who visits the website, how often they visit, what parts of the site they visit the most and their preferences.

Content Management System (CMS)

A software system that is used to control the content on your website. This allows you to login into the “backend” of your website and edit the text and images. Some examples include WordPress and Drupal. A CMS is designed to simplify the publication of website content, without requiring technical knowledge of HTML or the uploading of files.


When a user takes a specific desired action related to online marketing and lead generation. This includes completing a web form, submitting a request for information, subscribing to a newsletter or making an ecommerce purchase.

Cost Per Click (CPC)

See Pay Per Click.


See Spiders.

D  back to top ↑


Collection of unprocessed items, which can include text, numbers, images, audio, and video.

Database Driven

With a normal static website, the information that you see is on the page itself. It does not change unless someone manually edits the page. On a database driven website, the information is not stored on the page, but in a database. Every time someone visits a particular page, the information is drawn from the database in order to display it on the page. Information can therefore be easily cross-referenced and the same information applied in many different ways, using formulas and different variables.

Directory/Search Engine Directory

Much like the Yellow Pages, a directory is a place where information about hundreds, thousands and millions of websites is stored to allow people to easily and quickly find information and/or resources. Google, Bing, and Yahoo are examples of a search engine directory.


The DNS translates URL text addresses that we use (like into a numeric Internet address.


A domain is a person or organisation’s unique space on the internet. In layman’s terms, it is commonly used to mean the name of your website.

Domain Name

A domain name is a name that identifies a computer or computers on the Internet. These names appear as a part of a Website’s URL. For example, in – jembusinesssolutions is the domain name.

Domain Registration

In the same way that you have to register a business name, so you need to register a domain name. Only once it is registered do you have the ability to assign it to a specific number so that it has an actual location on the internet. A domain name registration is normally only valid for one or two years, at the end of which it has to be renewed for you to continue using it. Some domain names must be registered for 2 years minimum.

Dots Per Inch (DPI)

DPI refers to print resolution of an image, or of the output device (like a printer). The resolution for web is 72 dpi, while the standard for print is 300 dpi, which allows for much greater clarity.


When you transfer information from a website or server to your computer, this is called downloading. Collecting email is therefore a download, as is saving a document from the internet to your computer or installing a software programme directly from the internet. Every time that you visit a website you are also downloading, because the information is passing from the server to your computer and often saved there without you even knowing (see “cookies”). This becomes quite important if you are using something like ADSL to connect to the internet, where you have a limit on bandwidth because you use bandwidth every time you download anything. The bigger the download, the greater the bandwidth that you are using.

E  back to top ↑


‘Electronic commerce’ is the buying and selling of goods and services, and the transfer of funds, through digital communications. More and more businesses are selling merchandise on their websites using intricate programs that allow customers to put items in a ‘shopping cart’ and check out, and even account for shipping and tax costs.

Leading ecommerce solutions come with a full suite of tools for easy ebusiness management and maintenance. In a professional ecommerce package expect include:

  • Upload/download product data, include bulk product & picture uploads
  • Manage products & customer specific prices (B2B or B2C)
  • Manage clients/customers
  • Manage orders, including refunds and returns
  • Manage taxes and shipping
  • Manage prices, coupons, sales and incentives
  • Statistics ecommerce sales
  • Ecommerce hosting
  • Integrated email for marketing and auto-responders (thank-you/confirmation)


The internet equivalent to post and mail, email is an encoded message that is sent instantly to someone else’s computer. It is however a “best attempt” facility and not foolproof, largely because of the complexity of the internet itself and the vast number of things that can cause the process to stall or fail.

Email Client

The software programgh that you use in order to send and receive email from your home computer, tablet or smart phone. All devices with Windows installed come with 2 email clients to choose from: Outlook and Outlook Express. I recommend people use Outlook for it’s functionality.


Process of encoding data and information into an unreadable form, which is used to protect sensitive data and information.

F  back to top ↑

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

List that helps a user find answers to commonly asked questions.


Favicons are tiny (generally 16×16 pixels, though some are 32×32 pixels), customizable icons displayed in the web address bar in most browsers next to the web address. They’re either 8-bit or 24-bit in colour depth and are saved in either .ico, .gif or .png file formats.


Flash is an Adobe (formerly Macromedia) product, is a universal plug-in Web interactivity and can be integrated seamlessly into most Web pages. While great for dynamic Web page elements and ads, there are challenges the prevent Flash from being ideal for entire Web sites.


Forms use HTML tags that define and label text-entry boxes, check boxes, radio buttons, and/or drop-down menus to create simple ways for someone to collect information from users directly on the site.

File Transfer Protocol (FTP)

FTP allows you to copy or send files (HTML documents, graphic images, spreadsheets, etc.) from one computer to another via the Internet. A user ID and password are needed to use FTP, unless Anonymous FTP is allowed.

FTP Client

The software program that you use to upload your website to a host server.

G  back to top ↑

Global navigation

Global navigation consists of the navigational elements that are persistent across the entire site. It is often presented as graphical links at the top of the page, but it can also include textual links or appear on either side of the page. Sites with graphical global navigation at the top of the page often repeat the links as text at the bottom of the page, as a way to meet accessibility guidelines.

Global navigation is important because it provides branding and helps users set the boundaries for a site. It should be consistent across the site and allow access to the major content areas, and the most important tools and features offered on the site, such as login, search, help, supplemental navigation and the shopping cart.


A type of file used for images, especially animated graphics and line-drawn images (as opposed to photographs). A .gif image can be saved with a transparent background, making it ideal for graphic overlays.

H  back to top ↑


Contrary to popular belief, a hit does not represent a single visitor to a website. A hit is actually a request for a single file from your web server. This means one page can actually generate multiple hits, as each page generally has more than one file (an html or other base file, a css file, multiple images, etc.) and each one is requested from the server whenever the page is loaded. Some marketing people like to quote hits to unknowing consumers as the number makes their site sound like it”s getting a whole lot more traffic than it actually is.


In order for you to have an email address or a website, a computer somewhere, with all the necessary software, has to provide you with 3 things: an IP (domain) address, physical space to store the information and bandwidth that accommodates the flow of information that is taking place on your behalf. The company that provides you with these facilities is your host and you will pay them a fee for hosting your site and or email address.


HyperText Transfer Protocol. This is a method used to transfer information on the internet and normally precedes the “description” of the actual resource being accessed and transferred. For example, web sites and web pages are one type of resource, identified by their domain name (


Similar to HTTP, HTTPS stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol over SSL (Secure Socket Layer) or, alternately, HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure. Like HTTP, it”s a set of rules for transferring hypertext requests between browsers and servers, but this time it”s done over a secure, encrypted connection.


A hyperlink is a link from one web page to another, either on the same site or another one. Generally these are text or images, and are highlighted in some way (text is often underlined or put in a different colour or font weight). The inclusion of hyperlinks are the “hyper” part of “hypertext.”


Hypertext is any computer-based text that includes hyperlinks. Hypertext can also include presentation devices like tables or images, in addition to plain text and links.

I  back to top ↑


Short for Inline Frame. An iframe is used to display one or more web pages within another normal web page (one that isn”t a frameset page).

Inbound links (Backlinks or IBL’s)

Related to Internet Marketing and Search Engine Optimization (SEO). – IBL’s are links on external Web sites that point to a particular Web page (or in general, a whole site). IBL’s are one of the most important set of variables in a search engine’s algorithm of your site’s importance, since SE’s look at the whole link network (or link topography) to determine the syntactical relationships between keywords and Web pages.


The collection of information a search engine has that searchers can query against. With crawler-based search engines, the index is typically copies of all the Web pages they have found from crawling the Web. With human-powered directories, the index contains the summaries of all Web sites that have been categorized.

Internet Explorer (IE)

The most commonly used internet browser in use, largely because it comes with Windows software and is the automatic default browser for any Windows user. The default can be changed to a different type of browser.

Internet Marketing

Umbrella term for Search Engine Marketing, online advertising and Web site promotion related synonyms.

There are two general parts to Internet Marketing:

  1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  2. Paid Internet Marketing

Internet Service Provider/ISP

The company that provides you with internet access (connection) and related services is your ISP.

IP/IP Address

Internet Protocol. Very simply, the IP address refers to the actual number that a web address name translates to. (also see “domain”). The IP number is the real address which is usually something like There is a different IP for your computer which is based on your ISP and your website which is based upon your web host’s server. The two will not be the same.

J  back to top ↑


Coding languages used to achieve effects and functions on websites that normal html and its variants cannot achieve. These bits of coding (or scripts) are normally embedded into a web page and will automatically activate as soon as someone arrives on the page. Please note that JavaScript is distinctly different to Java.


A type of file used for images, especially photographs. Images used on web pages work best as jpg or gif.

K  back to top ↑

Keyword/Key Phrase

An internet marketing term that refers to the main topics or subjects of your web pages in relation to how people would phrase them when searching for your products or services on the internet. For example, your topic may be “High Contrast Sports Leggins” but the average person searching for your exact information may simply search for “Sports Leggins”. Your key phrases are at the core of any website marketing strategy and needs to relate to your target market’s thinking rather than your own.

L  back to top ↑

Landing Page

A landing page is the page where a visitor first enters a website. Oftentimes, a special landing page is created to elicit a specific action from the new visitor (usually in connection with an advertising or marketing campaign).


The internet is made up of millions of resources and computers that all link to each other. One type of link (verb) is a link (noun). This is a small snippet of code that creates an area on a web page that can be clicked on. Once clicked on, the person will be taken to the resource that the piece of code linked to. This is how users on the internet can move from one web page or website to another and download documents, programmes or files. To link to something means to host this piece of code that will take the person to the resource that you are linking to. To have a link from a website means that someone else is hosting this piece of code that will bring people to your website or resource.

Link Building

A primary part of Internet Marketing – Link building typically identifies, qualifies, and then pursues the best link opportunities in your industry. This may include free, paid or reciprocal links. A link building campaign generally includes the following two parts:

  1. Search Engine & Directory Submissions
    Web properties are generally grouped in search engines, directories or other relevant and targeted sites.
  2. Linking Campaign Request and/or purchase links for direct ‘in-bound links’ (IBL’s) or reciprocal links (both parties link to each other). Links are typically gained from partners and suppliers, or purchased (essentially like purchasing a text advertising spot).

Quality assurance requires human involvement with each final identified potential opportunity. The end result is more communication points with your targeted community providing inbound traffic and a favorable link network that boosts your online importance.

Local Navigation (Sub Navigation)

Local navigation changes between content areas, allowing users to browse within a content area, such as products or services. Local navigation is necessary when an area is important, complicated, or contains a lot of content. Local navigation should be consistent within an area, but it may vary from area to area. It is important that the local navigation reflect the needs of the current section, while working in a consistent manner so users do not have to learn a new system for each area of the site.

Local navigation often provides links to the “local home page” of a section and “sibling pages” (i.e. overview section landing page, or pages on the same level of the hierarchy). Ecommerce sites often do this by allowing users to see the product hierarchy or classification. Well-done local navigation can keep users from having to “pogo stick” back and forth from an index page to all of its lower-level pages by making all of the options available from every page. Like global navigation, it can also use position indicators to show users where they are in relation to the other content that is near-by.

Local search

Capability of search engines to limit search results to particular geographical area. Examples of local search sites include:

M  back to top ↑


(Also see “server”). A mail server is a computer that distributes email. Simplest is to think of it as an internet version of your local post office.


A masthead is a graphic image placed on top of a web page helps to easily identify the current page to the user. Masthead images can contain photos, text, shapes, and/or image maps.

Merchant Account

Relates to eCommerce.– A merchant account is required to collect money via eCommerce. Beyond the most basic online selling such as eBay, an eCommerce vendor must setup a merchant account with a bank.

Meta Data

Meta data is the data contained in the header that offers information about the web page that a visitor is currently on. The information contained in the meta data isn”t viewable on the web page (except in the source code). Meta data is contained within meta tags.

Meta Tag

Included in the head section of an html web page and is visible to search engines but not human visitors. Meta tags provide information about a web page, like the topic (title), keywords, description and also instructions to search engine robots and visitor browsers.

Mobile Friendly Website

Refers to a site that displays accurately between your desktop/laptop computer and a mobile device such as a handheld phone (iPhone, Android, Blackberry) or tablets (iPad, Kindle, Galaxy, etc.).

Mobile Optimization

the site will reformat itself for a list of handheld or tablet devices. Larger navigation buttons, reformatted content, and differently optimized images appear when the user is on an iPhone or other device.

Mobile Ready

When your web content and assets are accessible, legible, and usable to visitors across all devices.


Mouseover refers to any kind of action that occurs when a users places their cursor (that arrow you move around your screen) over a button, but before anything is clicked. The actions can be anything from a simple change in color to an intricate animation.

N  back to top ↑


Navigation refers to the system that allows visitors to a website to move around that site. Navigation is most often thought of in terms of menus, but links within pages, breadcrumbs, related links, pagination, and any other links that allow a visitor to move from one page to another are included in navigation.

Needs Analysis (NA)

One of the first processes in a Web or software development project. It identifies the requirements for Web site, software and/or Internet marketing success. Needs Analysis is a review of internal or organizational needs, end-user needs (the client’s client) and industry factors (competitors and norms).

In many cases the Needs Analysis process highlights other opportunities or considerations (e.g. after examining some competitors a new Web tool is recommended). A Needs Analysis focuses a project by explicitly listing what is in scope.

O  back to top ↑

Operating System

The type of software that you use to run a computer is the operating system.


In email marketing, you need to make sure your recipients want to get your messages, or you could get marked as spam. Opting-in means that someone has specifically requested to receive emails about a particular topic or from a particular entity.


Has two possible meanings in web design. The first is website/page Optimization. This relates to how the page is structured (both code and content) with regard to search engines. A well optimized website is search engine friendly. The second meaning relates to graphics and pictures that are used on websites. An optimized graphic is one that has been compressed as far as possible without sacrificing acceptable quality. This allows the image to load more quickly when someone visits a website.

Organic Optimization

is the phrase used to describe processes to obtain a natural placement on organic search engine results pages (SERPs). Some examples of techniques used for organic SEO include using keywords and keyword analysis, backlinking, link building to improve link popularity, and writing content relevant for human readers.

Outbound link

Outbound links refer to links from your site to an external (somebody else’s) site.

P  back to top ↑

Page Views

Relates to unique visitors. – A page view includes all the embedded images and other files in a Web page. Understanding how many page views and the traffic flow to/from each page is important in gauging the overall popularity of a site, and the popularity of specific pages. Much better for measurement that hits.

Parked Domain

A domain name that sits on the same server space as another. If someone types in the address of either the main domain or the parked domain, they will arrive at the same website.

Paid Internet Marketing

An all-encompassing term (a.k.a. Web site promotion, online advertising) that brings together all paid strategies and tactics to increase online equity and drive traffic to your site. There are several common ways to describe paid internet marketing strategies. Link building is a common strategy named after the goal of increasing inbound links (IBL’s) – since IBL’s are one of the single most important variables in a search engine’s determination of your site’s importance. Traditionally many paid internet marketing methods are described by payment type such as Pay Per Click (PPC), Cost Per Click (CPC), etc.

Password Protected Area

Used to designate a private and restricted content area of a Web site, where only registered user can access exclusive content. A login and authentication mechanism limit access to approved users.

Payment Gateway

Payment Processor. Relates to ecommerce. – A Payment Gateway is an ecommerce system component for direct integration with the banking network and fraud prevention tools (address and card verification services). A Gateway Service Provider (GSP) is required to complete pre-authorizations, sales, credits and voids. PayPal and are examples of Payment Gateway

Pay Per Click (PPC)

A common term in internet advertising where you purchase advertising space on someone’s website, but instead of paying a flat monthly rate, you pay a small amount each time someone clicks on your advert – which is a link that takes them to your website. This “small amount” can however go quite high, depending on the deemed value of the link. This is a very simplified explanation, but the principle is that you ostensibly “pay for what you get”, which is not entirely accurate. False clicks can in fact make this much more expensive than a fixed advertising cost.


Short for “Portable Document Format,” they were first developed by Adobe. The idea behind the PDF was to create a file format that did not dependent on applications, software, hardware or software for proper viewing. Every PDF file has a complete description of a document, including the text, fonts, graphics, and other information needed to display it.


Short for “permanent link.” Generally used only on blogs, a permalink is a link that is the permanent web address of a given blog post. Since most blogs have constantly-changing content, the permalink offers a way for readers to bookmark or link to specific posts even after those posts have moved off the home page or primary category page.


The smallest element in an electronic image. Pixel is short for picture element.


A plug-in is a bit of third party code that extends the capabilities of a website. It”s most often used in conjunction with a CMS or blogging platform. Plug-ins are a way to extend the functionality of a website without having to redo the core coding of the site. Plugins can also refer to bits of third-party software installed within a computer program to increase its functionality.


Short for “Portable Network Graphics,” (but you can just say “ping”). PNG is an image format used for lossless compression and displaying images on the web. PNGs allow for millions of colors, as well as transparent backgrounds, through that can sometimes result in larger file sizes.

Q  back to top ↑

R  back to top ↑

Radio Button

Also called an option button, radio buttons allow users to choose one of a number of predetermined options. Common radio buttons could be yes/no questions, or age ranges (18-24, 25-30, etc.) A radio button is different from a check box, which can accept multiple checked items at a time.


Ranking is a term related to search engines. When someone searches for something using a search engine, the will receive pages and pages of results. Where a specific site appears in those results is its ranking. There is a second meaning as well, more commonly used with regard to marketing and SEO and related specifically to Google. Each page of a website is given a ranking by Google, from 1-10. This ranking is the value that Google places on that particular page in relation to its subject matter and how relevant it is. The more relevant a page is believed to be the higher its ranking.

Reciprocal Links

When website A links to website B and B links back to A and both link to the other on condition that they receive a link back, this is reciprocal linking. The principle is that if site A ever removes the link to site B, site B will remove its link to site A and vice versa. This is a (not great) tactic for gaining more links pointing to a website in the hope that Google will increase the site’s ranking as a result.


A web page that contains a link to one of your pages that was used by a visitor to get to your site.


The number of pixels in an image, given in a WxH format. Usually, the more pixels in an image, the longer it will take to load.

Responsive Website

A responsive website is a single website that adapts to any screen size so it’s as easy to use on mobile as it is on tablet and desktop – no pinching or horizontal scrolling required. The design instinctively adapts to the device it is being viewed on so it looks great on a mobile, tablet and desktop.

S  back to top ↑

Search Engine

A programme that collects, stores, arranges and normally ranks the various resources available on the internet. It is most commonly on a website and used to find other websites – much like the yellow pages is used in the brick and mortar world.

Search Engine Friendly

This relates to how well a site has been put together. A search engine friendly website is one that search engines can easily read and find all the links on AND which search engines “like” because it is properly optimised and not breaking any of their rules.

Search Engine Listing

When someone searches for something using a search engine, all the sites that are listed in response to that search have a “search engine listing”.

Search Engine Ranking

Different to a search engine listing because a listing means the site appears anywhere on the list. Ranking relates to exactly where on the list it appears. Closer to the top means it has a higher ranking. A critical consideration in having your website found on the internet.

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)

A protocol designed by Netscape to enable encrypted communications across the Internet. It provides privacy, authentication, and message integrity. SSL is often used in communications between browsers and servers. A URL that begins with “https” is a clue that an SSL connection will be used on the website. During an SSL connection, each side sends a Security Certificate to the other. Both sides then encrypt what they send, ensuring that only the intended recipient can decode it.

Search Result

When someone searches for something using a search engine, the list of websites and links that the search engine responds with is the search result. The aim of any website is to appear high in the search result.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Refers to the practice of tweaking website coding and content to achieve the highest possible search engine ranking. SEO practitioners are people who specialise in this (or claim to).


A server is a computer that is used to house websites and provide a physical storage area for websites and emails. Without a server, your website would not be viewable to the world. Servers are normally provided by hosting companies who keep the servers in special premises, under special conditions and with permanent connections to the internet.

Server Side

Server-side refers to scripts run on a web server, as opposed to in a user”s browser. Server-side scripts often take a bit longer to run than a client-side script, as each page must reload when an action is taken.


This is an index to all the content on a website. It is normally accessible from at least the front page of the site and is used for two purposes: to help people find what they are looking for on the site and to help search engines find all your links.


A somewhat controversial word which has different extremes of meaning to different people. Very simply, spam is junk mail, normally sent out in bulk and normally with no regard as to whether you want to receive it or not. Serious spammers will in fact use your protests as proof that you are seeing their emails and spam you even more.


Software created by a search engine, a.k.a. crawlers, robots or bots, that automatically scour the Internet, reporting Web page contents back to a search engine’s index or database. These are built by search engines to build their index.


Process of transferring data in a continuous and even flow, allowing users to access and use a file while it is transmitting.


A domain that is behind another, but totally separate. Using sub-domains you can effectively have multiple “domains” on a single registered domain name and hosting account. A sub domain address would be written like:

T  back to top ↑

The Net

A shortened version of “The Internet”. Refers to the entire network that exists worldwide, making communication and information accessible to anyone with a computer and connection.


If you try to connect to any server on the internet – to view a website or collect email – and it takes too long, you will have a time out. It purely means it has taken too long, so the process was aborted. This is often what has happened when you get an error while trying to send or receive email, or when you try to visit a website and instead get a page that tells you the site cannot be found. Often just trying again immediately fixes the problem.


Much like the physical world, traffic refers to all the people and computers that are using a particular route at a given time or who access a specific resource. The number of visitors to a website, for example, is also referred to as traffic. Traffic is also often spoken about when it comes to hosting. If a host tells you that you are allowed X amount of traffic, they are telling you how much of the server resources you are allowed to use. This is also called “bandwidth”. Please see the explanation of “bandwidth” for more information about “traffic” in the context of hosting.

U  back to top ↑

Unique Visitors

Relates to site visits. – This is a more precise way to measure visitors to your site than hits. Each person visiting your site is counted only once, regardless of how many times they visit. This is a way to measure how wide an audience you are reaching. For instance, one person who returns five times to a site is counted as one unique visitors and five visits. Tracking of unique visitors versus visits is often done by cookies.


For a website to be visible to the world, it has to be put on the server that is hosting it. This process is called uploading because you are literally loading your information, pages, pictures, etc. up onto the server.


Uniform Resource Locator. (Allows all resources on the internet to be located in a uniform manner). A URL is a website address that has all the pertinent information for finding the exact location attached to it. is this website’s url and is the exact page’s url.

V  back to top ↑


Valid web pages are those that return no errors based on the type of HTML/XHTML specified in the doctype declaration at the beginning of the file. In other words, the code used on the page conforms to the specifications for that version of HTML/XHTML. This can be checked through various validation services, most commonly the one from W3C.


A computer programme that reproduces itself and that is frequently malicious. The most common terms that are heard with regard to viruses are Worms (not really a virus, but often referred to as such) and Trojan Horses, because these are the most commonly experienced amongst internet users. A good firewall or anti-virus programme can offer protection from viruses as long as the programme is regularly updated and consistently used. It is a good idea to install software such as +AVG or similar to keep your computer free of viruses, especially if you are uploading files to your website.


Relates to Unique Visitors. – A visit includes all the pages viewed by a visitor to your site. Visits begin when a person enters the site and end when the same visitor leaves the site or remains idle for a period of time (usually 30 minutes). For instance, one person who returns five times to a site is counted as one unique visitors and five visits.

W  back to top ↑


Email that you can check from any computer anywhere in the world using software on a server.

Web Page/Page

Just one page rather than a complete website. A page is not the same as, for example, the page in a book. The length is not limited by a fixed height and width, but by user-friendliness, good practice and practicality.


The actual website itself. The website is the content that dictates what people see and do when they go to your website address, normally containing a number of web pages not just one page.

Website Content

Photographs, graphics and text are the main content needed to develop and design an effective website. The first page of a website is known as the home page, and is often an overview of the website content. Each new web page within a website has its own URL and after each web page is created, the content is typically linked together using a navigation menu and hyperlinks.

Website Address

This is the location of your website and is normally typed as

Web Standard

Standards are specifications recommended by the World Wide Web Consortium for standardizing website design. The main purpose of web standards is to make it easier for both designers and those who create web browsers to make sites that will appear consistent across platforms, although browsers such as IE – Internet Explorer are slow to add the latest standards for website design.


Widgets are various components that can be added to a site without having to write the code. Weather and stock tickers are two common examples of widgets.


The most common type (make) of operating system. Windows is built by the software company Microsoft.

WWW/World Wide Web

Another name for the Internet.


Short for “What You See Is What You Get,” and pronounced “wizzy-wig.” WYSIWYG usually refers to HTML editors (like the ones in Joomla) that display text and images as they will appear on your site, with styling, colors, etc. Using WYSIWYG editors removes much of the need for knowing and coding in HTML when making simple changes to content, as they produce the code based on the visual representation you create.

X  back to top ↑


Stands for Extensible Markup Language. XML is a specification for creating other, custom markup languages. It’s an extensible language because it allows for the user to define the mark-up elements.

Y  back to top ↑

Z  back to top ↑