Sometimes I think that one of the things that makes the internet intimidating for small business professionals is the “alphabet soup” that gets sprinkled throughout anything dealing with the internet. When you don’t know what the abbreviations mean, you need to make deliberate effort to ignore the “unknown” and that can make learning new things even tougher.
Here are a few definititions of some of the most common abbreviations you will see when discussing the internet and websites.
URL – Uniform Resource Locator. An Internet World Wide Web Address.
– stands for Hyper Text Markup Language. This is the beautiful language that lets us add hypertext links
to our online text so that people (and search engines) can follow the links and get more information.
– stands for Hyper Text Transfer Protocol
, is the protocol which allows browsing on the World Wide Web. The protocol allows a user browsing a hypertext document to jump to another document that may be located on another host thousands of miles away, and to retrieve the information in that document.
– stands for Cascading Style Sheet
. A style sheet allows a web developer to separate the content of a webpage from the formatting of a webpage. This is excellent for the search engines (they are interested only in the content) and excellent for developers because they can easily change the formatting on an entire website by making a change in the style sheet instead of needing to change every page of the site.
– stands for Content Management System
. A content management system is a collection of tools that allows the creation, modification, organization and removal of information from a web site. Usually CMS to requires no knowledge of HTML in order to create web pages. This means that if you have a developer set up a CMS for you, you will be able to easily update the information on the website without having to get your developer involved.
– actually has two definitions, Rich Site Summary and Really Simple Syndication. I prefer Really Simple Syndication
. It’s a format for sharing content among different websites. Sites can syndicate “feeds” (content) and Internet users can use an application called an RSS reader or aggregator to download feeds. A website owner can publish a feed of their own (like the one on this blog that says Subscribe toPosts [Atom
]) or you can include an RSS feed from another site on your site (IRS feed for accountants, AMA feed for doctors, legal feeds for lawyers, etc.)
And, my all time favorite, though not an internet term, is TWAIN. I discovered this acronym while installing my first scanner years ago. I looked it up in the manual and found that it meant “Toolkit Without An Important Name.” Wikipedia now lists a different definition, but that’s definitely what was in the manual I read in the 1990’s
One easy way to find out what abbreviations mean is to use the define: function in Google search. Just type define: word/abbreviation in the Google search bar and you will get all the definitions that Google has indexed.