Websites for Writers: Definitions

January 14, 2011 | Web Design

Blog – Short for web log. Basically a public journal, but easy to update—no need for an ftp program and others can post responses just as easily.

(The) Cloud or Cloud Computing – Documents and programs available via the “cloud” aka the Internet rather than on your personal computer. Common examples are Google Docs and Microsoft’s

CSS – Cascading Style Sheets, language used with HTML that greatly simplifies setting up styles. For example, you could change the font in all your headers by making just one change in one place instead of having to find every place you wanted a certain look and adding bold, font size, etc.

Domain name – identifies IP address in words rather than numbers. Usually have numerous IP addresses assigned to one domain name.

Domain parking – Also known as DNS parking. You can buy a domain for future use. Until this domain is assigned to the server where your website is hosted, it can be “parked.” This service is usually free.

Dreamweaver – Tool used by some to create websites. Adobe Dreamweaver CS5

E-Commerce, Ecommerce or Electronic Commerce – E-commerce websites are sites where products and services are sold. E-commerce is the business of selling on the Internet. Authors who sell their books, editing services or speaking services from their website have an e-commerce site.

FTP – File Transfer Protocol. This is how your web pages will be transferred from your computer to a server on the web. Need an ftp program to do this. Some hosts have own service and design programs like FrontPage have own upload function. (see Addendum for suggested ftp program)

Google Analytics – Free service from Google that allows you to easily track traffic on your website. Google Analytics site.

HTML – HyperText Markup Language, used to author most pages for the Web.

ISP – Internet Service Provider, company that provides access to the Internet. Examples are ATT or Charter.

JavaScript – Scripting language that allows some interactive functions like countdowns, a change in a photo when you put your mouse over it, etc.

Meta Tags – Tag in header of an HTML document that describes what is in the document.

Open Source – Computer/Internet product/software that is made freely available for the use of others. The “source” code is left open for distribution and change by others. These changes are then often also made available free for the use of others.

PDF – Portable Document File is a file type first created by Adobe Systems in the 1990’s. It is used to show a file in a standard manner/one that will look the same to everyone. Good for documents you want available for your website visitors to print for their own use.

Podcast – An audio file made available for download on the Internet. Many authors podcast chapters of their books, interviews with themselves, etc. Visitors can download the file and listen to it on a mp3 players, etc. Most podcasts have RSS capability.

RSS feed – Really Simple Syndication makes it possible for website visitors to subscribe to articles and podcasts that are posted to your site. You can also use your RSS feed to feed blog posts to places like your Author Central page at Amazon. Example of an RSS feed.

Social Media – Sites such as Twitter, Facebook and MySpace. With these sites users use social interaction to play games, disseminate information and promote products.

SQL Database – Abbreviation of structured query language, and pronounced either see-kwell or as separate letters. You may need one to run a message board, etc. on your site.

URL – Abbreviation of Uniform Resource Locator, the global address of documents/files on the Web. The first part of the address indicates what protocol to use, (http vs. fttp) and the second part specifies the IP Address or the domain name where the resource is located. What you type into your browser to get to a website.

Vlog – Video blog. An online journal made up of short videos. These videos can be posted to places like YouTube to gain a wider audience and cross promotion.

Web Host – Business that provides server space, will house many web sites, not just yours.

WordPress – Open source blog publishing application. A user friendly solution for many authors looking to set up their own website.



  1. Tweets that mention Web Definitions for Writers, internet, website | How To Write Shop -- - [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by How To Write Shop, kathysteffen. kathysteffen said: Final in the series of…