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Computer Jargon

by Chris Pritchard General

At Datrim, we try to avoid the use of jargon when speaking with our customers, preferring to use plain English. However, it can be helpful to know some of these terms and here are some of the more common ones:

At Datrim, we try to avoid the use of jargon when speaking with our customers, preferring to use plain English. However, it can be helpful to know some of these terms and here are some of the more common ones:


When referring to the web, accessibility is how easily people with disabilities can use your website. Several tools are available for people with different kinds of disabilities. As a website owner, you have a legal
responsibility to ensure that your website meets the requirements to allow these tools to work successfully.


Bandwidth refers to the amount of data that your Internet connection can carry. Higher bandwidth means faster transmission of data, resulting in web pages that load faster.


The word “Blog” is an abbreviation of “Web Log” – a type of website where someone records events or articles on a specific subject. Visitors can usually add comments to an entry and some blogs allow visitors to their own entries.


A web browser is a software application which displays websites on your computer. The most common browser among Windows users is Microsoft Internet Explorer. On the Mac it is Safari. Several other browsers are gaining popularity including: FireFox, Opera, and Google’s new browser Chrome.

Content Management System (CMS)

Content Management Systems allow website content to be updated by the website owner. These systems make it much easier for anyone to maintain a website without the need to know how to write code.


A Cookie is a small file which websites store on your computer. It is normally used to recognise you on future visits to the site. Although cookies are quite safe, if you would prefer not to allow cookies, you can block them in your browser’s settings. However, some websites will not work properly if cookies are turned off.


CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets. Web designers use CSS to control the appearance of items on the page. It can control colours, fonts, in fact the entire page layout. The use of CSS has become standard for all modern sites and greatly simplifies site maintenance. For example, changing the text used on every page of a website can be accomplished by making a simple change in the CSS file, saving countless hours of work.

Domain Name

A Domain name is the address of a website – such as “”.


Flash is is a method of adding animation to webpages. Designed by Adobe, Flash can enhance a website if used sparingly; however, when overused it results in pages taking a long time to load and will frustrate visitors.


FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol, and is the protocol used for exchanging files over the Internet. FTP is most commonly used to transfer files to and from a web server using the Internet.


HTML stands for Hypertext Markup Language. It is the name of the language used to write web pages. Your browser reads the HTML which tells it what to display on the page.


HTTP stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol. It is the process used to transfer the content of a webpage from the server to your computer’s browser.


Hyperlinks, or links as they are more commonly called, are used to link different web pages together. When you click on a link, code embedded in the link directs the browser to the new location which may be a page on another web site, another page on the same site, or another spot on the same page.


ISP is an abbreviation of Internet Service Provider. ISP’s are companies that provides internet connections to their customers.


JavaScript is another programming language used by website developers. It is used to add additional features to web pages that are not possible using HTML. It is usually used to dynamically add or change elements on the web page.

Search Engine

A search engine is a website which allows you to search the internet for information. The results are usually listed in order of relevance to the search phrase you entered. Google is probably the most well-known search engine.


URL is an abbreviation for Uniform Resource Locator – the address of a website or specific web page. A URL is similar to a domain name with one important difference: A website has only one domain name, but has a different URL for each page. You could think of the domain name as an office building and each office as a URL.

Web Server

A Web server, or Server, is a computer on which you store the contents a website. When your browser requests a specific web page the server serves it up. A single server may host many different websites and need to be very powerful in order to deal with large volumes of traffic.


VOIP stands for Voice Over Internet Protocol and allows you to make telephone calls over the Internet. This technology makes it possible to make inexpensive international telephone calls via the Internet.

For more information on this topic, or for a free consultation in the Oxfordshire area, contact us today.