Internet Glossary


  • E-mail: an e-mail address that usually looks something like this:
  • Web site: an internet address (see URL) that usually looks something like this:

A small application that is downloaded to a client’s computer for use on with the web browser.

American Standard Code for Information Interchange – coding method used to represent standard alphanumerics in computer readable form.

Backbone, Internet
A high-speed central network of the Internet. A backbone is a set of paths that local or regional ISP networks connect to for long-distance interconnection. The local or regional ISP network connects to the backbone at a network access point (NAP).

A measure of the amount of data that can be sent across a connection per unit of time. Bandwidth is normally measured in megabits per sec (Mbps); a megabit being one million bits. The amount of bandwidth a Web server requires depends on the applications that will be running on the Web server. Simple HTML Web pages do not require a large amount of bandwidth, but full-motion video requires a large amount of bandwidth.

Bulletin board service. A system offering information accessed by a modem. Users can post and read messages or upload and download files.

A pointer to a particular web page. Most browsers allow the user to reference favorite sites as bookmarks so that they may return to them easily.

The local application you use to connect to an Internet server. It interprets and displays HTML encoded documents (web pages) in graphic format.

Disk space used for storing and accessing data for rapid retrieval.

Common Gateway Interface – the specification for how browsers communicate with web servers.

Chat Room
A function of IRC (Internet Relay Chat) whereby “rooms” are created to allow people to participate in real-time conferencing via their keyboards. Rooms are usually organized by topic to allow people with similar interests to meet and talk.

The end-user side of the client/server connection. Usually the browser that connects to the host server.

Stores user information on client’s machine such as which sites were visited.

A commercial provider of digital cash services. Digital cash is a system of purchasing cash credits in relatively small amounts, storing the credits in your computer, and then spending them when making electronic purchases over the Internet

Domain Name
A unique name that identifies an Internet site by its Internet “address.” An example is

To copy a file from a computer (server) on the Internet to your personal computer.

Electronic commerce. Buying and selling over the Internet. Any transaction where a customer purchases a product or service at a Web site, as opposed to calling a telephone number to purchase the product or service, is considered electronic commerce.

Electronic mail. Software that allows you to send and receive messages from your computer.

A list of Frequently Asked Questions and their answers.

These divide parts of a Web page into two or more independent parts, or frames. Each frame displays a separate HTML file.

Gateway pages
Powerful keyword-loaded pages designed specifically to ‘suck in’ targeted traffic and funnel it to a main site. Users usually arrive at these pages from the search engines.

A common graphic file type used on the Internet.

Home Page
The first page of a web site.

An Internet connected computer (server) that supports web access, email, file transfer, etc. A company that hosts Web sites. The size and scope of the Web host’s computer network and the quality and configuration of the hardware system on which Web sites are stored and delivered to the Internet determine the performance and reliability of the Web host

HyperText Markup Language – the language used to create web pages.

HyperText Transfer Protocol – The Internet protocol used to manage communication between client and server.

Hyperlink, link
Text or graphics on a page that when selected will load a new page or area into the web browser.

Internet Network Information Center
The organization that registers the .com, .edu, .gov, .net, and .org domain names on the Web.

IP Address
A unique address for a particular machine. Every computer on the Internet has its own IP address.

Internet Service Provider – A company that provides a connection to the Internet via dial up or direct connection.

Object oriented langauge developed by Sun Microsystems. Java runs on any computer regardless of the operating system.

A common file type for graphics on the Internet.

Merchant account
An account from a merchant bank that allows a company to accept credit-card payments. Merchant banks establish bank accounts for the purpose of enabling companies to accept credit card payments. The merchant bank account allows a company to receive and process credit card transactions online and transfer money from the buyer’s account to the seller’s account.

Meta Tags
Meta tags are tags in a web page’s behind-the-scenes HTML code which define certain top-level information about the web page or web site. They usually contain a title, keywords for search engines, a description of what the site contains in terms of subject matter and audience, and can contain information about the author and tools used to create the page or site. They are one of the highest priority elements of a website when used in conjunction with search engines. Some search engines typically weight the text found in the meta tags higher than the text found in the actual content of the pages, and some weight the content more, but meta tags are used by most search engines, in conjunction with other promotion elements, to determine a website’s ranking.

Mirror Site
An Internet site which is an exact duplicate of a site housed at another location; used as an alternate for busy sites.

To upload your Web pages to a Web server, thus making them available to others across the Web.

A fast, high-power computer that is used as the repository and distributor of data, and to control various applications such as e-mail. Servers can be used for a variety of applications including hosting Web sites, e-mail databases, and other types of database applications.

Shopping Cart
A list of items a customer wants to purchase from an online storefront. Shopping cart software allows customers on an electronic commerce Web site to select items they wish to purchase and store them in their virtual shopping cart. Customers can view, add, or delete items in their shopping cart before making their electronic purchase.

Internet version of junk mail where a message is sent to a large group of people.

SSL Secure Socket Layer
SSL is a technology that provides security for Web site transactions. SSL handles authentication and data encryption between a Web browser and a Web server. Most electronic commerce applications on the Web use SSL.

To transfer your files from your local site to a server.

Uniform Resource Locator – standard way of denoting an address on the Internet.

A destructive program imbedded within a file designed to damage information or equipment.

Web Developer
An individual or company that specializes in the development of Web sites. Web developers handle all programming aspects of creating a Web site including HTML programming, creating graphics, adding pictures, creating links, and everything else that goes into building a Web site.

Single web page or a collection of related web pages.

World Wide Web – the complete collection of all web servers on the Internet.