Web Design

Glossary of Website Terms and Definitions

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Internet – The Internet is a vast ‘interconnection of computer networks’ that spans the globe.  It is comprised of millions of computing devices that trade volumes of information.  Desktop computers, mainframes, GPS units, cell phones, car alarms, video game consoles, and even soda pop machines are connected to the Net.

Web or World Wide Web – The World Wide Web, or ‘Web’ for short, is the most popular portion of the Internet.  The Web (websites/web pages) is viewed through web browser software.

IP Address – ‘internet protocol’ identifies your computer’s address as an electronic serial number. An IP address can look something like ‘202.3.104.55’. Every computer, cell phone, and device that accesses the Internet is assigned at least one IP address for tracking purposes. Wherever you browse, whenever you send an email or instant message, and whenever you download a file, your IP address acts like a type of automobile license plate to enforce accountability and traceability.

ISP – ‘internet service provider’ is the private company or government organization that plugs you into the vast Internet around the world.  Your ISP will offer services like website access, email, hosting your own website or blog, etc.  ISP’s will also offer various Internet connection speeds for a monthly fee. (e.g. ultra high speed Internet vs economy Internet).

Website vs. Webpage – A website, or Web site, is not the same thing as a Web page. Though the two terms are often used interchangeably, they should not be. So what’s the difference? To put it simply, a Web site is a collection of Web pages. For example, Amazon.com is a Web site, but there are millions of Web pages that make up the site. Knowing the difference between these two terms can save you a lot of embarrassment.

Domain Name – The domain name system the domain name gives your Internet server a memorable and easy-to-spell address, like www.yoursitename.com. You must choose and register a name for your website so that the public can easily find it.

URL – ‘uniform resource locators’, are the web browser addresses of internet pages and files. A URL works together with IP addresses to help us name, locate, and bookmark specific pages and files for our web browsers.

Browser – A browser is a software package that lets you view web pages, graphics, and most online content.  Browser software is specifically designed to convert HTML and XML into readable documents.

Web Hosting Account – Web hosting companies provide storage space and access for websites. You need one of these to give your website a home on the World Wide Web.

CMS – A content management system, or CMS, is a web application designed to make it easy for non-technical users to add, edit and manage a website.  They also do a lot of behind the scenes work as well, like managing users, permissions and security settings as well and much more that would just be way too technical to discuss here.

SEO – In short, search engine optimization, or SEO, is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s “natural” or un-paid (“organic”) search results.
Bandwidth – In website hosting, the term “bandwidth” is the maximum amount of data transfer each month or given period or monthly data transfer. The best way to look at this is how many times your webpages, audio or video are “viewed” in a month.

HTML – Hypertext Markup Language, a standardized system for tagging text files to achieve font, color, graphic, and hyperlink effects on World Wide Web pages.

CSS – Cascading Style Sheets or CSS is a style sheet language used for setting the presentation or formatting of a website or web page. In other words it can dictate the colors, fonts, spacing, and much more to achieve the visual aspects of a website.

Responsive Design – Responsive design is an approach to web page creation that makes use of flexible layouts and images.  The goal of responsive design is to build web pages that detect the visitor’s screen size and orientation and change the layout accordingly.

Designer vs. Developer – Not all web designers are developers and not all web developers are designers. Designers create the look of a website and plan the user experience. Developers convert the design and functionality into code that will render that look and experience in web browsers.  Both usually have a good understanding of the other and often have experience in both but are not necessarily great at both. That’s not to say you can’t find someone who does both.

Web Accessibility – Web accessibility means that people with disabilities can perceive, understand, navigate, and interact with the Web, and that they can contribute to the Web. Web accessibility also benefits others, including older people with changing abilities due to aging.

Static vs. Dynamic – A static site is one that is usually written in plain HTML and what is in the code of the page is what is displayed to the user.  A dynamic site is one that is written using a server-side scripting language such as PHP, ASP, JSP, or Coldfusion. In such a site the content is called in by the scripting language from other files or from a database depending on actions taken by the user.

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  1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on a. Regards

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