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Read, Learn, Grow, Be Empowered!

It’s frustrating to have someone speak nerd and not understand what they are saying…

Peruse through these nerd terms, listed alphabetically, and be empowered from here on out!

ADDRESS BAR

The white bar towards the top of your computer screen. It will normally have something typed in it that starts with “http://” This is where you type in the address of a website that you want to visit.

ANCHOR TEXT

The text a link (hyperlink) uses to refer to your web page. These make a difference in your search engine results.

BACKLINKS

Links from other website pages to yours. Backlinks are used to increase a site’s popularity with search engines and to get more people to visit your site. The quality of a backlink and its anchor text is factored into Google’s algorithm when deciding how much importance to place on it.

BANDWIDTH

It may help if you read “traffic” first, but very simply, bandwidth relates to how much a resource is used. An analogy would be a freeway. The wider the freeway, the more traffic (users) it can handle. The narrower it is, the less people can use it at once (without problems).
When a website gets a lot of visitors, it will use a lot of bandwidth.

BCC

Means “Blind Carbon Copy”. An email feature. If you send someone a BCC email, their email address will not show in the “to” field.

BELOW THE FOLD

This term is a carry-over from newspaper publishing days. In newspaper terms, “below the fold” means content was on the bottom half of the page (below the physical fold in the paper). In web design terms, “below the fold” refers to the content that is generally going to be below the point first viewable to the average website visitor in their browser (in other words, viewers would have to scroll down to see the content).

BETA

A term used for software that is in a “live” testing phase. People can use it but can expect some hiccups.

BLOG

An online journal or diary and a very popular current method of sharing your thoughts with the world. It is also very popular as a marketing tool.

BOUNCE RATE

A website’s bounce rate is the percentage of people who leave the site from the same page they entered the site, without clicking through to any other pages. This can be a good indicator of how good a website’s navigation is, as well as an indicator of the quality of the site’s content (a very high bounce rate doesn’t bode well for either of those things).

BROWSER

When you visit a website, you are seeing it on a browser. Websites look very different in reality to what you see when you visit it. Everything is in fact encoded. A browser is the piece of software that decodes everything so that what you see is an attractive page rather than a lot of coding. Most people use the Microsoft Internet Explorer browser, which comes with all Windows software. If you look at the top right of your screen right now, just under the “X” you will see a little picture. This picture tells you what browser you are using. If the picture is a wavy square with smaller squares in red, green, blue and yellow, you are using IE (Internet Explorer). If it is something different, then you probably know all this already.

BROWSER WINDOW

The browser is the type of software you use to view things on the internet (see above) – the browser window is the actual screen that the software displays everything on. If someone tells you to open a browser window, they are telling you to activate your browser so that an internet window opens up on your computer. You normally do this by clicking on an icon on your computer screen or task bar (at the bottom of your screen).

BROWSING

Going to different websites on the internet and looking around. A bit like window shopping, but on the internet instead of in a mall. Think of going into a bookshop and browsing. It’s the same thing. – Taking a casual look around for anything that may be of interest.

CACHE

Every time you do anything on your computer, it stores this in memory so that the next time you try to do the same thing, it happens quicker than having to wait from scratch. The place where it stores all this is called the “cache”. The irony is that if your cache gets too full, it in fact makes your computer work a lot slower. It’s a good idea to empty your cache regularly to keep your computer working optimally.

CMS

“Content Management System”. A dynamic website that is normally database driven and which enables the owner/user to manage the content of their own website (make changes) without needing to know any coding at all.  Wordpress is the CMS that Gravity Junction specializes in.

CODE

Nothing that you see on the internet is what it appears to be. Everything is coded in one way or another to achieve the exact look, layout and functions. There are different types of code and coding languages that are used to develop websites as well as all computer programs and software.

CONTENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM

Also known as a CMS, the content management system is a back-end tool for managing a site’s content that separates the content from the design and functionality of the website. Using a CMS can make it easier to change the design of a site independent of the site’s content or pages.
A content management system can also make it easier for pages and images to be added to the website for people who aren’t programmers, saving on the cost of hiring a programmer because you can add/edit/delete content yourself.

CANONICAL TAG

Another option for dealing with duplicate content is to utilize the rel=canonical tag. The rel=canonical tag passes the same amount of link juice (ranking power) as a 301 redirect, and often takes much less development time to implement. The tag is part of the HTML head of a web page.

CONVERSION

A marketing term that refers to how many website visitors convert to buyers. If 1 out of every hundred visitors to a site end up buying something, there is a 1:100 (or 1%) conversion rate. Ultimately this is what website marketing is all about because it is pointless getting thousands of visitors if none are buying your product, your services, your ideas or whatever it is you are selling (every website is selling something, even if the only payment is an ego-boost to the site owner).

COOKIE

A small piece of information that certain websites store on your computer when you visit them. Cookies are normally harmless and the reasons for using them vary. Sometimes it is to make sure that their website loads quickly when you next visit, by drawing the saved information from your own computer rather than from the website itself. Another use is to track visitors to see how often they come, what they do when they come and other information to help with marketing. Cookies are also used to track visits from other websites, especially when the site you are visiting is paying the other site for advertising space or needs to pay a referral fee to the originating website. A cookie can also be used to check when you last visited and, if any changes since then, to force your browser to refresh so that you see the latest information. The downside of cookies is that after you have visited a lot of sites with a lot of graphics, your computer will begin to get bogged down with all of this in its memory. It’s therefore a good idea to regularly clear the cookies from your computer.

DATABASE DRIVEN

With a normal static website, the information that you see is on the page itself. It does not change unless someone manually edits the page. On a database driven website, the information is not stored on the page, but in a database. Every time someone visits a particular page, the information is drawn from the database in order to display it on the page. Information can therefore be easily cross-referenced and the same information applied in many different ways, using formulas and different variables.

DIRECTORY or SEARCH ENGINE DIRECTORY

Much like the Yellow Pages, a directory is a place where information about hundreds, thousands and millions of websites is stored to allow people to easily and quickly find information and/or resources. Yahoo is an example of a search engine directory, Trades Check for example is a directory website for people wanting to find local licensed tradesmen.

DOMAIN

A domain is a person or organization’s unique space on the internet. In layman’s terms, it is commonly used to mean the name of your website.

DOMAIN NAME

A domain is identified by the number assigned to its unique space. To make it easier to use however, the number is given the name of your choice an this name is assigned to the number. In this way, people do not need to remember the number (IP) in order to visit a website, but can use the easier-to-remember domain name. This websites domain name is gravityjunctionwebdesign.com.

DOMAIN NAME EXTENSION

Often referred to as Internet top-level domains (TLDs). The official list of all top level domains is maintained by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA). Each country is designated an extension; United States of America is .us and not .com as most people think. Some extensions are limited to certain groups such as .edu for educational institutions and .gov for governments.

DOMAIN REGISTRATION

In the same way that you have to register a business name, so you need to register a domain name. Only once it is registered do you have the ability to assign it to a specific number so that it has an actual location on the internet. A domain name registration is normally only valid for one or two years, at the end of which it has to be renewed for you to continue using it. To increase SEO (search engine optimization) it’s best to register for as many years out as possible.

DOWNLOAD

When you transfer information from a website or server to your computer, this is called downloading. Collecting email is therefore a download, as is saving a document from the internet to your computer or installing a software program directly from the internet. Every time that you visit a website you are also downloading, because the information is passing from the server to your computer and often saved there without you even knowing (see “cookies”). This becomes quite important if you are using something like ADSL to connect to the internet, where you have a limit on bandwidth because you use bandwidth every time you download anything. The bigger the download, the greater the bandwidth that you are using.

DNS

Stands for Domain Name Service (alternately Domain Name System or Domain Name Server). Basically, it’s the thing that converts IP addresses into domain names. DNS servers are provided with the IP address of your web server when you assign your domain name to those servers. In turn, when someone types your domain name into their web browser, those DNS servers translate the domain name to the IP address and point the browser to the correct web server.

FAVICON

Favicons are tiny (generally 16×16 pixels, though some are 32×32 pixels), customizable icons displayed in the web address bar in most browsers next to the web address. They’re either 8-bit or 24-bit in color depth and are saved in either .ico, .gif or .png file formats. In this example, the black W on the white background is Wikipedia’s favicon.

FOLD

The fold is a term carried over from newspaper design and pagination (where the fold referred to the physical fold in the paper). The fold in a website is the point on the web page that rests at the bottom of someone”s browser (in other words, to see anything below the fold, they would have to scroll down). There are varying opinions on how important the fold is in web design but more websites including Yahoo and msn are increasing their page length to get more information displayed on each page.

FTP CLIENT

The software program that you use to upload your website to a host server.

GIF

A type of file used for images, especially animated graphics and line-drawn images (as opposed to photographs). A .gif image can be saved with a transparent background, making it ideal for graphic overlays.

HIT

Contrary to popular belief, a hit does not represent a single visitor to a website. A hit is actually a request for a single file from your web server. This means one page can actually generate multiple hits, as each page generally has more than one file (an html or other base file, a css file, multiple images, etc.) and each one is requested from the server whenever the page is loaded. Some marketing people like to quote hits to unknowing consumers as the number makes their site sound like it”s getting a whole lot more traffic than it actually is.

HOST / HOSTING

In order for you to have an email address or a website, a computer somewhere, with all the necessary software, has to provide you with 3 things: an IP (domain) address, physical space to store the information and bandwidth that accommodates the flow of information that is taking place on your behalf. The company that provides you with these facilities is your host and you will pay them a fee for hosting your site and or email address.

.HTACCESS

The .htaccess file is the default directory-level configuration file on Apache servers. They are also known as “distributed configuration files.” Configuration directives contained in the .htaccess file apply to the directory in which the file is placed as well as all of its subdirectories. Within the .htaccess file things like authorization and authentication, rewriting and redirecting of URLs, cache control and customized error responses can all be specified.

HTML

Hyper Text Markup Language. This is the base language that s used for creating websites. Common uses of the term are, “html coding” and “html website”. A website created in pure html is also referred to as a static website. In other words, it does not interact with the visitor other than in the most basic ways. It stores no data and can not return data other than what is consistently on the page itself. Emails that use different fonts, colors, borders, backgrounds and graphics are also generally coded in html, with the alternative being plain text.

HTTP/HTTPS

HTTP: HyperText Transfer Protocol. This is a method used to transfer information on the internet and normally precedes the “description” of the actual resource being accessed and transferred. For example, web sites and web pages are one type of resource, identified by their domain name (www.domain.com).

HTTPS: Similar to HTTP, HTTPS stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol over SSL (Secure Socket Layer) or, alternately, HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure. Like HTTP, it”s a set of rules for transferring hypertext requests between browsers and servers, but this time it”s done over a secure, encrypted connection and identified by their domain name (https://domain.com)

HYPERLINK

A hyperlink is a link from one web page to another, either on the same site or another one. Generally these are text or images, and are highlighted in some way (text is often underlined or put in a different color or font weight). The inclusion of hyperlinks are the “hyper” part of “hypertext.”

HYPERTEXT

Hypertext is any computer-based text that includes hyperlinks. Hypertext can also include presentation devices like tables or images, in addition to plain text and links.

IFRAME

Short for Inline Frame. An iframe is used to display one or more web pages within another normal web page (one that isn’t a frameset page).

IP or IP ADDRESS

Internet Protocol. Very simply, the IP address refers to the actual number that a web address name translates to. (also see “domain”). The IP number is the real address.

JAVASCRIPT

Coding languages used to achieve effects and functions on websites that normal html and its variants cannot achieve. These bits of coding (or scripts) are normally embedded into a web page and will automatically activate as soon as someone arrives on the page. Please note that JavaScript is distinctly different to Java.

JPG

A type of file used for images, especially photographs. Images used on web pages work best as jpg or gif.

KEYWORD or KEY PHRASE

An internet marketing term that refers to the main topics or subjects of your web pages in relation to how people would phrase them when searching for your products or services on the internet. For example, your topic may be “Quantifiable Analysis of the Strategic Business Model” but the average person searching for your exact information may simply search for “planning business strategies”. Your key phrases are at the core of any website marketing strategy and needs to relate to your target market’s thinking rather than your own.

LANDING PAGE

A landing page is the page where a visitor first enters a website. Oftentimes, a special landing page is created to elicit a specific action from the new visitor (usually in connection with an advertising or marketing campaign).

LINK

The internet is made up of millions of resources and computers that all link to each other. One type of link (verb) is a link (noun). This is a small snippet of code that creates an area on a web page that can be clicked on. Once clicked on, the person will be taken to the resource that the piece of code linked to. This is how users on the internet can move from one web page or website to another and download documents, programs or files. To link to something means to host this piece of code that will take the person to the resource that you are linking to. To have a link from a website means that someone else is hosting this piece of code that will bring people to your website or resource.

LONG TAIL KEYWORDS

Long tail keywords are those three and four keyword phrases which are very, very specific to whatever you are selling. You see, whenever a customer uses a highly specific search phrase, they tend to be looking for exactly what they are actually going to buy.

META DATA

Meta data is the data contained in the header that offers information about the web page that a visitor is currently on. The information contained in the meta data isn”t viewable on the web page (except in the source code). Meta data is contained within meta tags.

META TAG

Included in the head section of an html web page and is visible to search engines but not human visitors. Meta tags provide information about a web page, like the topic (title), keywords, description and also instructions to search engine robots and visitor browsers.

NAVIGATION

Navigation refers to the system that allows visitors to a website to move around that site. Navigation is most often thought of in terms of menus, but links within pages, breadcrumbs, related links, pagination, and any other links that allow a visitor to move from one page to another are included in navigation.

OPERATING SYSTEM (OS)

The type of software that you use to run a computer is the operating system. (Windows/MacOS)

OPTIMIZE

Has two possible meanings in web design. The first is website/page optimization. This relates to how the page is structured (both code and content) with regard to search engines. A well optimized website is search engine friendly. The second meaning relates to graphics and pictures that are used on websites. An optimized graphic is one that has been compressed as far as possible without sacrificing acceptable quality. This allows the image to load more quickly when someone visits a website.

PARKED DOMAIN

A domain name that sits on the same server space as another. If someone types in the address of either the main domain or the parked domain, they will arrive at the same website.

PERMALINK

Short for “permanent link.” Generally used only on blogs, a permalink is a link that is the permanent web address of a given blog post. Since most blogs have constantly-changing content, the permalink offers a way for readers to bookmark or link to specific posts even after those posts have moved off the home page or primary category page.

PHP

A programming language that is Linux based rather than Windows based. Normally used for increased functionality on a website or to work with a database. It works in conjunction with html and html variants and allows for functions to be run from the server rather than the visitor’s browser.

PLUG IN

A plug-in is a bit of third party code that extends the capabilities of a website. It”s most often used in conjunction with a CMS or blogging platform. Plug-ins are a way to extend the functionality of a website without having to redo the core coding of the site. Plugins can also refer to bits of third-party software installed within a computer program to increase its functionality.

PPC

Pay Per Click. A common term in internet advertising where you purchase advertising space on someone’s website, but instead of paying a flat monthly rate, you pay a small amount each time someone clicks on your advert – which is a link that takes them to your website. This “small amount” can however go quite high, depending on the deemed value of the link. This is a very simplified explanation, but the principle is that you ostensibly “pay for what you get”, which is not entirely accurate. False clicks can in fact make this much more expensive than a fixed advertising cost.

PROPAGATION

(Please first read about IP’s and domains if you are not already familiar with those terms). When an IP is changed because you have started up a new website or moved your website from one hosting company to another, every nameserver across the entire internet globally has to update its records to know where to find you. This process is called propagation and can take up to 48 hours. Sometimes even longer. This is because nameservers do not all update at the same time, some update more frequently that others and sometimes a nameserver can have a problem for a while. This means that some people can see the site and others can’t. Some emails will reach their destination and others won’t. Once domain propagation is completed however, everything should work as normal.

RANKING

Ranking is a term related to search engines. When someone searches for something using a search engine, the will receive pages and pages of results. Where a specific site appears in those results is its ranking. There is a second meaning as well, more commonly used with regard to marketing and SEO and related specifically to Google. Each page of a website is given a ranking by Google, from 1-10. This ranking is the value that Google places on that particular page in relation to its subject matter and how relevant it is. The more relevant a page is believed to be the higher its ranking.

SEARCH ENGINE

A program that collects, stores, arranges and normally ranks the various resources available on the internet. It is most commonly on a website and used to find other websites – much like the yellow pages is used in the brick and mortar world.

SEO

Stands for “Search Engine Optimization” and very simply refers to the practice of tweaking website coding and content to achieve the highest possible search engine ranking. SEO practitioners are people who specialize in this (or claim to).

SERVER

A server is a computer that is used to house websites and provide a physical storage area for websites and emails. Without a server, your website would not be viewable to the world. Servers are normally provided by hosting companies who keep the servers in special premises, under special conditions and with permanent connections to the internet.

SITEMAP

This is an index to all the content on a website. It is normally accessible from at least the front page of the site and is used for two purposes: to help people find what they are looking for on the site and to help search engines find all your links.

SPAM

A somewhat controversial word which has different extremes of meaning to different people. Very simply, spam is junk mail, normally sent out in bulk and normally with no regard as to whether you want to receive it or not. Serious spammers will in fact use your protests as proof that you are seeing their emails and spam you even more.

SUBDOMAIN

A domain that is behind another, but totally separate. Using sub-domains you can effectively have multiple “domains” on a single registered domain name and hosting account. A sub domain address would be written like: www.something-else.yourdomain.com. The “something-else” is the sub domain.

TRAFFIC

Much like the physical world, traffic refers to all the people and computers that are using a particular route at a given time or who access a specific resource. The number of visitors to a website, for example, is also referred to as traffic. Traffic is also often spoken about when it comes to hosting. If a host tells you that you are allowed X amount of traffic, they are telling you how much of the server resources you are allowed to use. This is also called “bandwidth”. Please see the explanation of “bandwidth” for more information about “traffic” in the context of hosting.

URL

Uniform Resource Locator. (Allows all resources on the internet to be located in a uniform manner). A URL is a website address that has all the pertinent information for finding the exact location attached to it. http://www.gravityjunction.com is this website’s url and http://gravityjunctionwebdesign.com/nerd-terms-explained/  is this exact page’s url (notice the extra part after the .com).

Credit to definitions: Thinking It