Glossary of Internet Terms

Access (Microsoft Access)

Microsoft Office Access, previously known as Microsoft Access, is a database management system from Microsoft that combines the Microsoft Jet Database Engine with a graphical user interface and software-development tools.


ActiveX is a framework for defining reusable software components in a programming-language independent way. Software applications can be composed from one or more of these ActiveX components in order to provide their functionality.




AdSense is an advertisement application run by Google Inc. Website owners can enroll in this program to allow text, image, and video advertisements from other sites, on their website. These advertisements are administered by Google and generate revenue for website owners on either a per-click or per-impression basis.


The opposite of AdSense. Google AdWords enables companies and individuals to promote their own products on other sites on a cost per click (CPC) basic. The advertiser needs to specify the keywords, locations, and demographics he wants to target, and how much he is willing to pay for each click.

AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML)

AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) is a group of interrelated web development techniques used to create interactive web applications.


A special kind of in-page link which points to a specific element on a web page, rather than to the default top of page.


An Internet server software package which runs on UNIX or Linux. Judged by insurance companies to be more secure than Microsoft Internet Information server.


Java’s programming code that is composed of many small, reusable chunks. Applets is short for applications. Each chuck is like a small application. Applets allow for quicker transfer over the Internet, enabling many programs to become interactive.

ASP (Active Server Pages)

ASP.NET is a web application framework developed and marketed by Microsoft to allow programmers to build dynamic web sites, web applications and web services. It is a programming language similar to PHP, C+/C++, C# and others.

Address Bar

An address bar (also location bar or URL bar) is the bar or widget (usually at the top) of a web browser that either reflects the current Website URL or accepts typing-in a target website URL.


The measure employed to ensure that the user or computer requesting access to an online system is what or who it claims to be, and to prevent unauthorized access by using passwords, authentication certificates, or other identification devices.

Auto Responder

An email address that is set up to automatically reply to the sender with a previously prepared response.

Availability (Uptime)

Uptime is the amount of time that a server has stayed up and running. This is usually listed as a percentage, like “99.9% uptime.” Uptime is a measure of how well a Web hosting provider is doing at keeping their systems up and running.


A backup or the process of backing up refers to making copies of data so that these additional copies may be used to restore the original in the event the data has been lost or corrupted.


Bandwidth, network bandwidth, data bandwidth or digital bandwidth, is a bit-rate measure of how much data is being communicated (for instance, how many visitors load your page, how much data is used to stream a video, or upload and download files on your site). The transfer of data on your site is measured in bits/second or multiples of it (Bytes, Megabytes etc).

Bit (Binary Digit)

A bit or binary digit is the smallest unit of measurement in computing and telecommunications. There are 8 bits in a Byte.

Blog (Web Log)

An increasingly popular form of online marketing that involves frequent, informative, and often opinion based posts. A blog acts as an easy-to-update journal, without requiring knowledge of HTML to update and manage. Some Blogging Platforms include WordPress, Blogger, Posterous, etc.


Similar to a real-life bookmark, an Internet bookmark acts as a marker for a Web site. (In Internet Explorer, they’re called ‘Favorites’.) When using a Web browser, you can save or bookmark sites to easily return to the URL later.

Bounce Rate

Bounce rate is an Internet marketing term used in web traffic analysis. It represents the percentage of visitors who enter the site and “bounce” (leave the site) rather than continue viewing other pages within the same site.


See Web Browser

Byte (Binary Term)

A unit of measurement in computing and telecommunications. There are 8 Bits in a Byte. There are 1024 Bytes in a KiloByte.

C+/++ and C# (C SHARP)

C Plus, C Plus Plus and C SHARP are object-oriented (class-based) programming languages. They were developed by Microsoft to work within its .NET framework.

Cache (or Browser Cache)

To speed up surfing the web, browsers store recently used pages on your computer’s disk. If a site is revisited, browsers display pages from the disk instead of requesting them from the server repeatedly. If an update to your website isn’t showing up, you may need to clear your browser’s cache, to force the browser to re-request the pages from the server instead of your local machine.

CGI (Common Gateway Interface)

A Common Gateway Interface script acts as a translator for the data flowing from your web server, turning it into a readable, interactive web page or email.

Chat Server / Software

A chat server is a computer dedicated to providing the processing power to handle and maintain chat rooms and their users.

CTR (Clickthrough Rate)

Clickthrough rate or CTR is a way of measuring the success of an online advertising campaign. A CTR is obtained by dividing the “number of users who clicked on an ad” on a web page by the “number of times the ad was delivered.


Another name for a Web Browser.

CMS (Content Management System)

A Content Management System is a user friendly system that allows website owners and administrators to edit text and images, upload files, insert links, add new pages and generally manage the content on their website without knowing HTML or other web languages. Some examples of CMS’ are WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, etc.


ColdFusion is a complete Web application server for developing and delivering scalable e-business applications.

Control Panel

A Control panel in web hosting refers to the web based interface provided by the hosting company for management of hosted services such as Website, Databases, Emails, etc. Spastic Ghost uses cPanel as the control panel for managing your hosting, domains and website. As a general term, control panels allows you to control features of software or hardware.


Information stored on a user’s computer by a Web site so preferences are remembered on future requests. For instance, login information, sign-ups, downloads, locations, etc.

CSS (Cascading Style Sheets)

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) is a stylesheet language used to determine the presentation (the look and formatting) of an HTML document. Stylesheets separate the design of your site, from the content.


Data in a structured format stored on a web server. Most popular type is a relational database. The most common query (information retrieval) language for relational databases is SQL. Databases are needed to store information for many types of CMS‘.

Data Transfer

In Web hosting, the total size of files transferred by an account in a month. Also referred to as Bandwidth.

Distributed Denial of Service Attack (DDoS)

A distributed denial of service attack (DDoS) occurs when multiple compromised systems flood the bandwidth or resources of a targeted system, usually a web server(s).

Dedicated Server

A single server dedicated to a single customer. Most websites are served by a Shared Server, but sites that require lots of disk space or data transfer, as well as sites that are database intensive or have specific software requirements may need a dedicated server.

Disk Space

The storage capacity for images, HTML files, audio files, video files, graphics, etc. A Web site planning to have a large amount of pages and/or planning to use a lot of images (or other large files) will need a greater amount of disk space.

DOM (Document Object Model)

The storage capacity for images, HTML files, audio files, video files, graphics, etc. A Web site planning to have a large amount of pages and/or planning to use a lot of images (or other large files) will need a greater amount of disk space.


A domain or, domain name is used to identify specific websites (much like a phone number is unique, domains must be unique too). The domain is also used in the URL (Uniform Resource Locator) to access a specific site.

Hosting is separate from domains. You can have a registered domain, but without hosting (or space) to put your website files, you will not have a website.

Domain Forwarding

Domain forwarding (or domain redirect) is the technique of making your web pages available and accessible under multiple domains and URLs.

Domain Parking

Domain parking is the registration of an Internet domain name without using it for services such as e-mail or a website. This may be done to reserve the domain name for future development, or to prevent others from registering and using the domain.

Domain Name Registration

The process of taking ownership of a domain name. Registrations are processed by dozens of registrars approved by ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers). Spastic Ghost registers domains through ENOM.

DNS (Domain Name System)

Short for Domain Name System (or Service or Server), an Internet service that translates domain names into IP addresses. Because domain names are alphabetic, they’re easier to remember. The Internet however, is really based on IP addresses. Every time you use a domain name, therefore, a DNS service must translate the name into the corresponding IP address.

Email Client

A computer program used to read and send email. Popular email clients include Outlook, Outlook Express, Eudora, Mozilla Thunderbird and Apple Mail.

Email POP (post office protocol)

An E-mail POP (post office protocol) account is the actual E-mail box located on the server for which the email address was made. When E-mail is sent to a POP account, the mail is stored on the server until the user accesses it with their E-mail Client and downloads it.


The activity of converting data or information into code.


A popular multimedia platform, most often used for adding animation and interactivity to webpages.


A web form on a web page allows a user to enter data that is sent to a server for processing. Web forms resemble paper forms because internet users fill out the forms using checkboxes, radio buttons, or text fields. Forms can be used to gather and store, send or organize information for newsletters, blog comments, email contacts and more.


An Internet forum, or message board, is an online discussion site where people can hold conversations in the form of posted messages.


A Microsoft application that allows you to edit your web page files in WYSIWYG (what-you-see-is-what-you-get) format, rather than using HTML code. cPanel provides FrontPage extensions, so you can publish your site using FrontPage, allowing you to skip the FTP process.

FTP (File Transfer Protocol)

File transfer protocol is the protocol that allows users to copy files between their local system and a network. An FTP Client such as FileZilla makes FTP transfer of your website files possible.

GB (Gigabyte)

A unit of measurement in computing and telecommunications. There are 1024 Megabytes in a Gigabyte.


The number of visits to a web page receives. This is how many times a page has been viewed, not the number of visitors (as a visitor may “hit” a page multiple times).


The main page of your site. The first page people see when they visit your website. This may also be referred to as your index page.

Host / Hosting / Web Host

A web host is a company that provides space on a server / servers to “Host” their clients website. Hosting is the selling of the space on a server where websites will reside.

Hosting is separate from domains. You can have a registered domain, but without hosting (or space) to put your website files, you will not have a website.

HTML (Hypertext Markup Language)

HTML, which stands for HyperText Markup Language, is a language (or code) for web pages. It is written in the form of HTML elements consisting of “tags” surrounded by angle brackets within the web page content. It is the building block of all websites.

HTTP (Hypertext transfer Protocol)

Hypertext Transfer (or Transport) Protocol, the data transfer protocol used on the World Wide Web.


This is the same thing as HTTP except the HTTPS protocol performs the encryption and decryption at both ends of a transmission on a specific Web document making HTTPS sites more secure.

Clients who accept payments or personal information on their website, should have a secured SSL certificate to run their site through the HTTPS protocol.


A link from a one web page file or document to another page or file, typically activated by clicking on a highlighted word or image. The same as “Link.”

IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol)

IMAP is a method that allows computer email programs to access emails stored on a mail server, much like POP. However, IMAP is more advanced because it also allows you to create, delete, and rename mailboxes, check for incoming messages, search for specific emails, and make other changes to your email box. IMAP accounts will not automatically delete email from your server like POP.

Index Page

See Homepage

IP Address

Method or protocol by which data is sent from one computer to another on the Internet. Each computer (known as a host) on the Internet has at least one IP address that uniquely identifies it from all other computers on the Internet.

ISP (Internet Service Provider)

An Internet service provider (ISP), also sometimes referred to as an Internet access provider (IAP), is a company that offers its customers access to the Internet.


A scripting programming language most commonly used to add interactive features to webpages


Java is a programming language originally developed by Sun Microsystems (which is now a subsidiary of Oracle Corporation) and released in 1995 as a core component of Sun Microsystems’ Java platform.


jQuery is a cross-browser JavaScript library designed to simplify the client-side scripting of HTML.

KB (Kilobyte)

A unit of measurement in computing and telecommunications. There are 1024 Bytes in a Kilobyte. There are 1024 Kilobytes in a Megabyte.


Keywords are what people type into search engines to find a particular product, service or information.

Keywords are the building blocks for optimizing a website, and play a very important role in helping people find your website.

Though keywords used to be defined in the meta data of a page, search engines now determine keywords organically, based off of the content, links and text within a page.

LAN (Local Area Network)

A local area network (LAN) is a computer network covering a small physical area, like a home, office, or small groups of buildings


See Hyperlink

Mailing List

An electronic mailing list is a special usage of email that allows for emailing to large groups of addresses without having to use CC or BCC fields (it also prevents users receiving email from being able to view other email addresses the message was sent to).

MB (Megabyte)

A unit of measurement in computing and telecommunications. There are 1024 Kilobytes in a Megabyte. There are 1024 Megabytes in a Gigabyte (or Gig).

Meta Data (or Meta Tags)

Data that describes the content of other data. On a Web Page Meta data is described using Meta tags. For example, Titles and descriptions about what is in the page. Search Engines use the title and description meta data to show users information about the page before they visit it. The Keywords Meta tag is outdated in most Search Engines (See Keyword, but Titles and Descriptions are still used.


A computer running a program that converts domain names into appropriate IP addresses and vice versa.

ODBC (Open DataBase Connectivity)

Open DataBase Connectivity (ODBC), a standard database access method developed by the SQL Access group in 1992. The goal of ODBC is to make it possible to access any data from any application, regardless of which database management system (DBMS) is handling the data.

OS (Operating System)

An operating system (OS) is a collection of software that manages computer hardware resources and provides common services for computer programs. Some examples include Windows 7, Windows XP and Mac OS X.

Perl (Practical Extraction and Report Language)

Known for its ability to process text, Perl is a useful language for web applications. Perl applications are commonly found as .pl, .pm, and .cgi files and may require Perl modules. Perl modules can be installed within cPanel.

PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor)

PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor) is a widely used, general-purpose scripting language that was originally designed for web development to produce dynamic web pages. Many popular Content Management Systems such as WordPress, Drupal and Joomla us PHP.

POP (Post Office Protocol)

POP stands for Post Office Protocol. POP is a standard protocol for sending and receiving email. The emails are received and held on your internet server until you pick it up with a with your email client program. Unlike IMAP, emails are removed from your server once they have been accessed.

Redirect (Page Redirects or URL Redirects)

A background link that sends site visitors to another URL or page. Redirects can be used legitimately, to redirect visitors when a page or url has changed locations.


A company that is able to register “.com,” “.net,” “.org,” or other domain names by directly accessing the Central Domain Name Database. ENOM is a registrar used by Spastic Ghost.

Root Server

In DNS, a server whose zone consists of the whole tree. A root server usually does not store any information about domains but delegates its authority to other servers, keeping references to those servers.

Ruby on Rails

Ruby on Rails, often shortened to Rails or RoR, is an open source web application framework for the Ruby programming language. It is intended to be used with an Agile development methodology that is used by web developers for rapid development.

Search Engine

A web search engine is designed to search for information on the World Wide Web. The search results are generally presented in a list of results and are often called hits. The information may consist of web pages, images, information and other types of files.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

The use of various techniques to improve a web site’s ranking in the search engines and thus attract more visitors.


A computer or computer program that manages access to a centralized resource or service in a network.

Shell Account

Something experienced computer users often request. Permits you to edit your files online in real-time, rather than making changes to your site offline and then uploading the changes.

Shopping Cart Software

Software that allows users (customers) of a Web site to add and delete items into an online “shopping cart” and then proceed to purchase the item(s). A shopping cart is an essential component for most e-commerce Web sites, as it allows users to browse for and purchase products online. Some examples of online shopping carts include osCommerce and Magento.


Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) is an Internet standard for electronic mail (e-mail) transmission across your Internet Protocol (IP).


Sending unsolicited messages, indiscriminately to (large numbers of email recipients) on the Internet.

Spider / Web Crawler

Search Engines regularly Spider, or Crawl websites in order to index (store information about) sites and pages across the entire World Wide Web. Search Engines maintain records of sites and pages so users can search for them later.

SSI (Server Side Includes)

Server Side Includes are files that have some commonly used code that can be reused by many pages in your site. For example, you might have a web site with links at the top, bottom and sides common to all pages. The scripts are often written in Perl, PHP, ASP and more.

SSL Certificate

An SSL certificate (Secure Socket Layer Certificate) is a virtual certificate that is assigned to a domain or hosting account and allows information that has been entered into the website by a user (for example credit card information) to be securely encrypted before it is sent to the receiving.


A detailed report on the performance of a webpage or a website in terms of hits generated, visitors attracted and referrals got, plus many more factors. It is usually provided by the web host of your website, but can also be generated for free, through Google Analytics.


Streaming content or streaming media enables users to get immediate access and not have to wait until the file is done downloading. Often, if a user has a fast enough connection, the streaming content starts within a few seconds after clicking a link. Online radio stations and YouTube videos are both good examples of streaming content.

Sub Domain

When you sign up for hosting, you can run several websites from this one account. The first domain name you sign up with is going to be the name of your account, but within that account you can create folders that contain the files for completely separate websites, called subdomains.


Short for Transmission Control Protocol, an important network protocol. TCP allows two hosts to connect and exchange data, and ensures that “data packets” are delivered exactly as sent.

TLS (Transport Layer Security)

Transport Layer Security (TLS) and its predecessor, Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), are cryptographic protocols that provide security for communications over networks such as the Internet.


UNIX is a trademarked name that refers to the operating system most often used by web servers, and is popular because of its portability, its use of plain text, and its time-sharing configuration for multiple users.

URL (Uniform Resource Location)

Uniform (or universal) resource locator, the address of a World Wide Web page, usually defined by the domain name.

Virtual Server

A web server which shares its resources with multiple users. It’s another way of saying that multiple web sites share the resources of one server.

Visual Basic

A Microsoft programming language descended from earlier versions of BASIC. Visual BASIC is a Windows-specific version of BASIC with many added “bells and whistles” to allow developers to create GUI Windows applications.

Web Browser

A program on your computer, used to view HTML documents or Websites. Some examples include Firefox, Internet Explorer, Chrome, etc.


Most registries maintain a database of domain names and their associated contact information. Users can query these databases through a program called Whois.

XML (Extensible Markup Language)

Short for Extensible Markup Language. XML is a language allowing developers to create their own markup tags. All XML tags are defined by the programmer, and can be interpreted differently in different applications.


The ZIP file format is a data compression and archive format. A ZIP file contains one or more files that have been compressed to reduce file size.

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