Web Jargon Buster

Published 26/05/2004 10:31   |    Updated 13/02/2009 13:09
What do all these terms mean?

Browser: Web navigation software e.g. Microsoft Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox.


CGI (script): Common Gateway Interface - a small application for processing functions on a web site such as hit counts, form processing and automated emails.


Cookies: Small text files often stored on your computer when you visit a web site. May contain information such as login details.


Data Transfer: The total amount of data transmitted between a web server and the computer requesting a web page.


Domain Name: The "name" of the web site. i.e. Daveswebsite.co.uk.


Domain Name registration: The purchase or rental of a particular name via one of many Internet providers.


Downloading: Transferring (or copying) a file from one computer to another (or others) over the Internet.


Flash: A browser plug-in that allows the playback of animation and interactive images.


Graphic Optimisation: The compression of images to reduce their file size (while retaining appropriate quality) in order to maximise page upload times.


Home Page: The first page of your web site, generally comprising an introduction and links to the rest of the site.


HTML: Hypertext Mark-up Language - the primary language for web pages.


Javascript: a scripting language that allows actions such as browser detection, pop up windows and form validation.


Key phrase: the words typed into a search engine to locate a particular site.


Meta Tags: HTML code used to provide page titles and descriptions for search engines. Invisible to web surfers.


Plug-in: A software application that literally "plugs-in" to your browser allowing it to play back media. E.g. Flash, Quicktime.


Rollovers: Images on a web site that change as the visitor 'rolls' the cursor over them using the mouse.


Search Engine Optimisation: The configuration of a web site or page with selected key phrases to give it maximum profile and therefore a higher ranking with search engines.


Syntax: the order of tags, commands, words and phrases in your code.


Tags: bracketed phrases used by HTML that tell a web browser how to display information.


Validation: The W3C organisation has a strict set of rules for correct coding practices and sites complying with them are said to be 'validated to W3C standards'. Sites that don't, risk incompatibility problems with future browsers and platforms.


Web Hosting: The storage of a web site on a permanently web-connected (and ideally secure) computer.


Web Space: The amount of Internet space allocated to a web site by its host server and within it can run.


W3C - or World Wide Web Consortium: a consortium of web focused organisations and individuals including educational institutions and companies such as Microsoft and Macromedia, whose purpose is to enhance and promote the world wide web.



« Giving HTML a try

Further sources of info »


Please tell us how we can make this answer more useful.