Glossary: Web Services and Technology

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Terms related to web design and development, the internet, business technology, and more.



ASP.NET is a web development framework from Microsoft for creating dynamic websites and applications. A web development framework, in this sense, is a piece of software that is installed on a web server (or even your PC) that supports the website or application. A rudimentary analogy would be what a regulation basketball court is to the sport of basketball. A basketball court provides boundaries and a foundation in which the game can be played on, much in the same way a development framework provides a general foundation to build websites on top of. C# and Visual Basic are scripting languages that can be used to create ASP.NET websites. For more information, see Scripting Language.


Whenever anyone visits a website, a certain amount of information is transferred from the web server hosting the website to the visitor’s browser. The amount of information transferred correlates to what the user sees and/or hears: text and images, video, music, even the styles associated with colors and text size. The transfer of that information uses a provider’s bandwidth. Bandwidth is refreshed at the beginning of each new month. The Small Business Authority provides enough bandwidth to accommodate even the busiest of websites.

A utility that shortens a long URL, making it easier to include in an email or a social media post. also enables tracking, so you can see how many clicks that link has gotten, as well as other tracking information.


This term may come up in conversation with your custom website designer. CMS is the acronym for Content Management System. In its most basic form, it’s a management system that provides an easy way to add content to your website, while the CMS application handles all back-end issues. Popular examples of CMS’s include WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, and DotNetNuke.

Closed Source

As it relates to products, programs, software, or applications, closed source generally means the product is proprietary—meaning it’s copyrighted and available for a fee, and users have limited, if any, access to source code. Examples of proprietary software include Microsoft Windows, Adobe Photoshop, iTunes, and WinZip.


ColdFusion is a web development platform from Adobe for creating dynamic websites and applications. ColdFusion markup language (CFML) is the associated scripting language for creating ColdFusion websites. For more information, see Scripting Language.


The outsourcing of business-related tasks, usually done by an employee or contractor, to “the crowd,” or the public. This is typically done for little or no monetary compensation. Types of tasks can be anything from a crowd-sourced logo design to market and financial forecasts.

Data Center

A secure location where we house all web servers and anything pertaining to our network infrastructure. Our Tier 1 Data Center is strategically located in Scottsdale, Ariz., where the threat of impact from natural disasters is extremely low.

Domain Pointer

A domain pointer essentially “points” website visitors to a website. Using multiple domain pointers means having multiple domain names go to the same site. For example, an author might have several books with unique domain names all pointing to one main author page.

Dynamic Website

A dynamic website is one that has the ability to constantly update or change based on how the user interacts with it. An example would be Facebook or a blog. In either case, you are able to create posts or leave comments on the website without re-publishing the entire website. The new data you input is fed into a database then updated to the site.


Simply said, Ecommerce is the practice of buying or selling products and services online. Short for Electronic Commerce.

Google Adwords

A flexible advertising tool by Google. Your ad appears on the right-hand column in Google when someone is searching for the type of product or service you offer. You are only charged when someone clicks your ad, not when or how often it is displayed. This is called “cost-per-click bidding.”


Hashtags (#) mark keywords or topics in a Tweet. Hashtags are placed before relevant keyword in a Tweet. Anyone who does a search for your hashtag word will find your tweet in Twitter Search. Popular hashtags become trending topics.


HTML stands for Hyper Text Markup Language and is the fundamental code that web browsers (like Internet Explorer or Firefox) look at in order to display a web page. For example, HTML tells the browser which colors to display, which items hyperlink to other web pages, and how the page is structured visually.


MySQL is an open source database system that is widely used to store or feed information on a website. It is often used in conjunction with websites programmed in the PHP scripting language, although there are several other languages that work well with it.

Network Infrastructure

Network infrastructure is the hardware and systems we have in place that connect our hosted websites to the Internet and protect our websites from malicious activity.

Network Redundancy

Refers to the measures we have in place to ensure extremely high levels of uptime for our customers. This includes redundancy at all key points so that if any part of the network experiences failure, a backup option is there to take over seamlessly.

NewtPay & NewtPay Pro

Low-cost, easily integrated credit card processing solutions designed specifically for small businesses. Both programs serve as popular merchant solutions with flexible rates, accelerated approval and quick access to transaction funds.

Newtek Builder

Newtek Builder is an easy-to-use website building tool that empowers you to build your own site. No graphic/web design background necessary.


(Included with custom web design plans only)

Newtek Cart is one of the most powerful, easy-to-use online shopping cart applications available. It’s completely customizable and can be branded to enhance the look and feel of your website. It’s also one of the most search-engine-friendly carts on the market, making it easier for your customers and potential customers to find you and your products and services.

Open Source

This term relates to the collaborative way in which software, programs, and/or applications have been developed. The end product’s source code is accessible to anyone and is generally offered “as-is” and free (though “open source” does not mean “free”). In other words, the source of the application is open to the community, oftentimes for the purpose of collaboration. Some of the more popular open-source applications include FileZilla and


Another fun acronym. P: Payment A: Application D: Data S: Security S: Standard Whereas PCI Compliance is the merchant’s responsibility, PA DSS holds those who develop software that participates in the storage or transfer of credit card data accountable. Essentially, it’s another measure to ensure consumer protection. In other words, be sure to check that your shopping cart application is in fact PA DSS compliant. This regulation took effect on July 1, 2010.

PCI Compliance

PCI (Payment Card Industry) Compliance means a service provider has taken necessary steps to ensure that personal information, particularly any and all personal information attributed to credit card holders, is kept safe and secure. These steps include using compliant shopping carts, having quarterly scans by registered scanning vendors, and more. All members of the payment card industry must comply with these standards, including credit card companies, financial institutions, and any merchant who accepts credit cards. So basically, if you’re going to sell products or services online, this is a must-have. Learn more here.


PHP is one of many scripting languages a web developer can use to create dynamic websites. For more information, see Scripting Language.


Customers have the option of receiving and storing e-mail in one of two ways: through POP3 or IMAP technology. There are distinct advantages to both and we offer our customers a choice. Feel free to ask an NWS agent to describe the differences and advantages of each. POP3: Downloads e-mail messages from the server onto a user’s PC through an email client, like Outlook, then deletes the messages from the server. This saves disk space on the server because if a user checks their mail regularly, e-mail messages do not accumulate on the server. IMAP: Short for Internet Message Access Protocol, IMAP provides users the ability to access email from different computers and locations. Copies of e-mail message are kept on the server, even if a user views their messages on an email client like Outlook. Because a copy of e-mail messages are kept on the server, IMAP requires manual maintenance and periodic purging of messages to prevent running out of allotted disk space on the server.


Whereas SEO produces organic search engine results, PPC (Pay-Per-Click) is a paid placement practice that helps generate top-of-the-page results. One popular outlet for PPC campaigns is Google AdWords.

Payment Gateway

In a retail store (e.g., a department store) when a customer uses their credit card the salesperson swipes the card through a credit card terminal. When a purchase is made online, they pay through a secured online portal, also know as a payment gateway. A payment gateway provides the back-end infrastructure to complete any online transaction.

QR Code

Stands for Quick Response Code. Popularly used in marketing and advertising, it is a matrix barcode that when scanned, will take you to an implied website, social media page, coupon page, etc.  QR codes are typically found in magazine ads, poster, business card and a variety of other marketing materials.

RSS Feed

RSS, short for “Really Simple Syndication,” is used to track content changes on websites. As opposed to manually re-visiting each page for new content, subscribing to an RSS Feed will deliver this information to you. To use RSS, you need to set up an RSS Feed Reader.


Short for Search Engine Marketing. Often mistakenly used interchangeably with SEO. SEM is a broad term that includes all strategies for promoting a website, increase its qualified traffic and increase its search engine rankings. SEO is a subset of SEM.


SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It’s the process of optimizing web content to work with search engines, with the goal of appearing as close to the top of search results as possible to increase website traffic. Well-done SEO prevents your website from becoming a hard-to-find needle in a haystack.

SSL Certificate

An SSL Certificate provides a secure channel to conduct business over the Internet, guaranteeing that the data that crosses the network is safe and private. Most consumers will not buy products from a website lacking an SSL Certificate. Is visible as https: (versus http:) in the address bar of your browser or, more noticeably, by the lock that appears in the corner of a browser window. Some newer browsers and forms of SSL will display a green bar in the address bar of the browser.

Scripting Language

A scripting language is a programming language that enables web developers to control the functionality of a website or application. There are many different scripting languages that are commonly used for creating dynamic websites. Often, a web developer will specialize in one or two scripting languages, but it is common for developers to have experience working with several languages. Different scripting languages have different strengths and weaknesses, and sometimes a language is more appropriate to use in some projects over others.

Static Web Page

A static web page is one that does not change or update until the webmaster manually changes the website code and republishes the website. A static web page is ideal for a person or business owner who needs to place information online but doesn’t need to update that information very often.

Trending Topic

A word or topic that is popular on Twitter at any given time.


Content that is rapidly shared through out the Internet.  Popular YouTube videos are a great example.

Web Analytics

(aka, traffic stats, site stats, site analytics)

Web analytics is the analysis of the traffic a particular website generates during some period of time. It’s a way to measure and benchmark various components of your website, your blog or anything else you may want to track on the Internet. Google Analytics is a widely known, free, open source application many use to track Internet results. With The Small Business Authority, every site has access to the traffic stats for their website, free of charge.

Web Hosting

In order to publish your website on the Internet, you need to have a web host. Here’s a good analogy. Think of a web host as a living space. It can be broken up into the following categories: Shared environment web hosting: Just like it sounds, in shared hosting, you’re sharing the server with others. It’s the equivalent of apartment living with all utilities included – you’re afforded all of the amenities at a lower cost. Dedicated environment web hosting: With dedicated hosting, you have your very own server. It’s the equivalent of living in a single-family home. The cost is a bit higher than shared, but you get all of the amenities and the privacy.

Web Server

Web server is a computer specifically designed to store website files on it so those files can be accessed via the Internet. As used here, web server refers to the hardware used to provide web hosting services to our customers. All websites are housed on servers in our Tier 1 Datacenter, which is protected by multiple layers of security.


Short for “Web-based seminar.” Used mostly in sales and marketing to educate and influence potential clients. Also used to conduct live meetings, employee trainings or presentations via the Internet. Webinars typically involve technologies such as computer screen sharing for showing power points or live demos, and telephone or computer microphone and speakers for audio.

Webmail Interface

The term webmail refers to a user’s ability to check his or her email online through a web browser like Internet Explorer or Firefox. Some popular email services that provide webmail access include Gmail, Yahoo Mail, and Hotmail. The Small Business Authority provides you the ability to access your webmail interface using your domain name. For example:

Website Storage/Disk Space

The amount of space on a web server provided to store website files, which equates to the website content, images, animation, video, or any other means of communication found on a website.


A wiki is a type of website in which anyone can edit, add or delete content.


XML stands for Extensible Markup Language and is a system for structuring documents electronically. It is essentially designed to store and transfer data. You may hear a web developer refer to XML when data needs to be exported or imported to or from a website.