The language used to describe web production, its parts and processes, can seem like an obscure dialect that bears little resemblance to English. While we strive to keep jargon to a minimum, this glossary will help you tell your baking process from your breadcrumbs and make the work we need to do together easier to understand.

If you come across a term you find unclear, and you'd like it added to the glossary, please email with your request.


Text that accompanies an image. If a user has the browser set not to display images, or is using a screen reader, they will rely on this text to tell them what the image is. The text can be seen when hovering the mouse over the image, or is read out in the case of a screen reader. Alt-tags can accompany text links as well.


Baking process
All pages within the standard LSE template go through the baking process. Web editors at LSE typically work on pages that only include content. The baking process adds the header, the footer, the breadcrumbs, the universal navigation bar and the CSS to the page. Most web pages at LSE are 'baked' once an hour.

Also called Favourites, most browsers allow you to save sites of  interest by using the 'Add to bookmarks' or 'Add to favourites' feature button. This means that you can return to a page that interests you particularly, without having to navigate to it from the home page all over again. In FrontPage, a bookmark is also a reference point within the content of a page, which enables you to link to it.

Navigational trail beneath the header of all standard LSE web pages. At LSE, breadcrumbs are created automatically using metadata, and are added during the baking process.

A piece of software used to view web pages. The most commonly used are Microsoft Internet Explorer (standard school build) and Netscape Navigator. Web pages can appear differently on different browsers.


Short for Cascading Style Sheets, they work in conjunction with HTML and allow the web designer to control how different elements appear on the page. For example, the style sheet can dictate that all links must be green, all headings purple and all boxes on the page blue. CSS is added to LSE web pages during the baking process


See Bookmarks.

At the bottom of all LSE templated pages are the following links:
About this page | Comment on this page | Privacy statement | Disclaimer | Copyright ©
This information is created by the metadata on the page and is referred to as the footer.


A type of image file. GIFs, which stands for graphics interchange format, are like JPEGs in that they work well on the web. GIFs are normally used for non-photographic images, such as maps or logos. An image is a GIF if it has the .gif file extension.


Graphics and/ or text at the top of a page. All LSE headers include the LSE logo in the top left corner. The header is added during the baking process.

HTML (Hypertext Markup Language)
HTML is used to mark up website text files. Browsers use the markup as instructions on how to display or format the page. The elements used to mark up the text are often referred to as tags.


Literally stands for Joint Photographic Experts Group. It's a type of image file that is web-friendly. JPEG is sometimes written JPG and you can tell if an image is a JPEG from the file extension - eg picture.jpg. JPEGs are normally used for photographic-quality images.


Metadata is a definition or description of data. On the web, metadata is used to provide information about documents and content items which does not necessarily need to be displayed on the screen. This information can then be used by software such as search engines or management systems. Examples of information commonly stored as metadata include authorship, publication date, modification date, copyright information, and subject keywords. For more information on the specific use of metadata in LSE web pages, please see Metadata.


The term used for the various methods provided to users to enable them to move around websites. Usually this means hyperlinks, but other navigation methods include different menu systems (such as drop-down menus), search engines, and contents listings.


Page impressions
The number of times a web page is accessed.

A Web Services database which holds a record for each of the collections and resources that make up the LSE website. The site index and various A to Z and popular pages are produced by this database.

PNG (pronounced ping) stands for Portable Network Graphics. It is a file format for image compression that, in time, is expected to replace the GIF. PNG is not intended to replace the JPEG format, which lets the creator make a trade-off between file size and image quality when the image is compressed. Typically, an image in a PNG file can be ten to 30 per cent more compressed than in a GIF format.


When a site is moved, putting a redirect on that site means the old URL will still work. For example the International History site was moved from to and a redirect placed on the old site. As a result, users who may have put a bookmark on the old site will automatically be taken to the new site.


Screen reader
Software programme used most commonly by people with visual impairments to read web pages aloud. Screen readers typically can't read text within graphics, hence the need for alt-tags which many screen readers do recognise. 

Search engine
Search engines use various behind-the-scenes methods to read and/ or index content (including metadata). When a search engine receives a search request, it compares the query to the content it has read or indexed, and returns a list of results. Search engines' parameters can be set so that they search defined sets of information - eg the whole web, a specific website, or even a specific section within a specific website.

As URLs can get quite unwieldy,  a shortcut URL can be set up and pointed at the address where the site actually lives.  For example is a shortcut and will actually take users to These are useful particularly for references in other media.


The title bar - the very top of the browser - displays the title of the page. The title of a web page is also displayed in search engine result pages; in minimised window titles at the bottom of the screen; and in lists of bookmarks or favourites.


Universal navigation bar
At the top of every LSE templated page are these five links:
Home | Help | Search | Site index | LSE for You
These links do not change and are referred to as the universal navigation bar. The bar is added during the baking process.

Stands for universal resource locator and means the same as 'web address' - for example is a URL.

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