Website jargon

Useful Website terminology

A blog (short for 'web log') is a type of web page that serves as a publicly accessible personal journal (or log) for an individual. Typically updated daily, blogs often reflect the personality of the author. Blog software usually has an archive of old blog postings.

Browsers are software programs that enable you to view WWW documents. They 'translate' HTML-encoded files into the text, images, sounds and other features you see. Microsoft Internet Explorer (called simply IE), Mozilla, Firefox, Safari, and Opera are examples of 'graphical' browsers that enable you to view text and images and many other WWW features.

In browsers, 'cache' is used to identify a space where web pages you have visited are stored in your computer. A copy of documents you retrieve is stored in cache. When you use GO, BACK, or any other means to revisit a document, the browser first checks to see if it is in cache and will retrieve it from there because it is much faster than retrieving it from the World Wide Web.

FTP (File Transfer Protocol)
Ability to rapidly transfer entire files from one computer to another, intact, for viewing or other purposes.

Hypertext Markup Language. A standardised language of computer code, embedded in 'source' documents behind all Web documents, containing the textual content, images, links to other documents (and possibly other applications, such as sound or motion) and formatting instructions for display on the screen.

ISP (Internet Service Provider)
A company that sells internet connections via modem (examples: aol, Mindspring). There are thousands of ISPs to choose from and they're not easy to evaluate. Faster, more expensive internet connectivity is available via cable or DSL.

A word searched for in a search command. Keywords are searched in any order. Use spaces to separate keywords in simple keyword searching.



Search engines that automatically submit your keyword search to several other search tools and retrieve results from all their databases. Convenient time-savers for relatively simple keyword searches (one or two keywords or phrases in " ").

PDF (or .pdf or pdf file)
Abbreviation for Portable Document Format, a file format developed by Adobe Systems that is used to capture almost any kind of document with the formatting in the original. Viewing a PDF file requires Acrobat Reader, which is built into most browsers and can be downloaded free from Adobe.

Computer robot programs, referred to sometimes as 'crawlers' or 'knowledge-bots' or 'knowbots', that are used by search engines to roam the World Wide Web via the Internet. They visit sites and databases and keep the search engine database of web pages up to date. They obtain new pages, update known pages and delete obsolete ones. Their findings are then integrated into the 'home' database.
Most large search engines operate several spiders all the time. Even so, the web is so enormous that it can take six months for spiders to cover it, resulting in a certain degree of "out-datedness" (link rot) in all the search engines.

SPONSOR (of a web page or site)
Many web pages have organisations, businesses, institutions like universities, nonprofit foundations, or other interests, which 'sponsor' the page. Frequently you can find a link titled 'Sponsors', or an 'About us' link, explaining who or what (if anyone) is sponsoring the page. Sometimes the advertisers on the page (banner ads, links, buttons to sites that sell or promote something) are 'sponsors'. WHY is this important? Sponsors and the funding they provide may, or may not, influence what can be said on the page or site and can bias what you find by excluding some opposing viewpoint or causing some other imbalanced information. A sponsored site is not necessarily bad, but sponsors should alert you to the need to evaluate a page or site very carefully.

Web site optimization is the process of specifically designing your web pages to rank high in the Search Engines. If you're serious about your business, optimizing your web pages is a must.

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