You don't need a degree in computer technologies in order to learn how the Internet will work for your business.  You do need to know some techno-words to understand how some things work on the Internet. We offer the following glossary of terms to get you started. 
America Online is often abbreviated as AOL.  AOL offers Internet Access, which means any AOL member can get to your Website. 
Interested in getting an Award for your Website?  The most prestigious award is probably's Top 5% of the Web award. These nominations can take three or four months to process. 
Bandwidth has come to be a simple shorthand term for "Internet airtime" in its most general sense. Web designers will use the term to mean download time, or the time the reader needs to wait to be able to view a site. There are specific, technical meanings of the term, but most people don't use it in its most technical sense. 

Banners are one form of advertising on the Web. These are usually narrow graphics, sometimes logos, sometimes signboards, about an inch and a half high and about 4 inches long. 
Very popular sites sell bannerspace on their pages as billboard ads. They sell banner space based on the number of "hits" on their page--that is, the number of different readers who will simply see the banner. Or they would pay only for click-throughs, that's the number of people who actually click on the banner in order to visit the advertiser's site. 
There are some popular banner exchange programs that trade banner space among smaller sites. You allow them to place a banner on your site, which rotates through their members. They keep track of the number of hits you get there, and the more hits your site gets, the more times your banner is displayed on other members' sites. 
What's a bookmark? It's just an address book entry for a Web Address. Some browsers call this a Favorite Place or a Hot Spot. Most browsers contain a simple "address book" where the reader can store the addresses of their favorite places. Click on the name of the place, and the Browser automatically goes there, like an online phone book with an autodialer. 
Browsers are the essential tool of the Web. The browser is the software program that runs on your computer and lets you see Web pages.  


Cache (pronounced cash) actually has several different technical meanings. But the most important one in regard to the Web has to do with trying to speed things up. Every request you send over the Internet for a picture or text takes time. The Cache is a file on your reader's computer where their system stores a copy of things they've asked for recently. Then, if the reader asks for the same thing again, instead of issuing another Internet request, the reader's computer can simply use the copy from the Cache, sometimes saving as much as 10 or 20 seconds. 

On the Web, Content is everything. It's words worth reading. Content can be graphical: a bar chart of company sales, or a photograph or text. 

Lots of people love cookies--and some people don't. One of the main problems is privacy (not security)--people may not want to give the information back that the server is requesting. 
Cookies cannot get data from your computer other than what is in the cookie file, and they can't get your e-mail address or any information that you didn't give the requesting page in the first place. What they can do is store the information in between visits on your own machine, and then give it back to the site when you visit the next time.  


E-mail, Marketing, Auto-Responders

Yes, e-mail is a wonderful way to distribute information about your company and products--provided you're working with a qualified list of people that want to receive the information. Sending unwanted e-mail, or posting ads to noncommercial areas may generate some sales: but it will also generate a lot of flames, and alienate many more potential customers than it gets. 

Assuming that you are sending e-mail to qualified prospects, you will probably want to look into an Autoresponder. Similar to many fax-back services, an auto-responder is a program that will automatically generate a response when an e-mail comes in. This is very useful both for handling information requests and for generating order acknowledgments. Your web site and your mailing list can work together. Include announcements of new web site features in the mailing; provide a way for visitors to sign up for the mailing list.  




Flame is a nasty note, or hostile letter, either written to a public forum or sent privately. Flamers usually think they're justified, and are particularly fierce in attacking what they see as misuses of the Internet. 

Beginning in 1996, though, Netscape began offering Frames. Frames are a way of dividing a browser window into two or more parts. This allows the reader to scroll through one part, like our glossary, while leaving another part-time equivalent of the menu bar--available at all times.

Although frames are used for a number of purposes, one of the most common is for a Navigation Bar, or Navbar. A Navbar is just a kind of "Table of Contents" of a site that stays available so the reader can move easily from place to place,




A Hit on a web site is one 'visit' from a reader. Different statistical packages count hits differently, Suppose you have a page that has some text and 10 tiny graphics. The way the Web works, the reader's system will have to ask your site for 11 things: the main page, plus the 10 graphics. From a marketing point of view, that's one hit. But some statistical packages will count that as 11 hits!. Our page counters will track both hits and visits.


Hypertext is simply text that, when clicked on, jumps the reader to somewhere else. It may also be called links. In most browses, hypertext is shown underlined. 



Internet Access Provider (IPA)
Internet Services Provider (SIP)

Internet Presence Provider (PI)

When it comes to the Internet, your computer plus your modem is your "phone"--your access account will come from an Internet Services Provider (SIP). Most access accounts cost about $20/month if there are no per-hour charges. Some have a lower monthly fee, but then tack on per-hour charges after the first few hours. All Internet access accounts that we're aware of give you e-mail (a way to send messages to other people's computers). Most also give you much more.


What's an Intranet? Simple: it's when a company uses Internet technology to deliver information to a closed group of its own employees--and possibly stockholders and customers. Intranets are the hot item right now because the Internet companies realize there may be a lot more money in helping a Fortune 500 company get its information to thousands of employees than there is in handling the same number of consumers using home systems. Intranets may be even simpler to run than systems that have to deal with the Open Web because the company knows exactly what kind of computers its employees have, and so doesn't have to design for as many different alternatives. Intranets may include access to the entire Internet, but many companies don't--they simply find Internet technology a highly cost-effective way of meeting their internal computer communications needs. 

KEYWORKS - Meta Tags

Keywords  tell the Search Engines how to catalogue their site so that readers can find it.  For example, if your site provides consumer information about children's safety belts, you'd probably like to be listed under the following: car safety, automobile safety, infant seats, seat belts, safety equipment. Sounds simple, right?  Although Meta tags have many purposes in a web page, some search engines use these to store keywords. So you will hear some people talk about Meta tags as synonymous with keywords. While technically there's quite a bit more to them, from the marketing manager's point of view, keywords are an important feature of Meta tags.


A Link is normally a hypertext entry which lets the reader jump to a new location. In current Web use, it specifically means a Web address, or URL, which, when clicked on, transfers the reader to that location. This has its good and bad points. The good point is that by linking to interesting and relevant sites, you can provider your readers with much more information than you could write on your own. You can show information from independent analysts and industry authorities.  Reciprocal links are links between two sites--sort of "I'll tell my readers about you if you'll tell your readers about me." These may be a courtesy, or they may be contractually required. For example, some Web Awards require that if you display the award, you always display a link back to the award giver's site. 





A small, simple web site, the online equivalent of a business envelope-sized paper brochure. This is essentially a description of a business, product, or service, with an e-mail link to allow customers to get more information.


Many people have attempted to apply rating systems to the Web. The most common reason is to identify sites with adult content that might not be suitable for children. There are many different services available. Almost all allow you to register your site for free.




640 x 480, 800 x 600

If you're familiar with printers, you know that printers with more "dots per inch", like 600 DPI printers, can show more detail in the same amount of space than printers with lower DPIs, like 300 dots per inch. 
The same type of measurements hold true for computer screens, but there it's called Screen Resolution. Most home systems and many office systems come with 14 inch monitors set to 640 x 480 resolution. That's 640 dots (or in this case, pixels) wide, and 480 dots high to make a full screen. Most 14" monitors use the 640x480 resolution setting and designing web page sized at 800 x 600 may mean a significant portion of viewers may have to use the arrow keys to scroll sideways and read your web page.


Search Engines are the automated card catalogues of the Web. 

Completely automated, Search Engines keep huge files with short catalogue entries of literally millions of web sites. Then, when you want to find information on "Weather in Cincinnati" or "Beanie Babies," the search engines do their best to make a list of all the catalogue entries that might be what you're looking for. 

The most popular search engines are Webcrawler, Lycos, Excite, Altavista, and Hotbot.



A Shopping Cart is a program or a series of programs that let visitors to your site make selections from more than one page before sending in that order. For example, suppose your web site sells auto parts. You might have one page for spart plugs, another page for batteries, and another page for replacement gas caps. With a traditional web page, your customers would have to place each order before they left each page, so they would have to send in one order for the spark plugs Then go to the gas caps page and place a separate order for the gas caps. A shopping cart on the Web works just like a shopping cart in the real world--on each page, your customer can "put things into the shopping cart" but not have to actually pay for them yet. As they go from area to area of your online store, they can add more items or put items back. Finally, they get to "check-out" where they place their combined order.

Note: One term you may hear associated with shopping carts is cookie. A cookie is part of a special file used to store information from one web page to another. You don't really need to know anything about cookies as far as planning promotions go--they're a specific technique used to store information.


Spiders and Robots (or "bots") are simply automated programs that explore the Web, looking for information. The most common kinds of Spiders are the ones that collect Web addresses for the Search Engines to catalogue.

The only time that you are likely to have to think about these Spiders is when you're trying to get your site listed in a search engine, or avoid having some test pages on your web site automatically catalogued by a search engine before you're ready.

If you do want to create a test area on your web site and you want to keep Spiders out until it's finished, you'll need to tell your Web Administrator so they can put up a special "keep out" sign for these automated programs.




A Secure Server uses a special code to make sensitive information difficult to read for anyone not authorized to access it. They're not perfect, but they're far better than unsecured servers. Most companies that accept credit cards over the Web do so through a secured server. You might also want to secure other sensitive types of information. 

Adding this kind of security to your web site requires three things: 

  1. Secure Server to host your site 
  2. Your customers must use browsers that can handle secure information; 
  3. You must register your "secret code" with a security agency like Verisign 

Readers know that they are ordering through a secure secure because of visible cues on their screen--Netscape uses a blue key to show that they are connected to a secure server. Most people who purchase over the Web are accustomed to seeing these signs, and won't accept other assurances. Your can choose either purchasing your security "key" directly or using a sub-directory in our secure server to process orders.

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