If you’ve been online for a long time, it’s easy to forget that for many people internet language is still entirely unfamiliar. Too many times have I been stopped with the words “I’m sorry, but *what* does a widget have to do with this?”
This glossary is to help new website contributors, but also stands as a reminder to check that everyone understands what you’re talking about. There’s a more comprehensive glossary here, and if you know of any more words which have tripped up people you know, please leave a comment.
www: usually added at the beginning of web addresses and stands for world wide web, which was invented in 1990.
Browser: the software used to read web pages. Internet Explorer is commonly installed on computers and alternatives include Firefox, Chrome and Opera.
http://: sometimes you will be asked to use this instead of www. Most browsers will add this for you.
Email: electronic mail and the equivalent to a postal address. Although you may not need to send or receive emails to use many common websites, an email account is required to sign up to most of them. Free common providers include Googlemail, Hotmail and Yahoo and you can also set up email accounts through Myguide and many broadband hosts.
Blog: short for weblog. Although the format generally includes a diary, the weblog is a very flexible way of publishing any sort of website without needing to use code or understand web hosting.
Link/hyperlink: writing that, when clicked, takes you to another page. It often looks slightly different to stand out from the rest of the text and is commonly underlined in blue.
Hyperlocal: first commonly used in America, hyperlocal or ultra-local came to be used to describe area that were ‘more’ local than regions or whole cities. A hyperlocal site will commonly just focus on one town or village, but it can become wider or be as small as a street or community hall.
Social media/web 2.0: phrases fashionable at different times to denote websites that allow people to interact such as blogs and social networks like Facebook and Twitter. They are considered to be a phase further than the first pages on the world wide web, which were normally just static pages that didn’t allow people to add their own words. On the other hand, email has been around much longer than ‘web 2.0’ websites and this also enables interaction. As do postcards and noticeboards…
Embed: blogs commonly allow you to include other types of content such as videos and photographs and this is usually referred to as embedding. Sometimes problems can occur if you try to embed items that include different types of code than your webhost will allow.
Feed/RSS feed: Most websites are built using databases, which means their content can be pulled out and viewed in different ways. Feeds normally refer to lists of the most recent content added.
Widget: Pre-programmed units that can be added into WordPress websites. Useful ones let you include other website feeds including Twitter, email subscription boxes and photos.
Bookmark: as you use one to save your place in a book, bookmarks can be saved to your computer or online to return to a page later. Popular bookmarking services include Delicious.
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