Understanding Web Related Terminology

  • Internet – This is the global network of networks. It really isn’t a single entity at all, but each of its many parts uses the same TCP/IP protocol to make sure that information flows easily between the parts.
  • Browsers – A browser is a computer program that is used to access the Internet (to view web pages). A browser may also be used to download files, send and receive email or short messages across the internet. Commonly used browsers include: Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE), Firefox (Mozilla), Opera, Safari (Macintosh).
  • URL – This is an abbreviation for Uniform Resource Locator. Documents on the Web all have their own URL or address. As the popularity of the Web explodes, you’ll find URL’s everywhere — in commercials, on billboards, on business cards, and even in .sig files. Here’s an example of a URL: http://www.ualr.edu/ . The “http” is a common prefix in these addresses and stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol.
  • address bar, address field – The address bar is the input field at the top of the browser window that displays the location (URL) of the current web page. The address bar can also be used to enter a new web page location.
  • domain name – Computers on the Internet are assigned domain names. Think of it like the computer’s telephone number or street address. Every domain name has a suffix which signifies what sort of entity it is. For example, most business addresses end with a .com (pronounced “dot-com”), and universities have a .edu suffix.
  • web page – This is what we call a hypertext document on the Web . Each web page has its own URL .
  • web site – This is either a single web page or a collection of them. Multiple pages in a site are linked together with hyperlinks .
  • web accessibility – Web accessibility is about enabling equal access to online content and services for all people, including those with visual and mobility impairment.
  • Hyperlink –When browsing through a web page, you may find that certain words appear in a different color or are underlined. By clicking on these words, you’ll be taken in a new direction — to a different part of the document that explains or expands on the term, or to a destination elsewhere on the Net. Images can be hyper linked, too.
  • Navigation – Navigation is both the system(s) that a visitor can use to move around a web site (global navigation, breadcrumb trails, related links, pagination (previous/next page), footer navigation, etc.) and the visual manifestation of such systems (hyper linked text, tabs, buttons, etc.)
  • HTML – Short for HyperText Markup Language, this is the language or marking system people use to create hypertext documents like web pages.
  • Tags(code) – In X(HTML) code, tags provide the syntax for defining (marking-up) the beginning and end of elements. How content is marked-up defines;
    • the content’s location within the web page document structure (by virtue of its relationship to other elements),
    • the type of content, ideally, but not necessarily, related to its meaning, and
    • how the content will be displayed (rendered) by a browser
  • CSS – The Cascading Style Sheets specification is a computer language that is used to write formatting instructions (rules). These rules tell a browser how web page content should ‘look’— in terms of:
    • layout – position, alignment, width, height, etc.
    • style – typeface, font-weight, color, border, etc.
  • JavaScript – JavaScript is a client-side scripting language. It is often used to supplement the standard browser GUI elements (such as pull down menus, check boxes and buttons) to create more sophisticated interface elements.
  • FTP – Short for File Transfer Protocol, this is the Internet service used to move files from one computer to another or from one network to another.
  • Download – The Internet is full of files (applications, graphics, sound clips, and more) available for you to use, but first you have to move them onto your hard drive. Downloading is the process of moving files from the Internet into your computer.
  • Bandwidth – This is the capacity of a network, the “room” it has to carry data signals. Bandwidth becomes a crucial issue when one tries to send and receive high-intensity graphics, video, and sound files over the Net.
  • Upload – If you create a file on your home computer and want to post it to the web, you need to upload it first. See download , which is just the reverse.
  • content management system (CMS)A (web) content management system allows a number of people to maintain a website using a simple web-browser-based interface (instead of manually authoring webpages). Content management systems generally consist of a number of templates corresponding to standard ‘types’ of information, e.g.
  • Blog – A blog (a contraction of the term “weblog”) is a type of website, usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order. “Blog” can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog.
  • API – (application programming interface) is typically a defined set of Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) request messages along with a definition of the structure of response messages, usually expressed in an Extensible Markup Language (XML) or JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) format. While “Web API” is virtually a synonym for web service
  • Mashup – a web page or application that combines data or functionality from two or more external sources to create a new service. The term mashup implies easy, fast integration, frequently using open APIs and data sources to produce results that were not the original reason for producing the raw source data. An example of a mashup is the use of cartographic data to add location information to real estate data, thereby creating a new and distinct Web service that was not originally provided by either source. Examples 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5
  • RSS – a family of web feed formats used to publish frequently updated works—such as blog entries, news headlines, audio, and video—in a standardized format. – Google Reader
  • Responsive Web Design (RWD) is an approach to web design in which a site is crafted to provide an optimal viewing experience—easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling—across a wide range of devices (from desktop computer monitors to mobile phones).

Image & Video Formats

  • .jpeg or .jpg – This is a compression standard for graphic files developed by the Joint Photographic Experts Group.
  • .gif – Short for Graphics Interchange Format, a .gif is a way to encode color graphics for easy transfer over networks. Supports transparency.
  • .png – Stands for Portable Network Graphics format, and is generally pronounced “ping.” PNG is used for lossless compression and displaying images on the web. The advantages of PNG is that it supports images with millions of colors and produces background transparency without jagged edges. The disadvantages are that PNG images are not supported in older browsers (IE6).
  • .svg – Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) is a family of specifications of an XML-based file format for describing two-dimensional vector graphics, both static and dynamic (i.e. interactive or animated).