Small Business Web Site Development Glossary of Terms


Were focused on the basics of designing, developing and promoting web sites for small businesses, with emphasis on simple, effective and affordable web page design, development and promotion.   We specialize in first-time web pages for sole proprietorships and other small businesses, as well as larger web sites for companies with more extensive needs.  Initial consultations are free of charge.  

AJR Web Site Services - Small Business Web Site Developers

Based in the Houston-Galveston Texas Area

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Small Business Web Site Development Glossary of Terms


Short for web browser, a software application used to locate and display web pages. The two most popular browsers are Microsoft Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator. Both of these are graphical browsers, which means that they can display graphics as well as text.   In addition, most modern browsers can present multimedia information, including sound and video, though they require plug-ins for some formats.

Bulletin Board

A computer system used as an information source and forum for a particular interest group. They were widely used in the U.S. to distribute shareware and drivers and had their heyday before the World Wide Web took off. A BBS functions somewhat like a stand-alone web site, but without graphics. However, unlike web sites, each BBS has its own telephone number to dial into.

Today, BBSs are still used throughout the world where there is much less direct Internet access, and many serve as e-mail gateways to the Internet. Some BBSs are still in use in the U.S. and software companies may continue to maintain them as alternatives to their web sites for downloading drivers.


A program or Plug–In that monitors the number of times a given page or file has been accessed. 

Dedicated Hosting

See Dedicated Web Server

Dedicated Web Server

A computer that contains a single domain name and unique IP address.


Short for Domain Name Registration.  See Domain Registration.


Short for Domain Name System (or Service), 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 might translate to

Domain Parking

The act of registering a Domain, then placing it on a server for future reservation or usage purposes.  Commonly used tactic for reserving name similar or relevant to the original (i.e.,  reserving the .com, .net and .org of a given domain name)

Domain Pointing

The referring of one IP to another IP.  A common example is when you type in one Internet Address, and another Address almost immediately appears.

Domain Registration

The act of registering an Internet Domain Name with interNIC, the governing body of domain names.  An Internet domain name is an organization's unique name combined with a top level domain name (TLD). For example, this web site is Following are the top level domains. The .edu, .mil and .gov domains are traditionally U.S. domains. At the end of 1999, more than six million domain names were registered. Needless to say, many more are expected.


Conducting business on line. This includes, for example, buying and selling products with digital cash and via Electronic Data Interchange.

E-mail Autoresponder

A mail utility that automatically sends a reply to an e-mail message.  Autoresponders are used to send back boilerplate information on a topic without having the requester do anything more than e-mail a particular address.  They are also used to send a confirmation that the message has been received.

E-mail Forward

Sending e-mail to its correct destination. There are web sites that provide a name service either for a fee or at no cost because they are advertiser supported. These sites let you choose a permanent e-mail address, and all mail sent to that address is forwarded to your currently-active e-mail provider. If you ever change providers, you only have to update your forwarding information at these "name-only" sites.

E-mail Server

A computer in a network that provides "post office" facilities. It stores incoming mail for distribution to users and forwards outgoing mail through the appropriate channel. The term may refer to just the software that performs this service, which can reside on a machine with other services.

Error 404 - not found

The error message that is commonly displayed when a web browser cannot locate a web page or CGI script. The link to a web page (URL) is static like a telephone number in a telephone book. A web site can use software to search each link that it references for validity, but there is no program that can automatically find the new address for the missing link. The webmaster can also replace the 404 message with something more understandable.

File Manager

Software used to manage files on a disk. It provides functions to delete, copy, move, rename and view files as well as create and manage directories.  The file manager in Windows 3.x was appropriately named File Manager. In Windows 95/98, NT 4.0 and 2000, the file manager is known as Explorer.


A popular web authoring program from Microsoft for Windows and the Mac. FrontPage Editor is the graphical editor for designing the pages and FrontPage Explorer is the management tool that lets you construct and maintain the entire site. It also includes WebBots, which generate code for complex functions such as searching and password protection.

FrontPage Extensions

Microsoft FrontPage extensions are a series of files allowing FrontPage as an authoring tool on a web server.


Abbreviation of File Transfer Protocol, the protocol used on the Internet for sending files.


A method of tracking information and comments from visitors to a domain.  Usually made for accepting comments and entering personal or demographic information about the domains visitors.


Short for HyperText Markup Language, the authoring language used to create documents on the World Wide Web.

Image Map

A single graphic image containing more than one hot spot. For example, imagine a graphic of a bowl of fruit. When you click on a banana, the system displays the number of calories in a banana and when you click on an apple, it displays the number of calories in an apple. Image maps are used extensively on the World Wide Web. Each hot spot in a web image map takes you to a different web page.


An advertisement on a web page. Advertising on the web is typically sold on a cost per thousand (CPM) basis, and one impression is essentially one banner ad.

Internet Explorer

Microsoft's web browser. Like Netscape Navigator, Internet Explorer enables you to view web pages. Both browsers support Java and JavaScript. Internet Explorer also supports ActiveX.

Mail Client

An application that runs on a personal computer or workstation and enables you to send, receive and organize e-mail. It's called a client because e-mail systems are based on a client-server architecture. Mail is sent from many clients to a central server, which re-routes the mail to its intended destination.

Mail Relay

The act of pointing one Domain’s MX Record to another IP address, thereby relaying it to another domain.

Merchant Account

An agreement between a credit card processor and a seller that establishes the rules for accepting credit card purchases and transferring funds. 

Meta Tag

A special HTML tag that provides information about a web page. Unlike normal HTML tags, meta tags do not affect how the page is displayed. Instead, they provide information such as who created the page, how often it is updated, what the page is about, and which keywords represent the page's content.


Officially called Netscape Communications Corporation, Netscape was founded by James H. Clark and Marc Andreessen in 1994. It revolutionized the computer software market by giving away for free its popular Navigator Web Browser.


A technique for encrypting messages developed by Philip Zimmerman. PGP is one of the most common ways to protect messages on the Internet because it is effective, easy to use, and free. PGP is based on the public-key method, which uses two keys -- one is a public key that you disseminate to anyone from whom you want to receive a message. The other is a private key that you use to decrypt messages that you receive.


Personal Home Page is a server-side, HTML embedded scripting language used to create dynamic web pages.


(Packet Internet Groper) An Internet utility used to determine whether a particular IP address is online. It is used to test and debug a network by sending out a packet and waiting for a response.

POP Account

Short for Post Office Protocol, a protocol used to retrieve e-mail from a mail server. Most e-mail applications (sometimes called an e-mail client) use the POP protocol, although some can use the newer IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol).

POP mail server

Post Office Protocol 3 A standard mail server commonly used on the Internet. It provides a message store that holds incoming e-mail until users log on and download it. POP3 is a simple system with little selectivity. All pending messages and attachments are downloaded at the same time. POP3 uses the SMTP messaging protocol.

Real Audio

The Real Corporation offers streaming audio.  Streaming audio is an audio transmission over a data network. The term implies a one-way transmission to the listener, in which both the client and server cooperate for uninterrupted sound. The client side buffers a few seconds of audio data before it starts sending it to the speakers, which compensates for momentary delays in packet delivery. Audio conferencing, on the other hand, requires real-time two-way transmission for effective results. 

Real Video

The Real Corporation offers streaming video as well.  Streaming video is Video transmission over a data network. The term implies a one-way transmission to the viewer, in which both the client and server software cooperate for uninterrupted motion. The client side buffers a few seconds of video data before it starts sending it to the screen, which compensates for momentary delays in packet delivery. Videoconferencing, on the other hand, requires real-time two-way transmission for effective results


See Domain Forwarding.

Root Directory

In hierarchical file systems, the starting point in the hierarchy. When the computer is first started, the root directory is the current directory. Access to directories in the hierarchy requires naming the directories that are in its path.

Search Engine

A program that searches documents for specified keywords and returns a list of the documents where the keywords were found. Although search engine is really a general class of programs, the term is often used to specifically describe systems like Alta Vista and Excite that enable users to search for documents on the World Wide Web and USENET newsgroups.

Shared Hosting

See Virtual Web Server.

Shopping Cart

A shopping cart is a piece of software that acts as an online store's catalog and ordering process. Typically, a shopping cart is the interface between a company's web site and its deeper infrastructure, allowing consumers to select merchandise; review what they have selected; make necessary modifications or additions; and purchase the merchandise.


(Server-parsed HTML) A file extension used to identify HTML pages that contain server-side includes. Server-parsed means that the server scans the page for commands that require additional insertion before the page is sent to the user. 

Site Server

See Virtual Web Server

SMTP Server

Short for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol, a protocol for sending e-mail messages between servers. Most e-mail systems that send mail over the Internet use SMTP to send messages from one server to another; the messages can then be retrieved with an e-mail client using either POP or IMAP.


Abbreviation of structured query language, and pronounced either see-kwell or as separate letters. SQL is a standardized query language for requesting information from a database. The original version called SEQUEL (structured English query language) was designed by an IBM research center in 1974 and 1975. SQL was first introduced as a commercial database system in 1979 by Oracle Corporation.


Short for Secure Sockets Layer, a protocol developed by Netscape for transmitting private documents via the Internet. SSL works by using a private key to encrypt data that's transferred over the SSL connection.


A program that tracks information either by input of a form (like a guestbook) or by monitoring information about the users that visit (i.e.,  name, location, age, IP address, etc.).


A method of putting multiple domains under one “Parent” domain by separating them with a period. 


A dedicated phone connection supporting data rates of 1.544Mbits per second. A T-1 line actually consists of 24 individual channels, each of which supports 64Kbits per second. Each 64Kbit/second channel can be configured to carry voice or data traffic. Most telephone companies allow you to buy just some of these individual channels, known as fractional T-1 access.


A dedicated phone connection supporting data rates of about 43 Mbps. A T-3 line actually consists of 672 individual channels, each of which supports 64 Kbps.

Tape Backup

To copy files to a second medium (a disk or tape) as a precaution in case the first medium fails.


A popular multi-user, multitasking operating system developed at Bell Labs in the early 1970s. Created by just a handful of programmers, UNIX was designed to be a small, flexible system used exclusively by programmers.


Abbreviation of Uniform Resource Locator, the global address of documents and other resources on the World Wide Web. The first part of the address indicates what protocol to use, and the second part specifies the IP address or the domain name where the resource is located. 

Virtual Web Server

On the World Wide Web, a server that contains multiple web sites, each with its own domain name. As of the first version of the web protocol (HTTP 1.0), each web site on a virtual host must be assigned a unique IP address. HTTP Version 1.1 eliminates this requirement.

Web Host

A computer that acts as a source of information or signals. The term can refer to almost any kind of computer, from a centralized mainframe that is a host to its terminals, to a server that is host to its clients, to a desktop PC that is host to its peripherals. In network architectures, a client station (user's machine) is also considered a host, because it is a source of information to the network in contrast to a device such as a router or switch that directs traffic.

Web Server

A computer that delivers (serves up) web pages. Every web server has an IP address and possibly a domain name. For example, if you enter the URL in your browser, this sends a request to the server whose domain name is The server then fetches the page named index.html and sends it to your browser.

Windows NT

The most advanced version of the Windows operating system. Windows NT is a 32-bit operating system that supports preemptive multitasking. There are actually two versions of Windows NT: Windows NT Server, designed to act as a server in networks, and Windows NT Workstation for stand-alone or client workstations.


Short for eXtensible Markup Language, a specification developed by the W3C.  XML is a pared-down version of SGML, designed especially for web documents. It allows designers to create their own customized tags, enabling the definition, transmission, validation, and interpretation of data between applications and between organizations.

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Developing a small business Internet web site can be an affordable and cost-effective solution to keep up with business competitors (or indeed, to leap ahead of them), adding unlimited visibility for you, your products, and your services.  A web site provides a way for you to make your products and services visible to prospective customers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  If you are depending (and spending) too much on hardcopy advertising using tools such as yellow pages and directory ads, mail-outs, fliers or other attention-grabbers, a small business web site may be the answer for youthe answer to more effectively use a portion of your advertising budget.  At AJR Web Site Services, we don't do high-end, complex, expensive web page development.  Instead, we focus on the basics of effective web page design and development, domain name registration, hosting, publishing, promotion, and maintenancejust the things that a small business needs to get the right start on the Internet.  We can take your business through the entire process, doing as little or as much as you need us to do.  Almost anyone can publish a web site to the Internet, but it takes special effort to publish a site that is "findable" by the major search engines and to obtain listings in the major Internet directories When your site attracts those major search engines and gets listed in the major directories, it also attracts the visitors who use those search engines and directories.  By designing web pages that are "search engine friendly," we make it easy for your site to attract the major search engines, which, in turn, attracts the visitorsvisitors who are looking for your products and services.  Our web sites are designed with emphasis on  these concepts.  We incorporate the right design elements into the web pages, then use effective methods to promote the web site.  Our web services also include writing and editing of text, photography services for illustrative visuals, and placement of existing graphics, company logos, or other promotional information within the site material.  Whether you have only a rough idea of what you want, or if you've got a clear concept about the web site you'd like developed, we can help in the web page design and development processdoing as little or as much as you need us to do.  If you need help with an existing small business web site, or if you've got a site that's just not working for you, we can provide consultation services for site improvement.  Services include editing and rewriting of existing text for clearer and more concise presentation and communications, as well as evaluation and recommendations for correct and effective meta data presentation (effective use of hidden titles, descriptions, and keywords) to enhance search engine and directory promotions.  Our physical operations are based with accessibility to the Houston, Galveston, and Clear Lake, Texas, areasbut we can work with businesses in virtually any area of Texas, the United States, and beyond. 

We have the ability to work with small businesses in any part of Texas or the United States, but for work with our local customers, regional areas of service include (but are not limited to):  Harris County, Galveston County, Brazoria County, Chambers County, Fort Bend County, Liberty County, Montgomery County, Waller County.  A partial listing of cities includes:  Aldine, Alief, Alvin, Angleton, Arcola, Atascocita, Bacliff, Barker, Barrett, The Bay Area, Bayou Vista, Baytown, Beaumont, Bellaire, Port Arthur, Port Bolivar, Champions, Channelview, Clear Lake City, Clear Lake Shores, Cloverleaf, Conroe, Crosby, Crystal Beach, Cypress, Deer Park, Dickinson, El Lago, Ellington Field, Friendswood, Kingwood, Galena Park, Galveston, Gilchrist, Hedwig Village, The Heights, High Island, Highlands, Hitchcock, Hockley, Houston, Huffman, Hufsmith, Humble, Hunters Creek Village, Jacinto City, Jamaica Beach, Jersey Village, Katy, Kemah, Kingwood, Klein, La Marque, La Porte, Lake Houston, Lake Jackson, League City, Manvel, Missouri City, NASA JSC area, Nassau Bay, Needville, North Houston, Park Row, Pasadena, Pearland, Prairie View, Red Bluff, Rice University, Richmond, Rosenberg, San Leon, San Jacinto, Santa Fe, Seabrook, Sealy, South Houston, South Shore Harbour, Southside Place, Spring, Spring Valley, Stafford, Stuebner, Sugar Land, Sylvan Beach, Taylor Lake Village, Texas City, Tiki Island, Tomball, Webster, West University Place, The Woodlands 

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