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Web Glossary

Internet terminology can be daunting. Our Web Glossary explains some of the more commonly used words.

The most commonly confused terms are domain name, URL and hosting. In the below web glossary, are their definitions. which hopefully will clear this mystery up once and for all.


The word blog comes from a blending of the original term, weblog. A blog is a type of website characterized by a list of posts or entries, usually displayed in reverse chronological order. Traditionally, blogs are maintained by an individual but companies and other organizations commonly maintain one as well. Network9’s Love Stories blog is right over here!

Read more about how a blog helps your search results.

Short for web browser, a browser is a software application used to locate and display web pages. The most popular browsers are Firefox, Chrome, Safari and Internet Explorer (according to W3C’s statistics). Though much is standardized for obvious reasons, each browser has a slightly different way of reading and displaying web pages so designers and programmers have to make minor adjustments in the code so their pages display correctly, regardless of their choice of browser. Network9 will rigorously test your site to make sure it is compatible across the web.

Once your web browser accesses a web page, it references that page and the graphics on it within your computer’s “cache” (or more simply, your computer takes a “snapshot” of every page you visit and stores it in the “cache”). The next time you visit that same page, your download time will be quicker as the images and much of the page is already available on your computer for your browser to reference instantly instead of waiting for the page and images to download again.

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

Cloud Computing
Storing applications and data on the internet (instead of on the user’s computer). It saves space as well as backs up data and applications, making it accessible anywhere you have an internet connection.

Content Management System (CMS)
Back in the day, you needed to know HTML or have a webmaster in order to alter or update your website. Today we have Content Management Systems, or CMS. A CMS allows the content manager or author, who may not know Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), to manage the creation, modification, and removal of content from a Website without needing the expertise of a webmaster.
Wordpress is the CMS we prefer the most. It allows for near complete customization while allowing administrators to quickly and easily add, edit, and delete content.
Squarespace, Drupal and Joomla are other examples of CMS’s but there are many others, some privately run, some associated with hosting comapnies.

A small data file that is stored on the hard drive of the computer you use to view a Web site. Cookies are placed by that site or by a third party with a presence on the site, such as an advertiser and are accessible only by the party or site that placed the cookie. They often are used to make the a site easier to use. For example, you can choose to store your username for a site on your computer so that you don’t have to enter it each time you visit the site, as it’s stored in a cookie on your computer.

Data stored in a computer in such a way that a computer program can easily retrieve and display the data. WordPress operates with a database to hold your sites files until needed.

Domain Name
The unique name that identifies a web site and what is displayed in the URL of a web page. Our domain name is network9.biz. These need to be registered so that there are no two alike.

This stands for Domain Name Server. Once you register your name, you can control where it points to. Our DNS points to http://www.network9.biz. Sometimes, but not always, people register the domain name along with their hosting with the same comapany.

The translation of data into a secret code. Encryption is the most effective way to achieve data security. To read an encrypted file, you must have access to a secret key or password that enables you to decrypt it. This is typically done by secure computer systems. Any site that processes credit card transactions, for example, will use encryption to keep your information safe.

A system designed to prevent unauthorized access to or from a public or private network. Firewalls can be implemented in both hardware and software, or a combination of both. Firewalls are frequently used to prevent unauthorized internet users from accessing private portions of public networks. All messages entering or leaving the network pass through the firewall, which examines each message and blocks those that do not meet the specified security criteria.

A vector-based multimedia format developed by Adobe for use on the web. It requires a plug-in to play film-like animations in most browsers. It is often used for animations and is sometimes used to build whole sites, although this practice is going out of fashion in favor of Javascript.

An online discussion site where people can hold conversations in the form of posted messages. Typically, users have to sign up and login before they can post, but anyone can read posted messages. Forums can contain any number of topics and subtopics.

FTP (File Transfer Protocol)
One of the most common methods for sending files between two computers. It requires that you have an FTP server, which is a web server you can logon to, and download files from (or upload files to). Once you have a server, you’ll need an FTP client such as Fetch, Cyberduck, or Filezilla in order to connect to your server and upload or download files.

A system designed to prevent unauthorized access to or from a public or private network. Firewalls can be implemented in both hardware and software, or a combination of both. Firewalls are frequently used to prevent unauthorized internet users from accessing private portions of public networks. All messages entering or leaving the network pass through the firewall, which examines each message and blocks those that do not meet the specified security criteria.

GIF (Graphics Interchange Format)
A compressed format for storing images developed by CompuServe. One of the most common image formats on the Internet. While it is not ideal for photographs, its small file size and ability to handle transparency makes it ideal for graphics, such as logos.

Animated GIFs are very popular because of the small file size and fun factor.

Google Analytics
The most widely used website statistics service and it’s free! Having Google Analytics installed on your site will allow you to view detailed statistics about the visitors to your site, including what pages viewers spend the most time one, how viewers got there, and what keywords people type in to get to your site. It does NOT increase SEO value, but is a valuable tracking tool.

In order to have a page on the web, you need to have hosting. Hosting companies provide space on servers that they own, typically in a data center, where the information for your site is stored and made available on the web. Hosting companies come in all shapes and sizes and support and offer many different services such as email, domain name registration, and website builders. Picking the right host for your needs can be tricky,

A pointer to another document, most often 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.

If you haven’t heard of it, where have you been? Here’s the definition: A world-wide network connecting millions of computers. Look here to see a map of the undersea, fiber-optic cables that make much of it possible.

ISP (Internet Service Provider)
A company that provides access to the Internet and web hosting. ISP service differs from region to region, depending on the area’s infrastructure. Here in NYC, we have the choice of a variety of ISP’s, including Time Warner and Verizon.

The most commonly used image format for digital photographs. Its ability to be compressed without a noticeable loss in quality makes in ideal for use on the web.

A word used by a search engine to serve up relevant web information. For example, Network9’s keywords would be “website design”, “brand development”, or “graphic design company NY”. A good SEO team will help you pick keywords for your site that are not only relevant to your business, but that will help you increase your page ranking on search engines.

Keyword Analysis
A KWA is performed by SEO experts, who determine the most relevant keywords for a website, and how much traffic there is for these phrases. They are then used to optimize the pages and posts on a website.

Means you are actively indicating your preference to participate in a program, email, feature, tool, or enhancement on a website. Typically, if you opt-in you must provide certain information to the web site or otherwise actively indicate your choice or preference to participate in the website program. For example, if you wish to receive N9’s email newsletter, you must enter your email address and first and last name and click “submit” to join.

Means that if you do not take some action you are indicating your preference to participate in a program, email, feature, tool or enhancement on a website. Typically, if you opt-out you must uncheck a box next to a stated preference or otherwise take some indicate action to indicate your preference not to participate in a program.

A secret series of characters, typically alphanumeric (meaning it consists of both letters and numbers), that enables you to access a file, computer, or program. Ideally, the password should be something that nobody could guess. Thinking of “123456” or “password”? Try again!

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. Netflix, for example, require Microsoft’s Silverlight plug-in in order to play movies.

In WordPress terms, a plug-in extends WordPress’s basic functionality to enable it to do things like add a gallery, create forms, or import posts from another site.

PNG (Portable Network Graphics)
A graphics format designed specifically for use on the web, as a alternate for the GIF. It also has a very small file size, and can support transparency.

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, Bing and Yahoo.

Semantic Web
A web of data with a meaning in the sense that computer programs can know enough about the data to process it.
It’s pretty technical, but important!, so here’s an example:
<H1> is an HTML tag that does two things, first it makes the text it affects large and bold (although this can be customized) and second, it tells whatever computer that is trying to read the page that the text it affects is the page’s main title. Using tags, such as the <H1>, correctly can help search engines understand your site and give you a leg up in the rankings. Our SEO team knows what to do.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
SEO is the science of search, designed to increase organic traffic from search engines. An internet marketing strategy can improve a website’s visibility on search engines using the search engine’s own algorithims, i.e. not through paid ads. SEO considers how search engines work, what people search for, the actual search terms typed into search engines and which search engines are preferred by their targeted audience.

Optimizing a website may involve editing its content and HTML and associated coding to both increase its relevance to specific keywords and to remove barriers to the indexing activities of search engines. Promoting a site to increase the number of back links, or inbound links, is another SEO strategy.
Network9 works with an SEO team that will help you structure your site in a way that will boost your rankings, target your audience, and increase your business.
For more detailed information about SEO, take a look here, and for more on how SEO can improve your business take a look at our blog article, Google and Company – The Scoop on SEO.

A computer that provides services to other computers. A web server stores your website database and files and “serves” them to people who request them. While larger companies with more complex needs often buy their own private servers, most companies and individuals purchase access to a shared server. Server access is provided by hosting companies (see hosting).

Social Selling
The science of using social sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and a host of others to market your products. Now more connected to SEO, building a presence in this arena boosts your rank and helps connect you directly to prospects.

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer):
A security protocol developed by Netscape for transmitting private information via the internet. SSL works by using a private key to encrypt data that’s transferred over the SSL connection. Many web sites use the protocol to obtain confidential user information, such as credit card numbers. By convention, URLs that utilize an SSL connection start with https instead of http.

URL (Uniform Resource Locator)
A web address. The standard way to address web documents (pages) on the internet. Look in the address bar of your browser and you’ll see ours: http://www.network9.biz/

Web Address
The same as an URL. See URL.

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

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.

A popular content management system, traditionally used for blogging. See CMS.

Wysiwyg editor (What You See Is What You Get)
A user interface that allows the user to view something very similar to end result while the page is being created. WordPress uses this type of interface to allow you to edit pages and post in a way that is similar to editing a Word document.