Terms to Know

CMS (Content Management System) or WCMS (Web Content Management System) refers to a content editing architecture which allows more than one person to maintain a web site via a simple web-browser-based interface instead of having to manually author web page individually.

Content management systems generally consist of a number of templates corresponding to standard ‘types’ of information:

event promotion
staff profiles
press releases
product listings

Users of the system may be assigned specific privileges to restrict the types of change they can make to the website.
For example, a communications manager might only be able to add and edit press releases while changes to product pricing might be restricted to only the product manager.

CSS (Cascading Style Sheet). Cascading style sheets are used to format the layout of webpages. They can be used to define text styles, table sizes, and other aspects of Web pages that previously could only be defined in a page's HTML.

CSS helps Web developers create a uniform look across several pages of a Web site. Instead of defining the style of each table and each block of text within a page's HTML, commonly used styles need to be defined only once in a CSS document. Once the style is defined in cascading style sheet, it can be used by any page that references the CSS file. Plus, CSS makes it easy to change styles across several pages at once. For example, a Web developer may want to increase the default text size from 10pt to 12pt for fifty pages of a Web site. If the pages all reference the same style sheet, the text size only needs to be changed on the style sheet and all the pages will show the larger text.

While CSS is great for creating text styles, it is helpful for formatting other aspects of Web page layout as well. For example, CSS can be used to define the cell padding of table cells, the style, thickness, and color of a table's border, and the padding around images or other objects. CSS gives Web developers more exact control over how Web pages will look than HTML does. This is why most Web pages today incorporate cascading style sheets.

Domain Name is what identifies one or more IP addresses. For example, the domain name microsoft.com represents about a dozen IP addresses. Domain names are used in URLs to identify particular Web pages. For example, in the URL http://www.pcwebopedia.com/index.html, the domain name is pcwebopedia.com.

Every domain name has a suffix that indicates which top level domain (TLD) it belongs to. There are only a limited number of such domains. The most common are

gov - Government agencies
edu - Educational institutions
org - Organizations (nonprofit)
mil - Military
com - commercial business
net - Network organizations
ca - Canada
th - Thailand

Because the Internet is based on IP addresses - not domain names - every Web server requires a Domain Name System (DNS) server to translate domain names into IP addresses.

Domain Name System (or Service or Server), is an Internet service that translates domain names into IP addresses. Because domain names are alphabetic, they're easier to remember. The Internet however, is really based on IP addresses. Every time you use a domain name, therefore, a DNS service must translate the name into the corresponding IP address. For example, the domain name www.example.com might translate to

The DNS system is, in fact, its own network. If one DNS server doesn't know how to translate a particular domain name, it asks another one, and so on, until the correct IP address is returned.

Google Analytics is a free tracking tool for Website owners to collect data on visitor behavior. It shows how people found a site, how they explored it (what pages they visited and how long they stayed) and, ultimately, provides insight into where changes can be made to improve a site’s performance.

HTML (Hyper-Text Markup Language) is the language that Web pages are written in. Also known as hypertext documents, Web pages must conform to the rules of HTML in order to be displayed correctly in a Web browser. The HTML syntax is based on a list of tags that describe the page's format and what is displayed on the Web page.

HTML language is relatively easy to learn and many Web development programs allow developers to create Web pages using a graphical interface. These programs allow you to place objects and text on the page and the HTML code is written for you.

HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol) is the protocol used to transfer data over the World Wide Web. Hence why all Web site addresses begin with "http://". Whenever you type a URL into your browser and hit Enter, your computer sends an HTTP request to the appropriate Web server. The Web server, which is designed to handle HTTP requests, then sends to you the requested HTML page.

ISP (Internet Service Provider) refers to a company (such as TELUS or SHAW) that provides access to the Internet.


Open-Source refers to software whose source code is published and made available to the public, enabling anyone to copy, modify and redistribute the source code without paying royalties or fees. Open source code evolves through community cooperation. These communities are composed of individual programmers as well as very large companies. Some examples of open source initiatives are Linux, Eclipse, Apache, Tomcat web server, Mozilla, and various projects hosted on SourceForge and elsewhere.


PHP is a scripting language originally designed for producing dynamic web pages. It has evolved to include a command line interface capability and can be used in standalone graphical applications.

PHP is free software released under the PHP License, which is incompatible with the GNU General Public License (GPL) due to restrictions on the use of the term PHP.

PHP is a widely-used general-purpose scripting language that is especially suited for web development and can be embedded into HTML. It generally runs on a web server, which is configured to take PHP code as input and create web page content as output. It can be deployed on most web servers and on almost every operating system and platform free of charge.

RSS (Rich Site Summary) is a format for delivering regularly changing web content. Many news-related sites, weblogs and other online publishers syndicate their content as an RSS Feed to whoever wants it.

RSS solves a problem for people who regularly use the web. It allows users to easily stay informed by retrieving the latest content from the sites they are interested in. They save time by not needing to visit each site individually. They ensure their privacy, by not needing to join each site's email newsletter. The number of sites offering RSS feeds is vast.

URL (Uniform Resource Locator) is the address of a specific Web site or file on the Internet. It cannot have spaces or certain other characters and uses forward slashes to denote different directories. Some examples of URLs are http://www.cnet.com/, http://web.mit.edu/, and ftp://info.apple.com/.
Not all URLs begin with "http", though. The first part of a URL indicates what kind of resource it is addressing. Here is a list of the different resource prefixes:

http - a hypertext directory or document (such as a Web page)
ftp - a directory of files or an actual file available to download
gopher - a gopher document or menu
telnet - a Unix-based computer system that you can log into
news - a newsgroup
WAIS - a database or document on a Wide Area Information Search database
file - a file located on your hard drive or some other local drive

The second part of a URL (after the "://") contains the address of the computer being located as well as the path to the file. For example, in "http://www.cnet.com/Content/Reports/index.html," "www.cnet.com" is the address or domain name of the host computer and "/Content/Reports/index.html" is the path to the file. When a address ends with a slash and not something like ".html" or ".php," the Web server typically defaults to a file in the current directory named "index.html," "index.htm," or "index.php." Therefore, typing "http://www.apple.com/" and "http://www.apple.com/index.html" should get the same page.

Web Hosting Service is a type of Internet hosting service that allows individuals and organizations to make their own web site accessible via the World Wide Web. Web hosts are companies that provide space on a server they own or lease for use by their clients as well as providing Internet connectivity, typically in a data center.

Web Site (or website) is a collection of related web pages, images, videos or other digital assets that are addressed with a common domain name or IP address in an Internet Protocol-based network. A web site is hosted on at least one web server, accessible via the Internet or a private local area network.

A web page (webpage) is a document, typically written in plain text interspersed with formatting instructions of Hypertext Markup Language (HTML, XHTML). A web page may incorporate elements from other web sites with suitable markup anchors.

Web pages are accessed and transported with the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), which may optionally employ encryption (HTTP Secure, HTTPS) to provide security and privacy for the user of the web page content. The user's application, often a web browser, renders the page content according to its HTML markup instructions onto a display terminal.

All publicly accessible web sites collectively constitute the World Wide Web.

The pages of a web site can usually be accessed from a simple Uniform Resource Locator (URL) called the homepage. The URLs of the pages organize them into a hierarchy, although hyperlinking between them conveys the reader's perceived site structure and guides the reader's navigation of the site.

Some web sites require a subscription to access some or all of their content. Examples of subscription sites include many business sites, parts of many news sites, academic journal sites, gaming sites, message boards, web-based e-mail, services, social networking web sites, and sites providing real-time stock market data.