Internet Terminology

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404 Error
The server cannot find the document you requested. It may be that you entered the wrong address, or that there's a broken link on the site, or that the page has been moved.

Cascading Style Sheets.  Assigns page elements such as size, colour and position.

Country Codes
The two letter designation for all countries. US, UK, AU, DE, FR etc.
List of country codes here

Dynamic HTML.  Further expands HTML by incorporating the ability to change the CSS values in a document after it has been loaded, resulting in animated and interactive web pages.

A domain name, also referred to as URL, is the address at which your site will be found on the internet. Typically,

Domain Name
The name of a website that is mapped to an IP address using a URL.

Universal Resource Locator.  The address of any resource on the World Wide Web - it can refer to a domain, or any page found at a domain, for instance:

Drag and Drop
An application which allows you to use your mouse to drag elements from one location to another.

Graphical User Interface.  A program that uses a visual interface instead of a command line interface.  DOS and Unix use command lines, Windows and Macs use a GUI. The dropdown menu at the top of the browser in which you are viewing this is a GUI. Linux, a development of Unix, uses both. If you're fed up with the major players, have a look at Linux. It's still a far cry from being user friendly, but thousands of developers are working on it.

HyperText Markup Language.  A relatively simple programming language still used as the basis for most webpages.

Index, Indexed
A search engine will index your site and add the contents of the pages it has indexed (not necessarily all of them) to its database, analyse them, and make them available to surfers according to what it judges to be the site's relevance. The search engine's database is also referred to as its index.

Internet Service Provider. A company that provides internet services such as domain hosting and internet connection.

Dialup Service Provider
An ISP that provides telephone connection services so that you can connect to the Internet with your modem. A surprising percentage of people still use this system, even in first world countries like Australia. Dialup internet speed is very slow.

Access Service Provider
An ISP that provides any kind of access to the Internet such as broadband.

Keywords & Key Phrases
Words and phrases used by search engines to give relevance to a page. If your site is about "famous madmen" then it would be wise to mention the term a few times on the first couple of pages, and in the metatags. Metatags are code within web pages which, among other things, inform search engines of the page and site contents. The keywords tag in particular has been much abused and these days has little relevance as far as SEO goes but can be useful for internal searches.

A page which has outgoing links to related sites, friends, colleagues and other sites with which you may have a link exchang arrangement.

MOdulator, DEModulator.  A device which, when connected to your computer and activated, makes a sound somewhat like a flock of magpies being strangled. It translates digital signals produced by the computer into analogue signals which may be transmitted over a phone line.

Mailto Form
HTML code to collect information from a visitor to a site and transmit it via email.

A site should be optimised to give it the best chance of being found by the search engines. In other words, if the site is about "famous madmen", the phrase should be added to the title of one or more pages, and the subject should be emphasised. See also under keywords.

Practical Extraction and Report Language.  A scripting language commonly used for web server applications such as Mailto Forms.

Common Gateway Interface.  A protocol for gathering data from, for instance, a Mailto Form and sending it to a program or script such as Perl.

Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol.  TCP/IP is the method by which all computers talk over the Internet.

Local Area Network.  Used in most businesses to connect their computers to a server and to one another. Rather like a tiny version of the Internet.

Internet Protocol. The protocol that sends packets of data over the Internet.

IP Address
Internet Protocol Address.  Defines where an IP packet is going. Written as a series as numbers and periods, it will look something like this: 123.234.01

File Transfer Protocol.  The protocol used to transfer files from one computer to another over the Internet.  Most commonly used to upload files to a server. Examples are CuteFTP and WSFTP.

Portable Document Format by Adobe. A most useful method of transmitting formatted information such as news letters and sales brochures over the web. Requires a plug-in. Read more

Popup, Pop-up
A link or image which when clicked (or in some cases mouse-overed) pops up a page or larger image. Click here for an example...

Spam (or Spamming)
Electronic junkmail. 
An inappropriate attempt to use a mailing list, or USENET or other networked communications facility as if it was a broadcast medium (which it is not) by sending the same message to a large number of people who didn't ask for it. The term probably comes from a famous Monty Python skit which featured the word spam repeated ad infinitum. The term may also have come from someone’s low opinion of the food product with the same name, which is generally perceived as a generic content-free waste of resources. (Spam is a registered trademark of Hormel Corporation, for its processed meat product.)

The term has been extended to refer also to misleading information submitted to search engines. Penalties for spamming can be harsh.

Hints and tips about the contents of a web page which show up on mouseover. For example, Tigra Hints. There are also many jquery examples.

A program designed to in some way modify the operation of a computer, and usually transmitted by email, media (cd or floppy disk) or directly via an open port. Symptoms and effects range from a simple popup screen through to the demolition of the contents of your hard drive. Opinions vary as to who writes them and why, but the consensus is that it would be universally beneficial to remove them from the gene pool.
More on viruses...

Extensible markup language. The next generation of HTML, still under development.

What You See Is What You Get.  Usually refers to an HTML editing program which enables the user to display a reasonably accurate version of the code being written, without actually reading and writing the code oneself. Examples are Dreamweaver and the Netscape editor.

The following resources expand considerably on this theme.

Glossary of Internet Terms

Glossary of Internet Terms

Garry Herman's Glossary

Nancy, France 2008