The BIG Technical Jargon Guide

If you need answers to broadband jargon or technical terminology you're in the right place


Website Technical Terms Explained

This page explains the significance of key terms commonly utilised in the world of websites, covering aspects such as accessibility, breadcrumbs, cache, cookies, DNS, SEO terms, emojis, and the notorious error 404. Explore more technical terms by choosing a different topic from our menu or enter a specific query into the search box to get started. Please note that our BIG terminology guide has hundreds of entries so if you use a common word in your search, you may have to scroll through several results to find what you're looking for.

Last modified: February 2024

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What does accessibility mean on a website?

Website accessibility refers to the design and development of websites that can be accessed and used by people with disabilities, including those with visual, auditory, motor, or cognitive impairments. An accessible website is designed with features that enable users with disabilities to perceive, understand, navigate and interact with the content and functionality of the website.

Accessibility features may include alternative text for images, captions and transcripts for audio and video content, keyboard navigation, colour contrast and clear and consistent headings and labels.

Read our accessibility statement to learn more about the accessibility features on FasterBroadband

What is an Alt Tag?

An alt tag, also known as an alt attribute or alt text, is a HTML tag used to describe an image on a webpage. This is beneficial for users who cannot see the image due to visual impairment or other reasons and for search engine crawlers to understand what the image represents. Alt tags are usually short descriptions of the image content and they should be relevant and descriptive.

What is an anchor text link?

Anchor text is the visible and clickable text within a hyperlink on a webpage. It is usually underlined and appears in a different colour than the surrounding text, and clicking on it directs the user to another webpage or a different section of the same page. The text is usually chosen to describe the content of the linked page or to provide additional information about the link destination. Anchor text is important for both users and search engines, as it helps users understand where the link will take them, and search engines determine the relevance and context of the linked page. Properly chosen anchor text can improve the user experience and enhance the visibility and ranking of linked pages in search results. Avoid using anchor text words like: link, click here, read more.

What is a banner ad?

A banner ad is a type of online advertisement that appears on a webpage in the form of a rectangular or square graphic image, typically placed near the top, bottom or sides of the page. Banner ads usually contain a combination of text, images and animation. They are designed to promote a product or service, drive traffic to a website, or generate leads or sales. Banner ads can be static or animated and may include interactive elements like clickable links or buttons. They are commonly used in display advertising and are one of the most recognisable and effective forms of online advertising.

What is BitTorrent?

BitTorrent is a type of file-sharing technology that allows users to download large files quickly and efficiently by breaking them up into smaller pieces and distributing them across multiple users.

When you download a file using BitTorrent, your computer connects to a network of other users who are also downloading or sharing the same file. As you download the file, your computer simultaneously uploads pieces of the file to other users on the network, which helps to distribute the load and speed up the download process.

Because BitTorrent uses a distributed network of users, it can be faster and more reliable than downloading large files from a single source, such as a website or server. However, it's important to note that BitTorrent is often associated with copyright infringement, as it can be used to download and share copyrighted materials without permission. Overall, BitTorrent is a technology that allows users to download large files quickly and efficiently by connecting to a distributed network of other users.

What is a blog?

A blog, short for 'weblog', is a type of website or online platform that is regularly updated with new posts or entries. Blogs can be used for a variety of purposes, such as personal journaling, sharing news and opinions, promoting products or services, building an online community and providing educational or informational content. Blogs often include features that allow readers to leave comments and interact with the author or other readers and they can be written by individuals, organisations, or businesses.

What is a website bounceback?

A bounceback, also known as a bounce, refers to a visitor who arrives at a website and leaves without engaging with any of the content on the page or taking any action. For example, a bounce may occur if a visitor clicks on a link to a website and then quickly clicks the back button or closes the tab without scrolling down or clicking on any other links. A high bounce rate can indicate that a website's content or user experience may not be engaging or relevant to visitors and may need to be improved to keep visitors on the site for longer periods of time.

What is a website breadcrumbs trail?

A website breadcrumb trail is a navigation aid that helps users keep track of their location within a website. It typically appears at the top of a web page, just below the header, and consists of a series of clickable links that show the user's path from the homepage to their current location. For example, a breadcrumb trail might look like 'Home > Broadband > Deals', where each item is a clickable link that takes the user to the corresponding page. Breadcrumb trails are especially useful for websites with a lot of content or a complex hierarchy. They help users quickly understand where they are on the site and how to navigate to related pages.

What is the computer cache used for?

Cache is like a short-term memory for your computer. When you visit a website, for example, your computer stores a temporary copy of the site's data in the cache so that it can load the site more quickly the next time you visit. By keeping frequently accessed data in the cache, your computer can avoid the slower process of retrieving it from the original source every time it's needed. This makes browsing the internet and using software faster and more efficient. However, if the cache becomes too full or corrupted, it can slow down your computer, so it's important to periodically clear it out to keep your system running smoothly.

What does click-through rate mean?

Click-through rate (CTR) is a metric used to measure the effectiveness of online advertising campaigns, email campaigns, or website content. CTR is calculated by dividing the number of clicks an advertisement, link, or call-to-action (CTA) receives by the number of times the advertisement or link was displayed or viewed. The resulting percentage represents the percentage of viewers who clicked on the link or advertisement. A higher CTR indicates that a higher percentage of viewers are interacting with the content, which is typically seen as a positive sign. CTR is used by advertisers and marketers to evaluate the success of their campaigns and make adjustments to improve performance. A variety of factors can influence CTR, including the relevance of the content to the target audience, the placement and design of the advertisement or link, and the call-to-action used to encourage clicks.

What is a website cookie?

A cookie is a small piece of data that a website stores on your computer or mobile device when you visit it. It's kind of like a little note that reminds the website who you are and what you've done on the site before. Cookies are used for a variety of purposes, such as remembering your login information, storing your shopping cart items, or tracking your browsing behaviour. Cookies can also be used by third-party advertisers to show you ads that are tailored to your interests. Cookies are usually harmless and can help improve your browsing experience, but they can also be a privacy concern if they're used to collect too much information about you. Most web browsers allow you to control or delete cookies if you want to.

What is CSS used for?

CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) is a computer language used to define the colours, fonts, layout, and other visual aspects of a web page, allowing web designers to control the look and feel of their sites. By separating the design and layout of a web page from its content, CSS makes it easier to maintain and update a website, as changes to the design can be made without affecting the underlying HTML code.

What is DNS?

DNS stands for Domain Name System. Think of it like a phone book for the internet. Every website has a unique IP address, which is a series of numbers that identifies the website's server on the internet. However, these numbers can be hard to remember and use, especially if you're not familiar with them.

That's where DNS comes in. When you type a website address into your browser (like, the DNS server looks up the corresponding static IP address for that website and then directs your browser to the correct server. This process happens automatically behind the scenes, without you even realising it.

In other words, DNS translates human-friendly website names into computer-friendly IP addresses so that your device can access the website you want to visit. Without DNS, we would have to remember and use the IP addresses of every website we want to visit, which would be pretty difficult and inconvenient!

What is a domain name?

A domain name is a unique address that identifies a website on the internet. It consists of a series of characters separated by dots, such as The domain name typically reflects the name or brand of the website or organisation that it represents and can be used to access the website from anywhere in the world, as long as there is an internet connection. A domain name must be registered with a domain registrar and renewed periodically to maintain ownership and access to the website. A domain name can also be used to create an email address.

What is an Emoji?

An emoji is a graphical representation of an emotion, object, symbol, or concept, typically presented as a small image or icon. Emojis are often used in electronic messaging and communication, such as text messages, emails, and social media posts, to convey a message or sentiment more effectively and succinctly than words alone. Emojis have become a popular way for people to express themselves and add personality to online conversations. There are now thousands of different emojis available covering a wide range of emotions, objects, and activities. 😊

What is an error 404?

Error 404 is a message that appears on a web page when a user tries to access a page that cannot be found on a website's server. This could happen for various reasons, such as the page being removed or moved to a different location without updating the links. When a user clicks on a broken link or enters a URL that does not exist, the server will return an error 404 message, indicating that the page cannot be found. Error 404 pages typically include a message explaining that the page cannot be found and may offer suggestions for how to find the desired content or navigate to other parts of the website.

What is Hexadecimal?

In simple terms, hexadecimal is a numbering system that uses 16 as its base instead of 10, like our usual decimal system. It uses 16 digits, from 0 to 9 and A to F, to represent numbers. Hexadecimal numbers are commonly used in computing to represent binary data in a more compact and human-readable format.

Hexadecimal meaning in more technical detail

The letters A to F represent values 10 to 15, respectively. For example, the hexadecimal number "A" represents the decimal value of 10, while "F" represents 15. In programming, hexadecimal notation is often used to represent color values, memory addresses, and other numeric data. Each pair of hexadecimal digits represents 8 bits or one byte of information. For example, the hexadecimal value "FF" represents the binary value of 11111111, which is equal to 255 in decimal notation.

What is a website homepage?

A website homepage is the main or introductory page of a website that is typically displayed when the website is first accessed. The homepage serves as the primary entry point for the website and often includes an overview of the website's purpose, content, and features. It may include a variety of elements, such as a logo, navigation menu, search bar, images, videos, text, and links to other pages or content within the website. The homepage is usually designed to be visually appealing and easy to navigate, providing users with a clear understanding of the website's purpose and how to find the information they are looking for. In many cases, the homepage also serves as a hub for a website's latest news, promotions, or updates, providing users with fresh content and encouraging them to explore the website further. You are currently on the technical support page for FasterBroadband you can visit our homepage here . On some websites you can visit the homepage via a breadcrumb trail.

What is Internet Explorer?

Internet Explorer is a web browser developed by Microsoft that was first released in 1995. It was the default web browser for the Windows operating system and was widely used during the 2000s and early 2010. It has gone through several major updates over the years. However, it is now considered obsolete and has been replaced by newer web browsers such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft Edge and is no longer being actively developed or supported by Microsoft.

What is an intranet?

An intranet is a private computer network that is used within an organisation or company to facilitate internal communication, collaboration, and access to information. It is similar to the internet, but is accessible only to authorised users within the organisation. An intranet can be used to share internal documents, files and resources, as well as to provide employees with access to various internal tools and applications, such as HR systems, email, instant messaging and project management software. Intranets are designed to be secure and often require user authentication to ensure that sensitive information is not accessible to unauthorised users. They can be accessed from desktop computers, laptops and mobile devices and are an important tool for enhancing productivity and communication within organisations.

What is JavaScript?

JavaScript is a programming language that is widely used for creating interactive and dynamic web content. It is a client-side scripting language, which means that it is executed in the user's web browser rather than on the server that hosts the website. JavaScript is used to add interactivity and functionality to web pages, such as form validation, dynamic menus, pop-up windows and animations. It can also be used to communicate with web servers and databases, enabling more complex web applications. JavaScript is supported by all modern web browsers and can be easily integrated with other web technologies, such as HTML and CSS.

What is a meta tag?

A meta tag is a specific HTML tag that provides metadata about a web page. Metadata is information about the data on a web page, such as the title, author, description, keywords and other information that search engines and other web tools can use to understand and classify the content of a web page.

Meta tags are placed in the head section of a HTML document and are not visible on the page itself. They can be used to provide information about the page's content that is not visible to the user, such as the language of the content or the type of content.

The most commonly used meta tags are the meta description and the meta keywords tags. The meta description tag summarises the page's content and is often used by search engines in search results. The meta keywords tag lists the keywords or phrases that the page is optimised for and is used by search engines to help classify and rank the page.

While meta tags are not as important for search engine optimisation as they once were, they can still be useful for providing additional information about the content of a web page to search engines and other web tools.

What is multimedia?

Multimedia is a term used to describe the combination of different types of media, such as text, images, videos and sound, in a single digital presentation or application. It is a way of presenting information or entertainment that is more engaging and interactive than just text or images alone. For example, a multimedia presentation may include a video, images and sound effects to tell a story or convey a message in a more engaging and interesting way.

What is obfuscate email?

Obfuscating email means hiding or disguising them in a way that makes them harder for automated programs (such as bots or spammers) to find and use for unsolicited purposes.

One common way to obfuscate an email is to write it in a way that's not easily recognisable as an email address, such as replacing the "@" symbol with 'AT'. For example, instead of writing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.', you might write 'name AT example DOT com. This makes it harder for bots to detect the email and add it to a spam list.

Another way to obfuscate emails is to use a contact form or an email encryption tool that hides the actual email address from view and only reveals it when a user clicks on a link or fills out a form. This can help to protect your email from automated programs and reduce the risk of spam or phishing attacks.

Use our data breach search facility to check if your email address has been listed in a data breach.

What is a website pop up?

A website pop-up is a graphical user interface element that appears suddenly on top of a web page, usually triggered by user interaction or programmed behaviour. Pop-ups can be used for various purposes, such as displaying important information, promoting a product or service, collecting user information, or prompting an action.

Pop-ups can be designed to appear in different sizes, shapes, and formats, and they can be either modal, which means they require user interaction to be dismissed, or non-modal, which means they can be dismissed by clicking outside the pop-up area. Pop-ups can enhance the user experience of a website, but they can also be seen as intrusive or annoying, and some users may have pop-up blockers enabled to prevent them from appearing.

What is SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. It is the practice of optimising web pages and content to improve their visibility and ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs). The goal of SEO is to increase the quantity and quality of organic (non-paid) traffic to a website from search engines, such as Google, Bing and Yahoo. SEO involves various techniques, such as researching keywords, creating high-quality content, optimising website structure and code, building backlinks and monitoring and analysing performance metrics.

What is a sitemap?

A sitemap is a file or page that provides an organised list or map of a website's pages and content. Sitemaps are intended to help search engines, and users navigate a website's content more efficiently by providing an overview of the site's structure and hierarchy. A sitemap typically includes links to all the pages on the website, including any sub-pages. It may provide additional information about each page, such as the date it was last modified or its priority level. Sitemaps can be submitted to search engines to highlight that a page has been included or updated.

What does SSL mean?

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is a security protocol that provides a secure and encrypted connection between a user's web browser and a website's server. This helps to protect sensitive data from unauthorised access or interception by ensuring that any information sent between the browser and server is encrypted and cannot be read by others. SSL is commonly used and essential for websites that handle sensitive information, like banking sites, e-commerce sites and social media networks, to ensure that users can browse and transmit data securely.

What is streaming?

Streaming is a way to transmit and receive multimedia content, such as music, videos, or live broadcasts, over the internet in real time. Instead of downloading a file to a device, streaming allows the user to watch or listen to the content as it is being transmitted. Streaming requires a reliable and fast internet connection and can be done using a variety of devices, including computers, smartphones, tablets, and smart TVs. Popular streaming services include Netflix, YouTube, and Spotify, which offer a vast selection of movies, TV shows, music, and other types of content that can be accessed by subscribers from anywhere with an internet connection.

What is a webmaster?

The term 'webmaster' generally refers to a person or a team responsible for the maintenance, design and overall management of a website. A webmaster may be responsible for creating and updating website content, ensuring that the site is secure and functioning properly and managing technical aspects such as web hosting, domain name registration and website analytics.

In general, a webmaster is the person who oversees the day-to-day operations of a website and may work independently or as part of a larger organisation. The term 'webmaster' is less commonly used today, but it is still used to describe the role of someone responsible for managing a website.

What is a Wiki website?

A wiki website is a type of website that allows multiple users to collaboratively create and edit content in a simple and easy-to-use interface. The term "wiki" comes from the Hawaiian word for "quick" and reflects the speed and ease with which users can create and modify content on a wiki site. Wiki sites are often used for collaborative projects, such as open-source software development, documentation, or knowledge sharing. A well-known example of a wiki site is Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia.

What is a WYSIWYG editor?

WYSIWYG (pronounced 'Whizzywig') stands for "What You See Is What You Get". It is a term used to describe a software interface or application that allows users to create or edit content in a way that shows exactly how it will appear when published or printed. In other words, the content is displayed in the same way as it will appear in its final form, without requiring any specialised knowledge or skills from the user. WYSIWYG is commonly used in word processing and web design.

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