TECHNICAL DEFINITIONS

We know that it is hard to keep up with today's changing technology and that it is even harder when there is an acronym that you don't understand or if you don't understand how something works. We will attempt to explain what things mean and how they work in layman's terms.

If you feel that something needs to be explained and it isn't currently within our list of technical definitions let us know what you would like defined.

CMS - Content Management System

A Content Management System, or CMS, allows for a site to be easily updated using HTML based forms that offer a familiar word processor like text editor.  This means that the site's owners or editors can change the website's content as they desire without the need to hire a website developer to make those changes.  The CMS is always protected within an administrative area and significantly drops the long term costs of maintaining a website.

Last Updated: December 31st, 2010

CSS - Cascading Style Sheets

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) enable web developers to change a web pages layout and content from a central location.  These files are coded in the CSS language and allow a developer to make wide sweeping changes to a website by only making a change to one file.
For example: If you wanted to change a websites paragraph text from black to red you would only have to change the colour in one place and all of the pages on the site would change to red instantly.

Last Updated: April 10th, 2006
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CSS based layout

A CSS based layout uses CSS to position a web pages different elements. This is a more efficient way to layout websites compared to both the frames method and the table method.  Not only is the code more streamlined, thus making pages load faster, but it is easier to make sweeping changes to the website through CSS.

You can also gain a higher search engine ranking by using CSS to layout your website rather than frames.

Last Updated: May 15th, 2006
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Domain Name

A Domain Name is essentially your identity on the internet.  The domain name is used in the URLs for your website, email server, ftp server, etc.  For example, the website address http://www.yahoo.com contains the domain name "yahoo.com"
The domain name consists of two parts the top-level domain, ".com" in this example, and the second-level domain, "yahoo" in this example.
You are able to choose your own second-level domain (I choose readit) as long as it is not already registered within the first-level domain by another entity.  For example I choose "readit.ca" because "readit.com" was already taken.
First-level domains stand for something, some of the more common ones are:

Last Updated: May 15th, 2006

Frame Based Layout

A frame based layout is a method of organizing page elements on a web page.  The index page contains references to the individual elements on a page and their size (header, navigation, content, etc.) which we call frames. These references in turn load individual web pages into each frame (header.html, menu.html, homepage.html, etc.) When you click on a link within one of the frames the browser is directed to load the content for that link within a specific frame, usually the content frame.
The major disadvantage of a frame based layout is that when a user bookmarks a frame they will only load the frame that is bookmarked and not the entire page as it was meant to be viewed. An example of this is that they bookmark a page and the bookmark actually bookmarks the content page.  When this content page is loaded from the bookmark the viewer only gets to see the content page, no navagation bar, header, etc.
Search engines have a hard time indexing frame based layouts for the same reason.  As they index the content pages and a user visits the link they will only see the content, not the enitre page as intended.

Last Updated: May 15th, 2006

FTP or FTP server

FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol. This is the Protocol used to transfer files over the internet.  When you download a file from a website they are usually transfered via FTP.
A FTP server is the server that is used to host the files.

Last Updated: May 15th, 2006
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HTML - HyperText Markup Language

HyperText Markup Language, or HTML, is the basic coding language that is used to create the websites that you see on the web.  If you use a WYSIWYG HTML Editor, such as Dreamweaver, HTML code is constantly being generated in the background and is what you will see if you open the page in a text editor.

To gain full control and to be able to program efficiently you must have a very good understanding of the HTML code in order to streamline it correctly, this is why people hire Website Developers, they don't want to speak "Web Geek."

Last Updated: April 10th, 2006
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IP Address - Static and Dynamic

An IP Address identifies a computer or device on a TCP/IP network. Each IP address consists of four groups of three numbers (123.123.123.123) and each of these groups of numbers can be between 0 (0.0.0.0) and 255 (255.255.255.255)
Each IP address on a network must be unique.
If a computer or device has a static IP Address it means that the address never changes.  If a computer or device has a dynamic IP Address it means that it acquires its IP address from another machine or service and that it will change from time to time.
The IP address for Google is: 216.239.57.104

Last Updated: May 15th, 2006

MySQL

MySQL is an open source database program.
It works very well with PHP as well as other server side scripting languages.

Last Updated: April 10th, 2006
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Open Source Software

Open Source Software is a type of software in which the source code is available to the general public for free.  The software is generally created by a group of people in collaboration with one another over the internet.  The software is also free to use and involves no licensing fee.

Last Updated: April 10th, 2006
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PHP - PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor

PHP is an open-source server side scripting language.  It actually runs on the server before a web pages HTML is send to the users screen.  It is very useful for creating dynamic web pages.

Last Updated: April 10th, 2006
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PHP's Include Function

PHP's include function allows PHP programmers to include the contents of another file within a PHP page.  This can be used to include scripts that are commonly used or pages that are commonly used.  For example you could have a navigation page that contains only your menu items.  If it was included at the start of a PHP page then that menu would seem to be part of the main page when the user views it within their browser.

Last Updated: April 10th, 2006
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SEO - Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization is the process of making a web page easier for a search engine, such as Google or Yahoo, to index (or list.)

Last Updated: May 15th, 2006

Server Side Script

A server side script is a programming language such as PHP or ASP that allows website developers to have files modify themselves before they are sent from the web server to the viewer.
As simple example of where this could be used is to generate the current date every time a web page is loaded.
More complex examples include displaying a pages content dynamically from a database or performing some sort of mathimatical calculation before a web page is sent to the viewer

Last Updated: April 10th, 2006

Site Hosting

Website hosting refers to the process of placing the files that make up your website on a computer that is connected to the internet and made public.

In most cases this is done by purchasing blocks of space on a computer that is used to host a many websites.  By doing this you save money because you are sharing the costs of the dedicated internet connection and the computer hardware with site owners.

Although it depends on what plan you take with your website host many plans also include other services and features, such as:

We now offer our own hosing services, please follow this link to learn more!

Last Updated: December 31st, 2010

Tabbed Layout

Tabbed layouts are a type of navigation aid that breaks a website up into different zones.  This is usually implement on top of a regular navigation system for companies with many divisions.

Last Updated: April 10th, 2006

URL or URI

URL stands for Uniform Resource Locator and URI stands for Uniform Resource Indicator.
The URL or URI constists of the type of Protocol that is used (e.g. WWW for website, FTP for FTP server, etc.) and a domain name, for example: http://www.google.ca/ points to a website (http://www) in the google.ca domain.
Your URL or URI helps to give internet IP addresses names that are easier for users to remember.  For example the URL/URI for Google (http://www.google.ca/) actually points to: http://216.239.57.104
This example shows that the URL/URI (google.ca) is much easier to remember than the IP address (216.239.57.104)

Last Updated: May 15th, 2006

Website Content - Dynamic

A website that is created with dynamic content can either be change by it's owners through a CMS or it may have elements that are automatically controlled by events such as a changing date or time.
These website generally tend to offer information that is more up to date and useful due to the fact that they can be easily changed by their owners at very little cost.

Last Updated: April 10th, 2006

Website Content - Static

Websites created with static content have their main page content coded directly into individual HTML pages.  Each page would have to be changed within a WYSIWYG HTML editor such as Dreamweaver or by editing the HTML code directly.

Last Updated: January 19th, 2007

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What's new @ RCS?

New Client Sites Added
January 7th, 2011

New Technical Definitions
January 7th, 2011

Website Hosting Now Available!
January 7th, 2011

Client Testimonials

"I needed to let you know how excited I am about the results of your hard work on the Meetz' website. As a seasonal repair centre, my business is a complex one because its focus changes often. The administrative area is set up so fluently, that with your initial tutoring, I am able to make all of the important changes on my own. Now that Meetz' Small Engines is advertised in the most viewed venue, we have reached a larger cliental to allow us to survive through the "dry" times."
-Ursula Stevens,
Owner
Meetz' Small Engines

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