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    The following are terms used in Ecommerce, Search Engine planning, and Internet Programming:


    Above the Fold describes the area on the monitor that is visible without scrolling. It originally derives from graphic design of newspapers. The most important news should be placed above the fold to be shown on the first page of a newspaper to highlight the relevance of an article.
    This concept is of great relevance in terms of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). The visible area on a screen highly depends on the size of the monitor and the chosen resolution. Google for example normally displays about 5 results above the fold.

    Absolute Market Share is the assessment of how well a business is performing in the market alongside all of its competitors in this market. This absolute market share can be useful for external observers as they can interpret from it the strenght and influence of a company in the specific market.
    Address verification is a service where the provider checks the following:
    1. Is the given address correct?
    2. Is the data typed in correctly?
    3. Does the person live at the given address?
    4. Is the person unknown?
    Address verification helps to increase payments and to avoid fraud.

    Acquirer Financial institution that maintains the merchant card processing services and receives transactions to be distributed to the card issuers for a merchant.

    Address Verification System (AVS) Process used by a credit card processor or other party to verify that a customer's billing address matches that of their credit card statement.

    Affiliate A publisher or site owner that forwards qualified web traffic to an online merchant on a pay-for-performance basis is called an affiliate in the context of online marketing.

    Affiliate Links A universal (uniform) resource locator (URL) that includes an affiliate's identification number and additional information that makes it easier for merchants to track affiliate activity is an affiliate link.

    Affiliate Program A popular website promotion tool where a website contracts with other websites for driving visitor to its site. The revenue is calculated according to the traffic brought by a particular website.

    Alert An Alert is an information service to send out messages whenever there is a change. Lots of Webshops, Websites, Search Engines and so on offer the possibility to set an allert. It is a kind of personel Newsletter.

    Apache An open source web server that runs on most commonly used platforms.

    Application Programming Interface (API) An API is a protocol created to allow separate software solutions to communicate over a relatively simple interface. Developers will often use APIs to connect or integrate systems and services.

    Application Service Provider (ASP) A business that provides remote access to a software application over the internet.

    Asymmetric (or "Public Key") Cryptography A cryptography technique whereby each user has both a public key and a private key. Asymmetric systems have two primary uses, encryption and digital signatures.

    Authentication is used to monitor Authorization, rights, identity, and data transmission within electronic systems and networks. By means of authentication, online processed information can be validated and protected. Commonly known methods of authentication are the use of passwords or the use of a (digital) signature.

    Autoresponde is an e-Mail software that can automatically generate and send answer eMail to the sender. A similar word for autoresponder is “autoreply”. The tool is often used in firms to inform the email sender that a staff is out of office within a certain time. Autoresponders are also used to confirm bookings or orders that are sended by the shop booking software. The use of an autoresponder could be part of a CRM and Marketing concept in a company.

    Authorization The process of verifying that a credit card has sufficient funds available to cover the amount of transaction. The amount authorized is reserved against the available balance of a customer's credit card.

    Authorization Request An electronic message sent from the Merchant's business to the customers credit card issuing bank to request an authorization code for a sale transaction.

    Authorized Distributor A manufacturer-approved or -designated distributor able to sell products in quantity to commercial customers like Internet retailers.

    Authorized Retailer A manufacturer-approved or -designated retailer able to sell products directly to consumers.

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    Cache An area of your computer memory or directory on your hard disk. This is the place where your browser stores webpages you have already viewed. Then when you return to a page, the browser can grab this page from the cache, which is far quicker than downloading its elements from the Web again. This can save a lot of time, but remember that if you return to a page that changes a lot, you might need to click the "Reload" button on your browser to get the latest version instead of the cached one.

    Call-to-Action A phrase, button, link or other site element that specifically asks a visitor to take some action, including purchasing a product, registering, subscribing or similar.

    Canonicalization The practice of selecting preferred URLs for a specific set of content. Many modern sites allow content to be accessed from a number of URLs, including URLs that may contain session or query information. Canonicalization helps to manage which of those URLs search engines index and credit.

    Canonical URL The canonical meta tag that directs search engines to index the preferred URL for site content that is available from multiple URLs.

    Capture The process of securing payments from a payment process after an authorization.

    Card Verification Value (CVV) A three-digit number printed in the signature space on the back of most credit cards, such as Visa, Mastercard, and Discover cards. On American Express Cards it is a four digit code. The CVV is designed to reduce credit card fraud by ensuring that the customer has the credit card in their possession.

    Certificate A document designed to address security issues such as authentication and non-repudiation when executing e-commerce transactions. The certificate contains information about the issuer, the certificate's owners, a public key, the period for which the certificate is valid, and the host to whom the certificate was issued. The token is designed in such a way that none of its details can be changed without invalidating the digital signature.

    Comma Separated Values (CSV) A file type that stores data values. CSV files are often used to transfer product feeds.

    Content Management System (CMS) A software solution that makes it possible to create, edit, maintain, publish, and display content on the Internet from a single interface or administration tool. In the online retailing context, a CMS may be used to manage a stores product catalog.

    Conversion A marketing term that describes when a user or visitor completes some action or achieves some marketing goal. More specifically, conversion is often used to describe when a site visitor converts to a customer, making a purchase.

    Cookies are text files that are stored at the client's hard drive. Typically, cookies record the client preferences when using a particular site. This allows the website to be tailored to your specific requirements, and may also allow the site operators to target you with direct marketing according to your interests. When a browser requests a document, the web server creates a fragment of data, which is sent to the browser and stored at the client's computer. Afterward, when the browser solicits another document, the cookie is sent with the request. Cookies are very similar to the caller id boxes that have become so popular in that they provide telemarketers with such relevant information as: the consumers name, address, and previous purchase payment record.

    Corporation A distinct legal entity and business structure, wherein the business is separate from its shareholders.

    Compilation The process of creating an executable program from source code.

    Control Panel A graphical user interface that is provided by a web hosting company to allow a user to perform functions such as FTP, email administration, password changing and database administration.

    Customer Relationship Management (CRM) A software solution specifically devoted to organizing, synchronizing, and automating a business' customer relationships.
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    Digital Certificate An authentication that verifying a website is registered to the correct individual(s) through a thorough validation process. This is designed to help prevent people impersonating others.

    Digital Signature A verification process that relies on cryptography. Digital signatures, like written signatures, are a method of authenticating the source of a document and/or its author. A common form of digital signatures are digital certificates, whereby the issuing company vouches for you and gives you a unique identification that can be verified by a merchant prior to accepting an order.

    Directory Topical lists of Internet resources, arranged hierarchically. Directories are meant to be browsed, but they can also be searched. Directories differ from search engines in one major way - the human element involved in collecting and updating the information. Examples of directories are Yahoo! & Open Directory.

    Domain Name The unique name given to every website. It is used to physically locate a website over the Internet. A domain name consists of three different parts with each separated by a dot. These are host server name, the unique name of the website and the third defining the purpose/type of the website.

    Domain Name Registrar A company authorized to receive domain name registration requests, approve registrations and initiate propagation of registration information throughout the Internet.

    Domain Name System (DNS) An Internet service that translates domain names in IP addresses. Used to resolve domain names to specific host computers.

    Download To transfer files from a server or host computer to one's own computer.

    Drop-ship A scenario by which a customer places an order with via a retailer only to have the purchased goods sent directly from another location.
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    Electronic Commerce (e-commerce) Buying and selling products over electronic networks, including the Internet or mobile applications. The term may apply specifically to electronic transactions or more generally to the online retailing and online business.

    Electronic Commerce Transaction A transaction conducted over the Internet or other network where a cardholder enters card data and transmits the data. This includes email, electronic order forms, and interactive websites.

    Electronic Check Verification The validation of an electronic check using certificates and digital signatures. Once the electronic check is deposited, the bank will perform additional verification against internal databases.

    Electronic Government (e-government) refers to the process by which a state delivers governmental information and services electronically. It allows to citizens and businesses an easy electronic access to governmental information and services, as well as streamlined business processes.

    Electronic Wallet Also called a virtual wallet, a software mechanism that allows commerce server users to store and use credit card and electronic payment information. Typically, information in the wallet is encrypted and is persistent from session to session. Currently the Payment Gateways that are integrated with ecBuilder do not support the use of Electronic Wallets.

    Encryption is the process of scrambling a message to ensure data secrecy and the manipulation of data to prevent accurate interpretation by all but those for whom the data is intended. The message is encoded using an electronic key, which makes it unintelligible to anyone except to the holders of the other half of the key. There are two main types of encryption methods, private key and public key encryption.

    Exporting The practice of selling items to wholesale or retail customers in another country.

    Extranet is an intranet that is partially accessible to authorized outsiders. An intranet is normally only accessible by members of the same company. An extranet also allows outsiders who have been issued with passwords to gain limited access to information held on a company network. Extranet are being used as a way for business partners to share information.
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    Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Federal agency empowered to prevent persons or corporations from using unfair methods of competition in commerce. They are now involved with monitoring commerce on the Internet, especially with regard to its growth, content, and potential for fraudulent activity.

    File Browser is a computer programm that works as an user interface to manage files on a system. Tasks such as deleting, printing, moving and editing can be operated by a file browser.

    File Transfer Protocol (FTP) A globally accepted set of rules used while transferring files from one computer to another computer of a network or Internet.

    Firewall A system configured to control access to or from a network. Firewalls can be implemented in both hardware and software or a combination of both. A firewall examines each network packet to determine whether to forward it toward its destination.

    Fraud Intentional deception for the purpose of gain.

    Fulfillment To carry out the processing of an order including picking, packing, and shipping of product.
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    Gateway or Payment Gateway A business or software that enables e-commerce systems to communicate with a merchant's Merchant Account Provider to enable online credit card processing.

    Gigabyte A gigabyte (or 1 Gb) is equivalent to about a billion bytes of data.
    1 Kb = 1,024 bytes
    1 Mb = 1,024 Kb (= 1,048,576 bytes)
    1 Gb = 1,024 Mb (= 1,073,741,824 bytes)

    GPL Public Licence - A licence applied to a program to specify it can be distributed and modified to/by anyone, but if a modified version is distributed, the source must be distributed too.
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    Host A computer running Internet protocols that can act as either a client or a server on the Internet.

    Host capture A credit card processing model where the authorization and capture of the transaction data are accomplished within a single message sent to the payment processor.
    Hyperlink A word or image on one website that leads to another website when “clicked”.

    HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) A set of markup symbols or codes inserted in a file intended for display on a World Wide Web browser page and application. They are marked with special tags that give commands that direct the size, shape, colouring, and placement of text, graphics and sound on the web page, as well as integrating the static page with dynamic content such as Java applets. Like other markup languages, HTML annotates a document, describing its layout and syntax.

    HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) The protocol that is used to transfer and display hypertext documents over the World Wide Web.

    HTTP proxy server A server that forwards client requests using the Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP) over the World Wide Web.
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    ICANN Formed in October 1998, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers is a non-profit corporation with responsibility for management of the Internet domain name system. ICANN is comprised of a broad coalition of the Internet's business, technical, and academic communities both in the US and worldwide.

    Internet is the world's largest computer network; it is essentially a network of networks. Any device attached to the Internet can communicate with any other device on the network. Some uses of the Internet include sending and receiving email, browsing web sites, and increasingly, the buying and selling of goods and services.

    Internet service provider Or access provider. A company which provides its customers with access to the Internet. The user normally connects to the access provider's computer via a modem, using a "dial-up connection".

    Internet merchant A business owner who sells products or services over the Internet.

    Intranet is a smaller closed version of the internet, which can only be accessed by authorized members of an organization. Intranet are becoming increasingly popular inrder to share information within a company.

    Inventory The quantity of goods and materials on hand waiting to be sold.

    Invoice A detailed list of goods shipped with a detailed account of all costs including product prices, shipping cost, and sales tax.

    IP (Internet Protocol) Address A unique number (an identifier) that is assigned to each device participating in a computer network that uses the internet protocol for communication. An IP serves two principal functions host or network interface identification and location addressing. The format of an IP address is a 32-bit numeric address written as four numbers separated by periods. Each number can be zero to 255. For example, could be an IP address. A web hosting server may have one or many IP addresses.
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    JavaScript: A scripting language – ECMAscript – used to make web pages interactive and dynamic.


    Key A mathematical value that determines the outcome of the encryption and decryption functions.

    Keyword Tag An HTML meta tag used to help define the important keywords of a page.
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    Link means a URL hidden behind a formatting option that may take the form of a colored item of text, logo or image, and which allows a user to automatically move between WWW pages, WWW sites or within a WWW document.

    Linux An open-source operating system derived from the Unix operating system. It is used most commonly to run servers.

    Logs Records of network activities. These activities can include access records, errors, and financial transactions.


    Mall A group of businesses, usually retail, that have individual managements, but are also managed under one administrator. Online malls are virtual malls, and may consist of one business under individual management. ecPlace is an example of an online mall.

    Megabit A data measurement, approximately one million bits - but thanks to binary arithmetic (the mathematics that computers understand) it is really worth exactly 1,048,576 bits.

    Megabyte A common measurement of digital storage capacity. Your web team will need to keep an eye on the megabytes, in terms of the sizes of your webpage graphics and other files, the storage space of the server (the computer which holds your website), and the speed of the Internet connection between your customer and your site. One megabyte (or 1 MB) is equal to approximately 1 million bytes (1,048,576 bytes). A typical floppy disk holds about 1.44 MB of data, while a CD-ROM can hold over 600 MB of data.
    The basic unit of measurement is a bit. If you are offering visitors to your site a 1 MB file to download, for a customer using a modem with a speed of 28,880 bps (or bits per second) this can take about 10 minutes to download.

    Merchant Account An online bank account required by a store to receive payments through electronic mediums like credit cards. It can be considered as a virtual bank account that receives electronic money.

    Merchant Account Provider A bank or other institution that provides accounts to merchants wishing to process online credit card transactions.

    Metatag A device that allows website to list related "keywords" which will be used by search engines when executing a search. They can also be used by the unscrupulous to imbed keywords 'behind' their website so that, when someone searches for these words, they find unrelated information.

    MySQL An open source relational database management system that uses Structured Query Language (SQL).
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    Network The setup of hardware and software that allows multiple computers to connect and communicate with each other electronically. The Internet is by far and away the largest network in the world.


    Online A computer or user is online when connected to a network or server that allows communication flow between computers.

    Online Capture A payment capture method used by merchants who ship an order on the same day that they receive it. The payment is captured when the credit card is authorized.

    Online Store A web site that accepts direct payments in exchange for goods and services.

    Online Shopping Browsing and buying on the Internet from the comfort of your home.

    Online Shopping Mall Online stores that are grouped together much like a physical "mall" or shopping center, where a person can go to many stores and browse for different types of products in the same website.

    Open Source A program in which the source code is available to the general public for use and/or modification from its original design free of charge.

    Order Confirmation An email to a customer confirming the placement of an order.

    Order Management System Software that enables online merchants to process, track, and organize orders.
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    Packing Slip A document, usually included with a package, that displays the contents of the package. A packing slip does not include financial or account information.

    Password A secret word or phrase used to identify oneself when permitted to enter a place or have access to gain information.

    Pay Per Click Marketing A form of advertising by which the marketer pays an organization every time his advertisement is clicked.

    Payment Capture A method used to receive payment. This method is determined by the merchant's bank and/or payment processor.

    Payment Gateway The transaction processing vehicle that receives encrypted transactions from the merchant server, authenticates the merchant, decrypts the payment information, and transmits the data to the authorization and settlement networks.

    Payment Methods a means for accepting payment. The most common are credit card, electronic check, phone charge, corporate account, and invoice.

    Payment Processor A financial institution distinct from the bank that processes data from credit card transactions. Providing pre-authorization, post-authorization, and refund services to businesses accepting credit cards. They are responsible for the distribution of funds between consumers and businesses. Sometimes also referred to as a Transaction Processor.

    PHP A widely-used general-purpose scripting language that is especially well-suited for Web development and can be embedded into HTML.

    Point of sale In the physical world, the specific point at which a product is paid for and delivered. Online, this often refers to the software that enables the merchant to accept online transactions and conduct follow-on transactions with their financial institution.

    Portal A portal is a website with links to other sites. General portals often include search engines (such as Yahoo or Excite) and there are also niche portals which cater to specific interests.

    Proxy A form of security on the Internet. When you use a proxy or "proxy server", your computer sends a request to a server on the Internet via this proxy. For the server it looks as though the request is coming from the proxy, not from your machine.

    Private Key Encryption An encryption system that uses two private keys for encrypting and decrypting messages. Both parties must have a secret key to decrypt a message encrypted by the other. The drawback with this method of encryption is in the difficulty of distributing the private keys.

    Privacy Policy A document that explains a merchant's policy regarding its customer's information.

    Processor A transaction processor, distinct from the bank, that processes data from credit card transactions and then distributes funds from the merchant's bank account.

    Proxy Server Server that caches Web content in order to provide quicker access for users, when new requests are made for the same content.

    Public Key A key for both encryption and decryption that is made available to the public. It has a mathematical relationship to the private key which means that information encrypted with one key can only be decrypted with the other.

    Purchase Order (PO) A commercial document used to request someone to supply something in return for payment and providing specifications and quantities. A purchase order usually has an associated purchase order number used to identify the purchase order.
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    Query A Request for Information to either a database application or search engine.


    Refund A return of funds to a consumer for a returned product.

    Registration An entry of personal information in a formal record. When customers shop at your online business, they will have the opportunity to register as a member of your online business. The registration usually consists of user name, password, billing/shipping address, and e-mail address.

    Reseller A person who is authorized to sell someone else's goods and/or services.

    Response A reply, answer, or additional message that is returned to a sender.

    Referrer The URL or site address from which a site visitor came from.

    Return A transaction in which a consumer wants to return a purchase and receive his/her money back. (Contrast with void.)

    Return Policy A document that explains a merchant's policy regarding the return of products by customers.
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    Scripting Language A programming language in which programs are a series of commands that are interpreted and then executed one by one. The programs do not need to be compiled.

    Security Measures taken to keep something protected or safe from viewing, destruction, or manipulation.

    Security Certificate A chunk of information (often stored as a text file) stored on a web server that is used by the SSL protocol to establish a secure connection. A Security Certificate contains information about whom it belongs to (ownership), who it was issued by, a unique serial number or other unique identification, valid dates, and an encrypted "fingerprint" that can be used to verify the contents of the certificate. In order for an SSL connection to be created both sides must have a valid Security Certificate (also called a "Digital ID").

    Search Engine Optimization (SEO): The process of making a website (ranking) easier for search engine (results) bots to index and categorize. Some, such as Alta Vista and Infoseek, are huge indexes. While a large size obviously allows the user to find a larger number of sites, the downside is that sometimes one may find it difficult to narrow their search to a manageable number of site selections (say down to several hundred rather than several thousand choices).

    Secure Electronic Transaction (SET) An industry standard electronic transmission security format developed by Visa/MasterCard which uses a combination of encryption, digital signatures, certificates and third-party validation for secure credit card transactions that authenticates customers and merchants to ensure the safety and confidentiality of data processed over the Internet.

    Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) is an independent, nonpartisan, quasi-judicial regulatory agency with responsibility of administering the federal securities laws. The purpose of these laws is to protect investors in securities markets that operate fairly and to ensure that investors have access to disclosure of all material information concerning publicly traded securities. The Commission also regulates firms engaged in the purchase or sale of securities, people who provide investment advice, and investment companies.

    Server A central or host computer that provides access to data and services (such as email and World-Wide Web access to clients on a network) to more than one user at once.

    Secure Servers Web servers that use encryption technology to prevent non-authorized users from intercepting and reading sensitive messages sent via the Internet. A secure page is identified by https: in the URL.

    Secure Socket Layer (SSL) A protocol used to transmit documents over the internet in an encrypted format and authenticated communications link between a web server and a browser. This link ensures that all data passed between the web server and browsers remain private and integral. SSL is an industry standard and is used by millions of websites in the protection of their online transactions with their customers. An SSL connection will use the https protocol where as typical web pages are transmitted via an http protocol. When a web page URL starts with "https:", it is using SSL to encrypt both the web request and the response you see on your browser.

    Shopping Cart The way most online companies keep record of what you have picked while browsing in their online store. Just as in a physical store you can put in and take items out of your shopping cart before you actually buy it.

    Signature A block of information used to sign the end of an e-mail or discussion group message. It usually includes an author name, company name, e-mail address, and other information. Most Unix mail and news software will automatically append a signature from a file in the user's home directory to outgoing mail and news. The composition of one's signature can be quite an art form, including an ASCII logo or one's choice of witty sayings.

    Spider A program used to fetch files from the internet for the purpose of indexing in search engines. Also called a web crawler, robot or bot, a spider follows links on web pages to find additional pages to index.

    SQL Structured Query Language, used for accessing and modifying data in a database. There are numerous variations of the language. In web development, it is commonly used with a scripting language such as PHP.

    Stock-keeping Unit (SKU) A unique identifier of a product. The SKU is used to track inventory and may or may not be shown to customers when shopping online.

    Subtotal The net amount of an order. The cumulative price of an order's products. The subtotal excludes discounts, sales tax, and shipping charges.
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    TCP/IP Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol. A suite of computer communication protocols that connect networks and allows them to communicate with each other. TCP verifies data transmission between a client and a server. IP moves the data to the appropriate node on a network. TCP/IP is the primary transmission protocol used on the Internet.

    Title Tag HTML tag used to define the title of a page. The title is displayed at the top of a Web browser and also used by many search engines as the title of a search result listing.

    TLD Top Level Domain such as .org or .com.

    Transaction The process that takes place when a cardholder makes a purchase with a credit card.

    Trademark The exclusive right to use a brand or part of a brand. Others are prohibited from using the brand without permission.


    Uniform Resource Locator (URL) - often a Web address. A URL is the location and access method of a resource on the Internet. A URL is composed of three parts 1) A protocol-the http bit 2) A domain name- the location on the Internet of the machine which holds the resource and 3) a file name-where in the machine to find it. It identifies a particular Internet resource - for example a webpage, a library catalogue, an image, or a text file. The URL or address of a webpage is really quite simple and orderly when you get used to it.

    Unix An operating system developed in the 1960's that still leads the industry as the most common operating system for web servers.

    Upload To transfer files from one's own computer to a server or host computer.

    User Session Each time a site visitor with a unique IP address enters a Web site during a specified period of time; usually 20-30 minutes, is counted as one user session. If the visitor exits the site and reenters within the specified period of time, it does not count as another user session.
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    Virtual store Commercial websites that allow people to browse the products like a person would browse the aisles in a physical store.

    Void The act of canceling a purchase. There is only a small period of time in which a purchase can be canceled. Voids are typically handled by issuing credit to the consumer's account.


    W3C World Wide Web Consortium. An international industry consortium which develops common protocols that promote WWW evolution and ensure its interoperability. Standards that have been defined by the W3C include HTML, CSS and XML.

    Web Analytics The study of user activity on a web site or web application to understand how well it fulfils its objectives.

    Web Host A business that provides web hosting services.

    Web Hosting A term used for storing and maintaining files, email or domains on a server that is connected with Internet.

    WebMaster The person or team who is responsible for looking after a particular website.

    Web Server A server on the Internet that hosts websites.

    Website Traffic The number of times a website is viewed by a unique visitor within a stipulated time.

    Whois An online service that provides publicly accessible information on the registered owner of a particular second-level ".com", ".net", and ".org" domain name.

    World Wide Web (WWW) is simply the way all these networks in the entire world are interconnected, like a web. It is an application a standard communication environment between the user and the internet for the distribution of web pages.
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    XML A language which provides more efficient data delivery over the web. XML is similar to HTML and both are used to describe the contents of a Web page or file.



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