To choose the right web hosting provider, it is absolutely necessary that you should have an idea of your web hosting requirements as well as the features you require. This can be done only if you have a knowledge of the web hosting terms such as ASP, PHP, Perl, CGI, SSL, SSI, ColdFusion, MySQL etc. The WHL Web Hosting Glossary page is distinguished from a large number of other hosting terminologies you might have visited in that only those terms have been illustrated which are highly related to web hosting. Since you are planning to host a website, so it is quite obvious that you must already be familiar with the general technical terminology related to the PC and the Internet.
MS Access is Microsoft advanced database generation and maintenance application. Microsoft Access should not be used by websites with plenty of visitors and is not thought of to be as powerful as MySql or SQL Web server.
ActiveX is a technology by Microsoft deployed online to develop interactive web pages that are more or less similar to computer applications, hence they are dynamic instead of static. The use of ActiveX is quite widespread with Internet Explorer in order to make interaction with web pages easier. The functionality provided by ActiveX controls is quite similar to that provided by Java Applets.
Anonymous FTP bypasses the need to create a login and password. Consequently its very useful in that it enables a user to access and edit the documents and data stored on a web server without any authentication. This type of FTP account normally uses the login "anonymous" to bypass any security mechanisms in order to access files on a remote system.
Apache is a very commonly used web server based on the Unix OS platform, with more than half the sites online using the software. Launched as a Unix product, Apache is now also available for other operating systems including Microsoft Windows, OS/2 and certain other platforms as well. The server inherited this name since it was developed as a series of "patch files". Microsoft's IIS is the only major rival of Apache.
Same as ActiveX: A tiny program developed in the Java language, an applet is very easy and quick to download. Using a web browser which can support Java, the applet can be used to add functionality such as animation and interactivity to a Web page.
A scripted HTML page which creates dynamic content by processing of the included scripts on a Microsoft Web server IIS before presenting the page to the user. The programming language used for developing these scripts is Visual Basic VB. Upon receiving the input data from the user, the script within the page accesses data from a database at the server side and subsequently customizes the page at the spur of the moment before it is presented to the visitor.
Autoresponders as the name indicates are used to respond to an email automatically. The most common application of an autoresponder is the confirmation of customers' orders after they have filled up the order form. The autoresponder replies to their email instantly so as the confirm the order placed. Another instance in which an autoresponder can prove to be very useful is when the webmaster or website administrator is away, in which case an email with the subject "The webmaster is currently away and will respond to your query shortly" can be sent automatically to any visitors requesting more information or sending any other comments .
A backbone can be defined as the major high-speed network link making up the Internet. Only the grand telecommunications providers such as AT&T, Sprint, MCI etc operate backbones.
Good web hosting companies always keep a backup of their clients' data on their servers. The best web hosting provider is the one which performs backups at least once every day. This can be used to recover the latest backup copy of the data in case something goes wrong with the server. Anyone concerned about the security of his website's data should definitely choose a web hosting provider which performs regular backups, so that the old data can be easily retored in case of a hardware failure.
Bandwidth (also known as Transfer or Traffic) is defined as the total data per month (usually measured in gigabytes GBs) allowed by a web server to be sent and received by a website. In case the website reaches this limit, the web hosting provider can either take the site down for the rest of the month or can charge the customer an additional fee depending upon the extra data transferred.
A chat room or chat service can be used to give website visitors a yet another reason to stay at the site for longer durations, however this functionality is offered only by the leading web hosting providers. The configuration of the chat service differs from one web hosting company to another with some allowing the clients to configure the service themselves and others pre-configuring everything for their clients.
A Certificate (also referred to as a Secure or Digital certificate) is a proof of the genuiness of an online business. The most common Certificate Issuing Authorities include Equifax, Thawte, VeriSign etc whose duty is to verify the identity as well authenticity of the business before issuing them a certificate. This digital certificate is an evidence to the fact that the website in question operates a legitimate business, and also has a physical address and phone number.
CGI, an acronym for the "Common Gateway Interface" is analogous to ASP but is not restricted to the Windows OS unlike the ASP. It allows the web server to take input data from a user, pass it to an application program and to forward the processed data back to the user. The server upon receiving the request from the user in the form of a click or entered URL address sends back the requested page to the user. In other instances such as when a web form is filled and submitted by the user, the web server sends the received data to a small application utility, which subsequently processes it and returns it to the page which is then displayed to the user.
Primitive web servers used to put all the CGI applications in a separate folder with the name "Cgi-bin" so as to not confuse them with the other files residing on the server. This has changed recently with the arrival of sophisticated web servers which have the ability to distinguish CGI programs from other files, as a result there is no need of any special directory to store these programs and they can reside with the other related files.
The CGI script is a tiny application which can be written in a variety of programming languages such as C, C++, Perl etc. Its role is to act as a processing intermediary between HTML pages which receive user input and the other applications residing on the web server. For example, when a user inputs some search criteria into a web page, the CGI script takes that data and sends it to the database management system for lookup. Upon receiving the results of the search data from the DBMS, it then formats them as an HTML page which is then displayed to the user. The data is obtained from the user by the CGI script residing in the server by means of via environment variables which are made by the web server.
ColdFusion is a commercial database application development tool developed by Macromedia which gives the databases a web interface. As a result, a simple web browser can be used to query as well as update the database. The ColdFusion Server application runs at the server side in order to gain access to a database. ColdFusion has numerous applications such as event registration, order entry, catalogue search, directories, calendars, and interactive training. Because a single industrial-strength CGI script encapsulates all communications with the database, consequently ColdFusion applications are extremely robust.
A colocated server offers much more privileges and control than a dedicated server. The colocated server is hosted within the data center facility of a colocation provider who is responsible for providing the client with a high-speed internet connection in order to access and manage the server as and when required. There are colocation providers which can custom build the colocated server as per the customer's demands. The most logical client for a colocation server is a power user who requires custom hardware or software configurations, multiple clustered servers, and access to specific data centers.
Connectivity is said to exist between two computer systems which are linked to one another over either a LAN or an internet connection and are actively communicating with one another. The result of this communication is steady or intermittent data transfer between the two systems.
A CMS is an acronym for "Content Management System". The software is a new technology which makes the job of content development, publishing and maintenance extremely easy by totally automating the whole process. A Content Management System essentially simplies content production by isolating it from web page design, as a result of which the management of content as well as incorporation of design changes becomes hasslefree.
Like the Windows Control Panel, a web hosting control panel allows the user to administer and control all the aspects of their web site including FTP, e-mail management, database configuration, web site statistics, bandwidth usage, disk space usage and do many more things with a user-friendly point-and-click interface.
Crontab is the name of the file in which all the commands are accumulated after being read sequentially from a standard input. It's a very handy command which is quite commonly used in the UNIX operating system and other operating systems similar to it and is used for scheduling the periodical execution of other commands. The instructions within these individual commands are then read and carried out during sequential execution.
An acronym for the Cascading Style Sheet, the CSS file is a template file which is used to define the presentation and appearance of HTML elements for all HTML documents residing within the root folder or a subfolder on a web server. The CSS file makes the process of updating the styles of HTML elements quite hasslefree, since the style needs to be modified only within the CSS file and it is automatically updated in all HTML documents.
Custom Error Messages
On some web hosting accounts, it is possible to create user-defined error pages with "Custom Error Messages" which can then be used in place of the default 404 error page and other similar error pages.
A database refers to a repository of data stored in a systematic manner so as to enable a computer application to quickly and easily access parts of that data. The most common form of databases are called relational databases in which fields, records and tables organize the stored data. A field (also known as an attribute) represents a single entity of information; a record (also known as an object or vector) is a collection of a set of field values; and a table is a collection of records. A relational database is quite commonly used by a content management system (CMS) as its content repository. Because the content is stored in the fields, it can be delivered dynamically.
A data center is a physical facility used by a web hosting provider to manage all network operations, hence it is also called Network Operations Center or NOC. A typical datacenter comprises hundreds and sometimes even thousands of web servers connected to the central backbone via multiple links, and backed up by power backup systems.
The total amount of data allowed by a Web server to be sent/received by a website within a month is referred to as a data transfer or bandwidth which is normally measured in GBs. If this limit imposed on the total data transfer is crossed by a website, the web hosting company can either shut the website or charge the website holder extra money based on how much data transfer exceeded the limit.
Dedicated IP (also known as Static IP) is the opposite of shared IP which is shared among many websites so that they all have the same IP address. In contrast, the dedicated IP belongs specifically to a certain domain name, so that the website can be accessed either by the domain name or by the dedicated IP address.
Some web hosting companies also offer dedicated server hosting in which the server is the sole property of the customer and is not shared with other customers of that web hosting provider. Normally dedicated servers are required only by giant multimillion dollar business websites which receive enormous traffic every month that cannot be satisfied by a shared web hosting service. Additionally, a dedicated server also ensures secure transfer of information along with the ability to use customized applications such as e-commerce payment engines or complex databases. if the client is responsible for the maintenance of the server in which case he needs to have all the technical expertise or resources, then it is simply dedicated server hosting. On the other hand, if all aspects of the dedicated server are managed by the hosting company itself, then it is referred to as a managed server.
In case of a power failure, a generator powered by diesel is used by all leading web hosting companies to generate electricity in order to ensure the continuous operation of the data center.
Disk space refers to the maximum space allocated to a website by a web hosting provider and it is usually measured in gigabytes (GBs). Simple websites comprising only HTML pages do not require large amounts of disk space because of the very small size of HTML documents. However, sites containing heavy images or heavily loaded databases may require plenty of disk space.
The DNS (Domain Name Server) translates a domain name such as netlingo.com into the Internet Protocol (IP) numbers (126.96.36.199) to find the correct web site. The DNS is a static, hierarchical name service that uses TCP/IP hosts and is housed on a number of servers on the Internet. Basically, it maintains this database for figuring out and finding (or resolving) host names and IP addresses. This allows users to specify remote computers by host names rather than numerical IP addresses.
Domain Aliasing/Domain Parking refers to the process of adding additional domain names to a hosting account with all of the domain names resolving to the account's index page. For example, say you have cats.com parked to your main account at pets.com. This would mean that anyone who goes to cats.com would automatically go to pets.com. There is no actual hosting involved with cats.com.
The unique name that identifies an Internet web site. On the Web, the domain name is the part of the Uniform Resource Locator (URL) that tells a domain name server where to forward a request for a Web page. For example, the domain name of this web site is webhostlead.com.
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.
Domain Parking/Domain Aliasing refers to the process of adding additional domain names to a hosting account with all of the domain names resolving to the account's index page. For example, say you have cats.com parked to your main account at pets.com. This would mean that anyone who goes to cats.com would automatically go to pets.com. There is no actual hosting involved with cats.com.
When a domain name (Web site) is moved from one Internet address to another, the new address must be recorded by the domain registrar to allow Internet Domain Name Servers to point to the new location.
DRAM (Dynamic Random Access Memory) is the most common type of memory and is "dynamic" because in order for the memory chip to retain data, it must be refreshed constantly (every few milliseconds). If the cell is not refreshed, the data is lost. DRAM temporarily stores data in a cell composed of a capacitor and a transistor. Each cell contains a specified number of bits. These cells are accessed by row addresses and column addresses.
Dual Power Supply
This is the term given for furnishing a server with 2 independent power supplies for improved redundancy specification.
Information on a Web site or Web page that changes often, usually daily and/or each time a user reloads or returns to the page. Dynamic Content may also be structured based on user input. For example, when you search on some keywords on a search engine, the resulting page you get is a "dynamic" page, meaning the information was created based on the words you typed into the form on the previous page. Dynamic Web sites are usually driven by Web application environments such as Microsoft ASP or Allaire's ColdFusion, and the content is taken from a database.
E-commerce means conducting business online. E-commerce software programs run the main functions of an e-commerce web site, including product display, online ordering, and inventory management. This software resides on a commerce server and works in conjunction with online payment systems to process payments.
Email forms are used to let site visitors contact you directly from your website. Email forms are easy to setup and require minimal HTML programming skills.
An email service which automatically sends email messages from one email address to another email address.
Web hosting plans that allow users to send and receive email, may or may not come with hosting for a website.
Encryption is the process of converting data into a secure code, through the use of an encryption algorithm, for transmission over a public network. The mathematical key to the encryption algorithm is encoded and transmitted with the data, thus providing the means by which the data can be decrypted at the receiving end, and the original data restored.
Web servers generate error messages when they encounter unexpected conditions. The most common of these, from a user's perspective, is the 404 error. This error occurs whenever a user requests a nonexistent page. The page may have been moved, or the user may have mistyped the URL.
A local area network used for connecting computers, printers, workstations, terminals, etc within the same building. Ethernet operates over twisted wire and over coaxial cable at speeds up to 10 Mbps. Ethernet LANs are being promoted by DEC, Intel and Xerox.
An integrated application that allows web hosting clients to automatically install popular scripts.
Fibre Optic Cable
A cable used for transmitting data as a light wave. A fiber optic cable is composed of very thin strands of glass on which information is conveyed in the form of pulses of light. It is more expensive that copper wire, but offers higher transmission speeds and allows for communication over larger distances.
The File Manager is a web-based tool that allows you to create, edit, copy, rename, and delete HTML files.
A system designed to prevent unauthorized access to or from a private network. Firewalls can be implemented in both hardware and software, or a combination of both. Firewalls are frequently used to prevent unauthorized Internet users from accessing private networks connected to the Internet, especially intranets. All messages entering or leaving the Intranet pass through the firewall, which examines each message and blocks those that do not meet the specified security criteria.
A popular authoring software developed by Macromedia used to create vector graphics-based animation programs with full-screen navigation interfaces, graphic illustrations, and simple interactivity in an initialized, resizable file format that is small enough to stream across a normal modem connection.
Frontpage is the name of the application that is available from Microsoft Corporation to provide users with a graphical interface for the creation of web pages. This type of program is commonly referred to as an "HTML editor" because its job is to generate HTML files based on the commands executed in the page layout interface available to the user.
FrontPage Extensions are a set of server-side applications that allow you to incorporate many advanced features such as hit counters, Java buttons and form validation without having to write the complex server-side programs typically required.
FTP (File Transfer Protocol) is the method used on the Internet to copy a file from one computer to another. Using FTP, you can search through directories on computers around the world, locate a file, and transfer a copy of it to your machine.
A Gateway transfers information between physically separate networks that are based on differing protocols (for example, between Internet and AppleTalk networks). It performs high-level information translation, while routers provide low-level.
1 GB = 1024 Megabytes
The GNU Privacy Guard (GnuPG or GPG) is a free software replacement for the PGP suite of cryptographic software, released under the GNU General Public License. It is a part of the Free Software Foundation's GNU software project.
A Guestbook is a script on a web page with a form which lets those who visit the website to "sign in" and leave comments.
Each time a Web server sends a file to a browser, it is recorded in the server log file as a "Hit". Hits are generated for every element of a requested page (including graphics, text and interactive items). If a page containing two graphics is viewed by a user, three hits will be recorded - one for the page itself and one for each graphic. Webmasters use hits to measure their server's work load. Because page designs vary greatly, hits are a poor guide for traffic measurement.
HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) is the coding language to design web pages used on the World Wide Web. Web browsers read HTML and display the page.
HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) is the communication protocol used to connect to servers on the World Wide Web. The primary function of HTTP is to establish a connection with a Web server and transmit HTML pages to the user's browser.
The secure version of the Hypertext Transfer Protocol. URLs starting with HTTPS would be seen in secure environments such as online banking, and where financial details are submitted, such as shopping online.
A hub is a network device that is used for connecting computers on a Local Area Network (LAN). It forwards all the packets it receives to all of its ports.
A highlighted, clickable word or image within a web page which, when clicked, takes you to another web page within the same site or to another site altogether.
IIS (Internet Information Server) is Microsoft's Web server that runs on Windows NT platforms. This is the software that serves the information to the Web. The browser sends requests for pages, the server sends them back to the browser which then displays the information. IIS comes bundled with Windows NT 4.0. Because IIS is tightly integrated with the operating system, it is relatively easy to administer. However, currently IIS is available only for the Windows NT/XP platforms, whereas Netscape's Web servers run on all major platforms, including Windows NT/XP, OS/2 and UNIX.
IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) is a mail protocol that provides management of received messages on a remote server. The user can review headers, create or delete folders and messages, and search contents remotely without having to download the mail. It includes more functions than the similar and popular POP mail protocol.
Internet Backbone (or simply the Backbone) is the main high-speed network connection composing the Internet. Backbones are operated by major telecommunications companies like Sprint, MCI, or AT&T.
IP (Internet Protocol) is the method by which data is sent from one computer to another on the Internet. Each computer (known as a host) on the Internet has at least one IP address that uniquely identifies it from all other computers on the Internet. IP enables information to be routed from one network to another in packets and then reassembled when they reach their destination.
A private network of various computers within an organization. An Intranet is used to share company information and computing resources among employees. An Intranet uses regular Internet protocols and in general looks like a private version of the Internet.
IRC (Internet Relay Chat) is basically a huge multi-user live chat facility. There are a number of major IRC servers around the world which are linked to each other. Anyone can create a channel and anything that anyone types in a given channel is seen by all others in the channel. Private channels can also be created for multi-person conference calls.
Java is a powerful, cross-platform programming language developed by Sun Microsystems. Java applets (small applications) may be incorporated into Web documents and can be executed securely by any Java-capable browser irrespective of whether it is running on a PC, an Apple Mac or a Unix workstation. Both Netscape Navigator and Internet Explorer are Java-capable. Java is being used in many ways which enhance the functionality and interactivity of Web pages.
The Java Servlet API allows a software developer to add dynamic content to a web server using the Java platform. The generated content is commonly HTML, but may be other data such as XML. Servlets are the Java counterpart to dynamic web content technologies such as CGI or ASP. It has the ability to maintain state after many server transactions. This is done using HTTP Cookies, session variables or URL rewriting.
A JVM (Java Virtual Machine) is an abstract computing machine which is platform-independent. The JVM converts Java bytecode into machine language and executes it.
JDK (Java Development Kit) is a software development package from Sun Microsystems that implements the basic set of tools needed to write, test and debug Java applications and applets.
JSP (Java Server pages) are an extension to the Java servlet technology that was developed by Sun. JSPs have dynamic scripting capability that works in tandem with HTML code, separating the page logic from the static elements - the actual design and display of the page. Embedded in the HTML page, the Java source code and its extensions help make the HTML more functional, being used in dynamic database queries, for example. JSPs are not restricted to any specific platform or server.
1 KB = 1024 Bytes
A searchable database of frequently asked questions and answers about a Web host and its packages.
Linux is an open source operating system within the Unix family. Because of its robustness and availability, Linux has won popularity in the open source community and among commercial application developers.
Distributing data across a network of servers in order to ensure that a single Web server does not get overloaded with work, thereby affecting performance.
Log File Access
Raw log files are used to track the hits to your website. You can access them from your root directory.
The Internet host (together with the appropriate software) that is used to send, receive and forward email messages.
A Mailing List is a list of people who subscribe to a periodic mailing distribution on a particular topic. On the Internet, mailing lists include each person's e-mail address rather than a postal address. Mailing lists have become a popular way for Internet users to keep up with topics they're interested in. Many software producers and other vendors are now using them as a way to keep in touch with customers.
Like Listserv, Majordomo is a small program that automatically redistributes e-mail to names on a mailing list. Users can subscribe to a mailing list by sending an e-mail note to a mailing list they learn about; Majordomo will automatically add the name and distribute future e-mail postings to every subscriber. Requests to subscribe and unsubscribe are sent to a special address so that other subscribers do not see these requests.
Mambo CMS is an easy to use content management system allowing users to create and manage corporate and personal web sites with very little technical experience.
A Managed Server is a Dedicated or Colocated Server managed by your Web host. The Managed Host procures, configures, installs, and maintains the necessary servers, firewalls, and other devices that the customer's architecture requires, including the operating system, and any backend database and server support required to make the site functional. Once configured, the Managed Host connects the server to the Web via its own network, where it is monitored on a 24 hour basis. In essence, a Managed Server is the sole responsibility of your Web host: if a hard drive fails, the host replaces it; if a server dies, the host swaps it; if there's a spike in traffic, bandwidth is increased.
1 MB = 1024 Kilobytes
An application that allows users to post and reply to messages from other users and review the flow of a discussion. Also known as a Discussion Group.
A special HTML tag that provides information about a Web page. Unlike normal HTML tags, meta tags do not affect how the page is displayed. Instead, they provide information such as who created the page, how often it is updated, what the page is about, and which keywords represent the page's content. Many search engines use this information when building their indices.
MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) is a network and accompanying protocol developed in the 1970's for tranmitting various information between musical and other devices including keyboards, samplers, lights, controllers, etc.
MIME (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions) is a protocol for allowing email messages to contain various types of media (text, audio, video, images, etc). To use MIME, both sender and receiver must use MIME compatible e-mail programs.
An E-commerce program that is used to develop and manage online stores.
MS Frontpage is the name of the application that is available from Microsoft Corporation to provide users with a graphical interface for the creation of web pages. This type of program is commonly referred to as an "HTML editor" because its job is to generate HTML files based on the commands executed in the page layout interface available to the user.
MS SQL Server
Microsoft SQL Server is a relational database management system produced by Microsoft. It supports a dialect of SQL, the most common database language.
A web hosting plan option that allows multiple domain names to share the resources of the single hosting account.
MX Record (Mail Exchange Record) is an entry in a domain name database that identifies the mail server that is responsible for handling e-mail for that domain name. If a user has more than one mailserver, MX records can also specify the order in which the mailservers will be used as primary, secondary, backup and so on.
MySQL is an open source relational database management system (RDBMS) that uses Structured Query Language (SQL), the most popular language for adding, accessing, and processing data in a database.
A Name Server, or Domain Name Server, maintains the cross-reference between domain names and their corresponding IP addresses. Name servers are used so that people don't have to remember long numerical IP addresses.
An electronic discussion group or bulletin board that is devoted to discussion of a specific topic. A newsgroup consists of postings, which are messages that have been addressed to the newsgroup rather than a specific individual. Newsgroup postings are uncensored. As a result, some very explicit and candid discussions occur, ranging from political arguments, to religious opinions, to very explicit stories. Unlike mailing lists, which send postings directly to subscribers' mailboxes, newsgroup postings are available on Usenet computers and must be accessed by the user. Usenet is the world-wide conferencing system, encompassing thousands of newsgroups.
A Newsreader is a program that lets you read, download, and reply to the newsgroup messages you want.
(Network Interface Card) - The circuit board or other form of computer hardware that serves as the interface between a computer and the communications network.
NOC (Network Operations Center or Datacenter), is a physical center from where networks are managed by a Web host. Typically, a NOC has hundreds or even thousands of Web servers with multiple connections to the backbone, and power backup systems.
OC (Optical Carrier) is a hierarchy of optical signals used to classify speeds, or capacities, of fiber lines, especially as related to the SONET standard. The differrent carrier speeds, in Megabits per second (Mbps) and Gigabits per second (Gbps), are as follows:
OC-1 (52 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)
ODBC (Open Database Connectivity) is a standard or open application programming interface (API) for accessing a database. By using ODBC statements in a program you can access files in a number of different databases; including, Access, dBase, DB2, Excel, and Text. In addition to the ODBC software, a separate module or driver is needed for each database to be accessed. The main proponent and supplier of ODBC programming support is Microsoft.
The Operating System (OS) is the most important program that runs on a computer. Every general-purpose computer must have an operating system to run other programs. Operating systems perform basic tasks, such as recognizing input from the keyboard, sending output to the display screen, keeping track of files and directories on the disk, and controlling peripheral devices such as disk drives and printers.
Domain Parking/Domain Aliasing refers to the process of adding additional domain names to a hosting account with all of the domain names resolving to the account's index page. For example, say you have cats.com parked to your main account at pets.com. This would mean that anyone who goes to cats.com would automatically go to pets.com. There is no actual hosting involved with cats.com.
Perl (Practical Extraction and Report Language) is a programming language developed by Larry Wall, especially designed for processing text. Because of its strong text processing abilities, Perl has become one of the most popular languages for writing CGI scripts. Perl is an interpretive language, which makes it easy to build and test simple programs.
PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) is an electronic privacy program which helps you ensure privacy by letting you encrypt files and e-mail. The encryption technology employed by PGP is very strong. PGP was created by Phil Zimmermann, and depends on public key cryptography for its effectiveness. Public key cryptography is a procedure in which users exchange "keys" to send secure documents to each other.
PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor) is an open source server side programming language extensively used for web scripts and to process data passed via the Common Gateway Interface (CGI) from HTML forms etc. PHP is an alternative to Microsoft's Active Server Page (ASP) technology and can be written as scripts that reside on the server and may produce HTML output that downloads to the web browser. Alternatively, PHP can be embedded within HTML pages that are then saved with a .php file extension. The PHP sections of the page are then parsed by the PHP engine on the server and the PHP code stripped out before the page is downloaded to the web browser.
phpMyAdmin is a popular open source web-based application, written in PHP for administering MySQL databases. It can create and drop databases, edit tables (create, drop, modify) and fields, execute an SQL statement, manage privileges and also export data into various formats.
A Platform describes some sort of framework, either in hardware or software, which allows software to run. Typical platforms include a computer's architecture, operating system, or programming languages and their runtime libraries.
A (usually small) piece of software that adds features to a larger piece of software. Common examples are plug-ins for the Netscape® browser and web server. Adobe Photoshop® also uses plug-ins. The idea behind plug-in's is that a small piece of software is loaded into memory by the larger program, adding a new feature, and that users need only install the few plug-ins that they need, out of a much larger pool of possibilities. Plug-ins are usually created by people other than the publishers of the software the plug-in works with.
POP (Post Office Protocol) is a protocol used to retrieve e-mail from a mail server. Most e-mail applications (sometimes called an e-mail client) use the POP protocol, although some can use the newer IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol).
The Primary Domain Name Server for the customer's domain. These are the DNS IP numbers, usually preceeded by "ns.name.com" and "ns2.name.com" and a domain must point at a DNS for it to "resolve" to a local virtual location.
The process where name servers throughout the Internet add new domains and remove expired ones from their records. This can be a lengthy process, which is why connecting to a new domain name can often take three or four days.
Python is an interpreted, interactive programming language created by Guido van Rossum in 1990, originally as a scripting language for Amoeba OS capable of making system calls. Python is often compared to Tcl, Perl, Scheme, Java, and Ruby. Python is developed as an open source project, managed by the non-profit Python Software Foundation.
A Query is a collection of specifications used to extract a set of data needed from a database. In traditional terms this could be called a "computer program." Queries are probably the most frequently used aspect of SQL. Queries do not change the information in the tables, but merely show it to the user. Queries are constructed from a single command. The structure of a query may appear deceptively simple, but queries can perform complex and sophisticated data evaluation and processing.
RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks) is a system of using multiple hard drives for sharing or replicating data among the drives of a web server. The benefit of RAID is increased data integrity, fault-tolerance and/or performance, over using drives singularly.
Raw access data updated in real-time that can be downloaded and used by any statistics program. Typically each line show the user's IP, date and time of the access, what kind of request was done, which document was requested, HTTP status code, bytes transferred, referrer, and user agent info. If a host doesn't have statistics, you'll need access to raw logs to identify who your site's visitors are. Analyzing raw logs can also provide more detailed look at site accesses than stats.
One of the first CODECs for delivering streaming video over the Internet. Like other CODECs, RealMedia (comprised of RealVideo, RealAudio, and other file formats created by Real) use compression algorithms for eliminating data that can be considered as extraneous or not as important as other information. RealMedia and Windows Media are the two most widely used technologies for streaming video today.
A commercial Linux distribution, popular amongst Web hosts. Red Hat, Inc. is one of the largest and most recognized companies dedicated to open source software. Founded in 1993, the company now has more than 700 employees and 22 locations worldwide, including its corporate headquarters in Raleigh, North Carolina in the United States.
A Registrar is the company or organization that you purchased or registered your Domain Name through.
If executed properly, reselling web hosting and related services can be a low-maintenance, high-profit way to online success. Reseller programs allow businesses to lease servers, connections and bandwidth from established hosting firms, but brand the product as their own. Even some of today's biggest hosting companies simply resell the products of bigger companies, due to the lower staffing and equipment expenses required. Resellers act independently of web hosting companies, and are not treated as employees.
A DNS name server that is the authority for resolving Internet names and IP addresses at the highest domain level, the top-level domain.
A special-purpose dedicated computer that attaches to two or more networks and routes packets from one network to the other. The router is connected to at least two networks and determines which way to send each data packet based on its current understanding of the state of the networks it is connected to. Routers create or maintain a table of the available routes and use this information to determine the best route for a given data packet.
A public key cryptographic algorithm named after its inventors (Rivest, Shamir, and Adelman). It is used for encryption and digital signatures. RSA was developed in 1977 and is today the most commonly used encryption and authentication algorithm.
The ability of a piece of software or hardware to expand/grow according to requirements, e.g to support larger numbers of users without impacting performance.
A script is a list of commands that can be executed without user interaction. A script language is a simple programming language with which you can write scripts.
A chunk of information (often stored as a text file) that is used by the SSL protocol to establish a secure connection. Security Certificates contain information about who it belongs to, who it was issued by, a unique serial number or other unique identification, valid dates, and an encrypted 'fingerprint' that can be used to verify the contents of the certificate. In order for an SSL connection to be created, both sides must have a valid Security Certificate.
Shared Hosting, as the name indicates, refers to the practice of hosting a web site on one partition of a physical server, which may be divided into hundreds or even thousands of partitions. This is the simplest form of web hosting and also the cheapest. The number of partitions on the physical server depends on the particular web host. Each partition is used by a different customer. Shared Hosting, therefore lets a customer share the resources of a single physical server with many other customers. These resources include disk space, bandwidth, processing power, memory etc to name only a few. Hosting many accounts on a single server therefore reduces the associated cost and allows the web host to offer a lower price per month which may range anywhere from $5 - $20 per month.
An IP address shared by multiple domain names.
A text-based account on a Unix machine that allows a web site administrator to remotely access files, compile binaries, run programs etc using Telnet.
A technology developed by Macromedia, Inc. that enables Web pages to include multimedia objects. To create a shockwave object, you use Macromedia's multimedia authoring tool called Director, and then compress the object with a program called Afterburner. You then insert a reference to the "shocked" file in your Web page. To see a Shockwave object, you need the Shockwave plug-in, a program that integrates seamlessly with your Web browser. The plug-in is freely available from Macromedia's Web site as either a Netscape Navigator plug-in or an ActiveX control.
A shopping cart is a piece of software that acts as an online store's catalogue and ordering process. Typically, a shopping cart is the interface between a company's website and its deeper infrastructure, allowing consumers to select merchandise review what they have selected make necessary modifications or additions and purchase the merchandise.
SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) is a protocol for sending e-mail messages between servers. Most e-mail systems that send mail over the Internet use SMTP to send messages from one server to another; the messages can then be retrieved with an e-mail client using either POP or IMAP.
A computer operating system by Sun Microsystems. Solaris is a popular operating system for higher-end computers called workstations as well as Web servers and other types of servers.
SQL (Structured Query Language) is a standard interactive and programming language for getting information from and updating a database. Although SQL is both an ANSI and an ISO standard, many database products support SQL with proprietary extensions to the standard language. Queries take the form of a command language that lets you select, insert, update, find out the location of data, and so forth. There is also a programming interface.
SQL Server is a Database Management System provided by Microsoft. SQL Server is sometimes mistakenly referred to as SQL.
SquirrelMail is a browser-based email client (also known as a Webmail program) written in PHP. It can be installed on almost all web servers as long as PHP4 is present and the web server has access to an IMAP and SMTP server.
SSH (Secure Shell) is both a computer program and an associated network protocol designed for logging into and executing commands on a remote computer. It is intended to replace the earlier rlogin, telnet and rsh protocols, and provides secure encrypted communications between two untrusted hosts over an insecure network.
SSI (Server Side Includes) is a method of invoking script programs that run on the web server to perform some function and/or add information to a web page. The information might be a variable value (e.g, a file "Last modified" date) that a server can include in an HTML file before it sends it to the requestor. SSIs can include environmental variables (like the date), or they can insert code from another file.
SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is a security protocol developed by Netscape which encrypts data to safely transmit confidential information, such as credit card numbers. If you want to use e-commerce features on your web site, it's very important that you choose a web host that provides an SSL secure server. This means that when your customers input their credit card numbers, they will be securely transmitted to your e-commerce software without any fear of interception or hacking.
Static IP (or Dedicated IP) is an IP address set aside exclusively for a particular domain name.
Many web hosting companies run software on their web servers that collect usage information about your web site and compile it in a user-friendly, easy-to-read format for you to analyze trends about your web site. Site Statistics allows you to view reports on your site traffic and performance. Statistics reports may include a summary of page views over the last week or month; your total daily page views; profiles of your site visitors, such as which browsers or operating systems they use, how many visitors are coming to your site, which web pages receive the most attention, and how much time people actually spend browsing your site.
Video or audio transmitted over a network that users can begin to play immediately instead of waiting for the entire file to download. Typically a few seconds of data is sent ahead and buffered in case of network transmission delays. RealMedia, QuickTime and Windows Media are the most common streaming formats.
Subdomains are used to divide websites into different sections. Usually the subdomain is a descriptive name placed before the main domain. For example, Yahoo has several subdomains for their website. The finance section is under the subdomain finance.yahoo.com and their shopping section has the subdomain shopping.yahoo.com.
A connection capable of carrying data at 1.54 Mbps. T-1 is most commonly used to connect networks to the Internet but is not fast enough for full-screen, full-motion video which needs at least 10 Mbps.
A high speed connection capable of carrying data at 44.75 Mbps. T-3 is more than enough for viewing full-screen, full-motion video.
A Tag is an HTML element that starts with "<" and ends with ">". It can have attributes, but this is not necessary. The end of the element is signaled with the tag without its attributes, and with "/" as the first character. For example, the ending tag for <B> is </B>.
Tape backup refers to the act of duplicating data to an external tape by a web host, which can then be restored in the event of a disaster recovery.
A command-line interface that allows remote users and Web servers to communicate.
1 TB = 1024 Gigabytes
A special purpose computer that has places to plug in modems on one side and a connection to a LAN or host machine on the other. A terminal server does the work of answering calls and passing the connections on to the appropriate node. Most terminal servers can provide PPP or SLIP services if connected to the Internet.
TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) is one of the main protocols in TCP/IP networks. Whereas the IP protocol deals only with packets, TCP enables two hosts to establish a connection and exchange streams of data. TCP guarantees delivery of data and also guarantees that packets will be delivered in the same order in which they were sent.
TLD (Top Level Domain) is the portion of a traditional domain name that comes after the dot. So, in webhostlead.com, the top level domain is .com. The generic top level domains are .com, .net and .org. The other types of TLDs are the country code Top Level Domains which are assigned to all countries and their dependencies such as .ca for Canada.
Traffic/Data Transfer is the amount of data the server will allow your site to send in a month. Traffic is usually measured in gigabytes (GB) - billions of bytes. Once you go over your monthly limit, your web host may either shut your site down for the remainder of the month or can charge you overage.
An open-source computer operating system for Web servers and other server and workstation applications. Unix originated at Bell Labs in 1969 as an interactive time-sharing system. Unix has evolved into a type of freeware product, with many extensions and new ideas provided in a variety of versions of Unix by different companies, universities, and individuals. Various versions of Unix are available from a number of companies.
Unix Hosting allows a company to build their web sites on the Unix Operating System. Using this platform for web development allows companies to leverage the best and most popular in open-source technologies such as PHP, MySQL, Python and XML. Unix hosting plans are typically less expensive than hosting plans using operating systems by Microsoft.
The most available distribution of newsgroups is USENET, which contains over ten thousand unique newsgroups covering practically every human proclivity. It is not part of the Internet, but can be reached through most Internet service providers. USENET was originally implemented in 1979-80 by Steve Bellovin, Jim Ellis, Tom Truscott, and Steve Daniel at Duke University.
An assurance that a web hosting provider's uptime will meet an agreed-upon percentage.
A message automatically sent as a reply to any message received in a specified mailbox, in this case to inform the original sender that the recipient is away and will not be able to respond. Also known as an autoresponder.
Virtual hosting (also known as shared hosting) is a method that web servers use to host more than one domain name on the same computer and IP address.
Virtual Private Servers (VPS) are the most advanced step in server virtualization technology and were developed by Web hosting companies to satisfy the needs of an increasing number of web hosting users requiring more flexibility, custom configurations, root access etc. Virtual Private Servers therefore provide the features usually reserved for a dedicated server at a more affordable price. Each web hosting account has its own operating system which gives the user more administrative privileges including management of features such as FTP, e-mail etc without affecting other users on the same physical server. Virtual Private Servers also allow root access which is required to compile custom applications and to change the ownership attributes of files and folders.
A person responsible for the administration of a website.
Web-based email services enable a user to send and retrieve email by logging into the email account via a web browser.
A Web server is a program that, using the client/server model and the World Wide Web's Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), serves the files that form Web pages to Web users upon receiving a request through an HTTP client. Every computer on the Internet that contains a Web site must have a Web server program. Two leading Web servers are Apache, the most widely-installed Web server, and Microsoft's Internet Information Server (IIS).
Whois databases contain nameserver, registrar, and in some cases, full contact information about a domain name. Each registrar must maintain a Whois database containing all contact information for the domains they 'host'. A central registry Whois database is maintained by the InterNIC. This database contains only registrar and nameserver information for all .com, .net and .org domains.
Windows Hosting means hosting your web site with a Web host whose physical servers use the Windows operating system. You should choose Windows Web Hosting if your web site has been built using Microsoft applications such as ASP or will run Microsoft applications like Microsoft Access or Microsoft SQL database.
XML (Extensible Markup Language) is an open-standard data representation language which is becoming a universal language for a growing number of purposes. Unlike HTML, which mixes data and display information, XML is intended to represent the content and structure of data, without describing how to display the information. XML itself does not provide the information to transform the data from one structure to the other. It allows designers to create their own customized tags, enabling the definition, transmission, validation, and interpretation of data between applications and between organizations.
The group of files that reside on the domain host or name server. The zone file designates a domain, its sub-domains, and mail server.
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