Technical Support Control Panel

<<return to support

Web Terminology


A Java-like Microsoft language that permits web-originated programs to be run from the Microsoft Explorer browser.

A domain name or e-mail address that forwards to another domain name or e-mail address.  

An internal link that allows visitors to jump around a long page without having to scroll.  The alphabet at the top of the page takes you to anchors placed throughout the page.

Any sort of moving image on a site.  It can be as simple as an animated gif or as sophisticated as a completely Flash site.

A small Java program that runs through the client's browser.  Usually they are animations but they can also provide additional functions for your site.

Active Server Pages.  Developed by Microsoft, ASP allows your site to have sophisticated functions, such as database queries and interactive dialogue, without installing executable files (.exe and .dll) onto the server.

Aspect Ratio
The ratio of width to height for graphics.  Any image can be resized in HTML code and if you lock the aspect ratio the proportions of the image will stay the same.

When a message comes into your e-mail box, a message is automatically sent in reply.  Although they usually announce vacations, they can also used to acknowledge receipt of orders.


Back Button
The button on your browser that lets you return to the previous page. When designing a web page you don't want your visitor to rely on the back button to navigate through your site.

The image or color that fills in the background. When creating background GIFs, (most common file type for a background) you can import one tiny 5 pixel by 5 pixel file that is less than a 1K instead of a large image that might take 30K to reproduce. The browser downloads that one tiny file and then creates the background from it.

Background Music
Music that plays when the site is opened, usually a .wav file.  FrontPage makes this procedure very easy.  Be careful when using it, though, because visitors are rarely neutral about background music- they'll love it or hate it.

The amount of data that is transferred during file uploads and downloads.  When your browser goes to a website, it downloads the html file, as well as the associated graphic, sound, movie, and Flash files.  If you have a large number of files linked to the site you could have 10 or 15 files downloaded for each 'hit' of that page.  Cumulative bandwidth of the sum of all those files over the time period of a month.

Horizontal and vertical bars are narrow graphics used to mark off sections of the web site.

AKA Anchor, a bookmark is an internal link that allows visitors to jump around a long page without having to scroll.  The alphabet at the top of the page takes you to anchors placed throughout the page. 

Computer jargon for a request that was rejected.  An e-mail can bounce, for example, which means the server rejected e-mail message.

The program on your computer that interprets html, asp, and various other files throughout the World Wide Web.  Internet Explore, Netscape, Opera and NeoPlanet are important browsers.  When you are developing your web site it is important to test it in all of these various browsers.  They are all free (just make sure to disable the "check to see if default browser" option on the browsers you use for testing purposes only.

Graphics that are hyperlinked to other pages within your website or to other websites.  They make navigation easier and can be a source of style to your site.


The computer keeps a memory of what sites you've been to and the IP information associated with that computer.

Cascading Style Sheets, which allow you to set up the style for your web site in one reference file.  This is particularly handy if you have a large site that might change designs.

Common Gateway Interface.  A generic command referring to the interface between the browser and the server.  It is generally associated with PERL, but actually refers to ASP as well.

Chat Forum
An ASP and Access database program that comes free with all of our accounts.  It offers web-based management and the option to create more than one forum.

In web jargon refers to moving your cursor onto a hyperlink and pressing the mouse button.

Computer jargon for the computer accessing your server.

Refers to the scripting behind the web site.  The code actually communicates to the browser or the server, depending on the type.

The actual words and message of the site.  Just like any other medium, good websites offer the visitor a great deal of information, whether through the written word or through excellent imagery or imaginative games.   

Persistent Client-State HTTP Cookies are files containing information about visitors to a web site (e.g., user name and preferences). This information is provided by the user during the first visit to a Web server. The server records this information in a text file and stores this file on the visitor's hard drive. When the visitor accesses the same web site again, the server looks for the cookie and configures itself based on the information provided.

To take an image and remove part of it, usually the outside edges.  This helps to correct framing issues and take away excess parts of the picture.


A database is a collection of tables, queries, and reports that organize and sort data.  The heart of the database is the table.

Dedicated Server
A server that dedicates its resources to a single web site.

When the server puts off responding to a request.  For example, an e-mail message might be deferred if the server was too busy with other requests to handle it right now.  It will tell the other server to try again later.

Dynamic HTML.  A combination of HTML, style sheets and scripts that allows web documents to be animated. Allows a web page to change after it's loaded into the browser without any input from the server.

Domain Name Server.  The server that knows how to resolve your domain name to IP address.

Domain Name
The friendly name that is associated with your IP address.  In the old days the visitor typed in a quartet of numbers called in IP address ( but that quickly changed to typing in a shorter, easier to remember version -

When files are brought from a server to your client's browser.  It can be as simple as downloading the .htm file.  If the browser doesn't recognize the file extension then it will open a dialogue box for you to download the file to your hard drive.  Zipped files are common examples of unrecognized file types.

A short cut that allows your ASP script to specify a database without having to 

Jargon for moving, interactive and changing.


When you sell, buy or trade anything on the Internet, technically it's e-commerce.

The phenom that started the passion for the web.  E-mail messages are like letters that can instantly be transmitted to another person.  

When the user does something, such as roll their cursor over an image or click on a hyperlink, then the program does something in return, such as change images or jump to a new page.


Whenever you see type such as on this page, the individual letters have a special design where the letters have special features such as thin, round, with serifs or without, smooth or jagged.  These features all together create a font.  The font we chose to use for this page is Ariel. 

Form Fields  
In each form there is a place where the visitor can type information.  Each field, or block of information, has a certain use - name, address, credit card number.

An HTML page which passes variables back to the server. These pages are used to gather information from users. Also referred to as scripts.

1.  An aliased domain takes you directly to another domain ( jumps to
2.  An e-mail messsage going to one mailbox is automatically sent to another. ( goes directly to
3.  A button on your browser that lets you move between older and newer pages.

File Transfer Protocol.  Allows files to uploaded and downloaded without opening the files.  It is separate from http:, goes through different ports and has a language or protocol of its own.


Graphics Interchange Format is an image file format commonly used in HTML documents.

Any image used on a page whether is a drawing, photo, chart, graph or even fancy display font. 

In web usage it refers to the changes hackers can do to websites.  They may change words, add pictures or deface illustrations that already exist on the site.

Graphic User Interface. Also called a 'gooey,' refers to the layout of a program or website.  The user interface is where the individual clicks buttons, scrolls down, and inputs data.  Good GUIs allow the user to find what they need and accomplish their tasks easily and effectively.  Bad GUIs make the user crazy because they cannot accomplish their tasks.


When a file is downloaded from the server to the browser it is a hit.  This is different from visitors, however.  A single visit to a web site could generate a dozen hits.  Take this page, for example.  There are several images, including the red arrows, a background gif, the little gifts on the side of this white space and the red navigation bar on the time.  When you downloaded this page, it generated 10 hits even though you are one visitor.

Web sites are a complex interaction between content files and server settings.  When a site is hosted on a server, at the very least there is an IIS (or comparable) entry so when a browser comes looking for the site, that server can say, "yes, is registered with me."  The server then knows where to get the files that compose the web site.  Once the server gets the files from the appropriate folder, it hands it over to the browser making the request.  Imagine the server that hosts the site to be like a waiter that brings you dinner.  You told the waiter what you wanted for dinner.  Sometime later, the waiter then comes from the kitchen with your food.  

Hypertext Markup Language is used to write documents for the World Wide Web to specify hypertext links between related objects and documents.

Hypertext Transfer Protocol is a standard method of transferring data between a Web server and a Web browser.

A special type of link that takes you to a new page or site.


Internet Information Server.  It is the Microsoft application that allows visitors typing in your web site's URL to be connected to the files that make up your web site.

Image Map  
A series of brief code snippets that cuts up areas of an image, called 'hotspots' where a visitor can click to jump somewhere else.  The alphabet at the top of this page has 26 distinct hotspots.  If you click on View Source in your browser you can see the various parameters of an image map.

Index Server
The Microsoft application that searches a specific group of folders to provide a group of files containing words or phrased contained in the search.

The visitor is allowed to communicate with the site.  At the very least your site should have hyperlinks that let the visitor navigate.  The more interactive, the more input the visitor has into the results she sees.

A large network of computers communicating in HTML.

A limited network of computers communicating in HTML, usually used for businesses, universities and government agencies.  Generally Intranets are password protected and well guarded from intruders.

The agency ultimately responsible for coordinating domain names and IP addresses.

IP Address
nternet Protocol address identifying a computer connected to the Internet.

Internet Service Provider. Generally refers to the company that provides dial up or high speed connection to the Internet itself.



A programming language developed by Sun that is very popular for a range of programs from web animations to server applications to handheld games.

A scripting language, rather than a programming language, that is loosely (very loosely) based on the conventions C++.  It is used in ASP, which is interpreted server-side, and DHTML, which is interpreted by the client's browser.



In the computer world this is a free-standing informational computer, often at the entrance to the mall, the convention, or the student union.


Some programs offer you the option to create images or web sites built one section on top of the other.  Think of them as the thin transparencies teachers used in school to project onto the screen.  If you pile them on top of each other to create your total image or site, then you just have to change one layer to change the whole look.  If you make a change to one layer it has no effect on the layers above or below it.

A bit of code that takes you to another page or portion of the page you are on.  We have links at the top of the page if you wanted to go to the signup page.  We also have links that take you around the page - the red arrow to the right will take you to the top.  The alphabet will take you back down the page.   Both are considered links.

Line Breaks  
HTML normally ends each line with a </p>, which gives the appearance of double spacing.  If you would rather see a single space you need to insert a <br> instead of the </p>.

Log In
To enter a username and password to gain entrance to a program, website, computer, e-mail programs, etc.  

Log Out  
To actually tell the computer program that you logged into that you are leaving.  It will disengage you in real time rather than waiting 15 minutes to discover that you've left.

When a program ends and then begins again without prompting.  Animated GIFs and small Flash movies often loop until you close out the file.


Message Board
Similar to a chat forum but usually running in a single string.  A chat forum like the one Coastline offers provides responses to various posts.  A single post then generates its own string of dialogue. A message board is more likely to display a never-ending stream of chat.

Meta Tags
Reference lines placed at the beginning of your html document that let search engines know what the site is about without having to crawl your entire page.  An example would be <META content="type descriptive words here" name=keywords>

When you roll the cursor over a graphic it acts as a trigger.  Generally when you mouseover a graphic it replaces it with another graphic.


To move throughout the site.  A visitor usually starts on your home page and finds their way around your various pages.

Navigation Bar
Generally, a navigation bar is a group of common hyperlinks that provide structure and continuity throughout the web site.

The producer of one of the major browsers available to Internet surfers and a major portal into the Internet. 

News Service


An NT4 service that keeps track of DSN information, database drivers and the location of specific databases.  

Open Source
The source code for a software program is made available to anybody who wants to use it.  Linux is an example of an open source operating system.


A group of colors.  In this case this usually refers to web safe colors that are accurate on any computer monitor anywhere.

A secret series of letters and numbers that identifies you as you.  Theoretically you would be the only one who would know this information so you could have access to your banking, e-mail and web hosting account information.  There is an entire industry devoted to cracking passwords, by the way, so you need to be careful when choosing a password.  Avoid the names of your children, pets, sweethearts, etc.  Nonsense words combined with numbers work the best as they are more difficult to crack.  And never, never, never under any circumstances ever are you to use 'password' as your password.  It's the first to be used.  The next to be tried is the name of the account.  If you are sally234 and the password is sally234 then you are asking for trouble.

What you are allowed to do on a website or on a computer.  The choices are usually - Read, Write, Execute Programs, Change Permissions, Delete and List Folder Contents.  Generally, the standard internet user just has 'read' permissions.  Some sites request information such as your name and e-mail address.  These sites have to allow you some sort of write permission in order for this to work.   

A site that has set itself up to access the web.  They are often chosen as the default web site for browsers -,,,, and, are all examples of portal sites.  They offer an assortment of news, links, e-mail and features that give the visitor places to go and things to do on the web. 

A type of e-mail server that receives incoming e-mail and either stores it for future use or forwards it onto the proper destination.  Coastline offers POP3 mail accounts.

Pop-Up Boxes
When you go to a site or click on a hyperlink another browser window opens up, often with an advertisement  Many web surfers find unwanted popup boxes a nuisance.  

Proxy Server
A computer that stands between a network or ISP and the Internet.  It can protect the computers behind it and it can cache, or keep a copy, of all the websites its members have visited.  This can make Internet surfing faster.  However, you are also looking at older pages.  Often times, Coastline clients will say "I made changes to my site but I can't see them."  and they are most often working from behind a proxy server.

FrontPage users must publish their site to the server, which means the web site is uploaded and all of the Active X components (counters, forms, etc.) are initialized.  If you just ftp a site created in FrontPage most of the little working parts will not actually work.


When a program or script such as VBScript asks the database a question it is called a query.  "How many hotdogs were sold on Tuesday?" would be a query.  The response would be the answer - 64.


Similar to a mouseover.  When you roll the cursor over a graphic it acts as a trigger.  Generally a graphic is replaced with another graphic.

Root Folder
The folder that contains all of your website.  You may have files and subfolders but your root folder is the most comprehensive folder.   You always place default.asp or default.htm in the root folder so when visitors just type in your domain they don't have to worry about also typing in a subfolder, such as, which is clunky and difficult to remember.  


Sans Serif
A type face that devoid of serifs, or the curls and overhangs than can adorn some type.  The body of this document is sans serif.

Jargon for writing code in a computer language like Javascript or VBScript.

Search Engine
A giant, specialized program and server that searches the Internet in response to queries.  It acts as though the Internet were a giant card catalog and it was the librarian.

Serifs are the little strokes that appear at the edges of the primary stroke of a character, easily identified on
T, for example.

A computer that provides applications, databases and services for other computers.  Servers are generally optimized for speed and memory. 

Server-side Script
Script that is run on the server before it ever reaches the client's browser.  ASP is an example of a server-side operation.  This makes the download faster for the client but it can take up resources on your server.

A Java application that is processed by the server instead of the client's computer. 

Computer software that is distributed on the honor system.  Generally, if you like the program you send the creator a small fee (usually) in order to compensate them for their time.

Short for Web Site, which is a collection of html or asp files, graphics, and links that combine to form a cohesive unit.

A special program or collection of graphics that sits on top of a standard program.  There are a number of skins for Windows and even an entire browser program that supports skins (

Simple Mail Transfer Protocol.  The e-mail language that allows messages to be sent.  

The programs that run on our computers (hardware) giving us the ability to write, calculate our taxes, alter photographs and write e-mails.  Software is

Another name for Search Engine.

Secure Sockets Layer

Another way of organizing your web site.  If this page were a subdomain it might be called  


Probably the single most useful (simple) device for setting up a site the way you want it set up.  When you place an image in a table, you can be assured it will appear in that part of the table every time. 

Temporary Internet Files  
Also known as your computer's cache, or memory.  Each time your browser visits a site it must download files (sometimes quite a few files) in order to show you the web page.  The files are stored on your computer for days, weeks or months after you actually viewed the page.  It is important to clear the Temporary Internet Files periodically so you are assured of always seeing fresh pages.

How often your site is being viewed.  The more people who are visiting your site, the higher your traffic.


To copy the files from your computer to another computer or server through FTP.

Uniform Resource Locator is a means of identifying an exact location on the Internet. For example, is the URL which defines the use of HTTP to access the Web page Default.htm in the /support of the Coastline Web site. As the previous example shows, a URL is comprised of four parts: Protocol Type (HTTP), Machine Name (, Directory Path (/html/info/), and File Name (default.htm).

Each server has a list of who can log onto it.  When your account is created, you receive a unique username (usually based on your domain name) that allows you to FTP into your folder.  When you are using FTP or FrontPage you are actually working off of our server.


One of the scripting languages in ASP.  It is loosely based on Visual Basic.  ASP allows you to run complex scripts on the server.

Virtual Hosting  
When a large number of websites are hosted on single server with a single IP address.  To the outside world it appears as though your site is situated on its own server.


Web Colors
A group of 256 colors that are safe for all browsers. has an excellent visual of the web-safe colors.

The person responsible for (usually) creating and maintaining a web site.  Web Manager is beginning to replace Webmaster in the corporate world.

A collection of HTML-based files, graphics, sounds, etc., that are linked together in an organizational structure.  The visitor goes from one file to the next through 'hyperlinks,' which the browser interprets as 'go here.'  

Web page  
The individual file that the client's browser interprets and presents as a cohesive unit.  In actuality a given web page might have dozens of files that actually work together to create the final page.  The HTML script that tells the browser what to do.

World Wide Web.  A giant network of computers that speak to each other using HTTP and generally some sort of HTML documents.  Although that's changing and you will find more and more .asp pages and .php pages, HTML is still the backbone of the Internet.

What You See Is What You Get.  Web authoring programs such as Dreamweaver and FrontPage that allow you to see the final result of your HTML document as a browser would see it.

Extensible Markup Language.  What HTML does for words and pictures, XML does for "structured data" such as spreadsheets, address books, configuration parameters, financial transactions, technical drawings, etc.  It goes beyond HTML in that it allows the developer to create their own tags and define their own data terms.  The files for XML tend to be large but 

Okay, it's the only thing we could think of that starts with Y.  Yahoo, by the way, is a special type of search engine called a directory where you browse through the various directories to find the site that suits your needs.

To compress files so they are smaller and easier to transfer.  It is common practice to link to zipped files to create an automatic download.