web design glossaryIf during your investigations into web design and hosting you come across any terminology that you don’t understand, then maybe this will help. If not then please ask.

Affiliate – A marketing method which enables a site owner to put advertising on the website and receive a commission if customer clicks on that link to buy from the merchant’s website.

Bandwidth – Bandwidth is the amount of data that can be transmitted in a given period of time. Some web hosting companies limit website bandwidth, for example a 10Gb/month limit which would mean you cannot transfer more than the set 10gb in 1 month.

CMS – A Content Management System allows someone to easily add or edit the contents of a web page often without them needing any technical knowledge.

Cookies – A small text file stored on a visitors computer usually used to identify that user to a particular website.

CSS – Cascading Style Sheets is a feature which gives web designers more control over the design of a web page. It allows content and design to be kept separate allowing small changes to the design to be made without having to make large changes to every page.

Domain – The address of an internet site. For example the domain of this site is

Flash – A technology developed by Macromedia which allows web pages to have moving animations and video.

FTP – File Transfer Protocol is a protocol for transferring files over the web. FTP is mostly used for downloading files and uploading sites to a web server.

GIF – Graphics Interchange Format is an image format which uses up to 256 colours. GIF is great for animations, buttons and diagrams that have a limited number of colours while JPEG is used for photographs.

Hosting – The files for a website have to be stored on a web server, this is referred to as hosting. Your host is the server on which the website is stored.

HTML – HyperText Markup Language is the language used to create web pages. HTML is used to structure information inside tags for exampe <h1>Heading</h1> denoted the text inside the h1 is a heading.

HTTP – HyperText Transfer Protocol is the protocol used to connect to a web server and transfer files across the inertnet.

JPG / JPEG – The most popular image compression format on the web. The name itself stands for Joint Photographic Experts Group. JPEG is at its best on photographic images while line drawings and iconic graphics are best saved as GIFs.

MySQL – MySQL is the most popular open source database in the world and is most commonly used for web applications. It has become so popular due to its speed, reliability and ease of use.

Page Rank – One of Google’s methods to measure the importance of a web page according to its popularity and links to other websites.

PHP – PHP Hypertext Preprocessor is a server-side scripting language allowing websites to contain dynamic content. Over 20 million domains use PHP making it one of the most popular scripting languages on the web.

PPC – Pay Per Click is a marketing program where you can list a series of search phrases and determine your bid price for each phrase in competition with other web sites. The more you bid the higher your placement on the search engine results for that phrase in the list of sponsored listings either at the top or to the right or under the free listings.

Reciprocal Link – An agreement between two websites to provide links to each others sites. It can provide visitors with links to other sites of a similar topic. Search engines take the amount of incoming links into consideration when ranking your site.

SEO – Search Engine Optimization is the process of optimising a site to improve the chances of it being ranked higher by a search engine, therefore increasing the amount of visitors to your site.

SERP – A Search Engine Results Page is the page returned by a search engine containing the results of your search.

Spider – A program which fetches web pages to allow them to be indexed by search engines. They crawl through the inernet by following links on a webpage.

URL – Uniform Resource Locator is the complete address of a resource or files on the world wide web. It includes the protocol, the domain and the name of the file.

W3C – The World Wide Web Consortium is an organisation whose purpose is to develop standards for the web. The W3C’s mission is “To lead the World Wide Web to its full potential by developing protocols and guidelines that ensure long-term growth for the Web”.

XHTML – eXtensible HyperText Markup Language is a markup language which builds upon HTML but is a lot stricter and requires code to be syntactically correct. XHTML can be thought of as a mixture of HTML and XML.

XML – eXtensible Markup Language provides a text-based means to describe and apply a tree-based structure to information, allowing data to be easily shared across networks and the internet.