Melbourne Website Design

Internet Glossary

A list of terms that you may or may not be familiar with, that are used across the IT and website design industries.


Applet – A small Java program which allows a file or Web page to display animation, calculators, sound effects or other interactive functions.

Bandwidth – The rate at which information travels through a network connection, usually measured in bits per second, kilobits (thousand bits) per second, or megabits (million bits) per second.

Bit – The smallest element of computerized data. A full text page in English is about 16,000 bits. (See also “Byte”)

Blacklist – A list of “bad” email addresses (spam) or inappropriate Web sites.

Blog – Short for Web log. A blog is a Web site to which one or more people post their personal observations on particular subjects. Postings to blogs typically are frequent and consistent.

Bookmark – A file within a browser in which an Internet user can save the addresses of interesting or frequently used Web sites, so that they are readily available for re-use.

Browser – A program that allows a user to find, view, hear, and interact with material on the World Wide Web. Firefox, Safari and Internet Explorer are examples of popular browsers.

Byte – A unit of measure of computer memory. A byte generally represents one character, such as “A,” and is made up of eight bits. (See also “Bit”)

Cache – A file on the hard drive in which a Web browser stores information such as addresses, text, and graphics from recently visited Web sites, making it easier and faster for the user to revisit a site.

Chat – A feature offered by many online services or Web sites that allows participants to “chat” by typing messages which are displayed almost instantly on the screens of other users who are in the same chat room.

Content – The actual text of a communication or information sent. Includes text of e-mails, bulletin board postings, chat room communications, files and graphics. Content does not include routing information, the date, time, or subject of the message, or other transactional data.

Data Mining (also see Online Profiling)– The practice of compiling information about Internet users by tracking their motions through Web sites, recording the time they spend there, what links they clink on and other details that the company desires, usually for marketing purposes.

Default – a setting automatically chosen by a program or machine that remains until the user specifies another setting.

Directories – Indexes of Web sites, organized by subject, like Yellow Pages, Local Pages etc.

Direct marketing –  is a sub-discipline and type of marketing. There are two main definitional characteristics which distinguish it from other types of marketing. The first is that it attempts to send its messages directly to consumers, without the use of intervening media. This involves commercial communication (direct mail, e-mail, telemarketing) with consumers or businesses, usually unsolicited. The second characteristic is that it is focused on driving a specific “call-to-action.” This aspect of direct marketing involves an emphasis on trackable, measurable positive (but not negative) responses from consumers (known simply as “response” in the industry) regardless of medium.

Discussion group – Online area, like an electronic bulletin board, where users can read and add or “post” comments about a specific topic.

Domain name – Domain names are the alphabetic names used to refer to computers on the Internet. A Web site address, including a suffix such as .com,, .org, .gov, or .edu. The suffix indicates what type of organization is hosting the site.
•    * com – Originally stood for “commercial,” to indicate a site that could be used for private, commercial purposes, but now the best well known top level domain, and used for a wide variety of sites
•    * net – Originally intended for site related to the Internet itself, but now used for a wide variety of sites
•    * edu – Use for educational institutions like universities
•    * org – Originally intended for non-commercial “organizations,” but organizations now used for a wide variety of sites
•    * gov – Used for US Government sites
•    * mil – Used for US Military sites
•    *info- is about information for everyone, everywhere. There are no restrictions for  .info
•    * int – Used by “International” sites, usually NATO sites
•    * –  is a new ending designed specifically and only for Australian individuals. An domain name reflects two important qualities – being Australian and being individual.
•    * – Alternate domain name ending choice for Australian businesses – useful if your preferred name has already been registered in the domain name space but you still wish to trade online under that name
•    * – is the most frequently used domain name ending for Australian businesses, and about 80% of all offical Australian domain names end in
•    * – You can register anything with an ending, subject to availability. Unlike and, there are no restrictions
•    * – A special name ending available only to registered Australian associations, clubs, sporting groups, political parties and close equivalents.
(See also “URL”)

Download – to transfer (copy) files from one computer to another. “Download” can also mean viewing a Web site, or material on a Web server, with a Web browser. (See also “Upload”)
E-mail (Electronic Mail) – Messages sent through an electronic (computer) network to specific groups or individuals. Though e-mail is generally text, users can attach files that include graphics, sound, and video.

Email Marketing – is a form of direct marketing which uses electronic mail as a means of communicating commercial or fundraising messages to an audience. In its broadest sense, every e-mail sent to a potential or current customer could be considered e-mail marketing.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) – Pages which list and answer the questions most often asked about a Web site, newsgroup, etc. The FAQ page often provides useful information for a new user of a Web site, mailing list, discussion group, or product.

File Sharing – Accessing files on one computer from a different computer

FTP – (File Transfer Protocol) – A way of transferring files over the Internet from one computer to another.

Hit – A hit is a request to a web server for a file (web page, image, JavaScript, Cascading Style Sheet, etc.). When a web page is uploaded from a server the number of “hits” or “page hits” is equal to the number of files requested. Therefore, one page load does not always equal one hit because often pages are made up of other images and other files which stack up the number of hits counted. Because one page load does not equal one hit it is an inaccurate measure of a website’s popularity or web traffic. A more accurate measure of web traffic is how many page views a web site has. Hits are useful when evaluating the requirements of your server, depending on the number and size of files which need to be transferred for one request. Servers should be tested to make sure they meet throughput targets (i.e. they should be capable of processing a certain amount of ‘hits’ per second).

Home page – The first page on a Web site, which introduces the site and provides the means of navigation.

HTML(Hypertext Markup Language)
– The coded format language used for creating hypertext documents on the World Wide Web and controlling how Web pages appear.

HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) – The standard language that computers connected to the World Wide Web use to communicate with each other.

Hyperlink – An image or portion of text on a Web page that is linked to another Web page, either on the same site or in another Web site. Clicking on the link will take the user to another Web page, or to another place on the same page. Words or phrases which serve as links are underlined, or appear in a different color, or both. Images that serve as links have a border around them, or they change the cursor to a little hand as it passes over them. (See also “Links”)

IM or Instant Message – IM (Instant Message) – Technology similar to that of chat rooms, which notifies a user when a friend is online, allowing them to “converse” by exchanging text messages.

Internet – A global connection of computer networks, also referred to as the “Net,” which share a common addressing scheme. (See also “World Wide Web”)

Internet marketing – also referred to as i-marketing, web marketing, online marketing, or eMarketing, is the marketing of products, or, services over the Internet.
The Internet has brought many unique benefits to marketing, one being the lower costs and greater capabilities for the distribution of information and media to a global audience. The interactive nature of Internet marketing, both, in terms of providing instant response and eliciting responses, is a unique quality of the medium. Internet marketing is sometimes considered to have a broader scope because it not only refers to digital media, such as, the Internet, e-mail, and wireless media, but also it includes management of digital customer data and electronic customer relationship management (ECRM) systems. Internet marketing ties together creative and technical aspects of the Internet including design, development, advertising, and sales.

Intranet – A private network inside a company or organization, which uses software like that used on the Internet, but is for internal use only, and is not accessible to the public. Companies use Intranets to manage projects, provide employee information, distribute data and information, etc.

IP (Internet Protocol) – The computer language that allows computer programs to communicate over the Internet.

IP Address (or IP number) – A set of four numbers, each between zero and 255, separated by periods (eg: The IP address uniquely identifies a computer or other hardware device (such as a printer) on the Internet.

Java -A computer programming language invented by Sun Microsystems. Using Java, Web developers create small programs called “applets” that allow Web pages to include animations, calculators, scrolling text, sound effects and games. (See also “Applet”)

Keyword – A word that is entered into the search form or search “window” of an Internet search engine to search the Web for pages or sites about or including the keyword and information related to it.

Link – A word, phrase, or image highlighted in a hypertext document to act as a navigation aid to related information. Links may be indicated with an underline, a color contrast, or a border.

Mailing list – An E-mail-based discussion forum dedicated to a topic of interest. An interested Internet user can subscribe to a mailing list by sending an e-mail message that contains appropriate instructions to a specific e-mail address. The computer that houses the mailing list program maintains a list of subscribers and routes all posted messages to subscribers’ electronic mailboxes. Mailing lists are either publicly and privately maintained, and can either be moderated or unmoderated.

Memes – an idea, behavior or style that spreads from person to person within a culture

Multimedia – Information presented in more than one format, such as text, audio, video, graphics, and images.

Netiquette – The informal rules of Internet courtesy, enforced exclusively by other Internet users.

Newsgroups – Discussion groups on the Internet (not on the Web, which is only one area of the Internet). Newsgroups are classified by subject matter and do not necessarily deal with journalism or “news.” Health, hobbies, celebrities, and cultural events are the subjects of many newsgroups. Participants in a newsgroup conduct discussions by posting messages for others to read, and responding to the messages posted by others.

Online Profiling – The practice of aggregating information about consumers’ preferences and interests, gathered primarily by tracking their online movements and actions, with the purpose of creating targeted advertisement using the resulting profiles.

Operating System – The main program that runs on a computer. An operating system allows other software to run and prevents unauthorized users from accessing the system. Major operating system include UNIX, Windows, MacOS, and Linux.

Opt-in – A policy for giving permission under which the user explicitly permits the Webmaster to either collect the information, use it in a specified manner and/or share it with others when such use or disclosure to third parties is unrelated to the purpose for which the information was collected.

Opt-out – A policy under which the user’s permission is implied unless the user explicitly requests that his/her information not be collected, used and/or shared when such use or disclosure to third parties is unrelated to the purpose for which the information was collected.

Phishing – An identity theft scam in which criminals send out spam that imitates the look and language of legitimate correspondence from e-commerce sites. The fake messages generally link to Web sites which are similarly faked to look like the sites of the respected companies. On the sites, you are directed to enter your personal information for authentication or confirmation purposes. The information, when submitted, however, goes to the thieves, not to the “spoofed” company.

Plug-in – A small piece of software that enriches a larger piece of software by adding features or functions. Plug-ins enable browsers to play audio and video.

Posting – Sending a message to a discussion group or other public message area on the Internet. The message itself is called a “post.”

Pay per click (PPC) is an Internet advertising model used on websites, in which advertisers pay their host only when their ad is clicked. With search engines, advertisers typically bid on keyword phrases relevant to their target market. Content sites commonly charge a fixed price per click rather than use a bidding system. Cost per click (CPC) is the amount of money an advertiser pays search engines and other Internet publishers for a single click on its advertisement that brings one visitor to its website

Privacy Policy – The policy under which the company or organization operating a Web site handles the personal information collected about visitors to the site. Many Web site operators publish their privacy policy on their Web site. The policy usually includes a description of the personal information which is collected by the site, how the information will be used, with whom it will be shared, and whether the visitors have the option to exercise control over how their information will be used.

ROI – Return On Investment- In finance, rate of return (ROR), also known as return on investment (ROI), rate of profit or sometimes just return, is the ratio of money gained or lost (whether realized or unrealized) on an investment relative to the amount of money invested.

Search engine -A tool that enables users to locate information on the World Wide Web. Search engines use keywords entered by users to find Web sites which contain the information sought. The most popular search engines today are Google, Yahoo, & Bing.
Search engine marketing, or SEM, is a form of Internet marketing that seeks to promote websites by increasing their visibility in search engine result pages (SERPs) through the use of paid placement, contextual advertising, and paid inclusion.[1]. The industry peak body Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization (SEMPO) founded by Barbara Coll in 2003, includes search engine optimization (SEO) within its reporting, and SEO is also included in the industry definitions of SEM by Forrester Research, eMarketer, Search Engine Watch, and industry expert Danny Sullivan.[2]. The New York Times defines SEM as ‘the practice of buying paid search listings’.[3][4] Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the volume or quality of traffic to a web site from search engines via “natural” or un-paid (“organic” or “algorithmic”) search results. Typically, the earlier (or higher) a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine. SEO may target different kinds of search, including image search, local search, and industry-specific vertical search engines. This gives a web site web presence. Because effective SEO may require changes to the HTML source code of a site, SEO tactics may be incorporated into web site development and design. The term “search engine friendly” may be used to describe web site designs, menus, content management systems, images, videos, shopping carts, and other elements that have been optimized for the purpose of search engine exposure

Secure Socket Layer (SSL) – A secure socket layer is a protocol used to transmit sensitive data securely via the Internet. SSL uses a two key encryption system to secure data, a public key and a private key known only by the recipient of the message. Many Web sites use SSL when collecting information for transactions, generally these URLs will begin with https: instead of http:.

Server – A special computer connected to a network that provides (serves up) data. A Web server transmits Web pages over the Internet when it receives a Web browser’s request for a page. A server can also be called a host or node.

Spam – Unsolicited “junk” e-mail sent to large numbers of people to promote products or services. Sexually explicit unsolicited e-mail is called “porn spam.” Also refers to inappropriate promotional or commercial postings to discussion groups or bulletin boards.

Spider – A software program that “crawls” the Web, searching and indexing Web pages to create a database that can be easily searched by a search engine.

Subscription Data – Subscription data is the information that you provide to an online service when you sign up to become a member. Subscription data usually includes your name, physical address, email address, billing information, and telephone numbers.

Unique email address – An address that is hard for spammers to guess, but easy for you to remember. For example, using both letters and numbers in your email address may make it difficult for spammers to guess your email address.
A unique visitor is a statistic describing a unit of traffic to a Web site, counting each visitor only once in the time frame of the report. This statistic is relevant to site publishers and advertisers as a measure of a site’s true audience size, equivalent to the term “Reach” used in other media.
The number of Total Visits to a site divided by Unique Visitors results in the derived statistic “Average Sessions Per Unique Visitor” which tells a publisher how many times each Unique Visitor came to their site on average in the time frame of the report. Average Sessions Per Unique Visitor is equivalent to “Frequency” used in other media.
Upload – Copying or sending files or data from one computer to another. A Web developer, for example, could upload a document to a Web server. (See also “Download”)

URL – (Uniform Resource Locator) – The World Wide Web address of a site on the Internet. The URL for the Internal Revenue Service, for example, is (See also “Domain name”)

Virtual Private Network (VPN) – A network that uses public wires, such as the Internet, to connect to nodes and transport data. A VPN uses encryption and other security mechanisms to ensure that there is no unauthorized access to the network and no possibility of interception of data.

Virus – A program that is loaded onto your computer unbeknownst to you. Viruses can make copies of themselves, quickly using up all available memory. Some viruses can transmit themselves across networks.

Web – The World Wide Web. An Internet system to distribute graphical, hyper-linked information, based on the hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP). The World Wide Web is also known as WWW or W3. The Web is not synonymous with the Internet; rather, it is just one service on the Internet. Other services on the Internet include Internet Relay Chat and Newsgroups. The Web is accessed through use of a browser.

Web-based e-mail – A technology that allows users to send and receive e-mail using only a browser, rather than using an e-mail program such as Outlook.

Web site – A collection of “pages” or files linked together and available on the World Wide Web. Web sites are provided by companies, organizations and individuals.

Webmaster – The person responsible for administering a Website.

Web Marketing Angels – are specialists in building search engine friendly websites. We also focus on Search engine marketing and optimisation. Web Marketing Angels can create and  manage an effective email marketing solution for your business, regardless of the size of your budget or client base.


Wikipedia contributors.  Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Available at: Accessed September, 2009.