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Newbie Copywriting Website Glossary, Part 2: Ten Basic Terms

Award-winning writer Kathy Widenhouse has helped hundreds of nonprofits and writers produce successful content and has gained 600K+ views for her writing tutorials. She is the author of 9 books. See more of Kathy’s content here.

Updated 12.18.2023

To a newbie copywriting website content, computer-speak can seem like a foreign language. Use this glossary to get you up to speed quick.

Part 2 here lists the 10 most basic computer niche lingo terms. The list is arranged alphabetically. (You can make sense out of internet acronyms – words formed from initials, which are among the most confusing in computer jargon –  using this other handy glossary page, too.)

Newbie copywriting website glossary terms to know with Word Wise at Nonprofit Copywriter

Alt text
Alt text (“alternative text”) are words placed in the code to describe images, enhancing user experience and your search engine results. Search engine spiders, text-only browsers, audio browsers and others can't see all images on your web page. Alt text allows them to read descriptions of images on the web page.

Browser or web browser
Software, installed on your computer, that allows you to see a webpage. Contrary to myth, web pages are not “inside” your computer. Rather, they are hosted in web servers. When you type in an address or click on a link, your browser helps access the page from the server. Popular browsers include Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Netscape, and Safari.

Domain name
A unique, alphabetic and/or numeric root name identifying a website. Domain names are often memorable and easy to spell. They must be purchased and registered. Domain names are only one part of a website address. An example:

Hyperlink or link
An image or piece of text coded to take the user to another web page. Links help create the “net” in “internet,” much as capillaries work to connect the human body’s circulatory system. Links are often underlined and in a different color so that the viewer can easily recognize them.

Meta tags
Snippets of information inserted in a website’s header (Meta title), and back end documents (Meta description and Meta keywords). Meta descriptions appear on search engine results pages. Meta keywords represent the page’s content and are used by search engines to build their indexed results. Meta data is not directly viewable on a webpage but work in the background. This data is added to each web page as it is constructed and can be updated.

Opt in (opt-in)
A reader’s permission granted to be included in an email list. Those who have "opted in" agree to receive bulk emails (commonly called “campaigns” by nonprofit marketers.) Wise nonprofit leaders and small business owners ask readers for permission to send them email or otherwise ensure that readers have initiated email contact, thereby complying with spam laws.

Unsolicited email

Web host
A service that provides a location to hold a website’s files. A web host differs from a web server in that the web host is a service, while a web server is an actual computer.

Web server
A computer that serves up or delivers web pages so they can be viewed on a screen. A web server differs from a web host in that the server is an actual computer, while a web host is a service.

A collection of web pages grouped together, usually under a common domain name, which are designed to be viewed on the internet.

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