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Internet Terminology Explained In Clear And Easy To Understand English

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By Richard Simmons

There is so much technical jargon related to the Internet that it's hardly surprising that most people get confused.

To help you cut through this sea of techno-babble I've compiled a list of the most commonly used ones below.

Autoresponder - A piece of software that automatically sends an e-mail to you when a message is sent to a predefined (autoresponder e-mail) e-mail address. For Example when someone places an order on your web site you can program the autoresponsder to automatically send a thank you e-mail back.

You can see this in action at amazon.co.uk. Whenever you buy a book they send back an e-mail message confirming that they have received your order.

Autoresponders are also known as Mailbots.

Bookmark - This is a feature on your browser that allows you to store the URL (www address) of your favourite pages. This allows for easy access at a later time.

Browser - A piece of software that allows you to view websites on the Internet. The main ones are MS Internet Explorer (I.E.), Firefox, Safari, Opera and the AOL browser. Web sites should be designed to work with any browser.

E-Book or eBook - An electronic version of a book. A simple computer file. Users can download them onto their computers and read them on their monitor screens. You can also print an e-book. They usually come in adobe .pdf (Portable Document Format).

Encryption - encoding of data which protects it from 'unauthorised viewing' during transmission. Many different protocols are available to encrypt the data.

FTP (File Transfer Protocol) - Method of transferring files from your computer to a remote machine that is not on the same network as you. And vice versa.

Guest - A Visitor to your site.

Home Page - This is the first page a visitor to your website will see. It's the user's first impression of what your business is about.


Hyperlink (or Link or URL) - An underlined piece of text, or a button or image that, when 'Clicked', will allow you to navigate to a different part of the website or document.

Information Product - Any book, ebook, tape, report, e-mail course that is designed to educate a reader in a particular field of interest.

Meta Search Engine - A piece of software that searches all the search engines and displays the results from each. i.e. like askjeeves.co.uk

News Group - A discussion forum around a particular topic on the Internet. I.e. marketing, computer programming, swimming , business etc.

News Groups provide valuable insight into the opinions, desires and problems that people in are having. These can sometimes provide valuable business opportunities.

Posting A Message - An e-mail message sent to a newsgroup or forum.

Reciprocal Link - A link from your website to another website. In exchange the other website will link from their website to your website.

Reciprocal links work well when two websites have related products that are not in direct competition with each other.

Pay Per Click (PPC) - Search engines that charge for where you get listed in search results. You bid on keywords. Depending on how much you bid determines where you'll get listed. The more you bid the higher the listing and vice-versa. Everytime time someone clicks on a link to your site you'll get charged.

Search Engine - A piece of software that indexes the pages on the Internet. You can search for any topic using a search engine.

SPAM ( or Unsolicited E-mail) - Named after the Monty-Python sketch where there was SPAM SPAM SPAM everywhere. Basically you are sending email to someone who has not given you permission to do so. NEVER SEND SPAM.

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) - A webserver providing a secure method of communication between two webservers. Data is encrypted. SSL is used for e-commence sites for capturing credit card details and personal details.

When using SSL a Padlock or Key is displayed in the browser's status bar.

SIG File - A small piece of text that appears at the bottom of every email that you send. It should contain information about your company, your website address and any other relevant information.

Note: SIG files can be used very effectively. See Article ...

Snail Mail - The Postal Service.

URL (Universal Resource Locator) - This is just the website address.

Usenet - A huge collection of public message forums. Basically a massive collection of different newsgroups.

Website - A collection of webpages on the Internet.

Web Server - A computer that hosts/houses your website.


Richard Simmons is a respected IT and Marketing Consultant and has been involved in Internet technology since 1996. He works with major blue-chip companies and investment banks and advises countless small and home based businesses. Richard is uniquely gifted in that he has a deep understanding of both Technology and Marketing industries combined. Contact him personally at richard@crimsondirect.com. You'll also discover some of his uniquely creative business building articles and resources at http://www.crimsondirect.com.