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World Wide What?

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Friday, 21st January 2011

A quick guide to acronyms, initials and specialist language on the internet.

People use a lot of fairly specific and specialist terminology when they're talking about websites, email and computers generally, so here's a very quick guide to some of the most common abbreviations and terms you might hear. Some will be obvious, others maybe less familiar:

www - World Wide Web (the internet!).

e-mail - electronic mail.

e-mail client - the program used to access emails, such as Outlook or Live Mail.

ISP - Internet Service Provider - the company that supplies your internet access such as BT, Sky, etc.

Domain - the address of a website, for example

Browser - a program used to access the internet.

IE - Internet Explorer - the most common internet browser.

IM - Instant Message.

PSP - Payment Service Provider - PSPs allow merchants to take online payments, on e-Commerce websites, so typical PSPs are HSBC, Barclaycard, Paypal and the like.

FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions - a common abbreviation found on a lot of websites.

Avatar - a graphical representation of somone in a chatroom, online game, etc.

FTP - File Transfer protocol - a common way of uploading files to websites.

HTML - Hyper Text Markup Language - the most common form of website code.

CSS - Cascading Stylesheets - used in the design of a lot of websites.

HTTP - Hyper Text Transfer Protocol - the main way information passes through phone lines to a computer.

Search engine - sites like Google or Yahoo that allow you to search for specific words to find suitable websites.

SEO - Search Engine Optimisation - a method of optimising a website to get good results in search engines.

SEM - Search Engine Marketing - online marketing to improve website results and increase visitors.

Traffic - the amount of visitors to a website.


And, just for fun, few of the more interesting social media acronyms you might hear:

LOL - laugh out loud.

ROFL - rolling on the floor laughing.

ASL - Age/Sex/Location.

AFK - away from keyboard.

IMHO - in my humble opinion.

There's literally hundreds of these 'Leetspeak' acronyms, so make sure you're well prepared if you intend to dive in to the world of online gaming or social networking!

There's lots more specialist language used for specific procedures online, so have a look at our other Technical Guides in the Rusty Monkey Knowledge Base for some assistance.

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