ActionScript is a scripting language based on ECMAScript. and is used primarily for the development of websites and software using the Adobe Flash Player platform. Originally developed by Macromedia, the language is now owned by Adobe (which acquired Macromedia in 2005). ActionScript was initially designed for controlling simple 2D vector animations, however, later versions added functionality allowing for the creation of Web-based games and rich internet applications with streaming media (such as video and audio). Although Adobe and Apple have had a fairly long standing dispute over the way that Flash Apps affect the computers they run on – typically Flash Apps are resource hungry, and will significantly drain your battery when running on laptops and handheld devices – it is unlikely that Flash will dissapear forever any time soon. However, the future of Flash is a foregone conclusion as of this writing, and that future is bleak indeed.

Alexa Internet, Inc. is a California-based subsidiary company of Amazon.com that is known for its toolbar and website. Once installed, the toolbar collects data on browsing behavior which is transmitted to the website where it is stored and analyzed and is the basis for the company’s web traffic reporting.

Alternatives are what we offer our clients. A departure from the norm, a change from having not much choice at all!

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) is a style sheet language used to describe the presentation (that is, the look and formatting) of a document written in a markup language. Its most common application is to style web pages written in HTML and XHTML. CSS is designed primarily to enable the separation of document content (written in HTML or a similar markup language) from document presentation, including elements such as the colors, fonts, and layout. This separation can improve content accessibility, provide more flexibility and control in the specification of presentation characteristics, enable multiple pages to share formatting, and reduce complexity and repetition in the structural content.

A content management system (CMS) such as a document management system is a computer application used to manage work flow needed to collaboratively create, edit, review, index, search, publish and archive various kinds of digital media and electronic text. CMS’ are frequently used for storing, controlling, versioning, and publishing industry-specific documentation such as news articles, operators’ manuals, technical manuals, sales guides, and marketing brochures. The content managed may include computer files, image media, audio files, video files, electronic documents, and Web content. These concepts represent integrated and interdependent layers. There are various nomenclatures known in this area: Web Content Management, Digital Asset Management, Digital Records Management, Electronic Content Management and so on. The bottom line for these systems is managing content and publishing, with a workflow if required.

ACookie is a small string of text stored on a user’s computer by a web browser. A cookie consists of one or more name-value pairs containing bits of information such as user preferences, shopping cart contents, the identifier for a server-based session, or other data used by websites. The term “cookie” is derived from “magic cookie“, a well-known concept in UNIX computing which inspired both the idea and the name. Cookies are subject to a number of misconceptions, mostly based on the erroneous notion that they are computer programs that run on a user’s computer. In fact, cookies are simple pieces of text data that affect the operation of a web server, not the client, and do so in very specific ways. In particular, they are neither spyware nor viruses, although cookies from certain sites are described as spyware by many anti-spyware products because they can allow users to be tracked when they visit various sites.

A Domain is an identification label to define a realm of administrative autonomy, authority, or control in the internet, based on the Domain Name System (DNS). Domain names are used in various networking contexts and application-specific naming and addressing purposes. Domain names are organized in subordinate levels (subdomains) of the top-level Internet domains (TLDs), such as the prominent domains com, net and org.

AdobeFlash (previously called Macromedia Flash) is a multimedia platform originally acquired by Macromedia and currently developed and distributed by Adobe Systems. Since its introduction in 1996, Flash has become a popular method for adding animation and interactivity to web pages and is commonly used to create advertisements, various web page components, to integrate video into web pages, and more recently, to develop rich internet applications. Flash can manipulate vector and raster graphics and supports bidirectional streaming of audio and video. It contains a scripting language called ActionScript.

A free listings site is a web site that carries a database containing contact details and information about businesses. Often free listing sites are specific to a geographical area or trade, but in most instances they act very much like traditional listings directories with alphabetical and category search facilities. Examples of free listing sites include: Hot Frog, Free Index, yell.com, Thomson Online, Your Parish, website-design-directory.co.uk : web site design and development directory, BT Trade Space, UFindus, City Listings, My Local Services, and BizyBiz.

Graceful degradation or fault tolerance is the property that enables a system (often computer-based) to continue operating properly in the event of the failure of (or one or more faults within) some of its components. If its operating quality decreases at all, the decrease is proportional to the severity of the failure, as compared to a naïvely-designed system in which even a small failure can cause total breakdown. Data formats may also be designed to degrade gracefully. HTML for example, is designed to be forward compatible, allowing new HTML entities to be ignored by Web browsers which do not understand them without causing the document to be unusable.

HTML, an initialism for Hypertext Mark-up Language, is the predominant markup language for web pages. It provides a means to describe the structure of text-based information in a document—by denoting certain text as links, headings, paragraphs, lists, etc.—and to supplement that text with interactive forms, embedded images, and other objects. HTML is written in the form of “tags” consisting minimally of “elements” surrounded by angle brackets. HTML can also describe, to some degree, the appearance and semantics of a document, and can include embedded scripting language code (such as JavaScript) that can affect the behaviour of Web browsers and other HTML processors.

HTML5, is the latest iteration of the Hyper Text Markup Language, and has been vigourously upgraded to allow for the native embedding of video and audio files, along with very simple animation structures. Hailed as the future of media-rich web-browsing, this tehnology is still very much in its infancy, although YouTube has now embraced it, Apple is treating it like it’s already a global standard (even though it most certainly is not), and Microsoft looks like they just wish it would go away and leave them alone! Most up-to-date browsers are supporting it to some extent, but owing to legal restrictions various browsers support native video in various different formats, see the table for current details:

Browser MP4 WebM Ogg
Internet Explorer 9 YES NO NO
Firefox 4.0 NO YES YES
Google Chrome 6 YES YES YES
Apple Safari 5 YES NO NO
Opera 10.6 NO YES YES

The homepage (often written as home page) is the URL or local file that automatically loads when a web browser starts or when the browser’s “home” button is pressed. The term is also used to refer to the front page, webserver directory index, or main web page of a website of a group, company, organization, or individual. In some countries, such as Germany, Japan, and South Korea, and formerly in the US, the term “homepage” commonly refers to a complete website (of a company or other organization) rather than to a single web page. By the late 1990s this usage had died out in the US, replaced by the more comprehensive term “web site”.

A hyperlink is a reference in a document to an external piece of information. The most common usage is in the internet to browse through web pages: some text in the current document is highlighted so that when clicked, the browser automatically displays another page or changes the current page to show the referenced content. The highlighted element is known as a hyperlink (or link for short) and makes a logical connection between two places in the same or different documents.

JavaScript is a scripting language used to enable programmatic access to objects within other applications. It is primarily used in the form of client-side JavaScript for the development of dynamic websites. JavaScript is a dialect of the ECMAScript standard and is characterized as a dynamic, weakly typed, prototype-based language with first-class functions.

Liquid web sites are the utopia of flexibility, a site with no constraints whatsoever. Liquid sites expand or shrink to the available space on the screen monitor, no matter what browser window size or resolution the user might be using. In contrast, Jelly web sites are the middle solution between rigid and flexible. The box holding the content is centered at any resolution thus preserving equilibrium, while still not using up all of the available space. Lastly, Ice web sites are very rigid sites. The box that holds the content is fixed to the left. On higher resolutions appears a blank space stripe on the right causing a lack of equilibrium in the design. (However, there are occasions when it is preferable to use an Ice design over a Liquid design.)

Local search is the use of specialized Internet search engines that allow users to submit geographically constrained searches against a structured database of local business listings. Typical local search queries include not only information about “what” the site visitor is searching for (such as keywords, a business category, or the name of a consumer product) but also “where” information, such as a street address, city name, postal code, or geographic coordinates like latitude and longitude. Examples of local searches include “Hong Kong hotels”, “Manhattan restaurants”, and “Dublin Hertz”. Local searches exhibit explicit or implicit local intent. A search that includes a location modifier, such as “Bellevue, WA” or “14th arrondissement”, is an explicit local search. A search that references a product or service that is typically consumed locally, such as “restaurant” or “nail salon”, is an implicit local search. Local search sites are primarily supported by advertising from businesses that wish to be prominently featured when users search for specific products and services in specific locations. Local search advertising can be highly effective because it allows ads to be targeted very precisely to the search terms and location provided by the user.

PageRank is a link analysis algorithm, named after Larry Page, used by the Google Internet search engine that assigns a numerical weighting to each element of a hyperlinked set of documents, such as the World Wide Web, with the purpose of “measuring” its relative importance within the set. The algorithm may be applied to any collection of entities with reciprocal quotations and references. The numerical weight that it assigns to any given element E is also called the PageRank of E and denoted by PR(E). The name “PageRank” is a trademark of Google, and the PageRank process has been patented (U.S. Patent 6,285,999). However, the patent is assigned to Stanford University and not to Google, although Google has exclusive license rights on the patent from Stanford University. The university received 1.8 million shares of Google in exchange for use of the patent; the shares were sold in 2005 for $336 million!

Perl is a high-level, general-purpose, interpreted, dynamic programming language. Perl was originally developed by Larry Wall, a linguist working as a systems administrator for NASA, in 1987, as a general purpose Unix scripting language to make report processing easier. Since then, it has undergone many changes and revisions and become widely popular among programmers. Larry Wall continues to oversee development of the core language, and its upcoming version, Perl 6. Perl borrows features from other programming languages including C, shell scripting (sh), AWK, and sed. The language provides powerful text processing facilities without the arbitrary data length limits of many contemporary Unix tools, facilitating easy manipulation of text files. It is also used for graphics programming, system administration, network programming, applications that require database access and CGI programming on the Web. Perl is nicknamed “the Swiss Army chainsaw of programming languages” due to its flexibility and adaptability.

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. PHP is installed on more than 20 million websites and 1 million web servers.

RSS (most commonly translated as “Rich Site Summary”) is a family of web feed formats used to publish frequently updated works—such as blog entries, news headlines, audio, and video—in a standardized format. An RSS document (which is called a “feed”, “web feed”, or “channel”) includes full or summarized text, plus metadata such as publishing dates and authorship. Web feeds benefit publishers by letting them syndicate content automatically. They benefit readers who want to subscribe to timely updates from favored websites or to aggregate feeds from many sites into one place.

A scripting language, script language or extension language is a programming language that allows control of one or more software applications. “Scripts” are distinct from the core code of the application, which is usually written in a different language, and are often created or at least modified by the end-user. Scripts are often interpreted from source code or byte code, whereas the applications they control are traditionally compiled to native machine code. Scripting languages are nearly always embedded in the applications they control. The name “script” is derived from the written script of the performing arts, in which dialogue is set down to be spoken by human actors.

Search Engines, as their name suggests, are web-based systems that searchmassive databases containing information about individual web sites. To be listed efficiently by search engines it is necessary to submit a site URL. There are a plethora of different search engines, some global in scale, and others that cater for specific geographical areas or interests. Google, InfoTiger, Abacho, Acoon, Actulab, Aesop, AnooX, Best_Search_Engine, Entireweb, Evisum, Exploora, Google_AU, Google_UK, HomerWeb, Jayde2, MavicaNET, MaxPromo, NerdWorld, New_Web_Stuff, Scrub_The_Web, SearchEngine, SearchtheWeb, SearchWrap, Search_O_Rama, Search_Ramp, Starting_Point, and YuSearch.

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), and its successor Transport Layer Security (TLS), are cryptographic protocols that provide security and data integrity for communications over networks such as the Internet. TLS and SSL encrypt the segments of network connections at the Transport Layer end-to-end. Several versions of the protocols are in wide-spread use in applications like web browsing, electronic mail, Internet faxing, instant messaging and voice-over-IP (VoIP). TLS is an IETF standards track protocol based on the earlier SSL specifications developed by Netscape Corporation.

Server Side Includes (SSI) is a simple server-side scripting language used almost exclusively for the web. As its name implies, its primary use is including the contents of one file into another one dynamically when the latter is served by a web server. SSI is primarily used to “paste” the contents of one or more files into another.

A web hosting service is a type of Internet hosting service that allows individuals and organisations to provide their own website 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. The scope of hosting services varies widely. The most basic is web page and small-scale file hosting, where files can be uploaded via File Transfer Protocol (FTP) or a Web interface. A complex site calls for a more comprehensive package that provides database support and application development platforms.

Site maintenance is essential to keep the information current and up-to-date. It also refers to the procedure of optimisation, whereby the information and links contained within the site framework are ‘tweeked’ to maximize search results in the clients favour.

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the process of improving the volume or quality of traffic to a web site from search engines via “natural” (“organic” or “algorithmic”) search results. Typically, the earlier a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine. SEO may target different kinds of search, including image search, local search, and industry-specific vertical search engines. This gives a web site web presence. As an Internet marketing strategy, SEO considers how search engines work and what people search for. Optimising a website primarily involves editing its content and HTML coding to both increase its relevance to specific keywords and to remove barriers to the indexing activities of search engines.

Webtraffic is the amount of data sent and received by visitors to a web site. It is a large portion of Internet traffic. This is determined by the number of visitors and the number of pages they visit. Sites monitor the incoming and outgoing traffic to see which parts or pages of their site are popular and if there are any apparent trends, such as one specific page being viewed mostly by people in a particular country. There are many ways to monitor this traffic and the gathered data is used to help structure sites, highlight security problems or indicate a potential lack of bandwidth — not all web traffic is welcome. Some companies offer advertising schemes that, in return for increased web traffic (visitors), pay for screen space on the site. Sites also often aim to increase their web traffic through inclusion on search engines and through Search engine optimisation.

A Uniform Resource Locator (URL) specifies where an identified resource is available and the mechanism for retrieving it. The term has now been superceeded by URI (Uniform Resource Indicator) since this more acurately describes its function. In popular language, an URL is also referred to as a Web address.

Vertical search, or domain-specific search, part of a larger sub-grouping known as “specialised” search, is a relatively new tier in the Internet search industry consisting of search engines that focus on specific slices of content. The type of content in special focus may be based on topicality or information type. For example, an intelligent medical search engine would clearly be specialized in terms of its topical focus, whereas a video search engine would seek out results within content that is in a video format. So, vertical search may focus on all manner of differentiating criteria, such as particular locations, multimedia object types and so on.

The Web Consortium Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) now in version 2.0 covers a wide range of recommendations for making Web content more accessible. Following these guidelines will make content accessible to a wider range of people with disabilities, including blindness and low vision, deafness and hearing loss, learning disabilities, cognitive limitations, limited movement, speech disabilities, photosensitivity and combinations of these. Following these guidelines will also often make your Web content more usable to users in general.

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is the main international standards organisation for the World Wide Web. It is arranged as a consortium where member organisations maintain full-time staff for the purpose of working together in the development of standards for the World Wide Web. As of June 2009, the W3C had 388 members.

A white hat is the hero or good guy, especially in computing slang, where it refers to an ethical hacker or penetration tester who focuses on securing and protecting IT systems. In recent years, the terms white hat and black hat have been applied to the Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) industry. Black hat SEO tactics such as spamdexing, attempt to redirect search results to particular target pages in a fashion that is against the search engines’ terms of service, whereas white hat methods are generally approved by the search engines. White hats tend to produce results that last a long time, whereas black hats anticipate that their sites may eventually be banned either temporarily or permanently once the search engines discover what they are doing.

XML (Extensible Markup Language) is a general-purpose specification for creating custom markup languages. It is classified as an extensible language, because it allows the user to define the mark-up elements. XML’s purpose is to aid information systems in sharing structured data, especially via the Internet. XML’s set of tools helps developers in creating web pages but its usefulness goes well beyond that. XML, in combination with other standards, makes it possible to define the content of a document separately from its formatting, making it easy to reuse that content in other applications or for other presentation environments. Most importantly, XML provides a basic syntax that can be used to share information between different kinds of computers, different applications, and different organisations without needing to pass through many layers of conversion.