Spidered Web

Web Jargon

The world of web speak can be a complicated place but not anymore... use our Web Jargon explaining all in plain english.

Blogs (or 'web log') are becoming a popular way of getting your views seen and heard without the need for extensive internet knowledge. A blog can be written by anyone with access to the internet and are essentially an online diary or journal in which the writer can enter anything they like about their chosen topic and can usually be rated or commented on by viewers.

If you visit a site which you like and would like to easily access in the future without having to always type in the address, then you can bookmark it. Bookmarks (or 'favourites') are sites which you save to a list which can be categorised or ordered however you like so that you always have easy access to sites which you like.

To browse a website is similar as to browsing a shop or a catalogue. If you do not know what specific item on the site you are looking for then you 'browse' the site to find items you find interesting or useful.

A browser is a program that is used to translate and display web files. Some of the most common are Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox or Opera, but there are many available. Whenever you view a website, the browser acquires the file from wherever it is being hosted and displays it as the websites we have become familiar with.

Whenever you view a website, your PC will store files, such as images, text or links in a 'cache'. Which means that whenever the same site is viewed in future, the files can be retrieved from the cache instead of downloading them each time, making loading times much shorter.

A cookie is a small packet of information related to a site. For example, a site can remember your login each time you visit the site, or if you use a shopping site, could remember the items you had in your basket when you last visited the site. Cookies can also be used to see how many times one person repeatedly visits a site.

Some search engines, such as Google, use crawlers or spiders to determine their search results. A crawler will browse the web, looking for sites it hasn't seen before or new content on existing sites. The crawler will then determine how good the site is and what information it has, and will use this information to determine how far up the rankings the site will appear when someone performs a relevant search.

CSS is a language which is being used more and more commonly as an alternative to HTML. A Style Sheet will set a number of instructions that will be applied to pages throughout the site, for example fonts or background colours. Using CSS is a more efficient way of creating sites as one set of instructions can be used across the whole site instead of setting properties for each bit of text or image.

The domain of a site is the title that is shown in the site's address, ie sitename.com. A domain is unique to a machine or IP address, and tells the browser where to find the site which the user is looking for.

DNS (Domain Name Server)
A DNS will relate the domain address that is typed into the browser with the IP address that the website is hosted at. This means that if you want to visit a site then you can simply type in a web address for example, www.google.com instead of a hard to remember IP number such as

The process of copying files from a remote computer (server) down to your own system.


E-mail is probably the most common modern use of the internet. Sending mail electronically means you can send messages almost instantly and can also be used to send files and programs such as images and sound files.

When you visit a site that contains or requires sensitive information such as credit card details or personal information, it is likely that any data exchanged will be 'encrypted'. This basically means that all information sent is scrambled and can only be read by the sender and the intended recipient. If the web address reads 'https://www.sitename.com' this means you are viewing over a secure connection and all information sent will be encrypted, this is important to look out for when sending things such as credit card details.

At the end of a web address or filename, there will be an extension, such as .htm or .xml, this just tells the browser what type of file you are viewing and makes it easier to find the right file to display.

This is a method by which files are moved/exchanged from one computer to another over a network. FTP was in use long before the Web. This is also the method that is used to upload sites to the internet.

A host is used to hold a website's files and allows people to view your site at any time of day as it will be always-on and means that people who are viewing your site do not have to access your PC.

The oldest, and most common of languages used to created web sites. HTML code tells the browser how to display the site and defines the properties such as fonts and colours.


The networking standard computers use to transfer information containing hyper Text, mainly web pages. The http:// in a URL tells your web browser to fetch and transmit the relevant Hyper Text document.

This is a section of code on a website which is not visible to viewers of a website but contains important information. The title that is displayed at the top of the screen when you are viewing a site is contained in the head section. The header is also where the keywords and descriptions which search engines look for are held.

A history is a record of all the sites and pages which you have viewed, for example, in the past two weeks. This makes it easy to find a site which you know was useful or interesting, but do not have the exact address to get there.

This is the name given to describe the connection between all computers in the world. The network which connects these PCs and allows the viewing of pages or exchanging files and data is what is described as the 'internet'.

Each user or computer which is connected to the internet is given a unique number called an 'IP' (Internet Protocol) number or address. This means each is identifiable and is unique. A website has a unique IP number which means it can be found by a browser.

An internet service provider is an organisation or company which provides an internet connection to your home or business. A monthly fee is charged for the service and the provider usually charges different amounts for a level and speed of connectivity.

Java is a programming language which is used to write small programs ('applets') which can be integrated into HTML and displayed on web pages. Java is often used to create games or programs which can be safely integrated into a website.

A set of terms or words which or kept in the 'head' section of a web page, search engines use keywords to relate a site to a search which is carried out by a user. For example, if a user searches for 'online shop', then sites with online or shop or both in their keywords will displayed towards the top of rankings.

A URL (web address) is embedded into a site's code which means that when a section of text or image is clicked, the browser takes you to that site.

A PDF file is a file which can be downloaded or viewed online and is often used to display brochures or information sheets which are probably too large to be part of the site.

An application which is integrated into a web browser and allows it to read certain types of files such as movies or sound files.

Some search engines use popularity rankings to determine in what order search results are displayed. A site's popularity is determined by how many links there are to the page on other sites.

RSS (feeds)
RSS stands for 'Really Simple Syndication', 'Rich Site Summary' or 'RDF Site Summary'. RSS is often used for blogs or newsgroups and can alert users to new content which has been added to a site which they are subscribed to.

A search engine is a site which uses keywords entered by the user to display a list of sites and pages which are relevant to what they are looking for. There are many ways in which a search engine will find the sites which are most suitable and some of the most well known are Google, Yahoo and MSN.

A script is a code which is read by the browser to perform a certain function on a page. For example, a piece of text which displays the current time or date will use script to obtain the information each time the page is loaded, and most forms use script.

A server is essentially a large computer which can hold files which can be accessed via the internet or over a network. Websites are hosted on servers rather than PCs as they can be left on and user do not have to access another person's PC to view the files.

A website is a collection of pages which are displayed under one address, for example bbc.co.uk and can be accessed by anyone with an internet connection.

The URL of a site is the address which you enter into the browser in order to view a site. When a URL is entered the browser will go to the domain and locate the files which are kept at the relevant IP address and then display the site. URL's are most commonly used to view websites, but can be used for other things such as a file transfer protocol (ftp://.....) or mail server. A typical URL will look like this - http://www.sitename.com/folder/file.htm this will display the 'file' page in the 'folder' folder on the 'sitename.com' website and the browser knows how to read the document due to the http:// prefix.

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