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Blog – A blog (or “web log”) is a type of web page that is a publicly accessible personal journal. Blogs are typically updated daily and reflect the opinion of the author. Old entries are kept in archives and are searchable. “Blogging” is the act of writing a blog. And audio or video blog is known as a podcast.

Broadband – A connection to the Internet that allows a lot of information to be sent at once. Typically, these connections are provided by telephone companies (DSL) and by cable companies (referred to via many brand names). It provides a much faster connection than dialup.

Browse – Think of it as window-shopping on the Internet. By following links and entering web addresses you can visit different stores and sites. Browsing differs from searching, where you use keywords in a search engine like to find sites that relate to what you’re searching for. Browsing often takes you to sites with unrelated information.

Browsers – This is the software program installed on your computer that lets you view web pages. They translate the html-encoded files into the text, images and sounds you see and hear. Internet Explorer, Firebox, Safari and Opera are all examples of browsers.

Cache – To speed up the loading of pages, your computer stores frequently used files from the web in the cache. When you click on the Forward or Back buttons, pages often load faster because they are pulled out of your cache rather than the web site.

CGI – Short for Common Gateway Interface, CGI allows web pages to interact dynamically with you. Search boxes, forms, guestbooks and other features us cgi scripts to trigger and process the actions requested by the user.

Cookie – When your computer contacts a server, a cookie is often generated by the server and sent back to your computer. This small piece of code is called a cookie. Cookies allow a web page to address you by name, remember your last session, log you in automatically and other important functions.

Dialup – A dialup connection is achieved when your computer dials up a local access number through a phone line to an Internet provider (AOL, Earthlink, Netzero, etc.). It is a relatively slow connection compared to broadband.

Domain, Top Level Domain – A top-level domain name is what appears after the dot in a domain name. Common top-level domain names are .gov, .edu, .org and the two most popular ones, .net and .com. There are other top-level domains available as well, such as ones specific to certain countries: .fr (France), .ca (Canada) and .uk (United Kingdom). Others are specific to organizations: .museum, .tv, .biz, etc.

Domain Name – The domain name is the actual name of your site. It is the part that appears between the www. and the top-level domain (.com, .net, etc.). There is only one name per top-level domain. In other words, there can be a and a and, but there can’t be two sites. Your domain name is registered through one of many registrars.

Domain Name Server (DNS) – Your domain name is attached to a DNS, which is expressed as a series of numbers or a combination of numbers, initials and names. Whenever you ask your browser to find a particular web address, the browser consults a huge data table that matches the name with the number and then directs the request to the proper site. This allows users to enter a more memorable name instead of an actual address, which would be something like 5.112.345.32.

Frames – Some sites are created using frames. This is a type of design that uses multiple web pages to create a single web page. Each window may have a scroll bar that allows you to move up and down that section of the page. Frames aren’t as common as they used to be, but they are still in use on some sites.

FTP – FTP, or File Transfer Protocol, provides you with the ability to transfer entire files from one computer to another. It is used on websites to load web pages from your local computer onto the server where your site is located.

Header – This is a portion of your web page that contains information that helps your browser understand how to load the page and what it needs to do once it’s loaded. Some of the information in the header is not visible to the person viewing the site. This includes Descriptions, Keywords and other fields that add functionality to the site.

Host – This is the computer that stores your web documents and delivers the pages to users. See server.

HTML – This is the standardized computer language for the web. It is an abbreviation for Hypertext Markup Language. When you look at a web page, you see all the content as assembled by the html code that lies underneath. You can see the Page Source using a command in one of the pull down menus in your browser.

Hypertext – Hypertext is what allows you to click on a link, piece of art or photo on a page and go to another page, file, sound bite or video clip.

IP Address – Nearly every computer these days has an Internet Protocol Address, or IP Address for short. It is a unique number expressed in four parts, separated by dots, i.e., It allows other computers to find another computer on a network, such as the Internet.

ISP or Internet Service Provider – Companies that provide you with access to the Internet. It is the intermediary that provides the dialup or broadband connection that allows you to connect your computer to the network of other computers on the Internet. Many of these companies provide email and web services in addition to your connection for a set price. AOL, Earthlink, Comcast, etc. are all examples of ISPs. Local cable companies and phone companies can also provide this connectivity.

JAVA – This is a programming language developed by Sun Microsystems that allows developers to write programs that can be read by all computers. It is a universal language for computers that serve up functions on websites, such as calculators and animations.

JAVAScript – This is a simple language that allows for greater interactivity on web pages. It is similar to JAVA but independent of it. It works with html coding to create interactive and animated features on web pages that do not require a special plug-in, such as Flash, QuickTime or other proprietary software.

Keywords – Keywords appear in web site content and are invisible listings in the header to help pages get cataloged by search engines.

Link – This is a URL that is embedded in a web page. By clicking on the highlighted text or image, you can go to another location on the same site or on the Web. It is also known as a hyperlink.

Packets – When you request a website page, the document’s components are sent to you in packets – groups of information. When they arrive at your computer, these packets are reassembled, the coding interpreted and the page loaded. If packets get delayed, the page won’t load completely. Even if the page you request is housed on a computer next door, your request travels out onto the Internet and stops at somewhere between 14 and 18 other computers. Each one either sends your request for the page on, or relays packets back to your computer for assembly.

PDF, Portable Document Format – This is a file format developed by Adobe Systems. It allows document designers to create a file that can be viewed consistently by anyone with the free Adobe Reader plug-in.

Plug-in – A plug-in is an application that adds capabilities to your browser. Some plug-ins allow you to view video or audio files (QuickTime, MediaPlayer, Real) while others allow you to view and interact with animations, games and presentations (Flash).

Popularity Ranking – Some search engines rank web sites in the order of how many other sites link to each page and how many links the site has to other sites. This determines in what order a listing appears on a search engine when certain keywords are entered.

Relevancy Ranking – This is another way search engines display results. This method uses fuzzy logic to combine several factors, including how often certain terms appear in documents, whether they occur together as a phrase and where they appear in the text.

Script – A script is a piece of programming that adds functionality to your website. It can be written in any number of languages, including CGI, JAVA and JavaScript. Forms and interactive links, which respond differently when you roll over them or click on them use scripts, as do photos that change on a page, or navigation features that change color.

Server, Web Server – This is any computer that hosts documents that are used by the World Wide Web. It is also called a host computer. To have a website, you need to have a server or host.

Site or Website – This is a collection of web pages. A website is a collection of files in a location that are accessible via the web. A typical website contains images, html-coded pages, scripts and other files such as photos, video, pdf documents and audio. Together these comprise a website.

SSL – Short for Secure Socket Layer, it is the protocol on the Internet that encrypts information. It is essential that a site have SSL to secure transactions for online purchasing.

Spiders – Computer robot programs, also referred to sometimes as “crawlers” or “knowbots”, are used by search engines to scan web pages and catalog their findings. This includes adding new pages, updating pages that have been changed and deleting links to old pages that no longer exist. Most large search engines have several robots working constantly. A single robot would take six months to survey the entire web each time, so listings would rapidly be out of date.

TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) – This is a suite of protocols that define the Internet. To access the Internet you have to have a TCP/IP connection.

URL – This is the abbreviation for Uniform Resource Locator. This is the unique address of a web document. When you type an address with an http:// or www. at the front, that is the site’s URL.

WWW – In the Web’s early days, it was known as the World Wide Web. The www. still refers to that moniker, though many sites these days can be accessed by their names and Top Level Domain (.com, .net, .org, etc.), i.e.,, or