Glossary of Terms

CSS
Cascading Style Sheets: Separate files that hold styling information (e.g., text colors, fonts, background colors/patterns) for the various elements of a website. Using CSS for styling a website is much more efficient than older styling methods that place style information within each web page. CSS provides a central location for all style settings; this results in web pages that load more quickly (because they're smaller in size) and makes it easier to change styles. Any given style can be changed in just one file and that change will "cascade" throughout the entire website. With older styling methods, any style change usually required changing every web page of the website.

We use CSS in all websites we design. CSS can even provide some forms of user/website interactivity (e.g., links changing color when the user hovers over them with the mouse cursor) that were previously possible only by using JavaScript.
Domain Name
A domain name is the address of a website. Examples include bloatedtoe.com, microsoft.com, and amazon.com. There are many extensions available for domain names, including .com, .net, and .org. Businesses typically use the .com extension, network organizations use .net, and nonprofit organizations use .org.

In order to register a domain name for your website, the name must be available (i.e., not already registered by someone else). You can check for the availability of a domain name at Register.com; type the domain name (without the extension) in the box labeled "Get a Domain Name," select the desired extension from the drop-down menu, and click "Find It." If the domain name is already taken, a list of available alternatives will be displayed.
FTP
File Transfer Protocol: The method used to transfer website files from a local computer to the web host's server. Web hosts typically provide at least one FTP account (e.g., ftp.yourdomain.com). A username and password are required. It is very important to keep these login credentials confidential, to use a strong password, and to change the password regularly.
HTML
HyperText Markup Language: The language of the web, HTML defines the structure of a web page. HTML consists of various tags that define the sections and elements of a web page. HTML pages can be rendered interactive and dynamic through the use of scripting languages such as JavaScript and PHP.
MySQL
A database-management system commonly used in web applications. Most large websites today are "database-driven." For example, many online shopping sites store product information in a database and use a scripting language, such as PHP, to select and display products from the database based on certain criteria (e.g., product category, price). Storing and retrieving large amounts of information this way is much more efficient than manually writing and maintaining large amounts of HTML code. In order to take advantage of MySQL, your web hosting package must include MySQL support. If you host with us, you will have MySQL support; however, if you are using your own web host, you must choose a package that includes MySQL if you require a database-driven or WordPress site.

We have the ability to construct MySQL databases and write PHP code to interact with them. Our Portfolio and FAQs pages both rely on information stored in a MySQL database.
PHP
PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor: A scripting language that can be embedded in a HTML document to add user interactivity and to make dynamic web pages. HTML pages are static, which means they do not have the ability to change based on different sets of factors. PHP has the ability to manipulate and generate HTML, as well as the ability to send email (as in sending information from a contact form) and interact with databases such as MySQL. PHP is a server-side scripting language (as opposed to a client-side language like JavaScript), which means it doesn't have to depend on the website visitor's device in order to run. In order to take advantage of PHP, however, you must have a web hosting package that includes PHP support. If you host with us, you will have PHP support; however, if you are using your own web host, you must choose a package that includes PHP if you require PHP elements in your website (WordPress sites require PHP support).
Server
A computer or similar device that manages resources and performs tasks such as storing and providing access to files. A web host uses servers to store website files and display them for web users.

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