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We've compiled this handy list of common terms related to the web, websites in general, and search engines to give you a better understanding of the terminology as it relates to your website project. In alphabetical order:

Browser A browser, or web browser, is a program that can interpret various common programming languages (like HTML) and convert that information into a graphically-usable element - like a web page.

For an example of raw HTML (or to see what a web page would look like without a browser), right-click anywhere on this very page, and choose "view source". If the web page were text-only, this information would be somewhat understandable. But with today's modern websites, browsers are needed to convert the information into easy visual formats.
Cascading Style Sheet - Web developers affix named styles to banks of text in a website. They then define that named style in one single place (the CSS). If ever a whole site needs a font change, for instance - change it in the CSS and it will update the whole site's text instantly (vs. manually changing every page). CSS is used in a similar fashion for links, colors, backgrounds, etc. A most important benefit of using CSS is you can gain much more control over the look and feel of text, colors, and tables vs. a non-CSS design.

Website developers skilled in using CSS can save hours or days in the overall development time and cost of a website, and produce a website with a superior look at feel. All LimeDot websites use CSS.
Domain Name
A web address that typically takes the form, .net, .biz, .tv, etc. The ".com" versions are highly preferred. This is also referred to as a URL.

Anyone can reserve a domain name at a wide variety of online locations. Remember, however, that the domain name is only a name - website hosting is required to house a website. Thus, a domain name is like a phone number - it's not the phone, service, or table the phone sits on..
Dreamweaver Template Dreamweaver is a website design tool. A unique piece of functionality it holds is the ability to make a Dreamweaver Template (not to be confused with website templates). A Dreamweaver Template allows a skilled web designer to create a page which has all the elements that will also appear on other site pages. These could be items like the postiion of the logo, header, navigation, footer, and other elements which will remain constant across the site.

Then, the designer can create subsequent pages out of the original template. However, each of those "child" pages are controlled by the "parent" template. Change something in the template - and it automatically changes on every page controlled by the template.
File Transfer Protocol - A way for someone (like a webmaster) to connect directly to another computer (perhaps a web host) anywhere in the world to transfer files to or from it . Web designers use FTP to post web pages.

To use FTP, an address (similar to a domain name or URL), a username, and a password is needed. If you've purchased web hosting, they will (or will have) provided this information to you for your use, or for the use of your webmaster.
Also called a "web host", a computer open to the Internet which web managers place files on for the world to view. Such computers could be exactly like a home PC, or be a multi-million dollar machine. However, they have software running on them known as a Web Server.

Web hosting is similar to renting an apartment, and is usually charged monthly or annually.
HTML Hyper Text Markup Language. Web browsers such as Internet Explorer, Netscape, and FireFox are programs. These programs read/interpret HTML, a programming language. The interpretation is a graphical website presented on your screen. Behind the scenes, all websites are code - letters and numbers. Without a web browser to interpret this code, the information would be relatively useless.

For an example of HTML, right-click anywhere on this very page, and choose "view source".
IP Address
Internet Protocol - All computers and devices connected to networks or the internet have a unique IP address, like Since such numbers are ugly and hard-to-remember - a URL/Domain Name is often affixed to it (as in the case of a computer hosting a website), which allows average folks to easily visit sites (view files on a remote computer) without having to remember long number sequences. The computer hosting your website is actually the IP which is tied to the URL.
An item on a Web page that when clicked, takes you to another page or element. Links can be to other Web Pages within a Website, or to separate Websites altogether.
Digitally manipulating an image or photograph in a graphics program like PhotoShop to improve it. This may be adjusting colors, or altogether removing or adding elements like backgrounds behind the subject. See our retouching page for examples.
Security Certificate
A certificate issued by a third party who by issuing the certificate, vouches for the credentials and security of that website. Typically presented in the form of a security certificate logo at the bottom of web pages. Issued only after the site is deemed secure, meaning no third-party can intercept information entered into a web form or page(s) on the site holding the certificate.
Universal Resource Locator - This is a fancy way of referring to a Domain Name.
Web Page
A single page within a website. It is interesting to note that search engines do NOT rank websites - they rank and list single web pages only.
Web Server
Software running on a computer that allows certain files on it, such as the files of a website, to be visible to anyone else on the Internet. Sometimes, the computer "hosting" the website itself is referred to as the web server.
Webmaster "Webmaster" is an older term that referred to an individual who maintained or worked on a website. Today, most websites are so complex that a single individual most likely wouldn't have all the skills needed to administer all aspects of a website.
A collection of linked pages with similar content and theme appearing under one URL.

The following contains common search engine terms, as well as related items.

A snapshot of a past event on a computer or the Internet. If you've already visited or accessed a page on the Internet and taken the time to wait until it loads fully, the next time you visit that same page, your computer recognizes this and attempts to instead show you the cache. Thus, your wait will be shorter. However, you may not be seeing the most current version of the site, depending on your personal computer settings.

Search engine results pages are pulled from their cache - a snapshot of all the web pages on the Internet at some previous date.
Natural Ranking
Where your page is numerically listed in the Search Engine Results Page (SERP), from #1 to about #1 million.
Pay Per Click. Managers can build a textual ad campaign using tools provided by search engines like Google. The ads only appear when surfers search for specific terms, which the manager will pre-define. No cost is incurred if no one clicks on the ad. If someone does click on the ad, the cost varies from under $1 to many dollars-per-click, depending on competition. This type of advertising is "hyper-targeted marketing" impossible before the Internet.
Search Engine Results Page. A SERP is a single results pages returned when running a search on a Search Engine.
Search Engine
A company providing a service in the form of a website which allows you to search for other Web Pages. Many people believe that content new to the Internet, such as a brand-new website, will instantly appear in a SERPs. However, Search Engines are not in live-time; rather, they periodically scour the Internet for new material (every few days, weeks, or months) and compile the total results into what they call their "index". When you search on a Search Engine, you are searching their index, not the web in live-time.
Search Engine Marketing. This is a service as well as a technique. It is the act of utilizing tools provided by search engines to have your site presented to surfers at just the right moment.
Search Engine Optimization. This is a service as well as a technique. It is the ongoing act of applying specific researched elements to a web page to cause it to be more attractive to search engines, increasing Natural Ranking. SEO also includes performing a host of other external tasks outside of the web page itself (such as linking to it from other web pages) which further increases its ranking.


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