Glossary of Web Terms

This is an alphabetical list of Web Glossary Terms.


ActiveMovie

A web technology for streaming movies from a web server to a web client. Developed by Microsoft.

ActiveX
A programming interface (API) that allows web browsers to download and execute Windows programs. (See also Plug-In)

Address
See Web Address.

AdSense
Web advertising system provided by Google.

AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML)
The “art” of using JavaScript and XML to create interactive web applications. With Ajax, web applications can exchange data with a web server in the background (asynchronously) and update parts of a web page without reloading the page.
Learn more about AJAX in our AJAX tutorial

Anchor
In web terms: The starting point or ending point of a hyperlink.
Learn more about links in our HTML tutorial

Adobe Air
An Adobe Integrated Runtime (AIR) system that enables developers to use web technologies (HTML, JavaScript, Flash) to create desktop applications.

Android
A mobile phone operating system developed by Android Inc, later purchased by Google.

Anonymous FTP
See FTP Server.

Animation
A set of pictures simulating movement when played in series.

Anti-Virus Program
A computer program made to discover and destroy all types of computer viruses.

Apache
An open source web server. Mostly for Unix, Linux and Solaris platforms.

Applet
See web applet.

API (Application Programming Interface)
An interface for letting a program communicate with another program. In web terms: An interface for letting web browsers or web servers communicate with other programs. (See also Active-X and Plug-In)

Authentication
In web terms: the method used to verify the identity of a user, program or computer on the web.

ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange)
A set of 128 alphanumeric and special control characters used for computer storing and printing of text. Used by HTML when transmitting data over the web.
See the full list of ASCII codes in our HTML Reference

AVI (Audio Video Interleave)
File format for video files. Video compression technology developed by Microsoft.

Banner Ad
A (most often graphic) advertisement placed on a web page, which acts as a hyperlink to an advertiser’s web site.

Bandwidth
A measure for the speed (amount of data) you can send through an Internet connection. The more bandwidth, the faster the connection.

Binary Data
Data in machine readable form.

Bit (Binary Digit)
The smallest unit of data stored in a computer. A bit can have the value of 0 or 1. A computer uses 8 bits to store one text character.

Blog (Web Log)
A type of website (most often maintained by an individual) with a log of comments (most often personal) comments, meanings, descriptions of events, etc.

Blogger
A person maintaining or writing content to a web log (blog).

Blogging
Writing or adding content to a web log (blog).

BMP (Bitmap)
A format for storing images.

Bookmark
In web terms: A link to a particular web site, stored (bookmarked) by a web user for future use and easy access.

Bounce Rate
The percentage of web site visitors who view only one web page before they leave (bounce out).

Browse
Term to describe a user’s movement across the web, moving from page to page via hyperlinks, using a web browser. (See Web Browser).

BPS (Bits Per Second)
Term to describe the transmission speed for data over the web.

Browser
See Web Browser.

Byte (Binary Term)
A computer storage unit containing 8 bits. Each byte can store one text character.

C
An advanced programming language used for programming advanced computer applications.

C++ (C Plus Plus)
The same as C with added object-oriented functions.

C# (C Sharp)
A Microsoft version of C++ with added Java-like functions.

Case Sensitive
A term used to describe if it is of importance to use upper or lower case letters.

Cache
In web terms: A web browser or web server feature which stores copies of web pages on a computer’s hard disk.

Chat
An on-line text-based communication between Internet users.

Client
See Web Client.

Client/Server
In web terms: The communication and separation of workload between a web client and a web server.

Click
In web terms: A mouse click on a hyperlink element (such as text or picture) on a web page which creates an event such as taking a visitor to another web page or another part of the same page.

Clickthrough Rate
The number of times visitors click on a hyperlink (or advertisement) on a page, as a percentage of the number of times the page has been displayed.

Cloud Computing
Storing applications and data on the internet (instead of on the user’s computer).

Codec (Compressor / Decompressor)
Common term for the technology used for compressing and decompressing data.

Communication Protocol
A standard (language and a set of rules) to allow computers to interact in a standard way. Examples are IP, FTP, and HTTP.
Learn more about Communication Protocols in our TCP/IP tutorial

Compression
A method of reducing the size (compress) of web documents or graphics for faster delivery via the web.

Computer Virus
A computer program that can harm a computer by displaying messages, deleting files, or even destroying the computer’s operating system.

Cookie
Information from a web server, stored on your computer by your web browser. The purpose of a cookie is to provide information about your visit to the website for use by the server during a later visit.

ColdFusion
Web development software for most platforms (Linux, Unix, Solaris and Windows).

CSS (Cascading Style Sheets)
A W3C recommended language for defining style (such as font, size, color, spacing, etc.) for web documents.
Learn more about CSS in our CSS tutorial

Database
Data stored in a computer in such a way that a computer program can easily retrieve and manipulate the data.
Learn more about databases in our SQL tutorial

Database System
A computer program (like MS Access, Oracle, and MySQL) for manipulating data in a database.

DHTML (Dynamic HTML)

A term commonly to describe HTML content that can change dynamically.
Learn more about DHTML in our DHTML tutorial

Discussion Group

See Newsgroup.

DNS (Domain Name Service)
A computer program running on a web server, translating domain names into IP addresses. Learn more about DNS in our Web Hosting tutorial

DNS Server
A web server running DNS.

Domain Name
The name that identifies a web site. (like: W3Schools.com)
Learn more about domains in our Web Hosting tutorial

DOS (Disk Operating System)
A general disk based computer operating system (see OS). Originally developed by Microsoft for IBM personal computers. Often used as a shorthand for MS-DOS.

Download
To transfer a file from a remote computer to a local computer. In web terms: to transfer a file from a web server to a web client. (see also Upload).

Dynamic IP
An IP address that changes each time you connect to the Internet. (See DHCP and Static IP).

E-mail (Electronic Mail)
Messages sent from one person to another via the Internet.

E-mail Address
The address used for sending e-mails to a person or an organization. Typical format is username@hostname.

E-mail Server
A web server dedicated to the task of serving e-mail.

Encryption
To convert data from its original form to a form that can only be read by someone that can reverse the encryption. The purpose of encryption is to prevent unauthorized reading of the data.

Error
See Web Server Error.

Ethernet
A type of local area network (see LAN).

Firewall
Software that acts as a security filter that can restrict types of network communication. Most often used between an individual computer (or a LAN) and the Internet.

Flash
A vector-based multimedia format developed by Adobe for use on the web.

Form
See HTML Form.

Forum
In web terms: The same as Newsgroup.

Frame
In web terms: A part of the browser screen displaying a particular content. Frames are often used to display content from different web pages.

FTP (File Transfer Protocol)

One of the most common methods for sending files between two computers.

FTP Server
A web server you can logon to, and download files from (or upload files to). Anonymous FTP is a method for downloading files from an FTP server without using a logon account.

Gateway
A computer program for transferring (and reformatting) data between incompatible applications or networks.

GIF (Graphics Interchange Format)
A compressed format for storing images developed by CompuServe. One of the most common image formats on the Internet.

GB
Same as Gigabyte. 10GB is ten gigabytes.

Gigabyte
1024 megabytes. Commonly rounded down to one billion bytes.

Graphics
In web terms graphics describe pictures (opposite to text).

Graphic Monitor
A display monitor that can display graphics.

Graphical Banner

See Banner Ad.

Hits
The number of times a web object (page or picture) has been viewed or downloaded. (See also Page Hits).

Home Page
The top-level (main) page of a web site. The default page displayed when you visit a web site.

Host
See Web Host.

Hosting
See Web Hosting.

Hotlink
See Hyperlink.

HTML (Hypertext Markup Language)
HTML is the language of the web. HTML is a set of tags that are used to define the content, layout and the formatting of the web document. Web browsers use the HTML tags to define how to display the text.
Learn more about HTML in our HTML tutorial

HTML Document
A document written in HTML.

HTML DOM (HTML Document Object Model)
A programming interface for HTML documents.
Learn more about HTML DOM in our HTML DOM tutorial

HTML Editor
A software program for editing HTML pages. With an HTML editor you can add elements like lists, tables, layout, font size, and colors to a HTML document like using a word processor. An HTML editor will display the page being edited exactly the same way it will be displayed on the web (See WYSIWYG).

HTML Form
A form that passes user input back to the server.
Learn more about HTML forms in our HTML tutorial

HTML Page
The same as an HTML Document.

HTML Tags
Code to identify the different parts of a document so that a web browser will know how to display it.
Learn more about HTML tags our HTML tutorial

HTTP (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol)
The standard set of rules for sending text files across the Internet. It requires an HTTP client program at one end, and an HTTP server program at the other end.

HTTP Client
A computer program that requests a service from a web server.

HTTP Server
A computer program providing services from a web server.

HTTPS (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure)
Same as HTTP but provides secure Internet communication using SSL. (see also SSL)

Hyperlink
A pointer to another document. Most often a pointer to another web page. A hyperlink is a synonym for a hotlink or a link, and sometimes called a hypertext connection to another document or web page.

Hypermedia
An extension to hypertext to include graphics and audio.

Hypertext
Hypertext is text that is cross-linked to other documents in such a way that the reader can read related documents by clicking on a highlighted word or symbol. (see also hyperlink)

IAB (Internet Architecture Board)
A council that makes decisions about Internet standards. (See also W3C).

IE (Internet Explorer)
See Internet Explorer.

Internet

A world wide network connecting millions of computers. (See also WWW)

Internet Browser
See Web Browser.

Internet Explorer
A browser by Microsoft. The most commonly used browser today.
Learn more about browsers in our browser section

Internet Server
See Web Server

Intranet
A private (closed) Internet, running inside a LAN (Local Area Network).

IP (Internet Protocol)
See TCP/IP.

IP Address (Internet Protocol Address)
A unique number identifying every computer on the Internet (like 197.123.22.240)

IP Number (Internet Protocol Number)
Same as an IP address.

ISP (Internet Service Provider)
Someone that provides access to the Internet and web hosting.

Java
A programming language developed by SUN. Mostly for programming web servers and web applets.

Java Applet
See Web Applet.

JavaScript
The most popular scripting language on the internet, developed by Netscape.
Learn more about JavaScript in our JavaScript tutorial.

JPEG (Joint Photographic Expert Group)
The organization that promotes the JPG and JPEG graphic formats for storing compressed images.

JPEG and JPG
Graphic formats for storing compressed images.

KB

Same as kilobyte 10KB is ten kilobytes..

Keyword
In web terms: A word used by a search engine to search for relevant web information.
In database terms: A word (or index) used to identify a database record.

Kilobyte
1024 bytes. Often called 1K, and rounded down to 1000 bytes.

Link
The same as a hyperlink.

Linux
Open source computer operating system based on Unix. Mostly used on servers and web servers.

Mail
In web terms: the same as e-mail.

Mail Server
See e-mail server.

MB
Same as Megabyte. 10MB is ten megabytes.

Megabyte
1024 kilobytes. Commonly rounded down to one million bytes.

Meta Data
Data that describes other data. (See also Meta Tags).

Meta Search
The method of searching for meta data in documents.

Meta Tags
Tags inserted into documents to describe the document.
Learn more about meta tags in our HTML tutorial

MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface)
A standard protocol for communication between computers and musical instruments.
Learn more about MIDI in our Media tutorial

MIME (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions)
An Internet standard for defining document types. MIME type examples: text/plain, text/html, image/gif, image/jpg.
Learn more about MIME types in our Media tutorial

MIME Types
Document types defined by MIME.

MOV

A codec for computer video developed by Apple. Common file extension for QuickTime multimedia files.

MP3 (MPEG-1 Audio Layer-3)
An audio compression format specially designed for easy download over the Internet.

MP3 File
An file containing audio compressed with MP3. Most often a music track.

MPEG (Moving Picture Expert Group)
An ISO standard codec for computer audio and video.

MPG
Common file extension for MPEG files.

Multimedia
In web terms: A presentation combining text with pictures, video, or sound.

MySQL
Free open source database software often used on the web.

Navigate

In web terms: The same as Browse.

Page Hits
The number of times a web page has been visited by a user.

Page Impressions
The same as Page Hits.

Page Views
The same as Page Hits.

PDF (Portable Document Format)
A document file format developed by Adobe. Most often used for text documents.

PHP (PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor)
A technology allowing the insertion of server executable scripts in web pages. Mostly for Unix, Linux and Solaris platforms.
Learn more about PHP in our PHP tutorial.

Ping
A method used to check the communication between two computers. A “ping” is sent to a remote computer to see if it responds.

Platform
In web terms: The computer’s operating system like Windows, Linux, or OS X.

Plug-In
An application built into another application. In web terms: A program built in (or added) to a web browser to handle a special type of data like e-mail, sound, or movie files. (See also ActiveX)

PNG (Portable Network Graphics)
A format for encoding a picture pixel by pixel and sending it over the web. A W3C recommendation for replacing GIF.

Proxy Server
An Internet server dedicated to improve Internet performance.

QuickTime
A multimedia file format created by Apple.
Learn more about QuickTime in our Media tutorial

Redirect
In web terms: The action when a web page automatically forwards (redirects) the user to another web page.

RGB (Red Green Blue)
The combination of the three primary colors that can represent a full color spectrum.
Learn more about RGB in our HTML tutorial

Robot
See Web Robot.

Router
A hardware (or software) system that directs (routes) data transfer to different computers in a network.

Script

A collection of statements written in a Scripting Language.

Scripting Language
In web terms: A simple programming language that can be executed by a web browser or a web server. See JavaScript and VBScript.

Scripting
Writing a script.

Search Agent
Same as Search Engine.

Search Engine
Computer program used to search and catalog (index) the millions of pages of available information on the web. Common search engines are Google and AltaVista.

Semantic Web
A web of data with a meaning in the sense that computer programs can know enough about the data to process it.

Server
See Web Server.

Server Errors
See Web Server Errors.

Shockwave
A format (technology) developed by Adobe for embedding multimedia content in web pages.

SPAM
In web terms: The action of sending multiple unwelcome messages to a newsgroup or mailing list.

Spider
See Web Spider.

Spyware
Computer software hidden in a computer with the purpose of collecting information about the use of the computer.

SQL (Structured Query Language)
An ANSI standard computer language for accessing and manipulating databases.
Learn more about SQL in our SQL tutorial.

SQL Server
A database system from Microsoft. Mostly used on high traffic web sites running on the Windows platform.

Static IP (address)
An IP address that is the same each time connect to the Internet. (See also Dynamic IP).

Streaming
A method of sending audio and video files over the Internet in such a way that the user can view the file while it is being transferred.

Streaming Format
The format used for files being streamed over the Internet. (See Windows Media, Real Video and QuickTime).

SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics)
A W3C recommended language for defining graphics in XML.
Learn more about SVG in our SVG tutorial

Tag
In web terms: Notifications or commands written into a web document. (See HTML Tags)

UNZIP 
To uncompress a ZIPPED file. See ZIP.

Upload
To transfer a file from a local computer to a remote computer. In web terms: to transfer a file from a web client to a web server. (see also Download).

VB (Visual Basic)
See Visual Basic.

VBScript
A scripting language from Microsoft. VBScript is the default scripting language in ASP. Can also be used to program Internet Explorer.
Learn more about VBScript in our VBScript tutorial.

Visit
In web terms: A visit to a web site. Commonly used to describe the activity for one visitor of a web site.

Visitor
In web terms: A visitor of a web site. Commonly used to describe a person visiting (viewing) a web site.

Visual Basic
A programming language from Microsoft.

VPN (Virtual Private Network)
A private network between two remote sites, over a secure encrypted virtual Internet connection (a tunnel).

W3C (World Wide Web Consortium)

The organization responsible for managing standards for the WWW.
Learn more about W3C in our W3C tutorial

Web Address
The same as an URL or URI. See URL.

Web Applet
A program that can be downloaded over the web and run on the user’s computer. Most often written in Java.

Web Client
A software program used to access web pages. Sometimes the same as a Web Browser, but often used as a broader term.

Web Browser
A software program used to display web pages.
Learn more about browsers in our Browser section

Web Document
A document formatted for distribution over the web. Most often a web document is formatted in a markup language like HTML or XML.

Web Error
See Web Server Error.

Web Form
See HTML Form.

Web Host
A web server that “hosts” web services like providing web site space to companies or individuals.

Web Hosting
The action of providing web host services.

Web Page
A document (normally an HTML file) designed to be distributed over the Web.

Web Log
See Blog.

Web Robot
See Web Spider.

Web Server
A server is a computer that delivers services or information to other computers. In web terms: A server that delivers web content to web browsers.

Web Server Error
A message from a web server indicating an error. The most common web server error is “404 File Not Found”.

Web Services
Software components and applications running on web servers. The server provides these services to other computers, browsers or individuals, using standard communication protocols.

Web Site
A collection of related web pages belonging to a company or an individual.

Web Spider
A computer program that searches the Internet for web pages. Common web spiders are the one used by search engines like Google to index the web. Web spiders are also called web robots or wanderers.

Web Wanderer
See Web Spider.

Wildcard
A character used to substitute any character(s). Most often used as an asterisk (*) in search tools.

WINZIP
A computer program for compressing and decompressing files. See ZIP.

WMA
Audio file format for the Internet, developed by Microsoft. (See also WMV).
Learn more about media formats in our Media tutorial.

WMV
Video file format for the Internet, developed by Microsoft. (See also WMA).
Learn more about media formats in our Media tutorial

WWW (World Wide Web)
A global network of computers using the internet to exchange web documents. (See also Internet)

WWW Server
The same as a Web Server.

WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get)
In Web terms: To display a web page being edited exactly the same way it will be displayed on the web.

XForms
An alternative version of HTML Forms, based on XML and XHTML. Differs from HTML forms by separating data definition and data display. Providing richer and more device independent user input.

XHTML (Extensible Hypertext Markup Language)
HTML reformulated as XML. Developed by W3C.
Learn more about XHTML in our XHTML tutorial

XML Document
A document written in XML.
Learn more about XML in our XML tutorial

XML Schema
A document that describes, in a formal way, the syntax elements and parameters of a web language. Designed by W3C to replace DTD.
Learn more about Schema in our XML Schema tutorial

ZIP
A compressing format for computer files. Commonly used for compressing files before downloading over the Internet. ZIP files can be compressed (ZIPPED) and decompressed (UNZIPPED) using a computer program like WINZIP.