Website Jargon and Understanding the Internet for Dummies

This is a quick explanation for those that don’t know much about how a website operates and some of the jargon that people use discussing this industry of the internet. If you have found yourself saying, “I’m computer illiterate,” you may find this article pretty impressive. I find that common terms ntimidate people that don’t have much knowledge about the internet and it’s jargon. This article will highlight some important parts that will catch you up to speed once read.

When explaining the internet one could easily write several books and probably still won’t cover everything when it comes to explaining the internet in it’s entirety. Somethings are very important to know when attempting to communicate with those that have advanced knowledge of this industry. I chose to mention the most important parts that I find people at least people need to know when discussing this topic. I will also attempt to give you a feel of some small amount of code. This article is great for people who may hire a developer and don’t know most of the terminology they use when communicating their vision.

IP Address:

An IP Address is a series of numbers that could be thought of as your address like a home in a city, but instead this address is on the internet. Example: (Physical: 1023 Peachtree Rd, Atlanta GA 30342) (On line: 208.755.154.1)

Domain Name:

A domain name is created within an assigned registrar that assigns a series or words to an ip address. An Ip Address could be remembered and referred when the letters make a word like that direct traffic to 208.755.154.1. Domain names start off with www and they all end with extensions like .com, .net, .us, .biz, .ws, .org. and etc.

Note: A domain names are often referred to sometimes as a URL.


A good example of this would be to visit a regular website and then visit your banks website. You may notice that the address before the domain name will display http:, and when you visit your bank website you may find it changes to https. That simple “S” at the end of the “HTTP” is what lets you know that the site is secure. This is usually found on sites where the information displayed and entered is secure. This will be needed when your dealing with credit cards, social security numbers, and other sensitive information. A SSL certificate is a license issued by a ssl provider. Most companies that issue SSL Certificates offer a the purchaser a insurance if any liability within their guidelines cause you any liability data transmissions.


An ISP stands for “Internet Service Provider.” This is the provider that allows your computer from work or home to access the internet and communicated back and forth. They usually charge you a plan and/or charge for the speed of data transferring back and forth. Example: 3.0 Megs download speed.

Internet Vs Intranet:

The best way to understand is to understand inter is outside where as intra is inside. Internet is the public traffic communicating online. When you go to a regular website you are using the internet. Intranet is access within a bounded network found mostly within corporate companies. The communicate web pages a lot of times on their intranet site. This communication doesn’t need an ISP to request data from within the network. It’s more like a series of computer hooked up to one another.


This is when a user saves something to a local computer from the public internet as a file, image or etc.


This is where you give the internet something from your local computer. Most people upload photos onto their profile pages. When you send an email and make an attachment you actually upload the file to your email before sending it. Advanced computer users get a feel quickly on your limited knowledge if someone uses the terminology wrongly. Most people get the comparison of downloading and uploading mixed up.


File Transfer Protocol is a method used to transfer multiple files from computer to another. Very handy when uploading websites online into a directory within a server.


A browser is what a computer user uses to display websites as they go back and forth to different domain names and web pages. Some of these could be browsers could be referenced to as Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Netscape, Chrome, and Safari. The mentioned browsers are just to name a few of the most popular ones.

File Directory:

The browser looks for a couple of file names that have priority over the other files names. The files may be found in a directory similar to my computer and local c: drive. When a browser is directed to a server the sever directs the user to a folder and the browser request files in a particular order as they have priority over the others.

Example In order:Default.asp, default.html, default.htm. Index.php, index.shtml, index.html, index.htm, home.html, home.htm, home.thml, index.php5, welcome.html, welcome.htm.

Note: If more that one file is named it will pick these files first and ignore the other ones if found.


This is the language that browsers read when requesting specific file names (the priority hierarchy mentioned above). The file when opened will tell the browser it’s an html file. Because this will be written at the top of the page and will be located at the bottom of this file. The end of the file will be telling the browser that everything for the html tag has ended. The most important part of the html tags that are back slah “/” .

For a quick example on how anyone can see this with real code. Anyone can click on view at the top of your browser or right click anywhere on this page and click the link that says view source and notice a lot of code will appear. If noticed closely you will see the above tags in this same hierarchy.


Every file can be considered as a web page. Every page can provide you links to other pages to have them opened when clicked by users. The pages can be on the same sever, same directory, different directory or it could exist on another servers directory on the other side of the world. A link is a code within the html file when clicked by the user it will perform one of several things. The code will either keep the same window open but open another window in it’s place, or it will open up an entire new window. You may find links with written codes like this:

Example: or This is a code for a link like when displayed between the tags. This action will send that user when clicked to that website or web page file.


Tables in html is how the information is kept organized and structured within the portion of the website. Tables consist of columns in the section of the html file. In a database a table organizes columns and rows of information. As long as you understand this part you should be able to follow along with a conversation with someone who has an advanced knowledge of tables. In columns , rows, and cells. The best way to picture this is to think of a spreadsheet (rows, columns, and cells).


This is where a main computer is turned on and has an IP Address assigned to it. The domain name points to to this IP address and the server will receive traffic from the internet and responds to the connections through ports. The connections are usually other computers with people controlling them visiting websites that are stored on this server.


This is the term used to allow access. Most companies that provide hosting give you some criteria some offer you some unlimited criteria. Hosting is necessary because it allows traffic from the Internet to travel back and forth to it’s users and to the server. The are typically two types of hosting plans that come on different servers Linux and Windows.


Anything that goes on line is public information, you can restrict some access by storing an organized data inside a database. It is usually presented on line as someone visiting a website requesting some information like clicking on a button the database will have to verify and display information as requested to the requesting user online.

These are some important terms chosen to inform readers on the major components and important terms that relate to the internet and website communications. It’s best to get acquainted with test as young kids in early grades are learning these things. So don’t be a dummy just get a good understanding of what’s going on in relation to the internet and websites. As much as I try to explain some of these things to my clients, and/or friends. Its a great relief that they at least know parts we discussed in this article.

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