Glossary

Want to know your browser from your bandwidth, or your intranet from your ISP? Here are some terms from the internet world that you might find useful:

A

Analytics

Analytics software (the most popular free version is Google Analytics) allows you to track who visits your website and how they interact with it. No matter what your website is for, you should be using some form of analytics because without it you you’ll be completely in the dark and won’t be able to make informed improvements to usability. If your website is for business purposes then analytics is absolutely essential.

B

Bandwidth

The amount of data you can send through a network or modem connection. It is usually measured in bits-per-second.

Blog

Short for ‘web log’, this is a user-generated website where entries are made in a journal style, and usually displayed in reverse chronological order. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, web pages, and other media related to its topic. The ability for readers to leave comments in an interactive format is an important part of many blogs.

Broadband

Broadband Internet access, often shortened to “broadband Internet” or just “broadband”, is a high data-transmission rate Internet connection.

Browser

A software application that enables you to display and interact with text, images, and other information typically located on a web page on a website. Text and images on a web page can contain hyperlinks to other web pages at the same or different websites. Web browsers allow you to quickly and easily access information provided on many web pages across many websites by traversing these links. The most popular web browsers include Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, Google Chrome, and Opera.

C

Cache

A cache is a block of memory for temporary storage of data likely to be used again. A web browser uses a cache to store the pages and URLs of websites you visit on your computer’s hard drive. When you visit a web page you have recently viewed, everything doesn’t need to be downloaded to your computer again, just from your hard disk. As accessing your hard disk is much faster than accessing the Internet this speeds up web browsing significantly.

Content management system

A content management system (CMS) is the software used to create and manage digital content. Usually when we talk of a CMS, we are referring to the software that we use to manage content on a website. Popular examples include WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, and Magento.

Cyberspace

This term is often used to refer to objects and identities that exist largely within the communication network itself: a website, for example, might be metaphorically said to “exist in cyberspace.”

Cybersquatting

The term cybersquatting refers to the practice of registering a third party’s intellectual property as a domain name with the sole intention of approaching them with an offer to sell it to them. The price of the domain name is often much higher than the cost of its purchase. In addition, some cybersquatters attempt to coerce the individual or company into buying the name at the asking price by posting material on the website linked to the domain name, which may either cause them embarrassment (e.g. pornographic images) or, if it is linked to a competitor’s website, financial loss. Cybersquatters sometimes register variants of popular trademarked names, a practice known as typosquatting.

D

Detagged

A domain name that has been detagged is no longer hosted on two valid name servers. This stops any services associated with the domain name, for example email or a website from working. A registrar will detag a domain name if they no longer have a relationship with the customer to provide services for that domain name.

DNS

The domain name system (DNS) translates domain names into IP addresses. Because domain names are alphabetic they are easier to remember. The Internet is based on IP addresses and every time you use a domain name a DNS service must translate the name into a corresponding IP address. For example, the domain namewww.example.co.uk might translate to 198.116.238.7. The DNS system is its own network. If one DNS server does not know how to translate a particular domain name, it asks another one, and so on, until the correct IP address is returned.

DNSSEC

DNSSEC stands for Domain Name System Security Extensions. These extensions provide DNS with authentication of responses from DNS servers and thereby aim to prevent DNS spoofing, which is a common technique used by hackers.

Domain name

All computers on the Internet have their own Internet Protocol (IP) address which consists of numbers. The domain name system connects unique domain names to the IP addresses so users do not have to remember a long string of numbers. Domain names are used in web addresses (http://www.nominet.org.uk)and in email addresses ([email protected]) among other things.

Domain names consist of a varying number of segments. The part on the far right of a domain name, to the right of the dot, is known as a top-level domain (TLD). For example, in the domain name theukdomain.uk the top level domain is .uk.

The part to the left of the top level domain is known as the second-level domain (SLD). In the domain name agreatplacetobe.co.uk, the second level domain is .co, mostly used for business.

E

E-commerce

This term tends to refer to the purchase of goods and services over the Internet usually with secure connectionusing e-shopping carts and with electronic payment services, like credit card payment authorisations.

Email

Short for Electronic mail, this is a method of composing, sending, storing and receiving messages over electronic communication systems. An email system requires a messaging system that provides the store and forward capability and a mail program that gives you send and receive functions. Sent messages are stored in electronic mailboxes until the recipient fetches them.

G

Generic Top Level Domain (gTLD)

A Generic Top Level Domain (or gTLD) is a top level domain that is open to customers worldwide. In some cases country code top level domains are often restricted to people located in a particular country or region. Some of the more popular gTLDs include .com, .org and .net.

H

HTML

HTML stands for Hypertext Markup Language and is the programming language of the World Wide Web (WWW). HTML software turns a document into a hyperlinked web page. It provides a means to describe the structure of text-based information in a document – by denoting certain text as headings, paragraphs, lists, and so on – and to supplement that text with interactive forms, embedded images, and other objects.

I

Internet

Although many people think that the Internet and the World Wide Web are the same thing, they are actually different. The Internet is a collection of interconnected computer networks, linked by wires, fibre-optic cables and wireless connections. The Web is a collection of interconnected documents and other resources, linked by hyperlinks and URLs. The World Wide Web is accessible via the Internet, as are many other services including email, web pages and file sharing. So they work together to provide our online experience.

Internet Service Provider

An ISP (Internet Service Provider) is a company that provides individuals and other companies with access to the Internet and may also provide other related services such as website building website hosting and sometimes domain name registration.

Intranet

A private network inside a company or organisation that uses the same kinds of software that you would find on the public Internet, but is only for internal use.

IP address

An Internet Protocol (IP) address is a unique numeric identifier used to specify hosts and networks. IP numbers are part of a global, standardised scheme for identifying machines that are connected to the Internet.

N

Name server

A network server that provides a naming or directory service. For example, a Domain Name System (DNS) server might translate the domain name nominet.org.uk to the IP address 187.116.234.9. DNS is the protocol used by Internet name servers.

Naming Committee

Before Nominet was formed in 1996, a voluntary Naming Committee was established in the mid-1980s to manage the registration of UK domain names. By the early 1990s commercial Internet suppliers became involved in the Naming Committee and started to register domain names for their customers. It then became clear that the voluntary Naming Committee could no longer cope with the growth in demand for registrations. After a series of meetings about establishing a separate organisation to manage the .uk Top Level Domain, the working model for Nominet was agreed.

Network

Any time you connect two or more computers together so that they can share resources, you have a computer network. Connect two or more networks together and you have an Internet.

Nominet

We are the Internet registry for .uk domain names. We manage over ten million domain names making us one of the world’s largest Internet registries. We run the technology which locates a computer on the Internet hosting the website or email system you’re looking for when you type in a web address or send an email to an address that ends in .uk.

P

PDF

Portable Document Format – a file format developed by Adobe Systems for capturing formatted page layouts for distribution. It requires the proprietary software Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free. Many of the documents on our website are available to download as PDF files.

R

Registrar

A registrar is the retailer, company or organisation that people register their domain name through. This may be an ISP or a domain name reseller or just a company that specialises in registering domain names. We used to refer to registrars as ‘Registration Agents’ or ‘Tag Holders’.. The registrar may be a member of Nominet, but they act on their customer’s behalf rather than our behalf.

Registry

An Internet domain name registry receives domain name service (DNS) information into a centralised database and transmits the information in Internet zone files on the Internet so that domain names can be found by users around the world via the world wide web and email. Nominet is the registry for the .uk country code Top Level Domain (ccTLD).

Renewal

All domain name registrations made through Nominet a need to be renewed ideally before they expire on the anniversary of the registration date. UK domain names can be registered from between 1 and 10 years. If a domain name is not renewed after a period of time these domain names then become available to be registered by others. For more information on renewals please go to Renewing your domain.

Resolve

This is the term used to describe the process for matching domain names with corresponding Internet Protocol (IP) numbers. ‘Resolution’ is accomplished by name servers that use the data in the Domain Name System to determine which IP numbers correspond to a particular domain name.

Root

The root is the top of the Domain Name System (DNS) hierarchy. Often referred to as the ‘dot’.

S

Second Level Domain (SLD)

In the Domain Name System (DNS) hierarchy, a second-level domain (SLD) is a domain that is directly below a top-level domain (TLD). For example, in the domain name ‘agreatplacetobe.co.uk’, the .uk is the top level, and the .co is the second level. SLDs commonly indicate the type of organisations that would register domains within them. For example, in the UK Domain Family, the .co SLD is generally for business, .org is for not-for-profit ventures and .me is for individuals.

Server

This is a computer on a network that holds the information or provides the service that the user requires. As the name implies, a server serves information to computers that connect to it. When users connect to the server, they can access programs, files and other information from the server.

Spam

Spam is junk email. Some email clients or servers have spam filters, which try to delete or move the spam messages.

T

Tag

This is the identifying codename that Nominet assigns to a registrar.

For example a registrar Made 2Be An Example Ltd might have the tag MADE2BE.

A list of these tags is available from Nominet. Each Tag is unique so that our computers can recognise the different registrars.

Tag change

This is the process that is now known as ‘registrar change’.

Tag holder

This is the term previously used for ‘registrar’.

TLD

Top Level Domain (TLD) is the last part of a domain name, which follows the final dot. For example, in the domain name agreatplacetobet.co.uk, the top-level domain is .uk. Nominet is the organisation responsible for managing the .uk top-level domain.

U

URL

Uniform Resource Locator (URL) is the global address of documents and other resources on the World Wide Web. In short, it’s a web address, like www.agreatplacetobe.org.uk. If you type it into a web browser, you will reach the website hosted at that address.

W

WHOIS

WHOIS is a look-up service that is used to find information about domain names and whether they are available for registration. Nominet’s WHOIS service is located on the home page of our website and displays the information we hold about UK domain names that are currently registered.

WHOIS2

The WHOIS2 service enables registrars to provide a WHOIS gateway service on their own websites for their customers to query the WHOIS database without being blocked for excessive use.

Wiki

A wiki is a collection of web pages designed to enable anyone who can access it to contribute or modify content, using a simplified markup language. Wikis are often used to create collaborative websites. Wikipedia, the collaborative encyclopaedia is one of the best-known wikis.