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META Tags Web Site Design Terms Web Site Marketing Terms General Internet Terms Domain Names

Web Site Design Terms

Alias (Email) —

An email address used to forward email to another account for reading or distribution.

Animated GIF or Animation —

A graphic file which consists of two or more images shown in a timed sequence to give the effect of motion.

  • Active Server Pages — A means of retrieving information from a database for display on a web page; the page is actively "built" when a user requests the web page.

  • Application Service Provider — Outsourced provider of online access to software applications or hosted application servers.
Authentication —

Controlling access to all or part of a web site by requiring a username and password.

Banner Advertisement —

A common way to advertise on an Internet site created by hyperlinks.

Content —

The non—navigation elements of a web site, both text and graphics.

Cookies —

Files about a visitor sessions on a web site. May be used to identify returning visitors and record their preferences, or to help pages load faster on a user's computer.

Database —

Web Server a collection of data records that can be retrieved to display on web site pages. Most large E-Commerce web sites use a database to store products, orders, and customer information.

DHTML or Dynamic Hypertext Markup Language —

A newer, more powerful and precise language for web page coding. Not supported by older browsers.

Flash —

'See Shockwave Flash'

Forms —

HTML pages formatted to appear like traditional forms to web site users. Form fields transfer variables back to the server, and are used to gather information about site visitors or take orders for products and services.

Frames —

A technique used in web site design to divide the page into multiple windows called frames. Each frame contains a separate web page. Benefits of frames are that one part of a web page can be scrolled or changed while other parts remain fixed for such purposes as keeping a menu in view all the time. Disadvantages are that users cannot bookmark the key information on the page, and most search engines do not rank frame sites as well as traditional sites.

FTP, File Transfer Protocol —

Among the earliest Internet standards, a protocol enabling file transfer between remote computers and different operating systems.

Gateway Page, Splash Page —

Generally a bad idea. This is a page like a 'book cover' — it sets the stage for what is to follow. Unpopular with search engines and visitors, who want their information quickly.


Graphics Interchange Format (.gif), graphics file type used for text or cartoon art and line drawings.

Home Page —

The main page of a web site, providing visitors with an overview and links to the rest of the site.

Hover Button —

See 'Roll—Over'


Hyper Text Markup Language is used to write documents for the World Wide Web and allows linking (Hyperlinks) between related documents and objects.


Hyper Text Transfer Protocol is a standard way of transmitting data from web servers to web browsers.

Hyperlink or Link —

An element on a web page, either text or graphic, which directs the user to another resource or location when clicked.

Informational Site —

A site that is primarily an "online brochure", offering information of interest and designed as an advertising or public relations tool.

Interactive Site —

A web site that encourages visitor interaction through surveys, online forms, discussion boards, and opt-in mailing lists.

Interface —

Describes the environment between the user and the function of the web site. An ideal interface does not require any behavioral change on the part of the user.

Intuitive Navigation —

Hyperlinked words or phrases in the text of a web page that allow users to follow a train of thought to reach more detailed information. Ideal for text-heavy web sites.

Java —

A programming language developed by Sun Microsystems based on C++. It is used with web pages to create applets that will run on different platforms.

Java Applet —

An application that is downloaded from a web page and executed by browser software.

Java Script —

A script language (with little in common with Java) developed by Netscape for writing short programs embedded in a web page. Supported by all but the oldest browsers.


Joint Photographic Expert Group, (.jpg) the most commonly used format for photographs displayed on web sites.

Link —

'See HyperLink'

Live Statistics —

The ability to access the web server log file in real time.

Log File —

A file created by a web server containing a record of activity for a web site.

Meta Tags —

In HTML or XML, a string of descriptive information used to provide information about the page to search engines and browser software. Commonly used meta tags are description, keywords, date, and copyright.

Mouse-Over —

See 'Roll-Over'

Navigation —

The graphic and text links that guide visitors to specific web pages or areas on a page.

PDF File —

Adobe's Page Description Format. Allows display of a scanned document in its original form and layout. Requires a free download of Adobe Reader to access.

Plug—ins —

Downloadable components allowing web browsers to play or display additional file types, including video, audio, and multimedia.


Portable Network Graphics, (.png) a newer file format for web site graphics not supported by some older browsers.

Portal —

A web site that serves as a "gateway" to the Internet. Portals may be general or targeted toward specific interest groups.

Primary Navigation —

Main navigation tools placed prominently on the web page. Users expect to find primary navigation at the top or left hand side of a page.

Resolution —

The display setting of the user's monitor. Most users now set their screen resolution to display an area at least 800 pixels wide and 600 pixels wide. As large monitors become less expensive, the 1024 pixel wide by 768 pixel high resolution gains market share. Most sites are now designed to accommodate 800x600, but many are still formatted for 640x480.

Roll—Over, Mouse—Over —

A changing text or graphic display activated by the user's cursor "rolling over" a hyperlinked area.

Secondary Navigation —

Secondary navigation that outlines section detail in a larger web site. May be displayed as a roll-over or as part of the root pages.

Secure Server Certificate —

Verification by a third party such as VeriSign or Equifax that web site transactions are encrypted, that the business owner owns the web site, and that the business is a registered, ongoing concern. Server Certificates are renewed annually.

Server —

See 'Web Server'

Shockwave Flash —

Web site design software and web browser plug-ins by Macromedia that allow multimedia (sound, videos, animations, etc.) to be played on Web pages.

Smart Tags —

A truly evil technology that allows key words (purchased by advertisers) to be 'marked' on your screen. The Smart Tags allow users to easily leave your web site for the advertiser's site. These should always be blocked by your web designer.

Splash Page —

A "concept page" that introduces the web site; not recommended by CRS.

Sticky Content —

Web site content designed to keep visitors at your site longer.

Sticky Site —

A site with long visitor sessions. Research shows the more time a visitor spends on your site, the more likely they are to do business with you.

Streaming Audio / Streaming Video —

Technologies which permit listening and watching continuously as the signal is transferred to your system from a remote web site.

Threaded Discussions —

Allow individuals to add to add follow-up or answer messages to a topic or forum.

Thumbnail —

A small photographic image that assists the user in choosing a product or navigating a web site.

Vector Graphics —

A source graphic file where the shapes are built and defined using paths and nodes, thereby allowing the graphic to be scalable to any size without distortion. For instance a photograph cannot be a vector graphic because it is rendered by dots (for print) or pixels (for TV and Web). Whereas a circle or rectangle could be a simple example of a vector graphic where each corner (node) can be easily located and manipulated, thereby changing its shape. Common file types that are vector based are EPS, AI, CDR, DWG. Vector-based graphics are invaluable to anyone desiring to recreate a graphic such as a logo for varying media types from business cards to billboards to television to web, etc.

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