Glossary of Web Terminology
Acrobat: Short for Adobe Acrobat Reader, a free program. Acrobat allows you to change large files (such as Microsoft word files, forms) into a downloadable file format called PDF (portable document format) so that users who don't own the software that created the file can still read it.
Bandwidth: Transmission capacity of a network connection.
Bit: The smallest unit of computer data.
Bookmark: A browser feature that allows you to save a link to a web page. Also known as "favorites" in Internet Explorer.
Bounce: The return of an email because it couldn't be delivered to the specified address.
Browser: A software program on your computer that allows you to surf the Web.
Cache: Area in the memory of your hard drive where the browser stores web pages and page elements. Depending on your browser settings, changes to pages may not appear unless you use the "refresh" or "reload" button on your browser. Pages and page elements may also be cached at a server level, which can delay changes being viewed. This can be problematic if the user's Internet Service Provider (ISP) uses this function.
Content Management System (CMS): An application (program) that resides on a server and allows for efficient management of website information within a consistent template design. Content authors can manage the creation, modification and removal of content without needing the expertise of a Web professional.
Content Editor: The portion of the CMS appearing in your browser that changes content on a web page. It allows users to make changes without needing to know how to code them. The term may also refer to the individual who makes changes on a web page using the CMS.
Cookie: A small piece of information the server sends to the end-users' computer via the browser. Cookies contain information such as login or registration information, online shopping cart information, user preferences, etc. This information can be retrieved by other web pages on the site, so that this material can be customized.
Domain Name: The unique name that identifies a website (Example: UUA.org, google.com).
FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions: a collection of commonly asked questions and answers on a particular subject.
Firewall: A combination of hardware and software that protects a local network by allowing only certain information to be viewed outside the local network and/or certain information to come inside the network.
FTP: File Transfer Protocol: a tool for transferring files through the internet from one computer to another.
Hit: A single request from a browser to a server. Web pages can contain many “hits” on a single page, (such as multiple graphics) as well as the basic content.
Home Page: The main page of a website.
Host: The server on which a website is located.
IP Address: The numerical equivalent of the location of the computer (Example: Domain name = Unitarian Universalist Association, IP address = 25 Beacon Streeet).
ISP: Internet Service Provider: the service that a user employs to connect to the internet, such as AOL (America Online), Earthlink, Mediacom, etc.
Intranet: A small private network of computers that operates the same way the internet does, but is for internal use only—not viewed by an external audience.
Link: Marked text or graphic on a web page that takes the user to another place. Also known as a hyperlink.
Network: A group of computers that is connected together so they can share resources and data.
Open Source: Applications or programs in which the code is freely shared among developers and users, rather than kept a proprietary secret.
Portal: A "one-stop" site or page that personalizes the various web tools and information available to the specific needs and characteristics of the person visiting the site. Instead of hunting down information on a website, a person signs in to the site/page, and the portal gathers all the relevant information and displays it on one page (Example: student or employee information, course information, calendaring and scheduling, etc.).
Plug-in: An add-on component that allows a web browser to utilize a special program or interface.
URL: Uniform Resource Locator: the address of a web page as viewed in your browser.
WYSIWIG: "What You See Is What You Get," often used to describe programs that allow you to create pages without knowing how to code them for the Web.
Web page: One single document on the Web.
Web server: A computer with a permanent connection to the internet that stores websites.
Website: A group of web pages.
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Last updated on Friday, July 22, 2011.