Glossary of Internet Terms

January 22, 2018 by AbleSpark

The Internet seems to conjure new phrases and acronyms out of thin air these days. Just when you thought you had a firm grasp on new terms, another batch confronts you and challenges everything you thought you knew. What’s worse is that the definitions are sometimes so subtly different that you can easily mix them up or misapply them.

We thought we’d create a handy, frequently-updated glossary[1] for your convenience. Please, feel free to let us know if we’re missing anything and we’ll add it to the list.

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)

Cascading style sheets are [a style sheet language] used to format the layout of Web pages. They can be used to define text styles, table sizes, and other aspects of Web pages that previously could only be defined in a page’s HTML.

Content Management System (CMS)

A CMS is a software tool that allows you to create, edit, and publish content. While early CMS software was used to manage documents and local computer files, most CMS systems are now designed exclusively to manage content on the Web.

The goal of a CMS is to provide an intuitive user interface for building and modifying webpage content. Each CMS also provides a web publishing tool that allows one or more users to publish updates live on the Web.

CMS examples: WordPress, Joomla, Drupa, SquareSpace, etc.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

CRM refers to solutions and strategies for managing businesses’ relationships with customers (e.g. Highrise).

Hypertext Markup Link (HTML)

HTML is the language used to create webpages. “Hypertext” refers to the hyperlinks that an HTML page may contain. “Markup language” refers to the way tags are used to define the page layout and elements within the page.

Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP)

HTTP is the protocol used to transfer data over the web. It is part of the Internet protocol suite and defines commands and services used for transmitting webpage data.

HTTP uses a server-client model. A client, for example, may be a home computer, laptop, or mobile device. The HTTP server is typically a web host running web server software, such as Apache or IIS. When you access a website, your browser sends a request to the corresponding web server and it responds with an HTTP status code. If the URL is valid and the connection is granted, the server will send your browser the webpage and related files.

Google is now marking websites that have not been upgraded to HTTPS as “not secure”, and will eventually add a red triangle that warns viewers to be wary. AbleSpark can update your website from http to https easily. To make sure your data is secure and your website is not being flagged, get in touch.

Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS)

HTTPS is the same thing as HTTP, but uses [transport layer security (TSL)] for security purposes. Websites that use the standard HTTP protocol transmit and receive data in an unsecured manner. This means it is possible for someone to eavesdrop on the data being transferred between the user and the Web server.

Google is now marking websites that have not been upgraded to HTTPS as “not secure”, and will eventually add a red triangle that warns viewers to be wary. AbleSpark can update your website from http to https easily. To make sure your data is secure and your website is not being flagged, get in touch.

IP Address

An IP address, or simply an “IP,” is a unique address that identifies a device on the Internet or a local network. It allows a system to be recognized by other systems connected via the Internet protocol.

Pay-Per-Click (PPC)

PPC [is online] advertisements [used to] generate revenue for Web publishers each time a visitor clicks on an ad.

Protocol

When computers communicate with each other, there needs to be a common set of rules and instructions that each computer follows. A specific set of communication rules is called a protocol (e.g. HTTPS).

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO involves a number of adjustments to the HTML of individual Web pages to achieve a high search engine ranking. [For example], the title is the most important part of SEO, since it tells the search engine exactly what the page is about. [META tags are also important and include descriptions and keywords which are read by search engines.]

AbleSpark does its due diligence and follows SEO standards when developing Websites. Our focus is on ensuring your website can be correctly indexed by search engines such as Google.

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)

SSL [was] a (now prohibited) secure protocol developed for sending information securely over the Internet. It encryptI[ed] the data being transmitted so that a third party [could not] “eavesdrop” on the transmission and view the data being transmitted. Only the user’s computer and the secure server are able to recognize the data.

Server

A server is a computer that provides data to other computers. It may serve data to systems on a local area network (LAN) or a wide area network (WAN) over the Internet.

AbleSpark can host your website on our very own WAN servers.

Social Media Marketing (SMM)

SMM refers to marketing done through social media or social networking websites [which] provides a low cost way for businesses to reach large numbers of users and gain brand recognition It is typically used to supplement other online marketing methods (like SEO) rather than replace them.

Transport Layer Security (TLS)[2]

TLS and its predecessor, Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), which is now prohibited from use by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) – are cryptographic protocols that provide communications security over a computer network.

Uniform Resource Locator (URL)

A URL is the address of a specific webpage or file on the Internet (e.g. https://www.ablespark.com).

  1. “https” is the URL prefix, which specifies the protocol used to access the location
  2. “ablespark.com” is the server name or IP address of the server
  3. “/blog/glossary” is the path to the directory or file

Web Application

A web application or “web app” is a software program that runs on a web server. Unlike traditional desktop applications, which are launched by your operating system, web apps must be accessed through a web browser.

Web apps have several advantages over desktop applications. Since they run inside web browsers, developers do not need to develop web apps for multiple platforms. For example, a single application that runs in Chrome will work on both Windows and OS X. Developers do not need to distribute software updates to users when the web app is updated. By updating the application on the server, all users have access to the updated version.

From a user standpoint, a web app may provide a more consistent user interface across multiple platforms because the appearance is dependent on the browser rather than the operating system. Additionally, the data you enter into a web app is processed and saved remotely. This allows you to access the same data from multiple devices, rather than transferring files between computer systems.

AbleSpark is able to build many types of custom Web Applications for your business.

Web Design

Web design is the process of creating websites. It encompasses several different aspects, including webpage layout, content production, and graphic design. While the terms web design and web development are often used interchangeably, web design is technically a subset of the broader category of web development.

AbleSpark is a web developer that also does web design. If you want a Website that both functions well and is attractively designed, we can help.

Web Development

Web development refers to building, creating, and an maintaining websites. It includes aspects such as web design, web publishing, web programming, and database management.

AbleSpark is a web developer that also does web design. If you want a Website that both functions well and is attractively designed, we can help.

Web Hosting

A host is a computer that is accessible over a network. In order to publish a website online, you need a Web host [a.k.a server]. The Web host stores all the pages of your website and makes them available to computers connected to the Internet. If you want to publish your own website, you’ll need to sign up for a “Web hosting service.”

AbleSpark offers Managed Hosting, which goes a step further. First, we have our own servers that we manage in-house. Second, we perform regular updates and maintenance to your website rather than just letting it sit, vulnerable and unprotected from hackers, incompatibilities, errors, and other issues that can take your website down or leak private information.


[1] Defintions (in italics) from TechTerms
[2] Wikipedia