Here are some terms commonly used in the website design and development process.
An evolving protocol for syndication and sharing of content. Atom is being developed as a successor to and improvement over RSS and is more complex than RSS while offering support for additional features such as digital signatures, geographic location of author, possibly security/encryption, licensing, etc. Like RSS, Atom is an XML-based specification.
It is common for Ajax applications to update the Ajax content multiple times without the surrounding page needing to be updated even once. A simple example of Ajax would be a weather-forecast box in the middle of a web page. Ajax could be used to populate the box every 5 minutes without needing to refresh the surrounding page.
The alternative text that the browser displays when the surfer does not want to or cannot see the pictures present in a Web page. Using alt tags containing keywords can improve the search engine ranking of the page for those keywords.
Blog -- (WEB LOG)
A blog is basically a journal that is available on the web. The activity of updating a blog is "blogging" and someone who keeps a blog is a "blogger." Blogs are typically updated daily using software that allows people with little or no technical background to update and maintain the blog. Postings on a blog are almost always arranged in chronological order with the most recent additions featured most prominently.
Software that reads and translates HTML-coded Web pages automatically, allowing you to view, download, upload or otherwise access documents on Internet sites and navigate from one site to another. Netscape makes Navigator (NN) and Microsoft makes Internet Explorer (IE).
Catch-all e-mail account
If you have your own domain "domain.com" and catch-all e-mail account, no matter what word you put in front of "@domain.com," you'll get it. So "firstname.lastname@example.org" comes to you. So does "email@example.com." Yes, even "firstname.lastname@example.org" will reach you!
Content Management System (CMS)
Is a computer software system used to assist its users in the process of content management. A CMS facilitates the organisation, control, and publication of a large body of documents and other content, such as images and multimedia resources. A CMS often facilitates the collaborative creation of documents. A web content management system is a content management system with additional features to ease the tasks required to publish web content to Web sites.
Web Content management systems are often used for storing, controlling, versioning, and publishing industry-specific documentation such as news articles, operators' manuals, technical manuals, sales guides, and marketing brochures.
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CSS -- (Cascading Style Sheet)
A standard for specifying the appearance of text and other elements. CSS was developed for use with HTML in Web pages but is also used in other situations, notably in applications built using XPFE. CSS is typically used to provide a single "library" of styles that are used over and over throughout a large number of related documents, as in a web site. A CSS file might specify that all numbered lists are to appear in italics. By changing that single specification the look of a large number of documents can be easily changed.
A network name associated with an organisation (e.g., google.com or yahoo.com). Domain names are organised in a hierarchy, with each level separated by a "dot." Common organisational types are commercial (.com), government (.gov), and network (.net). In the U.S., most Internet addresses follow a standard format: name of server.name of organisation.type of organisation.
File Transfer Protocol. An Internet standard for uploading and downloading files over the Internet. FTP utilities are used to transfer Web pages and other files from your hard drive to a remote Web server.
Graphics Interchange Format. A compact graphics file format developed by CompuServe, that was once the standard for online colour photos and images. It's still widely used for graphics that use only a limited number of colours, such as backgrounds. In recent years, however GIF has been superseded by JPEG for photos. While GIF images are limited to 256 colours, JPEGs can have up to 16 million colours. A "transparent" GIF has an invisible background, allowing the Web page to show around the edges of the graphic. JPEG does not permit this, so all JPEGs are rectangular.
Every Web site is stored on a computer--called a server--that is connected to the Web. When your site is stored on one of these servers, your site is being "hosted" by the server.
Hypertext Mark-up Language. The coding language to create hypertext documents (HTML files) on the Web (Web pages). With HTML, you can "mark up" text (like old-fashioned typesetting code) by placing formatting commands ("tags") around it that tell the browser software how to format it for display. For example, HTML uses tags like <h1> and </h1> to structure text into headings, paragraphs, lists, hypertext links and more.
A programming language developed by Sun Microsystems specifically for writing programs that can be safely downloaded to your computer through the Internet without fear of viruses or other harm to your computer. Using small Java programs (called "applets"), Web pages can include functions such as animations, calculators, and other jazzy enhancements. Java is a simple, robust, object-oriented, platform-independent multi-threaded, dynamic general-purpose programming environment. It is best for creating applets and applications for the Internet, intranets and any other complex, distributed network.
(also known as JPG). This file format for colour-rich images was named after the Joint Photographic Experts Group, the original name of the committee that wrote the standard. JPEG is designed for compressing either full-colour or grey-scale images of natural, real-world scenes. It compresses graphics of photographic colour depth better than competing file formats like GIF, and it retains a high degree of colour fidelity. It works well on photographs, naturalistic artwork, and similar material; not so well on lettering, simple cartoons, or line drawings. JPEG files are smaller and, therefore, quicker to download that GIF files.
An optional HTML tag that is used to specify information about a Web page. Some search engines read the information contained within the tag and use it to index the page. There are several meta tags, but the most important for search engine indexing are the Description and Keywords tags. The Description tag returns a description of the page in place of the summary the search engine would ordinarily create. The Keywords tag provides keywords for the search engine to associate with your page. An example might look like this:
- content="Web site building terms">
- content="Web sites, Web pages, search engines">
Open Source Software
Open Source Software is software for which the underlying programming code is available to the users so that they may read it, make changes to it, and build new versions of the software incorporating their changes. There are many types of Open Source Software, mainly differing in the licensing term under which (altered) copies of the source code may (or must be) redistributed.
PHP -- (PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor)
PHP is a programming language used almost exclusively for creating software that is part of a web site. The PHP language is designed to be intermingled with the HTML that is used to create web pages. Unlike HTML, the PHP code is read and processed by the web server software (HTML is read and processed by the web browser software.)
RSS -- (Rich Site Summary or RDF Site Summary or Real Simple Syndication)
A commonly used protocol for syndication and sharing of content, originally developed to facilitate the syndication of news articles, now widely used to share the contents of blogs. Mashups are often made using RSS feeds. RSS is an XML-based summary of a web site, usually used for syndication and other kinds of content-sharing.
There are RSS "feeds" which are sources of RSS information about web sites, and RSS "readers" which read RSS feeds and display their content to users. RSS is being overtaken by a newer, more complex protocol called Atom.
In the Internet world, a script is a program that runs on a server and processes requests in response to input from the browser. There is client scripting as well as server scripting.
Search Engine Placement
The practice of trying to ensure that a Web site obtains a high rank in the search engines. Also called search engine positioning, search engine optimisation etc.
A Web server that uses special software, called security protocols, to protect against third-party tampering. Making purchases from a secure server ensures that a user's payment or personal information is translated into a code so that it cannot be stolen.
secure sockets layer (SSL)
A transaction security standard developed by Netscape Communications to enable commercial transactions to take place over the notoriously non-secure Internet. SSL delivers server authentication, data encryption, and message integrity. With SSL implemented on both the client and server, your Internet communications are transmitted in encrypted form. The information you send can then be trusted to arrive privately and unaltered to the server you specify.
An adjective that web designers and developers keep in mind when creating web applications and experiences that are SEO-friendly, easily maintainable, and standards-compliant. Commonly found inside the semantic bowl of alphabet soup are xHTML, CSS, XML, and RDF.
The business end of a client/server setup, a server is a host computer on a network that stores information files, Web pages and other services andresponds to requests for information from clients. The term server is also used to describe the software and operating system that makes the act of serving information possible.
Something that is done totally on your Web host's computer (or your own server, if you run you own), not on your desktop computer. It is generally a much faster way to get stuff done.
A section of an online store where a customer can order products and provide credit card information.
On the Web, usually you wait for a file to download before you can see it. Same goes for music - you wait for a midi file to download, then you can listen to it. But streaming plug-ins, like RealAudio, play the music as it downloads!
eXtensible Markup Language. A programming language/specification that provides a powerful set of tools for developing the next generation of Web applications. XML is a smaller version of SGML, designed specifically for Web documents. It enables Web authors and designers to create their own customised tags to provide functions not available with HTML. For example, XML supports links that point to multiple documents, as opposed to HTML links, which can reference only one destination each.
Web 2.0 is a term often applied to a perceived ongoing transition of the World Wide Web from a collection of websites to a full-fledged computing platform serving web applications to end users. Ultimately Web 2.0 services are expected to replace desktop computing applications for many purposes.