Glossary of Website Design Terms
Following are definitions of terms related to the Internet and Web design. If some of the terms have several meanings, we are providing the meaning that is related to designing, navigating, and promoting Websites.
An autoresponder is an email address programmed to automatically send a pre-composed email message back to the sender when receiving email
A feature in some browsers that allows the browser to remember a Web address you visited and makes it easy to return to the bookmarked Web page later.
Software to view and navigate Web pages. The current popular browsers are Internet Explorer and Netscape.
CGI/Common Gateway Interface
A service that provides functionality to Websites by using scripts or programs that are executed on the server.
The name that identifies an Internet site i.e.www.fivestarwebdesign.com. The three digit suffix of a domain identifies the type of organization. A domain name ending with .com refers to a commercial Website. Domain names can also end with .net (network), .org (organization or non-profit), edu (educational), gov (government), .mil (military), .int (international), cc, and others suffixes.
FAA/Free-For-All Links Pages
Pages where you can put up free links to your Website.
FTP/File Transfer Protocol
A method to upload and download files over the Internet. You use FTP to upload your Web pages from your computer to your hosting company's computer (the server).
GIF/Graphic Interchange Format and JPG/JPEG
Image formats used in Web pages.
The main page of a Website. The home page usually provides links to other Web pages on the site.
A computer on a network that provides services to other computers on the network.. Unless you have your own server, you need a hosting company who provides a server or computer that is connected to the Internet and makes your Web pages available on the Internet.
HTML/Hyper Text Markup Language
The coding language that makes it possible to view Web pages with Web browsers such as Explorer or Netscape and allows to link text, words, and images to other pages.
HTTP/Hyper Text Transfer Protocol
A standard method of transferring data between a Web server and Web browser.
Words or blocks of text or images on Web pages that take you to another page when you click on them. Internal links take you to a different page on the same Website. External links take you to a different Website.
A network of computers that is inter-connected around the world.
The primary registration service and directory for the American part of the Internet.
IP Number/Internet Protocol Number
Every computer that is on the Internet has a unique IP number. The number consists of four parts separated by dots, e.g.126.96.36.199. Most computers also have one or more domain names that are easier to remember. Your Internet provider will tell you what number represents your Website.
ISP/Internet Service Provider/Internet Access Provider/Dial-up Provider
A company that provide Internet access.
Meta tags are parts of your HTML code. They tell search engines what your Website is about and help index your site.
Search engines are databases that catalog Web pages and lets you search for Web pages. Popular search engines include Yahoo, Infoseek, Lycos, Alta Vista, Excite, and Hotbot.
A Website that uses encryption to scramble sensitive information submitted online like credit-card numbers, and prevent unauthorized people to read it.
The computer that contains your Web pages and makes them available on the Internet. The term can also refer to software, such as a Web server or the machine the software is running on.
Spamming (Also called spamdexing)
Search engine spamming is trying to fool search engines to get a higher ranking. Examples of spamming include repeating words excessively, using keywords that are unrelated to the contents of the site, and hiding text by using the same color as the background or making the text very small. Most search engines will penalize pages that use spamming.
An automated program that searches the Internet.
SSL/Secure Socket Layer
Secure Socket Layer uses encryption to make the sensitive information you are sending readable only by the merchant you are doing business with. You usually get a message that pops up when you are entering the secure mode, and another message when going back to a non-secure mode.
Surfing the Net
Exploring the Internet with a Web browser.
URL/Uniform Resource Locator
A URL is the address of your Web page you enter into a browser such as Explorer to get to a Web page. The URL identifies a location on the Internet and looks like http://www.yourname.com/ or http://www.websitesin5.com/websitesfive/sample_sites.
WWW/World Wide Web
The graphical part of the Internet that makes it possible to view Web pages with text, graphics, sound files, and other features with a browser such as Internet Explorer or Netscape.
Glossary of Search Engine Ranking Terms
Here is a glossary of commonly used terms in the world of search engine ranking.
ALT Tag: The alternative text that the browser displays when the surfer does not want to or cannot see pictures in a Web page. Using ALT tags containing keywords can improve the search engine ranking.
Bridge Page: See Doorway Page.
Click Popularity: A measure of the relevance of sites obtained by noting which sites are clicked on most and how much time users spend in each site.
Cloaking: The process by which your site can display different pages under different circumstances. It is primarily used to show an optimized page to the search engines and a different page to humans. Most search engines will penalize a site if they discover that it is using cloaking.
Comment Tag: The text present within the tags in a web page. Most search engines will ignore the text within the Comment Tags.
Crawler: See Spider.
Directory: A site containing links to other sites which are organized into various categories. Examples of directories are Yahoo! & Open Directory.
Doorway Page: A page which has been specially created in order to get a high ranking in the search engines. Also called gateway page, bridge page, entry page etc.
Dynamic Content: Information in web pages which changes automatically, based on database or user information. Search engines will index dynamic content in the same way as static content unless the URL includes a ? mark. However, if the URL does include a ? mark, many search engines will ignore the URL.
Entry Page: See Doorway Page.
Frames: An HTML technique allowing Website designers to display two or more pages in the same browser window. Many search engines do not index framed web pages properly - they only index the text present in the NOFRAMES tag. Unless a web page which uses frames contains relevant content in the NOFRAMES tag, it is unlikely to get a high ranking in those search engines.
Gateway Page: See Doorway Page.
Hallway Page: A page containing links to various doorway pages.
Heading Tags: A paragraph style that is displayed in a large, bold typeface. Having text containing keywords in the Heading Tags can improve the search engine ranking of a page for those keywords.
Hidden Text: Text that is visible to the search engines but is invisible to humans. It is mainly accomplished by using text in the same color as the background color of the page. It is primarily used for the purpose of including extra keywords in the page without distorting the aesthetics of the page. Most search engines penalize Websites which use such hidden text.
Image Map: An image containing one or more invisible regions which are linked to other pages. If the image map is defined as a separate file, the search engines may not be able to index the pages to which that image map links. The way out is to have text hyperlinks to those pages in addition to the links from the image map. However, image maps defined within the same web page will generally not prevent search engines from indexing the other pages.
Inktomi: A database of sites used by many of the larger search engines like HotBot, MSN etc. For more information, see http://www.inktomi.com/
Keyword: A word or phrase that you type in when you are searching for information in the search engines.
Keyword Frequency: Denotes how often a keyword appears in a page or in an area of a page. In general, higher the number of times a keyword appears in a page, higher its search engine ranking. However, repeating a keyword too often in a page can lead to that page being penalized for spamming.
Keyword Prominence: Denotes how close to the start of an area of a page that a keyword appears. In general, having the keyword closer to the start of an area will lead to an improvement in the search engine ranking of a page.
Keyword Weight: Denotes the number of times a keyword appears in a page as a percentage of all the other words in the page. In general, higher the weight of a particular keyword in a page, higher will be the search engine ranking of the page for that keyword. However, repeating a keyword too often in order to increase its weight can cause the page to be penalized by the search engines.
Link Popularity: The number of sites which link to a particular site. Many search engines use link popularity as a factor in determining the search engine ranking of a Website.
Meta Description Tag: The tag present in the header of a web page which is used to provide a short description of the contents of the page. Some search engines will display the text present in the Meta Description Tag when the page appears in the results of a search. Including keywords in the Meta Description Tag can improve the search engine ranking of a page for those keywords. However, some search engines ignore the Meta Description Tag.
Meta Keywords Tag: The tag present in the header of a web page which is used to provide alternative words for the words used in the body of the page. The Meta Keywords Tag is becoming less and less important in influencing the search engine ranking of a page. Some search engines ignore the Meta Keywords tag.
Meta Refresh Tag: The tag present in the header of a web page which is used to display a different page after a few seconds. If a page displays another page too soon, most search engines will either ignore the current page and index the second page or penalize the current page for spamming.
Pay Per Click Search Engine: A search engine in which the ranking of your site is determined by the amount you are paying for each click from that search engine to your site. Examples of pay per click search engines are Overture, HootingOwl etc.
Robot: In the context of search engine ranking, it implies the same thing as Spider. In a different context, it is also used to indicate a software which visits Websites and collects email addresses to be used for sending unsolicited bulk email.
Robots.txt: A text file present in the root directory of a site which is used to control which pages are indexed by a robot. Only robots which comply with the Robots Exclusion Standard will follow the instructions contained in this file.
Search Engine: A software that searches for information and returns sites which provide that information. Examples of search engines are AltaVista, Google, Hotbot etc.
Search Engine Placement: The practice of trying to ensure that a Website obtains a high rank in the search engines. Also called search engine positioning, search engine optimization etc.
Spamdexing: See Spamming.
Spamming: Using any search engine ranking technique which causes a degradation in the quality of the results produced by the search engines. Examples of spamming include excessive repetition of a keyword in a page, optimizing a page for a keyword which is unrelated to the contents of the site, using invisible text, etc. Most search engines will penalize a page which uses spamming. Also called spamdexing. In a different context, spamming is also used to mean the practice of sending unsolicited bulk email.
Spider: A software that visits Websites and indexes the pages present in those sites. Search engines use spiders to build up their databases. Example: The spider for AltaVista is called Scooter. Stop Word: A word that often appears in pages, yet has no significance by itself. Most search engines ignore stop words while searching. Example of stop words are: and, the, of etc.
Title Tag: The contents of the Title tag is generally displayed by the browser at the top of the browser window. The search engines use the Title tag to provide a link to the sites which match the query made by the user. Having keywords in the Title tag of a page can significantly increase the search engine ranking of the page for those keywords.
Your Own DIY Website Design Toolkit
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- Attract Potential Buyers to Your Website
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- Compel Potential Buyers to Stay at Your Website with Easy Navigation
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- Increase Sales with Powerful Web Design (a Powerful Online Image)
- Avoid the Most Common Mistakes People Make With Their Website
- Generate Content for Your Website.
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- Write Powerful Copy to Increase Your Web Sales
- Increase Sales, Subscriptions, and Traffic With Action Words
- Use Power Words to Attract Potential Buyers to Your WebSite
- Use Keyword Strategies to Get Top Search-Engine Ranking
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To your success!