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Web Hosting Glossary

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Anonymous FTP: Allows users to log onto an FTP server with a shared anonymous login. An Anonymous user can then download files from the FTP server.

ASP: Stands for "Active Server Pages." ASP is a scripting language developed by Microsoft, used mostly on Windows servers only. ASP is used to create dynamic pages that interact with a database.

Autoresponder: A program that usually resides on a server, an autoresponder can send automatic replies to people who send emails to a particular email address.



Backbone: Backbones are the main network connections that make up the Internet. They are made up of ultra-high speed lines and connections.

Bandwidth: Amount of data that is sent over a connection. Most Web hosts have limits on the amount of bandwidth (data transfer) you can use over the course of a month. A 1GB bandwidth will typically support 30,000 - 50,000 page views, depending on the size of your pages.



CGI: Stands for "Common Gateway Interface." CGI is a specification for exchanging information between a Web server and a program. Many programming languages can be used with CGI, but the most common is Perl. CGI programs add scripting and database interactivity to web pages, and is the most common way that Web servers interact dynamically with users.

CGI-BIN: A directory that contains CGI programs. Websites must have a CGI-BIN in order to run CGI programs.

Client: A client is an application that runs on a computer and is connected to a server in order to run certain operations. A typical client may be a Web browser or an email program.

Co-location: Refers to a relationship where the owner of a server would have their machine physically located at another organization's dedicated facility that is connected to the Internet.

Control Panel: A browser-based Web site management tool. Typically allows users to manage basic tasks such as adding email users, protecting certain directories, adding databases, etc.



Database: A collection of information organized in a way that allows the quick selection, sorting, and reorganization of data.

Datacenter: Also called a NOC (Network Operations Center), a datacenter is a physical center from where networks are managed. Typically, a datacenter has hundreds or even thousands of Web servers with multiple connections to the backbone, and power backup systems.

Data Transfer: This is the amount of data you are allowed to deliver from your site in a given month. The limit is usually calculated in GB with 1 GB usually amounting to 30,000 - 50,000 page views.

Dedicated Servers: A single server dedicated to a single customer. Most appropriate for users that require lots of disk space or data transfer, as well as sites that are database intensive or have specific software requirements.

Disk Space: Amount of storage space allotted to a Web site. Disk space can be used to store pictures, HTML files, videos, programs, and anything else used by the Web site.

DNS: Stands for "Domain Name System," or "Domain Name Server." DNS is a service that translates domain names into IP addresses. It is essential for finding the right Web site based on the domain name.

Domain Name: A name that is typically the first part of a URL and identifies the Web site. Example: www.yahoo.com. Domain names are used to make sites easier to remember.

Domain Name Registration: The process whereby a unique domain name is selected and registered by a user, giving the user the right to use that domain name for their Web site. Most Web hosts allow you to register a domain when you sign up for Web hosting.

DS-3: A fast connection to the Internet Backbone. Also called a T-3 line, a DS-3 connection is a phone line that supports a transfer rate of around 43 Mbps.



E-commerce: Stands for Electronic Commerce. An E-commerce site is any site that involves the buying and selling of goods and services. Typically requires a shopping cart system and a payment processing system.

E-Mail Alias: An e-mail address that gets its message forwarded to a different address on the same domain. For example,

E-mail Forwarding: A process whereby an e-mail sent to one address is forwarded to a different address. Does not have to be on the same domain, as with e-mail aliases.



File Extensions: Usually 3 letters, a file extension comes after the "." in a file name, and identifies the type of file. For example, in "index.htm," .htm is the file extension, and it identifies the file as an HTML document.

Firewall: A firewall is a software or hardware device that prevents outsiders from accessing a computer or network.

FrontPage: A popular HTML editor developed by Microsoft.

FrontPage Extensions: A series of scripts that can be employed by FrontPage users to add dynamic functions to a Web site.

FTP: Stands for "file transfer protocol." FTP is a protocol for transfering files to and from a web server. FTP is the most common method for managing files on a web server remotely.



GB: Stands for "gigabyte," a unit for measuring the size of data. 1 GB = 1024 Megabytes.



Host: A company that rents out space on Web servers that house other people's Web sites.

HTML: Stands for "hyper text markup language." HTML is the most common programming language used to create documents on the Web.

Http: Stands for "hyper text transfer protocol. " Http is simply a protocol used by the Web which defines how messages are formatted and transmitted.



IP Address: Stands for "Internet protocol address." A unique series of numbers that identify computers on the Internet. Each computer connected to the Internet must have its own IP address, and each Web site must similarly have an IP address.

IPP: Stands for "Internet presence provider," which is the same thing as a host.

ISP: Stands for "Internet Service Provider." An ISP provides a connection to the Internet, usually for a monthly fee.



KB: Stands for "Kilobyte," a unit for measuring the size of data. 1 KB = 1024 bytes.



Linux: An open source operating system based on UNIX, used to run Web servers.



Managed Hosting: An expanded dedicated hosting service where the web host will manage your dedicated server for you.

Majordomo: An open-source server-based mailing list system.

MB: Stands for "Megabyte," a unit for measuring the size of data. 1 MB = 1024 kilobytes.

Merchant Account: An account with a bank that allow you to process credit cards online.

Miva Merchant: An E-commerce program that is used to develop and manage online stores.

MS SQL: Stands for "Microsoft SQL." A database management system that runs on a Windows platform.

MySQL: An open-source database, typically run on Linux/UNIX platforms and used in conjunction with PHP.



NOC: Stands for "Network operation center," also called a datacenter. An NOC is a physical center from where networks are managed. Typically, a NOC/datacenter has hundreds or even thousands of Web servers with multiple connections to the backbone, and power backup systems.



OC: Stands for "Optical Carrier," OC is used to indicate the speed of fiber optic networks.
-OC-1 = 51.85 Mbps
-OC-3 = 155.52 Mbps
-OC-12 = 622.08 Mbps
-OC-24 = 1.244 Gbps
-OC-48 = 2.488 Gbps
-OC-192 = 9.952 Gbps



Perl: A programming language that allows database interactivity and dynamic content on the Web. Typically used with CGI.

PHP: A scripting language used to create database interactivity and dynamic content on the Web. Often used with MySQL. PHP is an open source language that can be used on multiple platforms.

POP: Stands for "Post office protocol." POP is used to retrieve e-mail from a mail server.



Server: A computer on a network used to manage network resources. On the Internet, a server's main task is to store files, process requests and deliver Web pages to users. Sometimes, the term "server" is also used to refer to the software running on a server machine (for example, Apache, WIndows 2000, etc.).

Server Side Includes: Server side includes (SSI) is a set of HTML tags that allow dynamic content on a Web page. SSI is most typically used to "include" the same file on numerous pages, thus simplifying updates.

Shared Hosting: In shared hosting, multiple sites are hosted on a single server, so each account ends up "sharing" server space with other accounts.

Shopping Cart System: Software that enables E-commerce by providing a "cart" or "basket" that users can add items to and later checkout.

SMTP: Stands for "Simple Mail Transfer Protocol," SMTP is used for sending email.

SQL: Stands for "Structured query language." A language used to for requesting information from a database. SQL can also be used to update, insert, and delete data.

SSL: Stands for "Secure Socket Layer." A technology used to provide secure transactions on the Internet. URLs that use an SSL connection start with "https."

Subdomain: A subdomain is a subdivision of a larger domain. For example, "mail.yahoo.com" is a subdomain of "yahoo.com."



T-1: A fast connection to the Internet, provided by phone over phone lines and supporting data rates of 1.544 Mbps.

T-3: A fast connection to the Internet, provided by phone over phone lines and supporting data rates of 43 Mbps.



UNIX: The most popular operating system used for Web servers. In the web hosting industry, a Linux host is considered the same thing as a UNIX host.

URL: Stands for "Uniform resource locator." The address of documents and resources on the Web. Example: http://tophostrankings.com.



Virtual Hosting: Also called Virtual Private Server (VPS) or Virtual Dedicated Server (VDS) hosting. Virtual Hosting partitions a server into several Virtual servers that each act like dedicated servers. Allows users to have the features and benefits of a dedicated server at much less cost.



Web Statistics: Web Stat Software is used to track the number of visitors to a Web site. Includes information such as hits, page views, bandwidth used, and other useful information. Popular Web Stat software include Analog, Webalizer, and WebTrends.

Windows Hosting: Hosting provided on a Windows platform. A Windows host allows a Web page to use Microsoft tools such as ASP, ASP.NET and Microsoft SQL.


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