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Internet terminology explained | Web Hosting | Web Design Swindon

Useful Information

Glossary of Internet Terms

Cookie - A unique identifier sent to a user's computer during a visit to a Web site. Cookies can be used to remember information such as user names and passwords (so a user doesn't have to enter them every time they visit a site) or to track future visits to a Web site.

Domain Name - A meaningful, easy-to-remember "handle" for addressing computers and information on the Internet. Domain names typically end with a suffix that denotes the type or location of a resource (for instance, ".com" for commercial resources or "" for resources based in the UK).

HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) - The language used to create Web pages. HTML code consists of formatting instructions called "tags," which are distinguished by their surrounding angle brackets ("<" and ">").

Hyperlink - A graphic or piece of text in a Web page that, when clicked with a mouse, causes another file on the Web to be accessed. The HTML code used to create a hyperlink includes the Web address (URL) of the file to which it points.

Internet Service Provider (ISP) - A company that enables companies or individuals to connect to the Internet. ISPs often provide e-mail capability, Web hosting, and other services in addition to connectivity. Large ISPs include AOL, BT Internet, Vigin Internet and Freeserve.

POP3 (Post Office Protocol, Version 3 ) - A protocol that allows a user to retrieve e-mail from a mail server by way of an Internet connection. POP e-mail is most useful for users who lack a permanent network connection since it provides a virtual "post office" (the POP server) that will hold e-mail until it can be retrieved. POP3 does not specify a particular means of writing or sending mail; this function is handled by a mail transfer protocol such as SMTP.

SMTP ( Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) - A protocol used to transfer e-mail between computers. It is a server-to-server protocol. Client-to-server protocols such as IMAP and POP3 are used to access e-mail messages.

URL (Universal Resource Locator) - The addressing standard used for documents and media on the Internet. The term "" is a URL. It specifies the document type (HTTP), the computer where the document can be found (, where on the computer the document is located (/info), and the document's name (file.html).

Virtual Host - A computer which can be forced to respond to multiple IP addresses and provide various services (typically different Web services) on each. Each of these IP addresess (which usually each have their own hostname) operate as if they were separate hosts on separate machines, although they are really all the same host. Therefore, they are called "virtual" hosts. An example of virtual hosting is when an Internet Service Provider "hosts" World-Wide Web and other services for several customers on the same computer but gives the appearence that each of these services use separate servers.

Web Hosting - A service that allows you to upload and store a site's HTML documents and related files on a Web server. This makes the files available on the World Wide Web for viewing by the public. Also called site hosting.

Web Page - A document written in HTML that can be accessed on the Internet. Every Web page has a unique address called a URL. Web pages can contain text, graphics, and hyperlinks to other web pages and files.

Web Server - A computer that stores Web documents and makes them available to the rest of the world. A server may be dedicated, meaning its sole purpose is to be a Web server, or non-dedicated, meaning it can be used for basic computing in addition to acting as a server.

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