Glossary of Web Terms
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Common Gateway Interface
A standard by which programs executing on a web server can communicate with a cooperating web browser.
Example: Programs that access databases stored on a web server often do so through a CGI program located on the web server. The program receives requests from the web browser for information stored in the database, looks up the information in the database, creates a web page containing the data and sends the data back to the web browser.

Domain Name System
A system that enables one to connect to websites by specifying the address or URL of the website. Computers on the Internet must be accessed by using that computer's IP address much like you must use a person's phone number to access that person through the phone system. The Domain Name System acts much like a phone book in that it translates a website address (URL) like to its IP address, Domain Name Servers use the Domain Name System to look up the IP addresses of URLs.

DNS Server
A computer, connected to the internet, that uses the Domain Name System to translate URLs (web addresses) into IP addresses. See the definitions of DNS and URL. This is the most common function of a DNS server. DNS servers may also perform reverse DNS translation, converting IP addresses into URLs. Additionally, DNS servers keep a data base of the URLs and corresponding IP addresses for which they are directly responsible.
Example: A web browser or other program might request that a DNS server translate the URL,, into its IP address. The DNS server would then return

Domain Name
Domain names form the basis of URLs or website addresses. For example, the addresses and both belong to the domain. In order to own a domain name one must register the name (if it is not already taken) and pay a yearly fee.

Domain Name Server
See DNS server above.

IP Address
Internet Protocol Address
Every computer on the Internet is identified by a unique IP Address which consists of a set of 4 numbers separated by dots (periods).
Example: is the address of a computer that belongs to Microsoft Corp.

Internet Service Provider
Provides your computer's connection to the Internet. In addition your ISP may also provide space for your website.

meta tags
Meta tags are a component of a web page that contain information about that web page. For example, most web pages should include a desciption of themselves as well as a list of "keywords" that search engines can use to categorize the web page. The information in meta tags are not directly viewable through a web browser but are intended for programs such as those run by search engines.

In order to own a domain name one must register that name (if it is available) with a domain name registrar and pay a yearly fee. Additionally, the name must be hosted by a domain name server. When there is no website associated with a properly registered domain name that domain name is said to be "parked". Parking is used as a means of reserving domain names for future use. The owner of the domain name server normally charges a fee for parking the domain name.

A computer that provides services for other computers. For example, the web pages that comprise a website reside on a computer called a web server. The web server delivers web pages to computers that are browsing the website.

Existing on the server.
Example: A program that accesses a database stored on a web server must also exist on the server.

Uniform Resource Locator A standard naming convention for identifying objects in a computer network environment. The most common URLs are website addresses.

Web Server
A computer, connected to the Internet, that contains web pages. The web server, when it receives a request from a web browser for a web page, delivers the web page to the web browser which displays the page.

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