Web Design: the Basics (acronyms)

Let’s go over some basic definitions.

I’m sure you’ve come across words and acronyms on the Internet whose meanings you don’t know. You may even see them every day but find your eyes glazing over with indifference to their definitions. If you plan on building your own website, then it would be helpful to know what some of this stuff means. For example, do you know what the underlined parts of the following web address stand for?

I’m not going to get technical with the explanations. You just need the gist of it, otherwise you may end up with the TMI Blues. TMI = Too Much Information 😉

Okay, here we go:

Internet – a networking infrastructure (a really humongous infrastructure) where any computer can communicate with any other computer, as long as they are both connected to the Internet.

WWW – World Wide Web. Not the same as the Internet. It’s the way to access the information on the Internet. It’s like your secret password decoder ring that allows you to tap into the info on the Internet and interprets it into a format that you understand.

HTTP – Hyper Text Transfer Protocol. It’s an agreed-upon method for formatting and transmitting messages on the WWW.

HTML – Hyper Text Markup Language. It’s the language used to build websites. Next time you are on a website, go to your browsers menu and choose View, then Source. A window will open showing you the html that is used to put that site together. It’s not very exciting to look at unless you’re a programmer and like that kind of thing 😉

FTP – File Transfer Protocol. When your site is complete, this is what you will use to transfer your web pages to a server so they can be accessed by the Internet.

Domain Extensions that are available to the public:

.com = commercial
Worldstart uses a .com extension ( http://www.worldstart.com ) because we are a commercial business.

.net = network

.org = organization

.info = information

.biz = business

.name = name

.pro = professional

If you remember from last week, I looked up the domain I wanted which was www.lilydog.com and it was already taken. I chose to alter the name a bit and see what else was available. However, I could have kept the ‘lilydog’ and looked to see if a different extension such as ‘lilydog.biz’ or ‘lilydog.name’ was a possibility.

The following extensions are not available to the public. You have to be a part of that specific institution in order to use its particular domain extension.

.gov = government

.mil = military

.edu = education

.aero = aerospace

.coop = cooperatives

.museum = museums

Hope this clears some things up. Check out www.webopedia.com if you want more specifics. It’s a great online dictionary that is specifically geared to computer and Internet definitions.

~ Kim Ganues

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