Websailve.com logo


Why WebsAlive?

Web Hosting

Site Design

Customer Area

Getting Started

General Terms

Contact us

set-up mail accounts
set-up outlook express pop accounts
set-up outlook express imap accounts
frequently asked questions
glossary of internet terms

glossary of internet terms

Click on a letter to go directly to terms starting with that character.


An application programming interface (API) that allows web browsers to download and execute Windows programs. For example, Netscape Communicator's support for ActiveX lets users open an Excel spreadsheet from within Netscape Navigator.

A client-side program written in Java or JavaScript that downloads and executes on the end user's computer rather than executing on the server.

API (Application Programming Interface)
A standard interface built into a program that lets other programs communicate with it. Used by web browsers and databases as an alternative to CGI gateways. The client-side program is written in Java or JavaScript, and it downloads and executes on the end user's computer rather than executing on the server.

The 'American Standard Code for Information Interchange' is basically a set of numbers that represent all the normal characters one would find on their keyboard. There are many variations on this theme used for different languages or other purposes. Text saved in ASCII (.txt) format can be read by all word processing programs on most platforms.

Bin Hex [top]
A file format commonly used in sending large files and images over the Internet.

Bitmap Image
A graphic image stored as a specific arrangement of screen dots, or pixels. Web graphics are bitmap images. The graphic is defined by specifying the colors of dots or pixels which make up the picture. Also known as raster graphics. Common types of bitmap graphics are GIF, JPEG, Photoshop, PCX, TIFF, Macintosh Paint, Microsoft Paint, BMP, PNG, FAX formats, and TGA.

Blog (weB LOG)
A blog is basically a journal that is available on the web. The activity of updating a blog is "blogging" and someone who keeps a blog is a "blogger." Blogs are typically updated daily using software that allows people with little or no technical background to update and maintain the blog. Postings on a blog are almost always arranged in cronological order with the most recent additions featured most prominantly.

A way for web browser users to mark a web page they want to return to later.

Browser safe colours
The 216 colours that will not get dithered on monitors that only display 256 colours.

Cache [top]
To store on a computer user's hard disk a local copy of a web page accessed via the Internet. The web browser compares the cached copy of the page to the original, and if there have been no changes, the browser will use the cached copy rather than reloading the page onto the client, saving processing and download time. Also refers to a web site's database generating static copies of frequently requested dynamic pages, reducing processing time.

A dynamic information-delivery source. A web site becomes a web channel when it dynamically broadcasts its content to users who have expressed an interest in receiving that information. Users can select channels they want to receive so they do not have to type the address for each site every time they want that information. It's ready for them when they want it, stored in a cache for easy viewing offline.

Computer hardware or software used by an end user on a computer network or the Internet to query a remote server. A web browser is an example of client software.

A computing network in which the functions are divided between clients (or personal computers or terminals), and servers that store, process, and transmit the information.

Client-Side Program
A computer program that is downloaded from a server and executed or run using the end user's computer hardware. Java and JavaScript are examples of client-side programs.

Commands and Filters
Commands and filters allow users to prioritise and organise incoming email messages and discussion group postings.

CGI (Common Gateway Interface)
A server-side communication standard supported by all web servers for accessing external programs. Since HTML allows only one-way communication from the server, which is read by the web browser or client, CGI permits communication and interaction from the client to the server for two-way, dynamic web pages.

Stands for the colors Cyan-Magenta-Yellow-Black. In print design, colors are defined as a percentage of each of these 4 colors. For example, the CMYK abbreviation for the color black would be 0-0-0-100. In contrast, display devices (i.e. computer monitors) typically define colors using RGB.

A unique string of letters and numbers that the web server stores in a file on your hard drive. This method is used by web designers to track visitors to a web site so the visitors do not have to enter the same information every time they go to a new page or revisit a site. For example, web designers use cookies to keep track of purchases a visitor wants to make while shopping through a web catalogue. Cookies may work through a single visit to a web site, such as when tracking a shopping trip, or may be set to work through multiple sessions when a visitor returns to the site.

A method of packing data in order to save disk storage space or download time. JPEGs are generally compressed graphics files. Compression is a technique to make a file or a data stream smaller, for faster transmission or to take up less storage space.

Digital Certificates [top]
The digital equivalent of positive identification, such as a driver's license. Issued by various certificate authorities, digital certificates are used to prove that a web site, or a visitor to a web site, is the entity or person they claim to be.

Digital Signatures
Digital signatures work just like paper-and-ink signatures, allowing document recipients to confirm the source of a document. Digital signatures are generated by digital certificates.

When a colour that is not browser safe is displayed, two browser safe colours are mixed (or alternated) to create the desired colour. At a distance, the human eye merges the pixels into a single color. Up close, the graphic image will appear pixelated and speckled.

Domain Names
All servers on the Internet have a TCP-IP address that consists of a set of four numbers like By assigning a name to the TCP-IP address - or vice versa - the Web becomes easier to use. URL addresses (domain names) are obtainable from many sources. Anyone can own a domain name. The real quest is finding one no one owns yet.

To receive a copy of a file from another computer or web server using a modem.

A web document that is created from a database in real-time at the same time it is being viewed, providing a continuous flow of new information and giving visitors a new experience each time they visit the web site.

DHTML (Dynamic HTML)
The next generation of HTML, the language that specifies exactly how text and images will be displayed on a web page. Dynamic HTML, developed by Netscape and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), is based entirely on industry-standard HTML and Java. New features in Dynamic HTML, such as absolute positioning, give designers and developers greater control over the look and feel of web pages.

Dynamic IP Addressing
Allows users to automatically locate Internet or intranet sites.

e-commerce (Electronic Commerce) [top]
Conducting business online, including product display, online ordering, secure transactions and inventory management.

A method of encoding messages to provide privacy for email, discussion group postings, and other communications as they move over intranets or the Internet.

A specialised virtual community created by linking business groups via the World Wide Web. Similar to an intranet, an extranet includes outside sellers and uses web technology to facilitate inter business transactions, such as placing and checking orders, tracking merchandise, and making payments.

An electronic magazine or newsletter delivered over the Internet via E-mail. A Web-zine is a web site that has a magazine format and is not e-mailed.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) [top]
A list of facts about a specific subject. Usually presented in a question and answer format.

Computer hardware and/or software that limits access to a computer over a network or from an outside source. Used to prevent computer hackers from getting into a company's computer systems.

On web pages, a 'frame'refer to a part of the screen which is reserved for a particular purpose.

FTP (File Transfer Protocol)
A standard that allows users to transfer files from one computer to another using a modem and telephone lines. Like HTTP, FTP is a protocol that provides a way of uploading and downloading files, including .DOC, .EXE, .SIT, .ZIP, .GIF, .JPG, etc.

GIF (Graphic Information File) [top]
Originated by CompuServe as a way of keeping image files small for easier transport over networks. GIFs are the most widely used graphic file type because can be transparent or even animated. GIFs are limited to 256 colours and look best when using the 216 browser safe colours.

GUI (Graphical User Interface)
A user interface that displays in graphic or pictorial format rather than in text only.

Hexadecimal [top]
When you define colours for backgrounds, links, fonts and whatever else in HTML, you can either define them with a word (i.e. "white") or the hexadecimal equivalent. Hex uses a numbering system with a base of 16. The first ten digits are 0-9 and the next six are A-F. The hexadecimal notation represents each RGB (red, green & blue) component of a colour in two characters, 00 to FF, rather than three characters, 000 to 256. The hexadecimal equivalent of white is 000000, and black is FFFFFF.

HTML (HyperText Markup Language)
HTML is the code that tells browsers how to display a page on your screen. This code, sometimes called 'markup', uses 'tags'that instruct a browser to make text a certain size or style, display an image, or link to another page or web site.

HTML Editor
A software program that makes creating a web page nearly as easy as typing a memo using a word processor. Instead of learning HTML commands, users can format web pages using a menu. HTML editing tools support bullets, tables, paragraph alignment, font size, font colour, indenting, and other common formatting features. Many HTML editor packages display the page being edited exactly the same way it will be displayed on the web - a feature called WYSIWYG, or what you see is what you get.

An element found on web pages and other electronic documents that, when clicked with a mouse, automatically opens a file or web page in your web browser. A hyperlink may be a word, button, or graphic. When a hyperlink is text, it typically displays in a different colour and may also be underlined. A text hyperlink that has already been visited is usually displayed in a different colour.

Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP)
The set of standards that allows computer users to access the Internet or the World Wide Web. HTTP:// is the command that tells the web browser that the document found at this address is HTTP-compatible, and to display it in HTTP format.

Internet [top]
The "information superhighway" that is made possible by standard Transmission Control Protocols/Internet Protocols (TCP/IP). Originally developed for the U.S. military in 1969, it grew to include educational and research institutions. With the advent of Netscape Navigator, the arcane commands formerly used to access the Internet became unnecessary. The Internet includes the World Wide Web, Usenet user groups and newsgroups.

IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol )
A network standard that allows users to manage email messages and folders from multiple locations and systems. Users can choose to store their messages on their own local computer (or client), or on a server.

ISP (Internet Service Provider)
A company or organisation that lets users connect to the Internet by dialling into its computers using a modem. ISPs typically charge a fee for providing a dial-up telephone number, an email address, and some technical assistance (usually via email). Also called an IPP.

IP (Internet Protocol) Address
An IP address is a number that identifies a particular server or user on the Internet. These numbers consist of four set of numbers between 0 and 255 such as and are the basis for any transfer of information over the Internet.

A computer network that functions like the Internet using web browser software to access and process the information that employees need, but the information and web pages are located on computers within a company. A firewall is usually used to block access from outside the Intranet.

IPP (Internet Presence Provider)
A company that allows individuals or other companies to use their server space to host web sites. Nearly every ISP is an IPP, so you don't hear this term very often.

Java [top]
Invented at Sun Computers, Java is a programming language like C++. The advantage of using Java is that almost all computer systems, and most browsers, have the capability of running Java applications, or applets. Java programs are automatically downloaded and executed on the client side by the web browser. You can do lots of things in Java that you can't do in HTML. Not to be confused with JavaScript.

Java Applet
Java applets are small Java programs that get downloaded to your computer and then run from a web browser when a web page that uses Java is loaded.

Netscape's extension to HTML. It's a scripting language that is built onto an HTML document, as opposed to a Java applet which is a separate piece of code which is downloaded to your browser when accessed. JavaScript is controlled by Netscape and licensed to other browser manufacturers like Microsoft, which is why some JavaScript implementations don't work right on Microsoft's Internet Explorer. Microsoft, invented it's own scripting language called VBscript based on Visual Basic. They also use a JavaScript subset called JScript. A script composed in one language cannot be interpreted in another. None of these actually have anything at all to do with Java. Netscape licensed the name from Sun and redubbed their scripting language which was originally called LiveScript.

JPG or JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group)
The second Internet graphic standard. JPEGs allow for a greater depth of colour than GIF images. They can contain millions of colours with smaller file sizes than other formats. JPEGs can be compressed using various quality settings. The higher the compression, the smaller the file, but the lower the resulting quality.

LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol) [top]
An open standard for programs to store and retrieve names, addresses, email, phone numbers, and other information from an online directory. LDAP is used to build online directories on intranet networks, as well as Internet-based online directories.

The process of adapting a computer program for a specific international market, which includes translating the user interface into a foreign language, resizing dialog boxes to fit the new language, customizing features if necessary, and testing results to ensure that the original program still works.

Lossless Compression
In graphic design, lossless compression refers to a data compression technique where the file quality is preserved and no data is lost. Lossless compression is commonly used on GIF images, but can only reduce file size to about half of its original size. Lossy compression, by contrast, eliminates some data and can further decrease the file size.

Lossy Compression
A term coined by graphics programmers to refer to a technique of shrinking file sizes by giving away some precision of detail. JPEG is an example of a file that is compressed this way. By reducing the so-called quality of a picture when you save it, you can make the file size smaller. Many photos can take of loss of fine detail before it becomes noticeable on a web page.

META Tags [top]
META tags always go in the <HEAD> section of the document. META NAME tags include descriptions and keywords. This HTML code helps some search engines classify and rank a web page. META HTTP-EQUIV tags can indicate to the web browser how to display the page. There are many more uses for META tags.

MIME (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions)
A method of attaching multimedia files (images, audio, video) or an application to an email message, which would otherwise only be capable of transmitting ASCII characters. Most servers and email clients are now MIME compliant.

A modulator demodulator, or device that allows a computer to receive and transmit data over standard telephone lines. A modem takes digital data and converts it to analogue data, and the modem at the other end takes the analogue data and converts it back to digital. Most computers use modems to connect to the Internet and the World Wide Web.

Online Service
A company that allows computer users to connect to the Internet by dialling into its computers using a modem. Similar to ISPs, these services also offer features and online content available only to members.

PDF (Portable Document Format) [top]
Created by Adobe Systems in its software program Adobe Acrobat as a universal browser. Files can be downloaded via the web and viewed page by page, provided the user is computer has installed the necessary plug-in which can be downloaded from Adobe's own web site.

A computer operating system such as Sun, Unix, Windows, or Macintosh.

Small applications that add new functionality, multimedia, or audio-video capability to a program.

PNG (Portable Network Graphics)
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 will not show up on older browsers, and still can be comparatively larger in file size than GIFs.

POP (Post Office Protocol)
A POP server acts as your email Post Office. You use an email client, like Eudora or those built-in to Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer, to retrieve your mail to your local drive using the POP protocol.

To translate a computer application into another computer languages o it can be read on another operating system, or platform.

PPI (pixels per inch)
PPI specifies the resolution of an input device, such as a scanner, digital camera, or monitor. Web page resolution ranges from 72-96 pixels per inch.

A software program that retrieves information from web sites and deposits a copy on the user's computer to view offline. This is in contrast to traditional pull technology, where the user must manually seek and find information on the World Wide Web. See also channel.

RGB [top]
Stands for the colors Red-Green-Blue. In web design and design for computer monitors, colors are defined in terms of a combination of these three colors. For example, the RGB abbreviation for the color blue shown below is 0-0-255. In contrast, print designers typically define colors using CMYK.

RTP (Real-Time Transfer Protocol)
A protocol that provides support for applications with real-time properties, including timing construction, loss detection, and security and content-identification.

Real Time
At the same time, simultaneously. An event where two or more people communicate simultaneously, similar to the way people speak on a telephone at the same time. This is in contrast to time-shifting, where one person leaves a message and the other person responds later.

Formatting that allows the viewer to read underlined, bold, italics, coloured text, and different sizes and type styles.

Search Engine [top]
A web-based program that allows users to search and retrieve specific information from the World Wide Web. The search engine may search the full text of web documents or a list of keywords, or use librarians who review web documents and index them manually for retrieval. A search engine has two parts, a spider and an indexer. The spider is the program that fetches the documents, and the indexer reads the documents and creates an index based on the words or ideas contained in each document.

S/MIME (Secure Multipurpose Internet Mail Extension)
A standard for sending and receiving encrypted mail. Developed by RSA Data Security, S/MIME enables browsers to send encrypted messages and authenticate the originator of received messages.

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer)
A high-level security protocol for protecting the confidentiality and security of data while it is being transmitted through the Internet. Used by most commerce servers on the World Wide Web. Based on RSA Data Security's public-key cryptography, SSL is an open protocol that has been submitted to several industry groups as the industry security standard. Denoted by the letters HTTPS in the URL.

Computer hardware and software that is attached to a network and which automatically stores, processes, and transmits data or information that is generally accessed by many people using client programs. A standard language is used to define this client-server interaction.

Copyrighted software that is distributed over the Internet or from one satisfied user to another user. No fee is charged for trying the program, but the user is expected to pay a donation to the owner and tell others about the program if he or she continues to use it.

Although SPAM is technically something else, it usually refers to unsolicited e-mail. Unsolicited e-mail is any email message received where the recipient did not specifically ask for it. Here's some good information on unsolicited e-mail or try Network Abuse Clearinghouse or Spamcop.

SMTP(Simple Mail Transfer Protocol )
The standard mail protocol for sending email over intranets and the Internet.

Style Sheets
Extensions to standard HTML that allow designers to control multiple web page styles from a single file. Used to predefine page elements such as font size, colour, and style; image placement; and background images, and have the same style applied to a series of web pages.

TCP-IP (Transmission Control Protocol - Internet Protocol) [top]
A common method of assigning addresses on a network so that different types of server operating systems can all communicate regardless of any other communications protocol also in effect. In other words, you may be using a PC running Windows 95, connecting to an ISP running UNIX which, in turn, attaches to the Internet. If all three are running TCP-IP (which they are) than they can all talk to each other.

A program used by webmasters to communicate with UNIX servers.

Upload [top]
To send a copy of a file from a client to a server using a modem.

URL (Uniform Resource Locator)
A World Wide Web address. Every page on every web site on every web server has a unique URL. You can see the URL of a web page in the address or location field in your browser. This term has recently been superseded by URI, or Uniform Resource Identifier. Also known as an Internet address or web address.

User Interface
The part of a computer program that displays on the screen for the user to see. Also used to describe how humans interact with what they see on the computer screen. A good user interface makes it easy for users to do what they want to do. See also graphical user interface.

Unix-to-Unix encode and Unix-to-Unix decode. Programs that encode or decode binary information, such as graphic images or document files, to be sent over the Internet.

Vector Graphic
A graphic image drawn in shapes and lines, called paths. Images created in Illustrator and Freehand (graphic design software) are vector graphics. They are usually exported to be bitmap images.VRML (Virtual Reality Markup Language)

A language for assembling and displaying virtual visual worlds, usually in three dimensions.

WAV [top]
A standard protocol for voicemail messaging. (WAV stands for Waveform Audio.)

Web Browser
A software application used to make navigating the Internet easy for the user by providing a graphical user interface (or GUI) so the user can click menus, icons, or buttons rather than learning difficult computer commands. Also called a web client because the browser application resides on the client, or the computer of the individual using it, rather than residing on a web server.

Web Host
A company that allows individuals or other companies to use their server space to host web sites.

The person in charge of implementing and modifying a web site.

Web Page
A single document on the World Wide Web that is specified by a unique address or URL and that contains text, hyperlinks, and graphics.

Web Server
Computer hardware where web pages are stored and accessed by others using web client software, or the computer software that allows the user to access the web pages. See also server.

Web Site
A group of similar web pages linked by hyperlinks and managed by a single company, organisation, or individual. A web site may include text, graphics, audio and video files, and hyperlinks to other web pages.

WWW or W3: World Wide Web
The World Wide Web is sometimes considered the graphical interface for the Internet, which is the network itself. Sometimes the web sites and their pages are called the World Wide Web. Often the two terms WWW and Internet are used interchangeably.

Also know as the web. A portion of the Internet that is composed of web servers that provide access to web sites and web documents.

The most important feature of the WWW is its inherent ability to link to any other part of the web. These links are sometimes called hyperlinks.

What you see is what you get. To display a document being edited exactly the same way it will be displayed on the web or in print.

XHTML (Extensible Hypertext Mark-up Language)
XHTML s a hybrid of XML and HTML. Web pages designed in XHTML should look the same across all platforms.



Contact information for Websalive
Postal address: Scotland, UK: 113 Comiston Road,
Edinburgh, EH10 6AQ
Electronic mail: Support, Sales, General Information:
Last modified: August 14, 2006