Glossary Of Website Terminology

Explanations that make sense out of web-speak.

The following is a list of explanations for terms that are commonly used when discussing the internet and websites.

  • Website – A connection of linked pages that are posted on the internet as one entity. It’s the place where you’re sent when you click on a link or type in an internet address.
  • HTML – Stands for hypertext markup language. Text description language that’s used as the standard protocol for formatting and displaying information on the internet. It tells browsers how to display text and images that are useful to viewers.
  • Screenshot Images – This refers to any image that is taken by a computer user of something that’s already up on a screen. It could be a computer monitor screen, TV, or any other screen that is displaying an image. If you took a photo of this page on your computer right now, the image would be a screenshot.
  • URL– Stands for Uniform Resource Locator. It’s the string of text separated by special character that internet users use to identify a network resource. There are 3 parts of a URL that look like this:
    1. The network protocol: http://, ftp:// mailto:// are examples.
    2. The host address or name. This is the name of the website (mywebsite.com).
    3. The resource or file location. This specifies which page within a website is being pointed to.
  • Web Host – This is a storage place where all pages on a website are kept and made available over the internet. The host uses software and an IP address to act as a 3rd part between website owners and website visitors.
  • Domain Name – This is basically the title of a website. It’s any name that’s chosen by the website owner and is followed by a DOT Suffix such as .com, .net, .org. The domain is exclusive to its owner, although it can be shared with someone who uses a different DOT suffix.
  • Web Content – This is anything that’s put on website pages. It includes everything—text, images, graphics, links, audio and video.
  • Google.com – This is an internet search engine powerhouse. Although it has links to other services, the big daddy behind Google is its search engine capability.
  • Godaddy.com – This is a privately owned internet company that’s main purpose is to provide domain name registration. It also hosts websites, but is most popularly used for domain name registration.
  • Hostgator.com – This is an internet company that provides web hosting services. You can build a new web site through this company, and they will host your website pages. When people type in your domain address they’re directed to your host, who makes your website available to them.
  • Domain Extensions – These are the DOT suffixes in a domain name. There is a wide variety that can be used, the most common to date has been .com, which stands for commercial. Choosing the right domain extension can be critical. Searches hit on the most common: .com is tops, then .net and .org. But they all have different meanings, so you have to decide which works best for your website. .biz will drive business customers. .info tells them you provide information. Others direct according to regions (.co.uk, for example).
  • TLD. This means top level domain. What it really means is the stuff behind the DOT—it’s the same as a domain extension. .com, .net, .biz, .info, etc. are all TLDs.
  • .com. This is a domain extension or TLD—the most common and popular one used for internet websites. It means “commercial” and so is meant to specify that the website is commercial in nature.
  • .net. This domain extension or TLD refers to a network. It is used almost interchangeably with .com, but its purpose is to specify that the website is part of a network.
  • .org. This domain extension or TLD refers to an organization. It is used to specify that the website refers to an organization and is used frequently for government offices an institutions such as colleges and nonprofits.
  • .info. This domain extension or TLD refers to information. Websites that want to emphasis that they offer information frequently choose this to better direct traffic.
  • .tv – This domain extension or TLD refers to the media, not just television but videos and movies. It’s used by a variety of website owners who want to attract media traffic.
  • Shopping Cart – This is a software program or internet service that adds a type of accounting service to a website. It tracks orders and tallies up purchases according to quantity, price, taxes, and shipping options. It contains payment methods and collects payments, as well as communicates with the customer on order fulfillment and shipping details. It also often contains images of products being offered on the website.
  • PayPal – This is an online third-party service that is used to collect and receive money in transactions between online merchants and customers. They also offer shopping options and account management devices such as invoicing.
  • Username – This is a given, sometimes secret, name that is used to head up an online account. It identifies who you are without necessarily using your given name.
  • Password – This is the sequence of numbers and/or letters that you use to keep any account secure. A password is generally secret and must be used in combination with the user name to open the website pages of private accounts. The combination of a user name and password is in place to keep any private information out of the hands of others who might try to access your internet account information.
  • Domain Management (godaddy) – The ability to use your domain host (Godaddy.com) to manage your domain name: its settings, features, domain name transfers, renewals, domain name server (DNS) options, and name add ons.
  • Nameservers. This is where domain names get transferred into computer language to map the IP address you’re looking for. They manage a massive data base that tracks domain names to their IP addresses.
  • DNS. This is domain name server, which is also called nameserver. It’s the database system that tracks domain names to their IP addresses at their host sites.
  • Domain Redelegation – If you change your web host, you’ll have to redirect the name servers (DNS) to find the new IP address. You do this by redelegation. You must contact the DNS (through GoDaddy Domain Manager) and change the web host IP information there.
  • CMS platform – Stands for content management system. This is a computer software or internet program that allows you to modify, edit, publish and add to an existing website.
  • WordPress – This is a free software program where people can publish websites and blogs. It also acts as a CMS (content management system) so that posted websites can be edited, added to, modified, etc.
  • Fantastico De Luxe – This is a commercial script library that adds applications to websites by creating tables in a database, installing the software, adjusting permissions, and modifying server configuration files. Available through a server to its domain names.
  • Blogs – These are articles written as pages on a website that can talk about anything. They’re usually in diary form and to be effective are updated frequently with the “latest news”. A blog can be on any topic, it is a style of free writing that’s published on the web.
  • WP dashboard – This is a WordPress plugin that’s designed to manage all your social media, such as events calendars and profiles.
  • WordPress themes – These are a collection of different designs and themes that are used when designing and building a website. WordPress offers a collection of free themes that contain categories and styles to suit most any style of website being designed.
  • WordPress plugins – These are tools that can be downloaded and installed onto websites through WordPress. They increase functionality of the website. Some plugin examples are: Buddypress, which allows you to build a social network, and Hotfix, which helps to automatically fix errors on a webpage.
  • WP Posts – These are entries on a website’s home page. They’re usually posted as comments or news, and are listed in reverse chronological order, with the latest post at the top of the list. Posts are also your blog pages.
  • WP Pages – The pages of a website that don’t change a lot are called pages. These are things like a contact page or information guide, and don’t usually include daily updates, blogs, or news events.
  • Media (images, video etc.) – This is anything you add to a website that contains images, illustrations, video or audio.

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