Web design jargon can get a bit confusing, so we've compiled an explanation of the more technical terms used on our site. If there's anything that still confuses you, we'd be happy to explain it to you. Just contact us
A web browser is a software program that lets you view web pages and navigate the World-Wide-Web with links, text, pictures and other media. Examples include Internet Explorer and Netscape.
Common Gateway Interface. A small program, or application, that sits down in the guts of the server and does little tricks like process forms, count the number hits to your page, or send automated emails.
Small text files sometimes stored on your computer when you visit a web site. Can contain information such as login details and shopping information. Very useful when used in a shopping cart, as they remember your order as you progress through the web site.
The total amount of data transmitted between a web server and the computer requesting a web page. If a 50k web page is requested by an internet surfer, that page has to be transmitted from the server to the surfer's computer - a data transfer of 50k.
While search engines are automated software programs, directories are created by humans. A directory (such as Yahoo) employs hundreds of reviewers who categorize web pages into specific categories. Unlike a search engine, quality control is paramount, and many sites simply do not 'make the grade.'
A method of remembering specific web sites on the internet, usually a word or phrase that brings to mind one's person, business, service or product. Once a person or company pays the fees associated with registering a domain name, they "own" the domain until they give or sell it to someone else, or until they fail to pay the maintenance fee that is require after the initial registration period.
Downloading is the process of transferring (or copying) a file from a remote computer to your computer, usually over the Internet.
A browser plug-in that allows the playback of high quality animation and interactive images.
The process of applying complex compression to images to reduce their file size (while keeping acceptable quality) in order to keep web pages fast loading.
The first page of your web site. Usually contains some introductory words and links to the main sections of your site.
Hypertext Markup Language. This is the main code format web pages are written in.
A scripting language used to initiate many actions such as browser detection, pop up windows, form validation and rollovers.
A term typed into the search box on a search engine, such as 'Chicago Web Design Companies'.
HTML code attached to all web pages that are invisible to web surfers. Commonly used to provide page titles and descriptions for search engines.
A software application attached to your browser that allows it to play back additional media such as Flash animation and QuickTime movies.
Sends out small 'spiders' or 'robots' all over the Internet to index web pages, which are then added to their database.
Search Engine Optimization:
Configuration of web pages to give them greater visibility and ideally a higher ranking in search engines for selected key phrases.
Search Engine Spam:
The process of abusing certain loopholes in search engine algorithms to excess - tactics such as invisible text, overuse of keywords and 'doorway pages' simply don't work anymore and are severely penalized by all major search engines.
A system that allows your visitors to select products for purchase on your site. The visitor is presented with a basket containing all their chosen items and are then taken to a secure server where they enter credit card details and have their order processed.
Refers to the 'user friendliness' of a web site. A site with high levels of usability is easy to navigate, consists of a clean and logical design and is designed with visitors in mind rather than fellow designers.
To ensure that web sites remain future-proof, the W3C organization has created a set of rules for correct coding practices. Any site that passes these strict coding procedures is said to be 'validated to W3C standards'. Sites that are not validated risk incompatibility problems with future browsers and platforms.
The process of storing your web site on a secure specialized computer connected to the Internet.
The amount of space allocated to your site within your web server.
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