Web Dictionary

Here's a partial list of techie and non-techie terms that LotR webmasters/webmistresses should know. E-mail me if you have a web-related term you'd like defined!

404 Error - The error message viewers get when they try to visit a page that doesn't exist. 404 error pages can be customized (depending on the server being used) by uploading a page named error404.html. The page can have any message on it. To see the A-U.com 404 error page, click here.

Affiliate - When two sites have sort of similar content, they sometimes post buttons on their sites that link to the other person's site. This exchanges site traffic and usually increases both sites' popularity. The most common button sizes are 100 pixels wide by 35 pixels tall, and 50 pixels by 50 pixels.

Bandwidth - The number of times files on web sites are used times the amount of space the files viewed take up. Example: if there are five pictures that are each 10 KB in size, and each is viewed five times, 250 KB of bandwidth have been used (size of each file X the number of times viewed X the number of files). Web site hosts usually have monthly bandwidth allotments. Free site hosts may have close to a one GB per month allotment, while paid site hosts may have closer to a 100 GB per month allotment. Either way, if a hosted site goes over its monthly limit, the host often shuts down the site until the next month, when the bandwidth allotment rolls back to zero.

Blend Challenge - A contest in which graphics-loving people blend lots of different images together. The creator of the contest usually gives some guidelines like theme, size, and even which images contestants are allowed to use.

BMP - BMP is the abbreviation for bitmap, a popular image format in computer programs. The format is actually very unpopular on the internet, as BMP files take up many times more disk space than JPEGs or GIFs.

Caption Contest - A contest that sets out a usually already-somewhat-amusing picture and asks viewers to send in what they think the people in the picture are thinking, or simply a funny statement that describes the picture.

CGI - If you're working on Gollum, then Computer Generated Imagry. If you're working with computers, then Common Gateway Interface. CGI is a math-oriented web language that controls many forms, guestbooks, and more. If you're ever surfing and sign a guestbook, look at the URL of the page and you'll probably see "cgi-bin" somewhere. A cgi-bin is, quite basically, a bin where CGI scripts are stored. For more info: CGI Resources.

Code - This term has two meanings. The first and most common is a snippet of a web language, such as HTML. For example, I could say "The code for bold text is <b>bold text goes here</b>". The second meaning of "code" is a button, such as an affiliate button. When awards sites tell you to make sure to post their code, they mean "Post one of our link-back buttons". Common code sizes are 100x35, 88x31, 31x88, and 50x50.

CSS - Cascading Style Sheets. Cascading Style Sheets are documents that specify the style (colors, font faces, font sizes, etc.) of each page. They can be saved as documents, which in turn can be linked to from every page. If a webmaster wants to change the style, s/he simply has to change the CSS file, and since each page is linked to the file, each page's style will be automatically changed. For more info: Cascading Style Sheets, Guide to Cascading Style Sheets.

DNS - Domain Name System. See Domain Name.

Domain Name - The name of the "domain" of a single web site. For example, "arwen-undomiel.com" is the name of the domain of this site. The URL "arwen-undomiel.com/gallery.html" is the address of a single page contained in the domain. Domain names are usually bought separately from a server and cost around $10-20 a year. For more info: Domain Name System FAQs.

FTP - File Transfer Protocol. FTP is a program that uploads files to a web server. For more info: SmartFTP.

GIF - Graphic Interchange Format. The GIF image format is commonly used on the internet. The GIF format contains up to 256 colors, making it a bad format for high-color photographs. GIF files take up relatively little disk space, and also can be animated, as well as contain transparent sections (if a section is transparent, then the background of the web page shows through).

Gigabyte - A measurement of disk spaces used. A gigabyte equals 1000 megabytes and is usually abbreviated to gb.

Hexadecimal - A hexidecimal code is a set of six numbers/letters that make a color. Hexidecimals are made up of letters A through F and numbers 0 through 9. F is the lightest (a code of FFFFFF produces the color white), while 0 is the darkest (a code of 000000 produces the color black). Any combination of A-F and 0-9 is possible. A randomly selected code of 243FD9 produces this color.

Hit - A hit is when a visitor views a certain web page. Every time any visitor views that page, even it's the same visitor over and over (and even if that visitor just keeps hitting the refresh button), counters still register all those views as hits.

HTML - HyperText Mark-up Language. It's the computer language most web sites are created in. For more info: HTML Goodies.

Image Map - An image that is coded so that different portions of the image, if clicked, take the visitor to different web pages. For more info: Image Map Tutorials.

Internet Explorer - The most common program used to browse the web. Most web pages are designed for use in Internet Explorer, which is usually abbreviated to IE.

JavaScript - Not to be confused with Java, a programming language. JavaScript is a fancy web language that involves lots of math, but can create some pretty cool effects. For more info: JavaScriptSource.

JPEG - Joint Photographic Experts Group. The JPEG format is one of the most commonly used image formats on the internet. Images saved in this format have up to 16 million colors, and since the format uses compression, JPEG images take up relatively little disk space.

Kilobyte - A measurement of disk spaces used. A kilobyte equals 1000 bytes and is usually abbreviated to kb. For an example of how many kilobytes files take up, this picture takes up 37.4 kb.

Megabyte - A measurement of disk spaces used. A megabyte equals 1000 kilobytes and is usually abbreviated to mb.

MIDI - Musical Iinstrument Digital Interface. A MIDI file is a piece of music encoded so that it sounds very music-box-ish. MIDI files do not take up nearly as much space as MP3, WMA, or WAV formats, and are therefore very popular for use on web sites.

MP3 - MPEG Audio Layer III. The MP3 format is a commonly used format to save music files in. One minute of music in MP3 format is usually equal to one MB of space, making MP3 files take a long time to download.

MPEG - Moving Pictures Expert Group. The MPEG format is a standard format for digital video and music compression, and is similar to the MP3 format.

Paint Shop Pro - Popular image editing software produced by a company called Jasc. Is usually abbreviated as PSP, sometimes with a number on the end (example: PSP8 stands for Paint Shop Pro version 8). For more info: Jasc web site.

PhotoShop - Popular but expensive image editing software produced by Adobe. Usually abbreviated PS. For more info: PhotoShop web site, Planetphotoshop.com.

PHP - Stands for PHP Hypertext Preprocessor. Yes, it is strange to have an abbreviation within an abbreviation, but this second PHP stands (or used to stand) for Personal Home Page. PHP is another web language used for advanced scripting. Its main advantage is that whole codes can be saved as documents, meaning that in a page's source code, the creator can simply link to the PHP document instead of pasting the whole script into each page. For more info: PHP.net, PHP Builder.

Server - Either the web site that hosts a site, or the machine that hosts it. The first would be a "hosted" site; the second would be a site with its own server. The server is what the webmaster actually uploads his or her files to, not the domain name.

Sister Site - When two sites either have VERY similar content, are run by the same person, or their owners just like each other a lot, they sometimes become sister sites. Sister sites only differ from affiliates in that the sites are usually more similar to each other than affiliated sites are, and the sister site buttons are usually larger than affiliate buttons.

URL - Uniform Resource Locator. The address of any web page on the internet.

Visit - A visit is when a unique visitor views a certain web page. If one person visits a page ten times, that page will have ten hits, but only one visit, whereas if ten different people each visit the same page once, that page will have both ten hits and ten visits.

WAV - Waveform Audio. The WAV format is an uncompressed audio format, meaning that WAV files take up many times more disk space than more commonly web-used formats, such as MP3 and MIDI. Pronounced "wave", not "wahv".

WWW - The World Wide Web. Called a "web" because it links each individual site together through hyperlinks, just as a spider links its threads together.