ASP (Active Server Pages)

Active Server Pages (ASP) is open, compile-free application environment that provides web developers with a more powerful way to build web applications.  See also "PHP" in this glossary.


Back-end refers to the code and databases that are invisible to users and that control and are "behind" what visitors see when they visit your web pages.  See also “front-end” in this glossary.


The bandwidth is the size of the "data pipeline" between your computer and the Internet.  The higher the bandwidth (the wider the "pipe"), the more information can flow at once and the "faster" your Internet connection.


For web pages to be displayed on your computer, you need a web site "browser" program such as Internet Explorer, Netscape Navigator or Opera.

CGI (Common Gateway Interface)

Common Gateway Interface (CGI) is a programming language method that allows a World Wide Web page to communicate with programs run on the web server.


A note that a server leaves on a web browser so that it can remember what the web surfer looked at the last time a site was visited.  It acts to customize the screen the next time the surfer visits the page.  Cookies normally don't pose a security risk and are a must for some online browsing but could be used by the unscrupulous to glean information about the surfer’s web surfing habits.  They are stored in a special folder on the surfer’s hard drive aptly named ‘Cookies’.

CSS (Cascading Style Sheets)

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) refers to the ability to assign styles to elements on a web page (HTML document). Examples include position, size, color etc. 


Click-Through Rate (for Banner Ads) refers to the number of people that click a link compared to how many times the link is displayed.


Dynamic HyperText Markup Language (DHTML) is a model for HTML (see definition below) that allows absolute control of positioning of elements on a page and a more powerful control of events. 

Dial-up Account

This is the most common way of connecting to the Internet. A service provider lets a user connect to their computer system with a modem and a telephone line. Once the connection is made, the provider connects the user directly to the Internet.

Domain Name

This is the unique name that identifies an Internet site. It could be thought of as the site's telephone number or street address.  This name is mapped to an IP address using a URL. 

Domain Registration

Although your domain name is unique, it does not belong to you.   Who it actually belongs to depends on whether it’s .com, .biz, .net, etc.  and the name you choose is not guaranteed until it has been accepted by InterNIC, an independent, non-profit contractor for the U.S. government that maintains domain names.  There is an annual charge for the name and it must be renewed in order for you to keep using it.   Fail to renew it, and not only can you lose your web address, but someone else can buy it. 

Dynamic Web Page

All the parts of a dynamic web page, like graphics and text, are stored as files in a database.  When a user goes to a specific page, all the relevant parts are gathered from this database and displayed on screen.


Most often used in connection with buying and selling items via the Internet, the term "electronic commerce" refers to any online transaction.

Email Forwarding

Electronic mail forwarding services which automatically redirect email you receive from one email address to another existing email account that you specify.  If a person has "unlimited email forwarding", then an email (for example, anything@you.com) will be sent to a forwarding address (such as, support@you.com).  Forwarding services are especially helpful when you have changed ISPs or email addresses.

Email Linking

This is a service that provides an address which uses your web site as a link to your existing electronic mail address.  So, instead of asking customers to send mail to your current e-mail address, (for example, you@current.net), they can send their email to sales@storeonline.com.  This presents a professional image.  Also, because it is linked, you can keep your old email address.  You can use your web site to link more than one address.

Flash Intro

This is the posh moving-graphics section that you sometimes see at the beginning of a web site. These graphics can give a wonderful impression, but there are pitfalls.  The downside is that flash intros can take extra time to download and, if your customer doesn’t have a Flash ‘plug-in’, they’ll be directed to a site to download it.  That’s fine if they know what they’re doing and don’t mind spending the extra time, but such messages popping up, and long waiting times can put people off, and then they may look elsewhere.  The web site owner needs to consider its potential customers web-surfing capabilities before deciding to include flash intros on their business web site.


In web publishing a form is a web page or portion of a web page containing HTML code designed to be filled out by the user and sent back to the server for processing.


This is the part of a web site that the user sees and interacts with directly.  See also "Back-end" in this glossary.

FrontPage (Microsoft)

FrontPage is a commercial WYSIWYG HTML editing program developed by Microsoft and used to create, edit, manage, and upload web sites.  See also “WYSIWYG” in this glossary). 

FTP (File Transfer Protocol)

The protocol used to transfer files from one computer to another over the Internet.  It is what you can use to copy your web pages to your host. 


A guestbook is a script on a web page with a form which allows your web site visitors to sign in and leave comments or questions.

GUI (Graphical User Interface)

The graphical user interface is the visual interface that you see as you work at your computer; i.e., the background and application screens on your desktop with Start button, Taskbar, icons, etc.  The use interface is continually changing as you switch from document to document and program to program.  The old DOS (disk operating system) used a command line interface.  Windows uses a GUI.

Hit counter component

The best way of measuring the popularity of your site is to include a hit counter. This goes on the Homepage and looks a bit like the odometer on a car.


The homepage is:  (1) The first web page that is displayed when you open a web browser such as Netscape Navigator or Microsoft Internet Explorer;  (2) The intended beginning page of a website on the Internet.


In order to be accessible to customer’s or visitor’s browsers, every web site, email account, file or online service is stored on a server (hosting) computer that's permanently connected to the Internet through high-speed data lines.

HTML (HyperText Markup Language)

HTML is the code that is used to define a web page.  Web publishers use it to create web pages containing text and images which can be viewed by anyone browsing the World Wide Web using any kind of computer or browser.

IMS (Interactive Multimedia System)

IMS refers to a transmission of related items of information in a combined media that can be presented together, such as text and graphics and sound etc.


This term refers to a web site that's incompatible with certain Internet browsers (such as Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator in all their versions) and might appear ugly, not work properly, or even not display at all.


The Internet is the physical world-wide interconnection between computers and their resources using TCP/IP. 

IP (Internet Protocol)

This is the protocol that sends packets of data over the Internet. 

IP Address (Internet Protocol Address)

An Internet protocol address defines where an IP packet is going which can be to another computer over the Internet but also to computers on the same network.  It is composed of four numbers, between zero and 255, separated by periods. This number tells a network of computers and servers just where to find your computer.

ISP (Internet Service Provider)

This term refers to a service organization which provides remote access to the Internet for a periodic fee.


JavaScript is a simple, cross-platform, scripting language originally developed by Netscape which provides a method to make static HTML documents more interactive.  It is embedded within an HTML document and then executed by the web browser when the document is loaded.  JavaScript can be used to fully control Netscape and Microsoft Web browsers.


Keywords are words or phrases which concisely describe the content of your web pages.  These keywords are included in the code of your web site for search services to use to help web surfers find your site.  See also "Meta Tags" in this glossary.

LAN (Local Area Network)

A LAN is a group of electronically connected computers and/or devices, usually joined by wiring, located in a relatively small area, as in one building or group of buildings.

Link Popularity

A search engine rates the popularity of your web site by looking at the number and  nature of inbound links from other sites to your web site.  See also "Search Engines" in this glossary.

Mailing List

This is a list of names and email addresses of site visitors or customers who have agreed to receive regular emails from a particular source, such as your business.

Meta tags

Meta tags are HTML commands that instruct the browser or search engines to perform specific tasks, define sites, identify keywords, etc.  These tags can be used by search engines to classify web pages for searches.

Modem (MOdulator - DEModulator)

A modem is a device that converts digital and analog signals which are used to transfer data between computers over telephone lines.


MySQL is a simple and powerful open source relational database management system that stores and processes information. If you have an online store, all your product information can be stored in a MySQL database.  For more details, see mysql.com

Perl (Practical Extraction and Report Language)

Perl is the most common scripting language for processing Form data. 

PHP (PHP:Hypertext Preprocessor)

A language used to write programs (scripts) that make a web page dynamic.  See also "ASP" in this glossary.

POP (Post Office Protocol) Mailbox

A POP mailbox is the equivalent of a postal box at the post office.  Using aliases you can link a number of email addresses to a single mailbox so that all the mail sent to these addresses will land up in the same place. Alternatively, if you have a number of employees and you can assign each their own POP mailbox with an independent, personal email address.

PPC (Pay Per Click)

Money paid for each click-through for an affiliate or advertiser link, or your cost to purchase traffic this way.

RealAudio / RealVideo

A client-server software system and file format (by Real Networks) which allows Internet users to play audio/video-based multimedia content in real-time (called "streaming") as they are being downloaded, instead of having to download the entire file before playing it.

Search engine

A search engine is a web site, like Google, that creates indexes of Internet sites. Users can enter specific terms and the search engine will return links to sites containing those terms. See also "Link Popularity" and "Keywords" and “Search Engine Optimization” in this glossary.

SEO - Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization is a process of getting your web site noticed on the web.  It is a form of online marketing and uses keywords and meta tags and expertise to obtain high ranking in search engines for a web site.  Some SEO strategies can be accomplished through knowledge of “how to” and some incur fees for use.


Spam is unsolicited, unwanted junk mail (usually commercial) distributed over the Internet using TCP/IP on the world wide web.  It is sent to your email box and to that of numerous other web user as soon as the distributor finds your Domain IP mail box host address.  It is hard to stop and no one likes it.


T-1 is a leased-line connection to the Internet capable of transferring data at 1.544 Mbps.  At maximum theoretical capacity, a T-1 line could move a megabyte in less than 10 seconds.  A T-1 line consists of 24 individual channels, each of which supports 64 Kbits per second.  Each 64Kbit/second channel can be configured to carry voice or data traffic.  Most telephone companies allow you to buy just some of these individual channels, known as fractional T-1 access.  T-1 lines are sometimes called DS1 lines.

TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol)

TCP/IP is a communication protocol between computers that wish to "talk" over a physical connection. It defines the rules on how they communicate. TCP/IP is the method by which all computers talk over the Internet but it works equally as well on a LAN. 

TLD (Top-Level Domain)

The suffix attached to Internet domain names.  There are a limited number of these predefined suffixes, each one representing a top-level domain.  Some of the most popular top-level domains are:

com - commercial businesses
gov - U.S. government agencies
edu - Educational institutions
org - Organizations (usually nonprofit)
net - Network organizations

URL (Universal Resource Locator)

A URL is the unique address or location of any resource on the World Wide Web.  It often refers to a web page but it can include almost any file that can be found on a server connected to the World Wide Web. 

Web Page

A web page is a single HTML document with its own address (URL) designed for viewing in a web browser.  A web site is made of one or more web pages.

Web Server

A computer that's permanently connected to the Internet, runs server software and stores the files that make up one or more web sites.

Web Site

A collection of interlinked web pages on a particular subject, usually under a single domain name, which includes an intended beginning file called a "home page".  From the home page, you can get to all the other pages on the web site.

Web Space

This is hard drive data storage space accessed via the Internet that may be used to store data files or host websites, depending on the host’s terms.


This is an acronym for "What You See Is What You Get".  A WYSIWYG editor or program is one that allows you to create a web page, text, or graphical user interface so that you can see what the end result will look like while the document or interface is being created.  WYSIWYG web page editors, such as Microsoft FrontPage and Adobe PageMill, conceal the markup language (HTML) and allow you to think entirely in terms of how the page should appear.

WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get): A computer program that displays a reasonably good example of the finished result as it is being constructed. 

WWW (World Wide Web)

The world wide web is a method for connecting many of the resources available over the Internet using HTML. This term is often incorrectly used as a synonym for the Internet. 

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