Internet jargon buster for therapists

Browser: A software programme designed to navigate you through the World Wide Web. The most commonly used are Netscape and Microsoft Internet Explorer.

CGI (Common Gateway Interface): A programming language which allows web designers to increase interactivity on their sites. Forms which users complete and send to you over your site will be processed by CGI applications, usually stored in the CGI-BIN subdirectory on your server.

Domain name: The same as a URL, essentially. It is similar to a trademark in that once you own a domain name, nobody else can use it as the address for their website. Domain names are registered by a central registering authority, which ensures nobody else swipes your web address and maintains information on that URL's domain name servers (DNS), the electronic maps, in the form of a string of numbers which guide users to the computer on which your site lives.

FTP (File Transfer Protocol): The most common way of getting your internet pages sent to the hosting computer where they will live. To FTP your files to the server, you will need an FTP client, a simple software package which allows your computer to talk to the host computer. The most common FTP packages are CuteFTP for windows machines and Fetch for Macintosh computers.

GIF, JPEG: The most common graphics formats on the net. Files with names like filename.jpg and filename.gif are usually the image files you find on a web site.

Host: The company which owns the computer where an internet site lives. The URL of the site is registered with a central registering authority which tells your browser where to go when you call up the URL.

HTML (Hypertext Markup Language): The standard programming code for the design of web sites. The use of this code ensures a site will be accessible to anybody, almost regardless of the browser they use and where they are in the world.

Search engine: An internet site designed to sort through millions of pages and give you what you are looking for. Getting listed on the search engines is a must if you wish to attract new surfers to your site, but thousands of other sites are submitting their material to search engines daily, so don't expect to turn heads with your offering, far less to get it listed promptly, if at all.

Server: The actual computer where the site lives, from which the pages are 'served' to visitors.

Spamming: Sending large numbers of unsolicited mail to those who are potentially interested in your site. The first rule of net etiquette is not to abuse the inboxes of others on the internet, otherwise known as spamming. Avoid accusations of spamming by sending e-mails to single e-mail users and don't do the hard sell if you don't want to provoke its recipient into reporting you to your service provider.

Traffic: The number of visitors who choose your site as a preferred roadside stop as they blast down the electronic highway. Measured in hits (the number of times somebody accesses your site, no matter who they are) and unique visitors (the number of people who visit, not counting repeat visits by the same person), scrutinising this information provides most valuable clues to who likes what on your site.

URL (Universal Resource Locator): The electronic address for an internet site. It usually takes the form of The '.com' part is the extension, which can also be .net, .org or any of the country-specific extensions, such as Type the URL into the address line of your browser and hit enter to go to the page you are trying to access.

Webmaster: The official caretaker of a web site. They are often the authors of the material and/or the owners of the site, but on bigger sites are usually external bods hired to handle the technical and aesthetic maintenance of the site.



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