If you sometimes feel as if your Web designer is speaking to you in a foreign, even alien, language, you need a way of cutting through the Web design jargon. You can find some great dictionaries online, but for starters, here are over 40 of the most common terms you are likely to encounter.

ACROBAT: Acrobat is used as a synonym for PDF file, but actually it is the program family you need to create and read PDF files. Adobe sells Acrobat Standard and Pro, which are creation tools, and freely distributes Acrobat Reader, which is a viewer (with some annotation tools in the latest versions).

APPLET: A program written in the Java programming language that can be included in an HTML page, and can contain flashy effects or useful programming.

ASP: Active Server Pages. A specification that enables Web pages to be dynamically created, or to access information from databases. The default language for writing ASP pages is VBScript, but other languages are also used.

BANDWIDTH: The amount of data sent over a connection in a specified amount of time is measured in bits per second (bps), kilobits per second (Kbps) or megabits per second (Mbps).

BTL/ATL /TTL: BTL (Below The Line) advertising means print media like brochures. ATL (Above The Line) advertising refers to such expensive media as TV and radio. TTL (Through The Line) is a combination of the two.

CGI: Common Gateway Interface. This server-side program allows data to be passed between Web applications.

COLD FUSION: This specification enables Web pages to be dynamically created, or to access information from a database. The default language for writing Cold Fusion pages is CFML (Cold Fusion Markup Language), and the page extension is .cfm.

CONTENT: The graphics and copy (text) that make up your Web site.

CSS: Acronym for Cascading Style Sheets, an external document that controls variables like color and fonts on your Web site.

DHTML: Dynamic HTML. A combination of HTML, CSS and JavaScript is used to create small effects, animations and dynamic menus on Web sites.

DNS: Domain Name Service translates domain names back and forth with IP numbers using a DNS server.

DOMAIN NAME: The address of your Web site (e.g. coza-web.co.za or google.com).

DPI/PPI: Dots Per Inch and Pixels Per Inch determine whether an image has high, medium or low resolution. Images for Web publication should have 72 ppi, those to be printed on deskjet printers should have 150 ppi and pictures to be professionally printed should have 300 ppi.

FLASH: 2D animation created in Flash can have an .swf extension for Web sites or an .exe extension for digital presentations. You need Flash Player installed on your computer to see SWF files.

FRAMES: Two or more HTML pages combined within a single browser screen lets you have scrolling regions on different sections of the Web page.

FTP: File Transfer Protocol for downloading or uploading files from or to computers with an appropriate FTP program or Internet browser.

HOST: The physical computer where files that make up your Web site are located, and whose contents can be accessed via TCP/IP.

HTML: Hyper Text Markup Language. The language for creating Web pages.

IP ADDRESS: Internet Protocol Address. Every device connected to the Internet has a unique IP address.

JAVA: A programming language by Sun Microsystems for writing Java applets.

JAVASCRIPT: This scripting language can be embedded in HTML pages or accessed by them as an external document (file type =.js) to create effects, validate forms, etc.

JPEG: Joint Photographic Experts Group. A compressed image file.

KERNING: Horizontal spacing between letter pairs.

LEADING: Vertical spacing between the baselines under text in a paragraph or list.

META DATA/TAG: Part of the backend, thus not visible to the viewer, of an HTML page providing descriptions and keywords for optimizing search engines.

MYSQL: An open source relational database management system that uses SQL (Structured Query Language).

ORGANIC SEO: The optimizing of search engines by obtaining one-way links from other Web sites without actively submitting your site.

PERL: Practical Extracting and Reporting Language.

PIXEL: The smallest component, or single grid point, of a raster image.

PHP: An open source programming language that enables Web pages to be created dynamically, or access information from a database. It is widely used in conjunction with MySQL.

PLUG-IN: A small application, like Adobe Flash Player, that is installed and used as an added feature by your Web browser.

ROLL OVERS: Graphics that move or change when your mouse passes over them.

SERP: Search Engine Results Page.

TAG: Often called Markup tags or HTML tags, these are used to define parts of Web pages so that they display correctly for the site visitor.

URL: Uniform Resource Locator, the address of a Web page or file.

W3C: World Wide Web Consortium is a group of companies that set international standards for HTML and the Web.

WYSIWYG: What You See Is What You Get.

XHTML: Once planned as a successor to HTML 4.0, it is a hybrid of HTML and XML.

XML: Extensible Markup Language allows you to create custom tags.

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