All signed up with a host? Now it's time to get started learning some basic web terminology. If you're already familiar with the web, you may know some or all of these vocabulary terms - but do the reading and worksheet anyway!

The World Wide Web (usually referred to as "the web") is a hypertext information system. The idea behind hypertext is that instead of reading all the text, in a certain order (like when you read a book - you start on page one, and work you way through to the end), you can skip around, from one point to another, very easily to get the information you want quickly.

When you access the web to view a web page you use a program called a browser. Unless you're reading these words on paper, you're using a browser to look at them. Browsers belong to a class of programs called clients, since they request page information and files from another program or location. The computer which stores and sends out the files for a website is called a server. You can move files from your computer to the server with an FTP (File Transfer Protocol) program.

There are many different browsers, ranging from Netscape to Mosaic. For this course, we'll be using Netscape. Some browsers, Netscape among them, include a composer. A composer is a program which lets you build a web page without having to learn HTML, the way you write an essay in a program like Word for Windows without having to know the markup language for word processing. Unfortunately, composers are still fairly new, and don't always create code properly, or the way you meant to - and when that happens, if you don't know HTML, you can't fix the problem. Some composers even use HTML code that only looks good on browsers made by the same company! For example, web pages created with Microsoft FrontPage generally only look good when viewed with Microsoft Internet Explorer.

A web address, or URL tells your browser which page to display. In a URL the words between http:// and the next / lets the browser know which server to look for. The rest of the URL tells the server exactly which document is being requested. For example, the URL of this page,, tells your browser to go to, and ask it for the file called lesson3.html in the folder labelled curric.

The term home page is used in several different ways. The page which loads when you start your browser is known as your home page. A page created by a private person, which is simply about themselves, is usually known as that person's home page. The main page of a website, or collection of webpages, is often called that website's home page.

The code used to create a website is called HTML, which stands for HyperText Markup Language. Coding HTML is not the same as programming, and is (lucky for us) much easier to learn that most programming languages. HTML code is used to describe the different parts of a webpage, and tells the browser what to show. To see what a website's HTML, or source code, looks like, select "View Source" from the "View" menu of your browser. This is an easy way to learn HTML tricks - if you see something on a website that you'd like to duplicate on your own site, look at the source code to see how the webmaster or webmistress did it. A webmaster or -mistress of a particular website is the person who created the site. For example, the webmaster of the Success! Learning Center website is Guy Haas.

Many HTML tags use a unit of measurement called a pixel. A pixel is a round dot which can be any one of many different colors. There are thousands of pixels making up the screen you are looking at (most screens are 600 x 800 pixels), and they change colors to display the images you see.If you look closely enough at the screen, you can see them.

Got all that? Okay! Follow the link below to the next worksheet, print it out, then use your back button to return here. When you've finished the worksheet, you may follow the link to the next lesson.

Web Words

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