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Complete A to Z Online Business Glossary
Words To Learn To Transform Yourself Into an Online Entrepreneur
There are all kinds of terms used in the online business industry that can make getting started seem overwhelming to those new to the field.
I’ve put together a glossary with industry terms (including acronyms) that should help you get on your way to understanding the terms associated with online business. There are also links to references where you can learn more. If you’re new to the field this will help you learn faster and understand what’s going on in the industry.
This glossary can also be helpful for your customers (if you’re servicing businesses and helping them gain an online presence). It can be impossible to communicate with your clients if they don’t know terms dealing with SEO and online advertising. So feel free to point them to this page.
You can click on the letters below to be taken to the heading for each one…
The Google Adsense program allows publishers to run relevant ads on their sites. It’s a single source for getting a large volume of advertisers (which come from the Google Adwords program). Adwords advertisers bid on ads on various publishers sites through Google’s contextual advertising network.
Publishers get a share of the ad revenue when a visitor clicks on the Adsense ad. The Adsense program keeps track of everything and maintains all the ad inventory, even showing the right ads for the right web page. It’s fast and easy for publishers. They can choose to run image ads, text based ads, animated graphics, or even video ads from within the Adsense account.
It’s possible to earn a lot of money from the Google Adsense program so it’s not just about nickels and dimes. Adsense can be easier than affiliate marketing since you don’t need anyone to buy anything from you, they just need to click on an Adsense ad and you will earn a percentage of the advertising money.
- Here is where you can learn how to sign-up to the Google Adsense program.
- And here you can read the official Adsense Terms and Conditions (which is very important to do).
The Google Adwords program offers small businesses the ability to run ads on the Google search network. You can choose to run ads on the search results pages (placements are on the top, bottom or along the side). Or you may choose to run ads in Google’s contextual advertising network which includes web sites in the Google Adsense program.
With Adwords you control where your ads run and the price you’re willing to pay, which makes it attractive for businesses with any size budget.
You pay per click (PPC), so anytime someone clicks on your ad you will pay either your maximum bid per click or a portion of it (depending on the maximum bids of your competitors). You can also choose exact keyphrases you’d like your ads to run for so it’s a very controlled platform to advertise on.
You have a lot of control over where your Adwords ads show, but this flexibility leads to complexities.
It’s recommended you take a training course in Adwords or at the very least read all the information Google has within the program before you start. Many of the default settings within Adwords are not in your best interest, but in Google’s best interest. So you need to understand how to tilt the settings in your favor in order to maximize your ad spend.
- Find out more about Google Adwords.
Affiliate marketing is a type of cost per action (CPA) marketing where you get paid a commission when a sale is made. As an affiliate, you’re essentially providing a service for the merchant where you help them promote their products and services in exchange for a portion of the sale.
There are many product and service providers who offer independent affiliate programs. You can search for these online using a search engine. And there are many affiliate hubs like cj.com and clickbank.com that have many affiliate programs for you to choose from all in one marketplace.
An algorithm is a computerized process for running calculations. In online business you’ll commonly hear about algorithms in regards to search engine updates. As search engines update their algorithms websites rise and fall in the search engine results pages.
Although the algorithms are routinely updated, the end result of the search engines is to try to rank the best sites highest. Keeping that in mind as you build your site can give you an edge.
Arbitrage is where you take advantage of a price difference between two marketplaces. For example, when Google Adsense was first launched people were able to buy traffic from the Google Adwords program and send the traffic to landing pages with Adsense on them, often making a profit. Eventually Adwords stopped allowing landing pages with Adsense to advertise and this form of arbitrage ended.
Authority in the online world typically refers to trusted sites within a market or niche. For example, WebMD.com is trusted and recommended for their online medical information. It’s widely thought of as an authority. Many people trust it for medical advice and as a result link to it so it gets a lot of traffic.
Ideally, you want to become an authority in your topic if you’re running an online business. This is the top of the food chain in online business and results in a lot of branding and traffic within your market.
An autoresponder is a program that automatically sends out emails.
Autoresponders can be really simple. If you’ve ever sent in a request through a web form or helpdesk then you may have gotten a reply back immediately that says something like, ‘we got your request and try to reply to all inquiries within 24 hours’.
Those are sent by an autoresponder. And that’s an example of a simple autoresponder. But there are much more complex autoresponders.
These can be set up to send out automated replies when someone opts into a web form. For instance, you may set one up to send out a newsletter. Each person who opts into the web form will be added to an autoresponder that will send out newsletters or follow-up email sequences.
Autoresponders are very useful for marketing purposes. Many CRM tools will have a built in autoresponder or you can get a standalone autoresponder with a monthly subscription.
Bandwidth is a measurement of the allowable amount of data that can be transferred from your web hosting server. When it’s used by a web host, bandwidth generally means how much data can be transferred monthly to the visitors of your website.
If you’ve got a lot of traffic to your site, you’ll need more bandwidth. Once you reach the maximum bandwidth allotted by your host, your site will no longer be accessible (to visitors or to search engines) so you want to watch your monthly usage. You may need to upgrade hosting plans if you’re getting close to the maximum.
A banner ad is a commonly used form of advertising online. These can be as simple as a box with text, have elaborate designs, or even use flash (which can attract a lot of attention).
BLACK HAT SEO
Black hat SEO is any type of search engine optimization that goes against the quality guidelines of the search engines. It can refer to eith on-site or off-site optimization (commonly called link building) or both.
Although a particular search engine may not want you to engage in black hat practices, they are typically not immoral practices. Many SEO’s use black hat tactics to research how search engines work and many SEO firms will use them to get their client’s sites ranking high.
What’s important is to first understand the risks of any promotional tactics you may be outsourcing or hiring out. Anyone who does not disclose the risks of a particular link building service should not be trusted or hired.
- You can read more about the Google Quality Guidelines here
- Here is a specific page that goes into more detail on ‘link schemes’ (which are a Black Hat tactic)
A blog is traditionally described as an online journal or diary. Most popular blogs are frequently updated and may include opinions as well as comments from users. The latest post or article on a blog is presented first and they move backward from there.
There are many open source and free blogging platforms which help to make blogs a really popular choice for building web sites. WordPress is the most popular blogging platform.
A blogroll is common on many blogs. It’s a list (usually in the sidebar) where the owner of the blog lists out other sites or blogs they like and read. The sites or blogs they list are usually within the same market so a blogroll often serves as a way for the visitor to get more information on the topic.
Just like you’d use a bookmark to mark a page in a book, you can use bookmarks online to mark interesting web pages so you can find them later. There are many online tools to enable you to do this. Many web browsers allow you to bookmark or ‘favorite’ your pages. And there are many sites that do the same. Delicious.com and reddit.com are two popular bookmarking sites.
The bounce rate of a website is the percentage of visitors who only view one page and then leave the site. So visitors only visit one page (also known as the entry page) and then move off the site (also known as bounce).
Many people confuse bounce rate with a visitor landing on a page and then clicking the back button. While visitor patterns like this do count as a bounce, there are many other visitor actions that will also result in a bounce. This includes clicking on an advertisement that leads to another site or filling out a form that takes the user off the site (like a shopping cart or an autoresponder form). Either of these still signify that the visitor had a good user experience, but are counted as a bounce and tallied into the bounce rate.
Brands enable you with a way to stand apart from your competitors. Your branding can be as simple as your name and your logo to more complex branding that filters into every aspect of your website, your graphics, your marketing, and your solutions.
Breadcrumbs refer to a particular navigation menu that help visitors see where they are on a site (like within a category or in the main section of a site).
Breadcrumbs are a necessary navigation menu on larger sites, especially those with different sections or categories.
Broken links can lead to either nowhere or the wrong page.
If the broken link leads to nowhere then they will trigger a 404 page not found error.
It’s important to check for broken links on your site. These will cause you to lose visitors and may even impact your rankings in the search engines. You can use a broken link checker that crawls your site and reports back which links may be broken.
- There are many online broken link checkers like W3C.
- Or you may download a tool called Xenu’s Link Sleuth.
The Xenu site looks a little scary, but this tool is used by many SEO professionals for checking links. Xenu creates nice reports for you, but an online tool will work if you’d rather not download another program to your computer.
All these tools can only see broken links. You’ll need to check your links manually to make sure they go to the right pages.
A browser is a software application that displays files from the Internet. It allows you to view text-based content and images as well as stream audio and video files. You need a web browser to surf (or browse) the web. Popular browsers include Internet Explorer and Firefox.
Canonicalization is the method for picking a preferred page or URL as the version of the page or URL you’d like shown in the search engines. For example, some shopping carts will create several versions of the same page. Google will see them all as different pages (and they don’t like duplicate content) so it’s recommended you select one as the canonical URL.
You can do this by adding the canonical tag to the head section of the non-canonical (non-preferred) pages. The link element looks like this:
There are others ways of selecting your preferred page when you have the same content on multiple pages. Another method is to use 301 redirects. Here’s the official page on the Google Webmaster blog for more information on canonicalization.
CAN-SPAM is a legal Act signed into law in 2003. It was the first Act for the United States dealing with sending commercial email and is enforceable by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
A few of the main rules the CAN-SPAM Act enforces include:
- Commercial email must have an unsubscribe link within it.
- Commercial email should have relevant subject lines.
- Commercial email should have a physical mailing address.
- And commercial emails may not be sent to harvested email addresses.
Here is a link to the FTC website with more information on the CAN-SPAM Act.
They’ve got a lot of good tips on this official page. Make sure you’re in compliance with this act if you’re doing any type of commercial email marketing.
A click-through is the number of visitors who click on a link, banner ad, or form. It’s often called the click-through rate (and is abbreviated CTR).
If you have a link set up and 1 out of every 100 people click on it then your CTR is 1%.
Click-through rates can be measured for almost anything online from the rate at which people click-through your ads to the rate people click on the links in your emails.
Content management systems (CMS) are tools used to help publishers build a website and easily post and update content. There are many types of content management systems. You can choose from open source and commercial tools. One of the most popular content management systems is WordPress, an open source and free tool used commonly by bloggers and online publishers.
Comments are a written reply from your website visitors related to the content on your site. If you allow comments on your web pages, you can interact with your visitors. Comments allow you to gain valuable feedback from visitors.
A commission is a payment you receive for your services.
You can receive commissions for helping other businesses promote their products or services. This is often called affiliate marketing and is a big business online. When a visitor clicks on your affiliate link a cookie is placed with the merchant. If the visitor buys or as specified by the merchant fills out a form, you gain a commission.
Content refers to the purpose of a webpage and the message it is trying to convey. A web page can have text-based content or non-text based content (which may include audio, video, or images). The content on your site often determines how valuable and useful it is and to who.
Your conversion rate is the number of visitors to your web page that engage and perform any specified activity. For example, if your web page has an opt-in form then your conversion rate is the number of visitors who fill that form out and request information from you or want to be added to your mailing list. If you have 100 visitors to your web page and only 1 decides to take the required action and opt-in then your conversion rate is 1%.
You can increase your conversion rate by changing the copy on your page (copywriting), the images, or the offer. Sales pages are judged by a conversion rate as are affiliate pages and really any page where you desire a visitor to take action.
In the online world a cookie is a message given to a web browser by the server. The browser stores that message (or cookie) in a file and each time the browser re-loads that page the message gets sent back to the server. So it’s stored.
This is really useful in affiliate marketing as affiliates have a special link they embed on a web page. When a prospect clicks on that link they are usually taken to a promotional page or the shopping cart check-out page and are cookied. That means the affiliate ID is going to be recorded as the referrer and the affiliate will receive a commission. There are many other uses for cookies online outside of affiliate marketing.
A copyright is a type of intellectual property that relates to the protection of information like a piece of written work or a graphic design that is not for use in the public domain. If a written or graphic work is in the public domain anyone can do what they like with it whereas copyrighted works may not be reprinted anywhere.
Here is a link to the U.S. Copyright Office where you can learn more about copyrights and apply for one.
Copywriting is the act of writing a sales or marketing piece. All text-based marketing messages use the art of copywriting. Good copywriters can charge high fees as their copy will result in high conversion rates.
CPA (COST PER ACTION)
Cost per action or CPA marketing is where the merchant pays a set amount when a visitor performs a specific action. The action can be when a product or service is purchased (which is typically called affiliate marketing) or even when a form is filled out.
CPM (COST PER MILLE)
Cost per mille is also called cost per thousand (CPM or CPT) and it refers to the cost of the advertising for every thousand views. It’s a standard unit of measure in the advertising world. With this model you pay a set fee for 1000 estimated views whether the visitors click on your ad, buys, or takes action.
CRM (CUSTOMER RELATIONS MANAGEMENT)
Customer relations management software is a database of names and contact information for people interested in what you offer. The contacts can be prospects or customers or both. A simple CRM is an autoresponder, but many CRM solutions also have ecommerce functions built in. That way you can keep track of your contacts, run an affiliate program, and take orders all from one software application.
Cascading Style Sheets allow web developers an easy way to update the design of the pages on their site through a single file (the CSS).
If you’ve got several pages on your site, you do not need to adjust each one individually, but can change an element in the cascading style sheet, re-upload it to the web and all your pages now have that design element changed. It’s perfect for managing fonts and many other elements of design (like width of your pages, background images, etc …).
Data transfer is the amount of information (measured in bytes per second) that is transferred back and forth from the visitor to the server your domain is hosted on. The host may choose whether to include FTP as data transfer.
Data transfer is the rate at which information travels across a certain node and is comparable to traffic flow. In theory, the higher the speed limit and the wider the highway, the more traffic will move through it. Do not confuse data transfer with bandwidth; data transfer is the actual consumption of bandwidth which represents the amount of data that can be transferred. This sets the maximum limit of the transfer and data transfer gives the current transferring stats.
A dedicated hosting service is a type of Internet hosting where the client rents a whole server, without sharing it with anyone else. Dedicated hosting has several advantages over shared hosting (which is exactly the opposite, just as its name suggests). One of the main advantages is that the client benefits from better security services and improved server performance. Nonetheless, these benefits come with a price and that is usually not a cheap one, given the fact that the client rents the entire server.
A reliable dedicated hosting service should provide value for your money: it should have excellent customer care, provide 24/7 support and your website should experience little to no downtime. In addition, dedicated hosting splits into managed (the service also includes professional support and assistance) and unmanaged hosting (where the client must manage the hosting all by himself). The latter option involves some technical skills, since the provider does not offer support.
De-indexing occurs when your website or pages on your site are no longer listed in a particular search engine (usually Google as they currently own the market share).
De-indexing may happen for many reasons. One common reason is when a page on your site doesn’t have links going back to it. It can be isolated to the point where the search engines cannot see or find it. De-indexing can also happen if your webpages or site has been offline for a long time.
Additionally your site can be de-indexed if it breaks one of the quality guidelines of the search engines. To find out if a page or your entire site has been de-indexed you can type your URL into the search engines in its entirety.
If your page or site is not returned in the search results then it may have been de-indexed.
If it’s just a page on your site you can check to make sure the page is linked to properly and that it doesn’t have an malware on it. If it’s your entire site you will need to check if you’ve broken the guidelines of the search engine it’s de-indexed in.
If your entire site is de-indexed, you will need to correct the issues and then send in a request for reconsideration detailing what you think the problem may have been along with the steps taken to fix it. Hopefully that will fix the issues and get your site back to ranking in the search engine results pages.
Demographics are statistical characteristics of human populations like age and income level. They are used by companies to identify the market for their products. Demographics are applied to identify who the consumers are, where they reside, as well as how likely they are to buy your goods. By studying your consumers and potential consumers through demographics, it’s easier to identify fluctuating requirements in the market and adjust them.
For businesses, identifying the demographic population that will be interested in your goods and services is vital as this could mean the difference between your success and failure. This is particularly essential for small businesses who may have less room for lapses than larger corporations.
A web directory is a site dedicated to listing and linking out to other websites. Many web directories are general and will accept virtually any type of site meeting their requirements while some are topic-specific. For example, you might see a legal directory with links and listings for many legal sites.
Almost every topic has web directories focusing on that particular industry. Some web directories are very low quality while others are highly regarded.
A domain name is essentially an address on the web. Just like a mailing address it consists of letters and may include numbers.
Domain names are followed be a suffix. A few of the more common suffixes are; .com, .edu. or .org. If you’re getting ready to purchase a domain name you can choose from many domain registrars to register your domain name with. The costs associated with registering a domain are pretty low, typically around $20 a year.
If you’d like to buy a premium domain the first year costs can be significantly higher. Basically, you need to pay that to get the current owner to give up the domain. Many premium domain names are recognizable domains that are very desirable and are currently in use or are owned by a domain squatter who is hoping to make money from the sale of the domain name.
You can also add-on additional features when you purchase a domain name like private registration and you can choose to buy it for multiple years instead of just one. It’s not recommended to buy hosting from the same provider as your domain name. You can buy hosting separately and ensure that you’re able to transfer hosts later on much easier.
Doorway pages are traditionally pages that are built primarily for ranking high in the search engines and not for real visitors. Doorway pages are those that were specifically created to rank high in the search engines for a particular keyphrase only to then send the visitors to a different page.
However the line has been blurred and Google seems to have a much more stringent review process for doorway pages, thin affiliate, web spam, and MFA (made for advertising) sites. All these definitions mean essentially the same thing, which is low quality pages for visitors.
- Here’s the official description from Google on their quality guidelines help pages.
Dreamweaver is a popular web development program owned by Adobe. You may create simple to complex websites and even mobile apps with this widely used HTML editor.
- You can find out more about Dreamweaver here.
Drop shipping is a technique where retailers work with their manufacturers (or distributors) to deliver merchandise directly to their customer’s doorsteps. It’s an arrangement that seeks to get rid of unnecessary delays and high storage charges. This delivery arrangement is seen as a smart method of conducting business as it allows retailers to deal with a wide variety of products at the same time.
This retail method has several advantages among them; generating a positive cash-flow cycle and eliminating the need for upfront inventory are two. In addition, drop shipping facilitates efficient use of resources while preventing duplication of roles (i.e. between the retailer and the distributor).
Just as the name implies, the term “Duplicate content” refers to content that has been already published on the Internet (generally, this refers to articles). This concept is mainly used in search engine optimization.
Duplicate content is seriously discouraged by Google. Websites that do not post unique content can end up with a lower overall ranking and possibly even to the site’s exclusion from the main search engine results pages (and into the supplemental index).
Many website owners use black hat techniques to manipulate search results and attract visitors by providing duplicate and keyword-stuffed content. For this reason, Google has released various updates (such as Panda), which aim to penalize sites that do not have unique content and “reward” those with original articles. On the other hand, there are numerous plagiarism programs on the web that can detect duplicate content like copyscape.com
Ecommerce refers to purchasing or selling certain products or services online via the internet. It also refers to any type of transaction that is made using an electronic device. Ecommerce can be completed through many modes.
There are two important types of ecommerce: B2B, which refers to business to business commerce, and B2C, which is ecommerce between a business and a consumer.
The most important aspect of ecommerce is that it offers several important advantages for a business. For example, you will reduce costs of the order by not being needing to process traditional paper based orders. In addition, ecommerce provides access to a much larger customer base since it is not limited by a physical store and geographical boundaries do not exist.
An editorial link is one that is given with editorial discretion, meaning not every site can get links like these. They are usually only given when the page or web site the link leads to has something of value on it.
Google would like to only count editorial links and not those that are forced (those anyone can get by sending in content, submitting your site, or paying for them).
Email spam is where an individual or company sends out an email blast with the same (or nearly the same) email message to many email addresses. Much email spam contains links that lead the recipient to web pages with viruses or those set up to collect secure information to use maliciously. But it’s important to note that you don’t need malicious intent in order to be classified as sending email spam.
If you don’t know the people you’re sending emails to, you should think twice before sending out bulk messages to email addresses. Even if the emails are not commercial in nature, it can be considered unsolicited bulk email and classified as email spam.
EPC (EARNINGS PER CLICK)
Earnings per click or EPC is a common practice of estimating how much your earnings potential is based on the average number of clicks it takes for you to make money. If you get 100 visitors to click on your ad and 1 buys a $100 product then you can say you’ve earned $100/100 clicks. In that case your EPC is $1.00.
External links include those on your site leading to other sites you don’t own or control. They are often given as a reference or resource to the content on your pages.
For example, if you write an article on the CAN-SPAM Act then you may want to link to the official page on the FTC site that gives more information on that Act. This is a great way to help your visitors find more information on a topic they’re interested in.
If you link out to random, low quality sites then you can see problems with your search engine rankings because it may start to look like your site has no value to it other than to try to increase the rankings of other sites.
Favicons are tiny icons that appear to the left of the URL in a web browser. To get a favicon to show up next to your URL, you need to upload an image named favicon.ico right in the root of your web server directory.
The image should be square and you should keep your shape simple since they are so small. Scale your final image down to 16 x 16 pixels (that’s about the size you’ll see in a typical web browser). Add the following line of code within your tags:
FTP (FILE TRANSFER PROTOCOL)
FTP is a protocol for transferring data across a network; typically from your computer to the web. Dreamweaver comes with a built in FTP manager. If you need a standalone tool, FileZilla is a free FTP solution.
- You can find out more and download FileZilla here.
Geo-targeting is a technique used by businesses to target potential clients. Since people coming from different countries or areas will have different preferences, it’s best to provide them with what they need. This increases the chances of selling products or services to them, and of making your company look relevant to their needs.
Geo-targeting involves identifying the location of the individual who is visiting the website. This is often done by means of the IP address of the visitor. It may also be based on information a visitor supplied; such as the zip code, region or state. Some content may be restricted to specific countries. Geo-targeting is a valuable tool for online advertising, and it is used in conjunction with search engine optimization methods.
Headings are used to define the content’s structure. Just as article titles give us a glimpse of what’s contained in an article, different headings and subheadings tell the reader what’s in store for them throughout the different sections of a piece of content.
HTML headings are represented using the tags with the least in importance. Here’s an example of how to use the tags:
The backslash after the last tag is used to indicate that this is a closing tag. This is essential so that the compiler can know the end of the heading.
Search engines make use of HTML headings to index the content and structure of your pages.
A headline is also referred to as the title of an article or piece of content. It’s typically placed at the beginning of the article and should encourage readers to read through the content.
Writing effective headlines is an art form in itself. It’s well worth it to spend some time thinking about a good headline for each piece of content you create.
The home page of your site is the same as the index page.
A hypertext access file (also known as .htaccess file) helps with easy management of web server configurations and is a directory level configuration file. In its initial days hypertext access was used to gain control of a directory. For example, users initially needed to put in a password to gain access to a certain piece of content. Today hypertext access files are used for a number of other reasons like overriding configuration settings for various types of content, CGI handlers and character set.
The format of hypertext access is similar to that of the global configuration file of Apache web server. It can easily be used with other web servers as well as Zeus web server and Sun Java System server. Hypertext access file is used for a number of different purposes like rewriting long and complicated URLS to shorter and simpler ones, specifying security restrictions for a directory and regulating how a server reacts when no particular web page is specified.
HTML, also known as Hypertext Markup Language, is a formatting language used by web browsers in order to dynamically format web pages. It has originally evolved from SGML (Standard Generalized Markup Language) and it follows most of the markup conventions that are used in the publishing industry. However, HTML is not actually a programming language; it is a markup language that was not intended to be able to control all aspects of the document layout, but to format the content of a web page.
The syntax HTML uses its destined to wrap tags identified by keywords placed between angle brackets which can be combined and allow the control of how a certain page will appear in a browser window. There were difficulties for some browsers in the 1990’s which interpreted this code in various ways. Therefore, in order to introduce a degree of standardization, the worldwide web consortium (W3C) was established.
Hypertext Transfer Protocol. HTTP provides a standard way for your web browser and the server running a web page to communicate. It’s basically how they connect and gather data that you then see on your screen.
A hyperlink is a reference to something that the reader can follow directly with a single click. When clicked, the hyperlink will then take the reader to a different web page or document.
Normally, the hyperlink is embedded within a word or phrase in a line of text. The hyperlinked phrase is usually highlighted with blue letters and changes the mouse pointer when the reader hovers over the link. This is done to distinguish the hyperlink from normal text.
The hyperlink has two parts, the link and the anchor text. The link is the address of the web page or document that the user will visit upon clicking the hyperlink. The anchor text is the wording that appears in the original text. Normally, the anchor text will reference the link so that the user will understand where they will be taken. If a hyperlink has no anchor text, it is called an inline link and will display the entire address in place of the anchor text.
An insertion order is a document that identifies the dates, price and the scope of a media buy. When you agree on the terms of a media buy, the deal will be finalized with an insertion order. This can also be thought of as a receipt or proof of purchase. Insertion orders are mainly used in the advertising industry but more specifically, advertising though websites and the internet.
Insertion orders can cover a one-time media buy or a long term campaign. They contain information such as the campaign name, the planner (buyer), the ads that will be running, the size of the ads, the individual or party that will be running the ad(s), the cost per click of the campaign, the total cost, any discounts or contingency agreements, the reporting requirements, penalties to be applied if the contract is broken and any stipulations relative to the success or failure of the campaign.
Technically, internal links are hyperlinks that are a navigation element or a reference in a page from a certain domain or website that targets the same domain or website as the one where the link exists (the source). In other words, they are links within the website that direct visitors to another page from the same website. If used properly, strong internal links can bring a significant improvement to your rankings.
Internal linking is needed to increase a page’s anchor text links which inform search engines about your website and help you increase its ranking for specific terms.
Internet marketing is the act of marketing products or services on the internet. It can also be thought of as advertising through the internet. This is a broad term that involves aspects of web design, web development, creativity, scalability, market identification, advertising and sales.
Those who work in the internet marketing profession sell their own products or services, sell other products or services for a commission, or provide content to attract followers which they can then profit through advertising to them.
Internet marketers use techniques such as search engine optimization (SEO) strategies, mobile advertising, email marketing, banner ad placement, video marketing, affiliate and referral marketing and more.
An IP address is short for Internet Protocol Address. It’s just a set of numbers used to locate servers or computers online. It’s a great invention of modern computer technology which allows one computer to communicate with another computer using the internet. There are two types of IP addresses; a dynamic IP address which is temporary and is assigned by your internet service provider and a static IP address which is permanent and is exclusive to your computer.
The IP address is important information and by using it you can easily locate numerous digital services connected to a computer. Internet Protocol is used to regulate internet activity and help with completion of a number of activities on the internet. An IP address regulates online communication between various devices located at different destinations thereby facilitating a two way communication on the world wide web.
An ISP or Internet Service Provider is a company providing the user (individuals and businesses) access to the internet.
A scripting language used by web developers to build interactive sites.
Joomla is a popular open source CMS or content management system. Joomla is used to create websites and online applications. According to their website there are over 200,000 community users and contributors for Joomla.
Keyword density can be defined simply as the number of times a specified keyword or key phrase appears on a webpage expressed as a percentage of the total number of words on the page. It is particularly important in the perspective of search engine optimization (SEO) where it’s used in evaluation of the relevance of a webpage to a particular keyword or keyphrase.
In order to calculate the keyword density, divide the number of times the keyword appears in the text by the number of words in the text and multiply by 100. For keyphrase density, multiply the total number of instances of the exact keyphrase by the total number of words in the keyphrase then divide by the total number of words in the text and multiply by 100.
Keyword density was a popular criteria used in ranking web pages. Currently, if you’re seeking high search engine rankings it’s better not to go overboard with your keyword density.
Keyword stuffing is the practice where web masters repeat particular words throughout the content in the hopes of ranking higher in the search engines. Keyword stuffing fits into the category of Black Hat SEO and is highly discouraged.
Keywords can also be hidden behind images or blended with the text by using a background color so it becomes invisible to users.
Keyword tools help online advertisers establish the search capacity and user behaviors associated with keywords. These tools pick the best words that can be used according to the particular niche. Keyword research is essential in order to have the best rankings so there is a lot of focus on it by SEO experts.
Keyword tools perform a search and return detailed information about the possible keywords to choose from, including the number of businesses using the search term or bidding on it and how often the keyword is searched per month.
Landing pages refer to a page on a website where a lot of the traffic is driven to (especially paid traffic). In many instances landing pages act as an advertisement for a particular service or item.
Split testing different landing pages is a great strategy. In this approach, the landing pages that are converting the best are retained and used for future campaigns.
Link building refers to the process of getting links to a website from other websites. Links from authority websites carry more value. Similarly, links from spam websites can have a negative impact on the website rankings.
Mambo is a popular open source CMS or content management system used by many to build websites quickly and easily.
A manual penalty is typically referred to as a penalty given by the Google web spam team for sites that are thought to violate their webmaster guidelines. You can find out more about these guidelines by visiting the official Google web page here.
If you think you have a manual penalty against your site, you will need to send in a request for reconsideration to have it lifted. You cannot use SEO tactics in order to get your site to move in the search engine results pages if it is under manual penalty.
A manual review, as opposed to a machine review is when a human being goes through an article or a website to determine whether or not it is valuable or useful. This is typically used in SEO to refer to instances where the Google web spam team manually review the search engine results pages in order to find high ranking pages and sites that fit into the category of what consider web spam.
Just as the name suggests, market research refers to the gathering of information about a particular market. This is an essential aspect every new business should take into account. Market research must be done thoroughly, and it involves monitoring a company’s main competitors along with checking the price-quality relationship and the size of the market.
This is a crucial part of a business strategy because market research allows a business owner to understand his competitors and beat them in terms of price and product quality. However, it is a complex process that requires the careful analysis of the geographic and demographic aspects of customers.
A very important part of the process involves gathering feedback from customers and potential customers. This part is also known as “opinion research” and it is essential for any business owner, as it provides an insight into people’s needs. Market research also aims to reveal the latest trends emerging within the market.
A merchant account is traditionally a specific type of account that allows companies and entrepreneurs to receive payments by credit or debit cards.
It’s possible to establish a merchant account under a legal agreement between a merchant acquiring bank and an acceptor for the settlement of a wide variety of payments. These payments may be issued by means of credit or debit card transactions.
There are also cases in which a third party is part of the agreement – this potential third party can be an independent sales organization, commonly referred to as an ISO.
Meta descriptions can be described as HTML or XHTML attributes that provide short and concise explanations of the content of web pages to search engines. Meta descriptions should have a direct relevance to the page and in normal circumstances; these descriptions usually contain 150 to 200 characters. These descriptions may be shown to web surfers within the search engine results pages so it’s worth the effort to write a useful, compelling meta description.
Meta tags provide general information about each page on your site. Visitors don’t see these; they are put within the tags of your pages and give information like who created the page, what it’s about, and keyphrases related to the page.
Search engines may use some of this information for categorizing web pages, but there’s a lot more to SEO than meta tags.
A few commonly used meta tags include the meta description and meta keywords tags. The meta description tag is just a sentence or so that gives a brief overview of the what the page is about. The meta description is commonly used in the search results pages so it’s worth it to have these.
Here’s an example of how a meta description tag should look:
<meta name="description" content="Your description.">
The meta keywords tag is a little outdated and not always used or recommended as an SEO tactic at this point. If you try to stuff this tag with keyphrases then you can see problems so it’s not a good idea to spam this tag (if you’re going to use it at all). If you’d like to use the meta keyword tag it’s best to limit it to only 2 keyphrases. The meta keywords tag looks like this:
Many people mistakenly call the title element a title tag. It’s not a meta tag, but no matter what you’d like to call it, you want to have a title within the tags of each page on your site.
MFA (MADE FOR ADVERTISING)
Sites that are specifically made to make money through advertising are known as made for advertising (MFA or made for adsense) sites. Made for advertising sites are designed to maximize ad revenue, sometimes at the expense of content or reader experience.
Because they sacrifice content in favor of advertising, made for advertising sites are not recommended and are considered to be spam by most search engines. Some webmasters creating made for advertising sites use programs that scrape and rewrite content from similar sites which allow them to decrease the time it takes to make them. This allows them to create more of these sites which further increase their revenue.
Made for advertising sites often try to manipulate the reader into clicking on ads. Such tricks include providing poor content so the reader will want to look elsewhere, placing banner ads in areas where readers tend to look first, and placing the bulk of their ads at the top of their site, so the reader is more likely to see them.
Monetizing your page refers to how you’re going to earn from your site. You may monetize a site with Adsense, affiliate or CPA offers, or even place ads on your own pages for your own products or services.
You do need a strategy for how you’re going to monetize your site if you plan to make money from it. You can also use a website as a lead generator. In this case the leads will earn you money once you’ve collected them.
If name servers didn’t exist then we would all type in a websites IP address instead of domain names. Name server translate domain names into IP addresses.
When you buy a domain name there is usually a place in the registrar’s records where you can update your name servers. You will need to include at least 2 name servers in these spaces. Name servers usually look like this: ns1.nameofserver.com and ns2.nameofserver.com. The second name server is a backup.
A niche is a subset of a broader market. For example, exercise is a market while Pilates can be thought of as a niche of that broader market.
When you’re building your online business, figuring out your niche should be your first step. You want to decide how broad or narrow you’re going to pursue your topic when you first get started. You can always expand, but it’s important to consider your options up-front. It’s usually easier to target a more narrow subset or niche at first and then expand later on.
The nofollow tag is a small piece of code that tells search engines not to pass any link authority to the page the link goes out to. Links that include the no follow tag are thought to not impact the page’s ranking in the search engines. The no follow code looks like this:
Each search engine handles the nofollow tag differently (some even ignore it).
Open source typically means the end product is free and you have access to the code and the ability to change it as needed. WordPress, Mambo, Joomla, and Drupal are all open source content management systems. They’re free and many small businesses have developed tools to work with them.
To opt-in is to give explicit permission to an organization or individual to regularly send you information or to offer you a service. The opt-in clause is used to protect consumers against unscrupulous marketers who send unsolicited information or advertising for products or services.
The explosion of unsolicited email, also called spam led to legislators instituting anti-spam laws. These laws require that before individuals are contacted either by phone or email, they should be given the option to accept or reject being contacted. The opt-in gave the consumers the right to decide, not the marketers.
ORGANIC SEARCH RESULTS
Organic search results refer to the listings that appear on the search engine results page. In a nutshell, these are the most relevant results to a particular keyword. Search engine algorithms are the elements that decide how relevant a website is to a particular keyword, based on a wide variety of aspects such as keyword density.
Having your website listed among the top search engine results is a real accomplishment, as this will direct a massive flow of visitors. Fortunately, there are numerous ways in which a site owner can improve the ranking of his website (and have it ranked among the top organic search results). Search engine optimization (also known as “SEO”) is the most effective way to do so.
Outsourcing is where you contract out work instead of hiring an in house employee. For many small businesses the stress of hiring a full or part-time employee is too much (not to mention the costs) so they outsource the work. This can include virtually anything, from customer support to web development. You don’t need to hire a contractor outside of your native country in order for it to be considered outsourcing.
A page view is a common measurement of web traffic. It refers to how many times a page on your site has been loaded. In order to find the number of page views you would take all the pages on your site, count up the number of times each one has been loaded, and add that altogether to get the total number of page views for any given amount of time. People typically want to know the number of page views per day or month across their website.
PageRank is a part of Google’s algorithms based on the links pointing back to a particular web page. The higher the PageRank of the page (which is accumulated by the PageRank of the links pointing back to the page), the more popular it is thought to be. Although PageRank is still part of their overall algorithm, Google has been moving away from its importance due to the ability for it to be manipulated.
A patent is a right provided by the government giving sole ownership of an invention to the inventor. The owner of a patent is granted the right to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling the invention in the U.S. or importing the invention into the U.S.
Portable document format or PDF is a file format for documents that can run on any operating system (like Mac or PC) and with any software. To open a PDF file you need to download Adobe Acrobat (which is free of charge) and you should be able to open the file regardless of what type of computer or device you are using.
The smallest element of a digital image is called a pixel. The size of an image is usually described in pixels. For example, if you’re going to have a favicon, you need a 16 x 16 pixel image.
PPC (PAY PER CLICK)
Pay per click (PPC) is an online advertising model where you pay a certain amount for each click. It’s also called cost per click. Adwords is a PPC model, but there are many other websites that have their own PPC opportunities. Click fraud can be a problem with the PPC model where competitors click on ads just to drive expenses up.
A query in the online business world usually relates to the keyphrases a searcher typed into a search engine or search box online. If you type in ‘how to train your dog’ into a search engine then ‘how to train your dog’ is the query.
Reciprocal linking is a situation where two websites help each other out by linking back to each other. Site A links back to site B and site B links back to site A. This type of linking helps boost sites rankings in the search engines, but it is considered a manipulative practice and is not advised.
A redirect occurs when a visitor lands on a page that does not exist and then immediately gets transferred to a new page. Often it happens so quickly that the visitor does not notice they are redirected. It’s very useful for moving pages from one URL to another or even moving entire sites.
The referrer is the URL a visitor came from in order to land on your site. If a visitor types a keyphrase into Google and lands on your page from their search results then the referrer is Google.
Checking to see where your visitors are coming from is very useful. If you find a site that’s referring traffic to you then you may want to see what you can do to get them to refer even more traffic to you. Checking your referrers also helps you identify if paid traffic is working well and sending you the visitors you paid for.
A registrar is a company that registers domain names. You should get a domain name for your business and will need to register it from a domain registrar.
REQUEST FOR RECONSIDERATION
A request for reconsideration is a notice you can send in to the Google web spam team if your site is under manual penalty. Within the request you would want to ask that they remove the penalty.
Typically you need to change whatever terms of service you violated and explain the changes in your request for reconsideration. If it is accepted, the manual penalty will be removed.
RSS (REALLY SIMPLE SYNDICATION)
Really simple syndication (RSS) is mainly used to publish content that is updated frequently. This allows the audience to receive all of the information from one source, even if the content comes from multiple sources. This collection of content is called an RSS feed.
RSS feeds are advantageous for the publisher because it allows him or her to syndicate their content automatically. An RSS feed is in a standardized XML format which allows different programs to use the feeds. This XML format can be read by software known as an “aggregator”, “feed reader” or “RSS reader”.
RSS readers are commonly used to collect content in the form of blogs, podcasts, news headlines and video. This amount of flexibility makes the RSS reader a useful tool for any person that seeks information. The main purpose of RSS is to decrease the time and effort it takes the user to obtain content from a particular source or sources.
SERPs (SEARCH ENGINE RESULTS PAGES)
When a search query is performed through a search engine, the results are referred to as the “SERPs” or “Search Engine Results Pages.” These pages are given a great deal of attention by those in the SEO industry, because they directly impact a website’s ability to be reached online.
The results in the SERPs are in theory in direct relation to the relevance for any given keyword. If you search for any given keyphrase or word, it is the search engine’s goal to deliver you the most relevant and useful information on the first page of the SERPs for that information.
A server is traditionally described as a computer hardware system. A server’s main purpose as a web host is to provide and run several services at the same time. The users of other computers that are connected to the same network as the server are able to use the network effectively.
A server is of paramount importance to a network, because without a fully functional server the network cannot operate effectively.
There are a wide variety of servers. The most common types are: web, gaming, print, database and file servers.
In a different context, the term server may refer to a type of computer program. In such a case, the server program’s primary purpose is to handle the requests of several other programs – commonly referred to as client programs.
SEO (SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION)
Search engine optimization (SEO) refers to the set of techniques for getting the pages of a website ranking high in the search engines. Ideally, you want the highest rankings possible across as many targeted keyphrases as you can get.
SEO is broken down into two main subsets; on-site optimization and off-site optimization. On-site optimization refers to all the techniques used on web pages or across a domain. These include strategies like incorporating keyphrases into content, the use of title elements, and internal linking structures. Off-site optimization refers to link building tactics in order to make a web site look more popular in the hopes of getting higher rankings.
Shared hosting is a type of web hosting where you share a web server. With shared hosting your site only takes up part of the server space available while other sites owned by other individuals or businesses take up the rest.
Shared hosting plans are typically much cheaper than dedicated server plans, which is the main draw. A few of the disadvantages of shared hosting include that you will have less space (although it may still be enough), you will not be able to personalize your server, and you can have more security threats.
Many businesses run on shared hosting plans and often it’s a great place to start while you’re building up the traffic to your online business.
A shopping cart is a type of software used for e-commerce purposes. Its basic function is to create an electronic version of a real life shopping cart that you would find in the grocery store.
As a customer shops through a particular e-commerce site, they are able to use this software to hold their items before they pay for their order. This allows them to add products as they browse through the e-commerce site as opposed to purchasing them one by one.
Shopping cart software creates an enjoyable and familiar experience for the customer. We are used to picking out several items before we purchase them and therefore, expect software like this for our online shopping experience.
A sitemap contains a list of all the pages on a website in an organized fashion. Sitemaps are generally used by search engine crawlers to index web pages, but they are also accessible to users.
There are two main versions of a sitemap; an XML sitemap and an HTML sitemap. An XML sitemap is very structured and is intended for search engine crawlers so that they can easily index a site. A user will not find much use for the XML version of a site’s sitemap.
An HTML sitemap is made for the user. It is not as structured but is better designed so that the user can navigate through it more easily. HTML sitemaps are useful when a user has trouble navigating through a large site or is looking for a specific page on a site.
SMTP (SIMPLE MAIL TRANSFER PROTOCOL)
SMTP is with no doubt one of the most dominant protocols used for both sending and receiving email over the internet. It has become a standardized method for sending and receiving emails. Since it is text based, learning the SMTP protocol is quite easy. Most email programs that send mail via the internet are using this protocol from a mail client to a mail server or from a mail server to another.
SMTP is also used for sending messages from a certain mail client to a server. Due to this fact it is also required that you specify the IMAP or POP server along with the SMTP server before you attempt to configure your email application. Most server administrators decide whether clients will use TCP port 25 or port 587 in order to relay outbound mail to the mail server.
Social Media refers to the interactive platforms people use in order to keep in touch with each other and distribute content. There are different types of social media technologies: forums, social networks, social bookmarking, blogs or weblogs are just a few.
Social networks are some of the most popular sites on the internet, especially after the development of Facebook. They’ve become so popular that developers have created applications for mobile phones so people can view their social network profiles from anywhere.
Other relevant examples of social networks are Twitter, Flickr and Linkedin. Besides the fact that social media brings people together, these sites are also one of the strongest sources for news updates. In addition, online businesses use social media in order to promote their products and services.
Spam can be divided up to refer to email spam or web spam.
A splash page is a page visitors are shown before they enter the main website. They can show ads or information about a site (like a disclaimer or a way for visitors to select what language they would like to view the main content on the site in).
Finding the most effective way to increase conversion rates becomes a reality with split testing.
Split testing is also known as A/B testing. With split testing you can compare two or more versions of a webpage or email to gain a clear cut idea about the effectiveness of the campaign. You can analyze the results to identify the exact responses and reactions of the subscribers or visitors.
Split testing provides marketers with the unique ability to test and improve their online marketing messages.
SSL (SECURE SOCKETS LAYER)
An SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is a commonly used protocol designed to allow programs to transmit information through the internet in a secure way. An SSL will send the information in an encrypted form which requires a “key” for decipher. The SSL creates two keys, a public and a private key. When the information is transmitted, the keys are exchanged. This allows for the safe transmission of information through the web.
First, the user will accept the public key from the SSL secured site. The user will then send the site their own key to the site. This tells the site to send the user a type of password which will encrypt the information that is being exchanged between the two parties. The user’s computer will then use the key to decrypt the encrypted information. This entire process is done between the site and the user’s computer and does not require any user input.
A subdomain is similar to a new website but you don’t need a new domain for it as it is linked to your main domain. A subdomain is much like a sub-directory, the only difference is that it appears before your domain instead of appearing after the domain. An example of a subdomain is abc.yourdomain.com.
A subdomain gets stored in the root folder of the main website. You can create as many subdomains associated with your main domain as you want as they are free and easy to create. You don’t need to register subdomains like a normal domain name or need to renew them each year. You can easily set up a sub domain by logging into the cpanel of your hosting account. From there it is a simple process that just takes a few minutes time.
The supplemental results are referred to as a supplemental index within the Google search engine. This index is where web pages that are not well trusted often show up. Google keeps pages that are duplicate and other less trustable pages out of their main index and puts them into the supplemental index (which is not generally shown to searchers).
A thin affiliate is similar to a made for advertising site.
Google has a section on their webmaster guidelines referring to sites monetized with affiliate programs. Basically, they consider a thin affiliate a site that does not provide additional value for visitors. They are lacking in original content.
Honestly, what Google says on the link above and what I have seen them label a thin affiliate are two very different things. If you’re going into affiliate marketing, you really need to provide a great deal of value in order to avoid being classified as a thin affiliate.
The title element is an HTML tag that shows up in the visitors web browser. It is also the text that will be shown in the search engine results pages. A title element is different from a headline although you can choose to use the same headline as your title element. The title element is written like this:
A toolbar is basically a user interface component that contains a set of command buttons or toggles for a computer program. A toolbar usually provides quick shortcuts to frequently used application features along with additional options. It may appear as a single row of icons under the menu bar, or a distinct frame layout in a number of rows and columns. Compared with pull-down menus which have to be selected quite laboriously, toolbars are fast, convenient and efficient.
Most computer programs, such as the Microsoft Office Suite, have toolbars that make the application’s functions readily accessible and easily identifiable. Some are customizable, enabling users to add, hide or remove toolbars, adjust their dimension and location, or even modify their contents.
Toolbars have a variety of usage patterns and designs. The usage patterns include primary toolbars which are designed to function without a menu bar, either removed or hidden. They also include the supplemental toolbars, which are designed to operate with a menu bar and the toolbar menu, which is basically a menu bar executed as a toolbar. There is also often a search toolbar which provides search tools, textual tools and bookmarking tools for browsers.
A trademark is an identifying symbol used to distinguish one company’s product or service from another. The symbols may consist of a word, design, shape, pattern, or a combination of these images.
It’s important to check that you’re not violating someone’s trademark before you build your site. This starts with the selection of your domain name. Many affiliate marketers will intentionally register a domain name with a trademark in it hoping to rank high for the trademarked word. This can result in the company who owns the trademark taking the domain (which they may be able to do legally) so it’s not a good strategy to take part in.
Market trends are the tendency of the market to advance in a certain direction as time passes by.
Unique visitors are a measurement of traffic to a site. A unique visitor counts each visitor as one no matter how many pages they visit on the site. So whether a visitor navigates to 30 pages or just one, they are each counted as a single, unique visitor.
This is in contrast to page views where the number of pages viewed is the measurement. Both page views and unique visitors are good markers for the amount of traffic to a website. Many webmasters like to keep track of the number of unique visitors to their site per day and per month and chart out their traffic growth (or decline).
Uniform resource locators (URL) are unique addresses for files that are accessible via the internet. The most common way of accessing a website is by entering its URL (mostly home page) in your browser’s address line. It is also possible to access a file by its URL in the case with direct downloads.
The URL is made up of a specific protocol of accessing files; a domain name that is a unique identifier to a certain computer on the network, a pathname (either real or virtual), and a hierarchy to the specific location of the file.
On the web that uses HTTP as its protocol, a URL might look something like this:
On breaking down the above URL, you will get information about the transfer protocol (HTTP), worldwide web (www), specific website (myBlog), the page where content is (gallery) and the specific file (image1.jpg).
Internet usability refers to the techniques that make a site user-friendly and easy to navigate. This means that a website should provide content in a clear and concise manner, so that the visitor gets what he or she is looking for with minimum effort. Moreover, usability involves removing all the possible ambiguities that can mislead visitors.
Another important aspect of usability is to place the most important items and/or content in a highly visible spot, somewhere where the visitor can see them and access them.
Viral marketing (also referred to as “viral advertising”) is known as one of the most effective types of marketing. In a nutshell, this involves the use of social media along with various other technologies in order to raise brand awareness of a particular company in the online environment. In addition to this, viral marketing is also used for promoting particular products or services.
Generally speaking, videos are the most efficient form of viral advertising: they can be easily shared on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, and their impact is almost guaranteed, especially if they are well-designed. The mechanism that lies behind this type of marketing is a very simple one: everything is based on the underlying message. If people like the message, they are likely to distribute the clip – when they do, that clip will automatically go viral. This type of marketing is all about visibility and the impact it has on the public.
VPS (VIRTUAL PRIVATE SERVERS)
Virtual Private Servers (VPS) are servers that run on a shared environment, but are set up to be the same as a completely separate server. Therefore a VPS is private like a dedicated server. It can also run specific software requested by the person renting the space (much like a dedicated server).
A VPS is a step between a shared server and a dedicated server. The price usually falls in between the two. Often you can get a good VPS for under $100 a month as opposed to a dedicated server which will run you a few hundred dollars a month.
Web spam is the deliberate act of manipulating search engine indexes in order for a site to rank highly in search engine results. This is also known as spamdexing. Currently search engines are dedicated to finding these pages and blocking or removing them from their indexes altogether or having them rank near the bottom of the results pages.
WHITE HAT SEO
White hat SEO includes SEO that is within the terms of service of a particular search engine. Often, it’s not clear what they want you to do so there can be a grey area (meaning you’re not sure you’ve crossed a line or not).
White hat SEO generally refers to using good practices when building your site that result in a good user experience. With regards to link building the line becomes more blurred. Google doesn’t consider any form of link building white hat that is done with the intention of manipulating their search engine rankings (which is pretty much any form of link building).
So at its most basic, white hat SEO is really about creating great content and making sure your site is crawlable.
WordPress is an open source content management system that many would consider a blogging platform. Websites built with WordPress enable a commenting system and can utilize many plugins that have been developed for all types of added functionality.
Extensible Markup Language (XML) is a simple markup language that can be read by visitors and programs. Many API’s (application programming interfaces) have been developed to process XML data. RSS feeds are typically created in XML and are a recommended part of any website.