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Internet Terms | A glossary of Internet Definitions


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Access Service Provider - A company that provides access to the Internet. There are a number of ways you can gain access to the Internet, dial-up (using a phone line), cable modem, wireless, and Digital Subscriber Line (DSL). 

Active Server Page (ASP) -  Dynamic web pages, generally interacting with databases, etc.

Acrobat - Software to create compressed multi-page Portable Document Format (PDF™) files for on-screen viewing in an Acrobat Reader™ ( This file type keeps all original formatting and is popular for large document downloads.

Active Content - A generic term for all the little bits of program code and other devices that may be used to animate and enhance a web page.

Active Movie - A Microsoft™ applet for presenting video from popular file formats: MPEG, Quick Time or AVI.

ActiveX™ - A program language supported by Microsoft Internet Explorer, which is similar to Java. ActiveX is more invasive than Java.  The Microsoft Internet Explorer program is more popular than ActiveX; one reason is ActiveX can transmit computer viruses.

Ad Clicks   A customer clicks on an advertisement link and is sent to another site.

Ad Copy    The text used for an advertisement.

Address Book    Software for keeping a convenient collection of contact names, e-mail addresses and other contact details.

ADSL (Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line)        High-speed technology for data links over regular telephone lines.  It is faster in one direction than the other, typically up to 64-Kbps plus 1.5 Mbps.

AIM™ - AOL™ Instant Messaging.

Affiliate Program         - A program that Webmasters participate in centered on advertising web sites.  The web masters drive traffic to the advertisers site.  This program for the most part is very successful. 

Alt Text - In addition to viewing an actual image, if the visitor positions the mouse over the location of the graphic text can be added to appear before the image is done downloading.  Also if the visitor has their graphics turned off the text can be seen in place of the graphic.

Alta Vista - A popular and powerful web search engines ( - A very successful online bookstore and more at (

Anonymous FTP - Any FTP site accepting user login with a username of “anonymous” and a password matching the user’s e-mail address.

AOL (American Online) - One of the largest and longest established online content providers, also an Internet Service Provider (

Applets - Small computer programs operating as plug-ins or adjuncts to larger packages.

ARPAnet - The Advanced Research Projects Agency Network-forerunner of the Internet.

ASCll (American Standard Code for Information Interchange) - A 7-bit coding system used to represent letters and numbers in computers and on the Internet.

Authentication - Username and password-driven web sites.  This is designed to allow only authorized individuals to enter a web site. (uses cookies)

Auto Responder - A programming technique that will send a pre-designed message to an email immediately after it was sent.

Avatar - A character, image or symbol you choose to be your agent in an online virtual reality system.

AVI™ - A Microsoft™ format for audio-visual files.

Backbone - A major Internet connection, carrying traffic between networks and major service providers.

Bandwidth - It’s the way that bits are transferred between the server and visitor to a web site.  The most common bandwidth is a 56k modem.  The amount of bandwidth affects the speed that the information is sent.

Banner Ad - Small standard-sized advertisements on web pages that link to the advertiser’s site and generally provide income to the host site.

Beacon Pages - A web site that is designed to increase another web sites ranking in a search engine.  The beacon page is usually a one-page site that will mimic the key words and descriptions of a web site.  Then the web site and beacon pages are linked together (not recommended).

Broadband - What a dial up 56K modem or less is not.  Cable modems, DSL Digital Subscriber Lines and Satellite Signals are Broadband.  They have the capability and speed to deliver great video and sound, catching on fast, and getting cheaper too.

Browser - A grogram that locates and interprets HTML documents on the Internet.  The two most popular browsers are Microsoft Internet Explorer and Netscape.

Cache - Temporary data store (memory) used to speed up repeated access to data such as popular web pages.

Catchall - A programming technique that directs all email sent to a particular domain to be sent to a specified e-mail address.

CGI (Common Gateway Interface) - Programming system used on web servers to automate response forms, image maps, guest books and other processes.

Channels - A system for delivering regular, updated content from a web site to a ‘subscribing’ browser.

Click Through - The act of clicking on a banner ad to visit the advertised site.

Click Through Rate - The percentage of users that clicked onto and viewed advertisements.  It is used to determine the success of a specific advertisement.

Client - When a website is being viewed the mechanism in which the site is being seen on is the client (client site).

Client Errors - The error message that appears when a bad or incorrect request is sent through the browser.  Incorrect spellings are the most popular client errors.

Computer Generated Information - A program that is run within the server of a web master.  The program allows calculations, database management and other interactive applications to occur behind the scenes of a web site.  The program is often written in PERL programming language.

Conferencing - Two or more computers linked to provide audio, video, whiteboard and/or application sharing at a distance.

Cookies - Files that contain information about the visitors web site such as username, password and what they like to buy.  It is stored on the visitor’s computer and sent back to the web site that created it when called on.

Counter - This is a feature that can be added to a web site that indicates the number of visitors the site has received.

Cost Per Action (CPA) - This is a type of charge that is associated to banner advertisements.  The advertiser only has to pay when an individual signs up or purchases something from the web site that is linked to the banner ad.  This is not as popular as CPC.

Cost Per Click (CPC) - This is also a type of charge associated to banner advertisements.  The advertiser has to pay each time a visitor clicks on the banner advertisement, whether or not they sign up or purchase anything.

Cracker - A person or persons that hacks into copyrighted software to illegally duplicate, alter or destroy information.

Cyberspace - The Internet and the virtual area you are a part of when on the Net.

DBMS - Data Base Management System

Dial-up Service Provider - A service provider that is accessed through a phone line

Directory - A list of web sites.  They are listed based upon the home page content.  The hidden or programmable features that the entire site uses for search engine ranking doesn’t apply to directories.

Domain Name Server (DNS) - A program that translates domain names into their correct IP addresses.

Domain - An area of the Internet assigned to a specific web site.  Each area is assigned its own numeric IP address including a text name.

Domain Name - The text name that is assigned to a web site.  Each web site must have one.  It is the equivalent to a phone number for your home.  (

Doorway Pages - These are designed to increase a web sites ranking in a search engine.  The doorway page is usually a replication of the key words and description of web sites.  It relies on a repetition of related words and phrases to increase search engine rankings under those terms.  This is a similar concept to beacon pages.

Download - To transfer a file by network or phone line from a remote server to your local computer.

Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) - A method of connecting to the Internet as opposed to a dial-up or cable access. DSL provides an immediate faster connection to the Internet than using a dial-up - it uses a high bandwidth phone line.  The telephone remains functional at the same time.

Dynamic HTML (DHTML) - An enhancement to HTML that allows interactive a programmed changes to page design without reloading.

E-commerce - A generic term for all forms of business transactions on the Internet.

Electronic Mail (Email) - A way to communicate over the Internet.  A message is written, sent and stored for another person to view.

Email Address - The first part of an email address is the user’s name then the @ sign followed by the host name; is an example of an email address.

Emoticon - From emotion icon – created by symbols viewed sideways to represent an emotion, such as a smiley face J a glum face L.   :)    ;(

Encryption - A program that scrambles data on a network so confidential information can’t be retrieved by an unauthorized source.  Encrypted data should be stored on a secure server.

Ethernet - The most common method of networking computers together in a local area network (LAN).  This method also provides faster connections and continuous connectivity to the Internet.

Excite - Another major search engine  (

Eye Candy - Buzzword for embellishments and visual effects intended to make a web page more interesting.

Ezine - The electronic online equivalent of a magazine.

File:// - The URL prefix used in a browser for a local computer file.

File Transfer Protocol (FTP) - It’s computer language, which allows you to get files from and send files to any computer via the Internet or communication software.  A web site can be updated by using FTP.

Flame - Abusive, excessive or recurrent e-mail or newsgroup responses, often directed at an individual.

Form Driven Pages (FDP) - A set of HTML commands which allow a visitor to input information into pre-established fields of information.  The information is then collected and sent to an email address, fax number or stored in a database.

Gif™ - A widely used graphics file format, developed by CompuServe.  Also capable of holding short animated sequences of frames.

Google™ - A very clean cut, thorough search engine gaining in popularity (

Graphic User Interface (GUI) - A program that is icon driven rather than using an alternative (text) command.

GTLD (Generic Top Level Domain) - A new set of purpose-related major domain names for the Internet, including  .arts, .firm, .info, .nom, .rec, .store and .web

Hallway Pages - A list of links to all the pages in a web site that the designer wants indexed by search engine’s Most search engines scour the Internet for new web pages to add to their database they sometimes give better rankings to pages they found rather than ones that were submitted.

Hidden Input Tags - Form tags that are invisible to a visitor but some search engines index them.

Hits - Requests for files from visitors.  Even if the visitor doesn’t view the pages (files) the website domain was entered into the browser, this is considered a hit to a log file. (How Idiots Track Success).  A page loads 9 "elements" when the Home page is called upon, not to be mistaken for 9 visitors.  You can divide your number of hits by 9 to get a more realistic visitor count.

Home Page - The main entry page for a web site.  Also the default start page shown by a web browser.

Host - The Internet service provider host is the computer that you connect to for Internet access.  The web site host is the computer where your websites files are located.

HotBot - A popular and particularly easy-to-use web search engine  (

HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) - The standard file format used for creating all web pages.

HTTP (Hypertext Transport Protocol) - The protocol for transmitting web pages via the Internet.

HTTPS (Hyper Text Transport Protocol Secure) - A secure form of HTTP for sensitive data.

Hyperlink - A reference from one page to another, which can be ‘followed’ by a web browser.

Hypertext - As people follow links that lead topics of interest versus reading the text in the order that is was written (narrative).

Image Map - A web graphic that links to various other locations according to where on the image you click.

IM (IM-ing) - Instant messaging.

IP Address - The Internet protocol address identifying a computer connected to the Internet.  Every computer is assigned one when they log into the Internet.

Internet - A worldwide system of interconnected networks providing almost universal computer access, with the minimum threat of ever completely 'going down'.

Internet Café - A café with Internet-access computers available for use while you have coffee and cakes – or tea and biscuits!

Internet Domain Name - The definitive name for a computer connected to the Internet.

Internet Relay Chat (IRC) - The ability to join real-time text conversations over the Internet.

Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) - A digital alternative to a phone line for connecting to the Internet.  Like DSL, it is faster than an analog modem.

Internet Service Provider (ISP) - These are the companies who supply Internet access to individual people who don’t have their own servers.  Examples of ISP companies:  AOL, Earthlink and Ameritech Internet.

Internet Telephony - Telephone calls carried over the Internet.

IP Address - An identity number assigned to every Internet-connected computer.  Each Internet domain name represents an underlying IP address.

ISDN (Integrated Subscriber Digital Network) - A digital replacement for regular telephone connections.

iWon - Another Search Engine that gives away a million dollars or so a year for people who search using their engine (

Java - An object oriented programming language that is used for programming web applications.  This language is ideal because it can be run on any computer platform, Mac, Windows, and DOS.

JavaScript - JavaScript code can be included in a web page along with HTML and is easier to write than Java.  However it does have its limitations.  It can only be seen if their browser can support it (i.e. Netscape).

JPEG™ - A graphics file format widely used on the Internet thanks to the high compression it can achieve.

Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPG or JPEG) - A graphic file format, which stores images in a compressed form.   GIF is more versatile and smaller, but JPG has better resolution.

Kbps - Thousands of bits per second – used as a measure of digital connection speed.

Kilobits Per Second (kbps) - The standard measurement of modem speed (i.e. 56k modem).

Key Phrases - Phrases that you want associated to your website inside in search engines.  Key phrases will sometimes increase your ranking more than a key word.

Key Word - The words that best describe your business and website.  If these words are included in the text of your web site than it will increase your ranking in search engines.

Keyword Weight - The number of particular keywords in your text divided by the total number of words.

Knowbie - A person who understands the finer details of computer networking.

Knowbot - An artificially intelligent computer program that automates the search for information on the Internet.

Link - Shorthand for a hyperlink.

List Server - A server providing mailing list services.

Log - The record a web site server keeps of who visits you.

LookSmart™ - Supplies their search results to multiple search engines (

Lurk - The ability to drop in on a chat room or newsgroup without joining in on the discussion.

Lycos™ - Another very popular Search Engine (

Mail Bomb - An email message sent with the intent to do harm to your computer.

Mail Filter - A program that enables you to sort mail before viewing it.  The program can sort by address, subject and even content.

Mail Server - A central computer providing e-mail services.

Mailing List - A system to automatically distribute mail among a group of subscribers with a common interest.

Marquee - A horizontally scrolling message that moves across the screen.

Meta Tag - An HTML search tag that is not visible when the web site is being visited.  It tells search engines the description you would like them to use in their database and the key words you would like associated to your web site and it's content categorization.

MIDI - A highly compact file format for controlling musical instruments or sound systems.  Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI).

MIME (Multipurpose Internet Mai Extensions) - The standard system for handling e-mail attachments.

Mirror Site - A replica of a popular web or FTP site set up to share the heavy load.

Mosaic™ - The first graphical web browser.

Mozilla™ - The development code name for Netscape Navigator, coined as shorthand for ‘Mosaic killer’.

MSN (Microsoft Network) - Microsoft’s online service, content and search engine provider ( .

MUD - Multi-User Dungeon – an online interactive game-playing system, originally using Internet Relay Chat (IRC).

Mirror Sites - An exact copy of a website.

Modem - Modulator or Demodulator device internally or externally connected to your computer that allows you to connect to the Internet.

Motion Pictures Expert Group (MPEG) - A standard for digital video and audio compression.  A development from JPEG for highly compressed video encoding.

Netiquette - Internet etiquette.

News Bots - Computer programs that customize portal sites with the information you’re most interested in.  It customizes email based up the answers you give.

Newsgroups - Organized message and discussion areas grouped by subject.

Online Content Provider - A company that provides Internet services and information content, not just Internet access, for example CompuServe™ and AOL™.

Opt-in - People who subscribe to a mailing list that have requested information.

Opt-out - People who subscribe to a mailing list that have requested that no information be sent.

Outlook Express™ - Microsoft’s™ e-mail and newsreader software, free with Internet Explorer.

PDF (Portable Document Format) - Adobe™ format for compact representation of formatted documents.

Page Views - A measure of the number of times an HTML file was requested from the server.

Plug-ins - Add-in software to extend the main application.  Netscape Navigator uses plug-ins to enhance web-page functionality.

Practical Extraction & Report Language (PERL) - The most common language used on the Internet to add interactivity to a web site.

Permission Marking - Using opt-in lists to send advertisements.

Pixels - A unit of picture measurement.  One pixel is the size of a dot.  Pixels are measured by the square inch.  For example when shopping for a color printer, in the description it will tell you how many pixels of color are deposited per square inch, the more the better.

Platform - The operating system used to access the Internet.  Windows 98 & 95 are the most common.

Protocol - A set of rules for exchanging data over the Internet.

Proxy Server - A security device that replaces the direct connection between a Pc or network and the Internet to prevent unauthorized access.

Push Technology - Delivering content from a server automatically.  Web channels are an example.

Query - The words and phrases a visitor uses to search a database.

QuickTime - An Apple™ format for Video files.

QuickTime VR - An Apple™ format for virtual reality files.

Ranking - The placing your web site gets in a specific search engine.  The closer to the top (#1), the better your chances of getting qualified targeted traffic (visitors).

Reach - The different types and number of people that see an advertisement or web site.

RealAudio - A popular format for Internet delivery of sound in real time.

Reciprocal Link - When two web sites are linked together with an identifying icon or text on each site referencing the other.

Redirector - A web page that causes an automatic browser jumps to a different location, or an automatic e-mail forwarding system.

Referral Page - A web site which links to your website and sends your traffic.

Search Bots - Computer programs, which search a dozen, search engines at the same time.  Used by Meta search engines.

Search Engines - A CGI program which allows a visitor to search for words or phrases in a database of WebPages.

Search Engine Algorithm - The criteria a search engine uses to determine which web sites match the words or phrase.

Shopping Bots - Computer programs, which search commerce sites for a specific request.

Side Door Pages - Doorway pages created to rank well on several search engines for a keyword phrase (not recommended).

Signature File - A small file you can crate to add to the bottom of your e-mail and newsgroups.

SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) - The most common mail transfer protocol used between mail servers and for outbound mail from user computers.

Source Doc - The HTML and Java programming of a document.

SPAM - Unsolicited email.  Not recommended, not endorsed, not ethical.

Spamdexing - The ability for search engines to associate words with prefixes a suffix to their stem word (i.e. dance= dancing=dances).

Streaming - Sending real-time audio or video content over a network, optimized for smooth delivery.

Target Audience - The people most likely to buy your product.

TCP/IP - The main data protocol of the Internet.

Top Level Domain - The highest level of an Internet domain name, such as .com, .net, .edu and .mil.

Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (PCP/IP) - A language allowing different types of computers to communicate.

Unique URL Tagging - The practice of embedding identifying code into URLs in HTML content.  This allows a site to identify visitors and how often they visit.

Uniform Resource Location (URL) - Your websites address

Upload - To transfer files to a main server or remote site.  Used to’ publish’ local files on a server.

URL (Uniform Resource Locator) - The addressing scheme used by the World Wide Web to locate web pages, files and other resources.

UseNet - The news prou0p portion of the Internet.

V.34 - The international standard for modems operating at 28,800lps, 31,200bps and 33,600bps.

V.42, V.42bis - International standards for error correction and data compression for data lines. 

V.90 - Recent standard for 56kps modems, superseding two proprietary standards, x2 and K56flex.

Video For Windows - Microsoft Windows format for video files playback, built into Windows.

Virtual Reality - Computer simulation of real or imaginary objects and environments.

VRML (Virtual Reality Markup Language) -  An extension of HTML for virtual reality effect.

Visitor - One person visiting (actually entering) your website.

Wallpaper - Colored or textured backgrounds used to enhance a website.

Watermark - A background image similar to wallpaper used to enhance a website.  The most common watermark is a word or phrase in the background of a site.

Web Authoring - The process of designing web pages and web sites, usually with the aid of web-authoring software.

Web Browser - Any software application used to navigate and display pages on the World Wide Web.

Web Cam - A general term for video cameras (usually live) linked to the Internet.

Web Crawler™ - Another Meta based Search Engine (

Web Directory - An online database of web sites, organized by categories, often with reviews or ratings.

Web Host -  A company, which keeps a web site on the Internet using a server.

Web Page - One HTML document accessible from the Internet.

Web Server - A computer that stores web pages and delivers them by network to browsers, on demand.

Website - A series of WebPages that are linked together to be viewed on the World Wide Web through any number of browsers.

World Wide Web (WWW) - Text, graphics and multimedia materials presented via a web browser, with links to other pages on servers anywhere in the world.

XML (Extended Markup Language) - A flexible variant of Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML). 

Yahoo!™ - Still the number one web directory on the Internet at (

Zip - The process of compressing/saving and decompressing file information to be sent/exchanged via computer or over the Internet.

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