Jargon Buster

Jargon Starting with A
  • Above the Fold: See Fold
  • Accessibility: Accessibility in the context of a Web site is the degree to which that Web site is usable by people with disabilities. Web pages often have access issues for visually impaired people using screen readers; hearing impaired people using browsers with no sound; physically impaired people; and colour blind people
  • Affiliate Program: An Internet marketing practice that connects businesses selling products online with websites related to those products. The websites are run by third parties who sell products and services for the Internet company and in return receive a small commission.
  • Anchor: An anchor is another word for internal link or bookmark on a web page. An anchor links within the same page of the document. Some people also use the term for an HTML tag that creates a hyperlink. The tag for a link is the <a> tag
  • Anti-aliasing: A process where the edges of images and fonts have pixels added to blend the edge of the item into the background. The goal of anti-aliasing is to make fonts and images appear less jagged on a computer monitor and make the curves smoother. Another term for this is font smoothing because it is primarily used on fonts to make them appear smoother
  • Attribute: Part of an element that provides additional information about that element
Jargon Starting with B
  • Backlink: See Reciprocal Link
  • Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the amount of data that is requested from your website over time. Bandwidth is expressed in terms of kilobits per second (Kbps). Most Web hosting providers put a cap on bandwidth. If your website gets enough requests to go over that cap, you might be charged extra fees, or the requests might be denied. Bandwidth is also known as throughput
  • Below the Fold: See Fold
  • Blog: {Noun} Short for web log, a blog is a Web page that serves as a publicly accessible personal journal for an individual. Typically updated daily, blogs often reflect the personality of the author. {Verb} To author a web log (Other forms: Blogger – a person who blogs)
  • Bookmark: To mark a document or a specific place in a document for later retrieval. Nearly all Web browsers support a bookmarking feature that lets you save the address (URL) of a Web page so that you can easily re-visit the page at a later time
  • Breadcrumb: A type of text-based Web site navigation that breaks the site into links of categories and sub-categories allowing major categories of information to be linked in a range of sequential order. Breadcrumb navigation is displayed to the user, so they can easily see exactly where that Web page is located within the Web site. Above, you will see the breadcrumb for this page: Home Icon [You are here]: NM Consulting » Blog » Jargon Buster
  • Browser: Short for web browser, a software application used to locate and display Web pages. The most popular browsers are Microsoft Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Safari and Firefox. All of these are graphical browsers, which means that they can display graphics as well as text. In addition, most modern browsers can present multimedia information, including sound and video, though they require plugins for some formats
Jargon Starting with C
  • CAPTCHA: Short for Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart, it’s a technique used by a computer to tell if it is interacting with a human or another computer. A Captcha is usually added to a form and involves the user entering one or more random words, which are displayed as an image. Without the correct information being entered, the form will not be submitted. This has become a useful defence against automated Spam Bots, which automate the filling of forms with spam information – or in the hope of trying to hack the web server the site is hosted on
  • Case Sensitive: Describes a program’s ability to distinguish between UPPERCASE (capital) and lowercase (small) letters. For example, if a password is “PaSsWoRd” and the program is set to be case sensitive then you would get an error if you entered it as “password” or “Password” or “PaSsWorD”. If a program doesn’t distinguish between upper and lower case, then this is known as case insensitive
  • CGI: Abbreviation of Common Gateway Interface, CGI is a specification for transferring information between a World Wide Web server and a CGI program. A CGI program is any program designed to accept and return data that conforms to the CGI specification. The program could be written in any programming language, including C, Perl, Java, or Visual Basic
  • CMS (Content Management System): A tool for managing content, usually on a Web site, that separates the design, interactivity, and content from one another to make it easier for content authors to provide content
  • Comment: What a visitor leaves on a website, usually a blog, but any page that is enabled for visitors to leave comments. They can be moderated – so the administrator has to manually publish them; or unmoderated – when they are automatically published to the web page
  • Copy: In design (print or web), copy is the text, i.e. excluding images, photographs, forms, etc.
  • Cookie: A tool that web developers and designers use to store data, whereby user or data information is stored on the visitor’s computer and can be retrieved later. They are commonly used for password information. Cookies can have an expiry time/date or can be set to not expire
  • CSS (Cascading Style Sheets): Gives both web site developers and users more control over how pages are displayed. With CSS, designers and users can create style sheets that define how different elements, such as headers and links, appear. These style sheets can then be applied to any Web page and changes to a single element can be universally updated through a single file
Jargon Starting with D
  • DHTML: Dynamic HTML gives a designer more control over the HTML elements and allows them to change at any time, without returning to the Web server
  • DNS: DNS stands for Domain Name Service. DNS is the service that converts IP addresses into domain names. Without DNS, visitors would have to type http://74.200.236.202/[web folder] into a browser, rather than http://www.nm-design.co.uk/. There are thousands of DNS Servers around the world, which regularly propagate information about where each domain is being hosted. Propagation times vary, which is why there is sometimes a delay in viewing a new domain
  • Domain: The name by which a computer is identified. It is mapped to a number called an IP address. Domains can be purchased in any combination of letters, numbers, and hyphens (-) and up to between 26 and 63 characters long (not including the TLD – Top Level Domain: .com, .uk, .org, etc.). Also known as Domain Name
  • Domain Name: A case-insensitive string of letters, numbers, and hyphens that is used to define the location of a website. Domain names are used as pointers to IP addresses. Domain names are typically arranged hierarchically, with the more generic names on the right. They costs of http (see Hypertext Transfer Protocol), www (directs the browser to a web server), the domain name and the TLD (see Top Level Domain).
  • DPI: Abbreviation of dots per inch, which indicates the resolution of images. The more dots per inch, the higher the resolution. A common resolution for laser printers is 600 dots per inch. This means 600 dots across and 600 dots down, so there are 360,000 dots per square inch
Jargon Starting with E
  • Element: Elements within a webpage are information sets, which can contain numerous types of information
  • em: In HTML, it renders text as emphasised (italic)
  • Embed: An embedded object is independent and does not need an external program or device to run it. In a web page, embedding a video image or sound file into the page plays through a built-in multimedia application
  • Entry Page: In web analysis, an entry page is a web page where readers arrive at your site from some other domain. These are the pages where people are linking to or search engines have ranked highly on your site. When you know which pages are popular entry pages for your site, you can maximize their value by adding links and other information to those pages
  • Exit Page: An exit page is a web page that readers leave your web site from. Generally it is interpreted in web analytics as a page where readers didn’t find what they were looking for and so went elsewhere. It is important to evaluate exit pages to determine how you can improve your site and make it more valuable to your readers
  • Extensible Markup Language (XML): XML is a document markup language for defining structured information. It is a language used by computers to define hidden information about the structure of a document
  • External Link: A hyperlink that points to another website on the internet, typically on another domain from the current website
  • External Style Sheet: A CSS (Cascading Style Sheet) or style page that is written in an external document and can be referenced by multiple documents
Jargon Starting with F
  • Favicon: A small graphic that is associated with a page or Web site. The favicon allows the Web developer to customize the site in the Web browser, both in the tab bar that is displayed in many browsers as well as in the bookmarks when a site is saved. It was named the favicon because it was first developed in Internet Explorer, which calls bookmarked sites “favorites” and this icon was displayed in the favorites menu. Most site favicons are designed as a small rendition of their logo or other branding mechanism
  • Fold: A graphic design concept that refers to the location of an important news story or a visually appealing photograph on the upper half of the front page of a newspaper. Most papers are delivered and displayed to customers folded up, meaning that only the top half of the front page is visible. Thus, an item that is “above the fold” may be one that the editors feel will entice people to buy the paper; items “below the fold” are considered of less importance. In websites, the term refers to anything that is displayed without scrolling down
  • Font: A collection of glyphs of a typeface, defining the size, family, weight, and style of the text
  • Font Family: A group designation that applies to a set of typefaces that look generally the same
  • Font Style: Stylistic variations of a font, such as italics, underline, bold, and so on
  • Font Weight: The weight of a font refers to how light or bold it is. The heavier a font is the bolder it will look on the page
Jargon Starting with G
  • GIF: Pronounced jiff or giff (with a hard G) stands for Graphics Interchange Format, a bit-mapped graphics file format used by the World Wide Web. GIF supports 256 colours and various resolutions. It also includes data compression, but because it is limited to 256 colors, it is more effective for simple or line drawn images such as illustrations rather than color photos
  • Google Adwords: Google Adwords is the brand name for Google’s popular pay per click advertising. It is perceived as the best value Pay Per Click on the market, allowing low start up costs and many features to allow maximisation of budget spend.
  • Google Analytics: A free web analytics tool offering detailed visitor statistics. The tool can be used to track all the usual site activities: Visits, page views, pages per visit, bounce rates and average time on site etc
  • Google PageRank: Scored out of 10, PageRank relies on the uniquely democratic nature of the web by using its vast link structure as an indicator of an individual page’s value. In essence, Google interprets a link from page A to page B as a vote, by page A, for page B. No web page has a Google PageRank higher than 9 (BBC). NM Design has a PageRank of 5.
Jargon Starting with H
  • Hexadecimal: Hexadecimal numbers or “hex” numbers are a base-16 numbering system used to define colours on Web pages. A hex number is written from 0-9 and then A-F. Web colours are written as three sets of hex pairs. The first set represents the red hue, the second the green hue, and the third the blue. White is written as ff ff ff or #ffffff while black is 00 00 00 or #000000
  • Hello World: It is often considered to be tradition among programmers for people attempting to learn a new programming language to write a “Hello World” program as one of the first steps of learning that particular language. The tradition of using the phrase “Hello world” as a test message was influenced by an example program in the seminal book The C Programming Language. The example program from that book prints “hello, world” and was inherited from a 1974 Bell Laboratories internal memorandum by Brian Kernighan, Programming in C: A Tutorial, which contains the first known version
  • HTML: HyperText Markup Language is the authoring language used to create documents on the World Wide Web. HTML defines the structure and layout of a Web document by using a variety of tags and attributes. The correct structure for an HTML document starts with <HTML><HEAD>(enter here what document is about)<BODY> and ends with </BODY></HTML>. All the information you’d like to include in your Web page fits in between the <BODY> and </BODY> tags
  • HTTP: Short for HyperText Transfer Protocol, the underlying protocol used by the World Wide Web. HTTP defines how messages are formatted and transmitted, and what actions Web servers and browsers should take in response to various commands. For example, when you enter a URL in your browser, this actually sends an HTTP command to the Web server directing it to fetch and transmit the requested Web page
  • HTTPS: See SSL
  • Hyperlink: An element in an electronic document that links to another place in the same document or to an entirely different document. Typically, you click on the hyperlink to follow the link. Sir Tim Berners-Lee saw the possibility of using hyperlinks to link any unit of information to any other unit of information over the Internet making them integral to the creation of the World Wide Web.

    It was reported a few years ago that British Telecom owned the patent to hyperlinks but had released it to the public domain for the benefit of the web. The reality was that in 2000, BT sued the American communications giant Prodigy claiming they had infringed its patent (U.S. Patent 4,873,662). The court ruled in favour of Prodigy finding that the BT patent did not cover web hyperlinks.

  • Hypertext: Text displayed on a computer or other electronic device with references (hyperlinks) to other text that the reader can immediately access, usually by a mouse click or keypress sequence. Apart from running text, hypertext may contain tables, images and other presentational devices. Hypertext is the underlying concept defining the structure of the World Wide Web, making it an easy-to-use and flexible format to share information over the Internet
Jargon Starting with I
  • Image Map: An image map is a graphic image separately defined by some or all of its pixel area, so when a user clicks on different areas of the image, they will link to different destinations. An image map is made by defining each of the sensitive areas in terms of their x and y coordinates (that is, a certain horizontal distance and a certain vertical distance from the left-hand corner of the image) and linking each set of coordinates with a URL or Web address.
  • Impression: In Web advertising, the term impression is sometimes used as a synonym for view, as in advert view. Online publishers offer and their customers buy advertising measured in terms of ad views or impressions
  • Inbound Link: Inbound links send visitors to your web site. Generally, this is seen as a good thing. Many sites go to great lengths to achieve as much of this “free” advertising as possible, although a few sites are very particular about where the links are pointing (see deep linking)
  • Inline Style: A CSS or cascading style sheets style that is written directly on the element it affects
  • Internal Link: An internal link is a link on a web page that links to another page on the same site or domain. Most internal links are used as navigation around the site or to provide additional information about a topic
  • IP: An Internet Protocol address is the numerical designation of a computer attached to the Internet. They are usually written as 4 groups of 3 numbers (IPv4). Domain names use IP addresses as their address so that Web browsers can find their location on the Internet – these are translated into domains by DNS Servers
Jargon Starting with J
  • JPG: A shortened version of JPEG. It is more commonly used than JPEG as most file extensions consist of three letters (e.g. photo.jpg), however, they are interchangeable.
  • JPEG: Joint Photographic Experts Group is a graphics format best suited for photographs and images with up to 16 million colours
Jargon Starting with K
  • Kerning: The adjustment of spacing between pairs of letters in words, usually defined by the Font Family. Kerning creates letter forms similar to ligatures when the letters are pushed together until they are touching. Kerning is a form of micro whitespace that allows you to control the legibility of text on Web pages
  • Keywords: The term used for words included in a web page that would match words used by web surfers in finding that web page (via a search engine). Keywords can simply be words included in the body text of the document, or added to the header using meta tags to increase the number of keywords. Selecting keywords, that match your target audiences’ use of the web is a critical marketing tactic
Jargon Starting with L
  • Leading: Pronounced ledding, it is the space between lines of type. It is generally measured from baseline to baseline and expressed in points. The name leading is derived from the days of hot metal type when strips of lead were placed between lines of type to provide line spacing
  • Link: See Hyperlink
  • Link Farm: A website set up with the sole purpose of increasing the link popularity of other sites by increasing the number of incomming links to those sites. They are typically made up of long lists of unrelated links. Some link farms are created as networks of sites that contain numerous links to one another. Nearly all search engines remove link farms from their directories when they find them and many also penalise sites that link to them
Jargon Starting with M
  • Markup: The collection of tags that describe the specifications of an electronic document, for example, formatting
  • Marquee: In HTML, a marquee is a small section of the browser window that displays text that rolls across the screen. This tag works only in Internet Explorer
  • Meta data: Meta data is data about data. In other words, it is information about the Web page that it is currently on. Meta data is most often used for search engine optimization (SEO). The two most critical meta tags used in SEO are: description and keywords. These are sometimes used by search engines to place the pages in the search directory, and they are used to provide a short description of the Web page in the search results
  • Meta tag: See Meta Data
Jargon Starting with N
  • Nesting: The practice of placing one Element inside another
  • New Visitor: Someone who has never come to your website before. It is important to make a good impression on new visitors so that they become a repeat visitor
  • Non-breaking Space: A white-space character that HTML will not condense. It is usually used to hold open table cells and add spacing between words
Jargon Starting with O
  • Outbound Link: See External Link
Jargon Starting with P
  • Page Rank: See Google PageRank
  • Page View: A request for an item called a page in Web analytics. A page is loosely defined as all the requests required to build one Web page. A pageview can include many hits, as the page is built with CSS, scripts, and images
  • Parent: The top level element in a web page or associated code. It is generally used for menu attributes, where the parent menu items are the top level ones – the child elements are sub-menus off the parent
  • Pixel: A font height or size that is based on screen pixels or dots – shown as px
  • Plugin: A hardware or software module that adds a specific feature or functionality to web hardware, a web browser or a web program, like WordPress. The idea is that the new component simply plugs in to the existing system
  • PNG: Portable Network Graphics files are image files that are lossless and highly compressed. They are good for both flat colour images and images with lots of colours
  • Podcast: A digital recording that is sent to subscribers over the Internet through an RSS feed. A podcast can be sent as audio or video files. The term was developed by combining the words “iPod” and “broadcast”. There are many ways to promote a podcast, including direct from the Apple iTunes store
  • Property: In CSS, a property is like a tag in HTML. These are the items that define how the styles should look on the Web page or elsewhere
Jargon Starting with R
  • Repeat Visitor: Someone who comes to your website more than once. Repeat visitors are important as it means that your site keeps its value for your customers – Also see New Visitor
  • RGB: An abbreviation for “Red Green Blue”. RGB is a colour model used on displays where red, green, and blue light are combined to make millions of colours. RGB is how colours combine on screen because they are viewed directly and not reflected off anything – unlike colours in traditional colour theory, which is based on reflective colours – usually on paper. CSS allows you to use RGB codes to define your website colors. To define a color in RGB with CSS, the numbers go from 0 to 255, and they are listed in order—red, green, blue. For example, red is rgb(255,0,0), green is rgb(0,255,0) and blue is rgb(0,0,255). Even though not officially colours, white is rgb(255,255,255) and black is rgb(0,0,0)
  • RSS: RSS is an abbreviation that stands for either Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary, however, the most common definition is Really Simple Syndication. RSS is a type of XML that allows Web content producers to provide content from their website for publication on other websites. It allows readers of the website to stay informed easily about changes on that website because the information is collected in a standard format and is readable by many different types of RSS tools and RSS readers. RSS is also known as Atom – another XML syndication language
Jargon Starting with S
  • Sans-Serif: See Serif
  • Script: A piece of programming code that enhances a web site or a single web page. There are numerous programming languages used on websites, which include HTML, Javascript, PHP, ASP, .NET, CGI, etc.
  • Serif: A serif is the tiny stroke at the end of the main strokes of a font character. A font family that does not have these serifs is called a sans-serif font. Sans-serif fonts are best used online, as they are easier to read there. On the Web serifs can make the fonts more difficult to read, especially at small sizes, but sans-serif fonts do not have this problem
  • Shortcut:
  • Spam bot: A spambot is a program designed to collect, or harvest, e-mail addresses from the Internet in order to build mailing lists for sending unsolicited e-mail, also known as spam. A spambot can gather e-mail addresses from Web sites, newsgroups, special-interest group (SIG) postings, and chat-room conversations. Because e-mail addresses have a distinctive format, spambots are easy to write
  • SSL Web connections that use SSL (Secure Socket Layers) allow the transmission of private documents or information over the web. SSL uses a crytographic system that uses two keys to encrypt data – a public key known to everyone and a private, or secret, key known only to the recipient of the message. It is widely used to protect confidential user information, such as credit card numbers. By convention, web addresses (URLs) that require an SSL connection start with HTTPS: instead of HTTP:
  • Streaming Media: Multimedia that is sent continuously by the web server to the client (browser). Typically they are treated as a form of presentation or broadcast that is delivered to the website visitor. Streaming media can be sent as video or sound files and can be served by a standard web server using HTML or by a streaming server set up specifically for the task
  • Style: The style of an element is the way it looks or acts on the web page. This includes the colour, layout, position and sometimes sound (in oral style sheets)
  • Sub Domain: A more specific portion of a domain name. Sub domains are used to divide up web domains without registering a new domain name. They are usually signified by the sub domain replacing the www in the URL, e.g. BBC News (http://news.bbc.co.uk) is a sub domain of the bbc.co.uk domain.
Jargon Starting with T
  • Tag: An HTML tag is a code that describes how a Web page is formatted. HTML tags are defined by the characters < and >
  • TLA: An acronym for a Three Letter Acronym, e.g. GIF. Yes, even Three Letter Acronym’s have their own acronym!
  • TLD/TLDN: TLD stands for Top-Level Domain and TLDN stands for Top-Level Domain Name. A TLD or TLDN is the most generic portion of a domain name. It is found in the rightmost position of a domain name. There are two types of TLDs: Country code TLDs – called ccTLD (e.g. .uk); and Generic TLDs – called gTLD (e.g. .com)
  • Tracking: The space between letters in a block of text. In CSS this is defined with the letter-spacing property. Tracking is a form of micro whitespace that allows the designer to control the legibility of text on web pages
  • Typeface: The letters, numbers, and symbols that make up the design of type. The typeface generally refers to the actual design of the type rather than a specific family or category
Jargon Starting with U
  • Unique Visitor: Individuals who have visited a Web site (or network) at least once in a fixed time frame, typically a 30 day period
  • URI: URI stands for Uniform Resource Identifier. It is a codification of addresses to Internet objects. For example, a URL and a URN are both URIs
  • URL: Short for universal resource locator, includes the protocol (ex. HTTP, FTP), the domain name (or IP address), and additional path information (folder/file). On the Web, a URL may address a Web page file, image file, or any other file supported by the HTTP protocol
  • URN: URN stands for Uniform Resource Name. It is the address of a persistent object on the Internet. The name of an object would not change, while the location, or URL, might
  • User Agent: The client or application which initiates a request to a web server or other Internet application. Typically, the user-agent is a general term for a web browser, but can include screen readers, spiders, web editors or programs that access web pages
Jargon Starting with V
  • Visit: A visit is a series of requests from the same uniquely identified individual (a visitor) in a set period of time. A visit is made up of several hits and pageviews and often shows a track through a site. Visits are usually defined as a set period of time, typically 24 hours or 1 hour. For example, if someone goes to a certain site 3 times in the same day, if their visit period is 24 hours, then 3 Page Views will be ascribed to 1 visit. But if their visit period is 1 hour, and they visited in 3 different hours, then Page Views will be logged as 3 different visits
  • Visitor: A visitor is a unique individual coming to a website
Jargon Starting with W
  • W3C: W3C is an acronym standing for the World Wide Web Consortium. This is the group that determines the standards for the technology behind the Web
  • Web Designer: Someone who designs Web pages. A Web designer is more focused on the look and feel of a website than how it works, and often uses WYSIWYG editors rather than diving into the HTML directly
  • Web Developer: Someone who programs Web pages. A Web developer is more focused on the way a website works than how it looks. They typically use HTML text editors and work with databases and programming languages as well as HTML
  • Web Log: See Blog
  • Web Page: A standalone single URL on the World Wide Web
  • Web Server: A computer that is set up with software and networking capabilities to deliver Web pages on the Internet or an Intranet. Web servers use programs such as Apache or IIS to deliver Web pages over the http protocol
  • Whitespace: Whitespace is the empty spaces in a design. Whitespace is used to separate disparate design elements and group similar ones. Whitespace is the lack of graphics or text in the layout. However, whitespace is not always “white” – it is the empty parts of the page, but if the page has a different background colour, then that will be the colour of the whitespace
  • Wiki: A Web site that is managed by its readers. Readers are invited to login and edit any page of a wiki to make the whole more inclusive and correct. Wikis are a way to take the anarchy that defines the Internet and give it form and substance
  • WYSIWYG: Pronounced, wissy-wig, it stands for What You See Is What You Get. Design software like Dreamweaver allows a designer to work with the layout and design of the page, seeing exactly what it would look like. Also used in Content Management Systems (CMS) to allow administrators to add text and photographs to a page and see the layout as they go along. Without WYSIWYG, the user would only see the page code, e.g. HTML.
Jargon Starting with X
  • XML: XML (Extensible Markup Language) is a flexible way to create common information formats and share both the format and the data on the World Wide Web, intranets, and elsewhere