Web Hosting Glossary
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A Record (Address Record) - An
entry in your DNS table (zone file) that maps each domain name (e.g. you.com) or
subdomain (e.g. abc.you.com) to an IP Address. In other words, the A record
specifies the IP address to which the user would be sent for each domain name.
For example, you can have abc.you.com point to one IP address, and xyz.you.com
point to a different IP address.
Access [Microsoft] - Microsoft
Access (usually abbreviated as MS Access) is an easy- to-use program for
creating and maintaining databases. The Access database driver for online
databases is often supported by webhosts using the NT hosting platform.
Anonymous FTP - A method for
allowing the public to download files using FTP (File Transfer Protocol) so that
they don't have to identify themselves. Usually the username "anonymous" should
be used, and either the password is provided by the FTP server, or anything may
be used as the password.
Applet - A small Java program
which is cross-platform compatible and can be embedded in the HTML of a
webpage. Web browsers, which are usually equipped with Java virtual machines,
can run the applets to perform interactive graphics, games, calculators, etc.
"Applets" differ from "Java applications" in that they are more secure -- they
can't access certain resources on the local computer, such as hard drives,
modems, and printers; and they can only make an Internet connection to the
computer from which the applet was sent.
ASP - Abbreviation for "Active
Server Pages". ASP is a server-side scripting language. ASP commands are
embedded within HTML documents (with .asp extension) to provide dynamic
content. ASP is often supported by webhosts using a NT server.
Backbone - A "large"
transmission line (or series of connections) that forms a major pathway within a
network, and carries data gathered from smaller lines that interconnect with
it. The term is relative -- a backbone in a small network can be much smaller
than non-backbone lines in a larger network.
Bandwidth - The amount of data
passing through a connection over a given time. It is usually measured in bps
(bits-per-second) or Mbps.
Bit - Short for "binary digit".
A bit is a single digit number in base-2, or in other words, either a 0 or a
bps - Abbreviation for "bits per
second". It is a measure of bandwidth. For example, a 28.8 modem can transfer
28,800 bits per second.
Browser - A client software
program which allows the user to view and navigate through websites, and
download or upload files. The most commonly used browsers are Microsoft
Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator.
Byte - A set of bits (normally
8, but sometimes more) that represent data, such as a single text character.
Catch-all Email Account - An
email account which allows any email of the form, firstname.lastname@example.org, to
be forwarded or placed into a single email address. For example,
email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com, will all be sent to the
same email address. Often hosts allow you to also specify particular email
addresses to be forwarded to different email addresses, in addition to the
catch-all email which sends any other email address to one designated email
CGI - Abbreviation for "Common
Gateway Interface". This is an interface standard which provides a method of
executing a server-side program (script) from a website to generate a webpage
with dynamic content. Scripts conforming to this standard may be written in any
programming language that produces an executable file, but are most often
written in Perl, Python, C, C++, or TCL.
CNAME Record (Canonical Name
Record) - An entry in your DNS table (zone file) that aliases a FQDN
to another FQDN (i.e. www.your-domain.com -> your-domain.com). In other
words, the CNAME record specifies another domain to which the user would be
Cold Fusion - A scripting
language for interfacing databases and advanced web development. Cold Fusion
supports databases such as Microsoft Access, FoxPro, dBASE, and Paradox.
Domain name - The unique name
which identifies an Internet website. Domain names have two or more parts,
separated by periods (dots). www.macarlo.com is a domain
name. Also see the definition for FQDN (Fully Qualified Domain Name).
Domain Name System (DNS) - The
way that nameservers translate Internet domain names to the corresponding IP
Email Forwarding - An email
service in which your email is automatically sent (forwarded) from one or more
email address, to another (possibly several) specified email address.
"Unlimited email forwarding" may refer to: (1) a catch-all email account; (2)
the ability to specify any number of email aliases (each of which may have a
different forwarding address); or (3) a combination of both.
Editor - Most free website
providers provide a program (editor) to edit the HTML code of webpages online.
"Basic" means you edit the HTML code directly in the editor. "Advanced" means
the editor will generate the the web page for you after you make some
selections, so you never see the HTML code (good if you don't know HTML).
Encryption - Processing and
altering data so only the intended recipient can read or use it. The recipient
of the encrypted data must have the proper decryption key and program to
decipher the data back to its original form.
FFA - Abbreviation for "Free For
All". FFA refers to webpage scripts that automatically update a links listing
when someone submits their URL to it (usually in hopes either someone will view
the page and click on their link, or search engines will index the page with
their URL). These are often submitted to by automated programs which submit to
hundreds of FFAs at a time. Often the FFA service requires the submitter to
give an email address, to which they send SPAM.
Fire Wall - A combination of
software and hardware which, for security purposes, separates a LAN into two or
more parts, or partially isolates a network from the Internet.
Forum - A script on a website
with a submission form that allows visitors to post messages on your website for
others to read. These messages are usually sorted within discussion categories,
or topics, chosen by the host, or possibly the visitor. A forum is also called
a " web board" or a "message board".
FQDN (Fully Qualified Domain Name)
- A complete domain name consisting of a host, the second-level
domain, and the top-level domain. For example, www.macarlo.com is a
FQDN. www is the host; macarlo is the second-level domain; and .com is
the top level domain.
FrontPage [Microsoft] - A
commercial, WYSIWYG, HTML editor for creating, editing, managing, and uploading
websites. Some of the special features of the program (such as a graphical
counter, forms, database, etc.) require that the website be uploaded to a server
which supports Microsoft FrontPage extensions.
FrontPage Extensions - Also
called FrontPage server extensions. These are a set of server-side scripts and
programs which enable users of Microsoft FrontPage to use its special components
(called Web Bots). The extensions can be installed for Microsoft Internet
Information Services (IIS) and on other Windows (usually Windows NT) and UNIX
FTP - Abbreviation for "File
Transfer Protocol". FTP is an Internet standard for transferring files over the
Internet. FTP programs and utilities are used to upload and download webpages,
graphics, and other files from your hard drive to a remote server which allows
FTP access. Two commonly used free FTP programs are WS_FTP and CuteFTP.
Gigabyte (GB) -1024 Megabytes
(MB), which is 2^30 bytes, or 1,073,741,824 bytes. It is sometimes used to
refer to 1000 Megabytes.
Guestbook - A "guest book" is a
script on a webpage with a form which allows website visitors to "sign in" and
leave comments or questions, which optionally may or may not be viewed by other
Homepage - (1) The home page is
the first web page that is displayed after starting a web browser (such as
Microsoft Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator). (2) The home page also
refers to the intended beginning page of a website on the Internet, usually
given by default if the root domain is given without specifying the file name
(for example, the URL http://www.macarlo.com/ will load the home page for
macarlo.com, in this case a file named index.html).
Host - A computer located on a
network that provides file storage or services to other computers on the
Hosting - Every webpage, email,
file, or online service is stored ("hosted") on a computer (called a "server")
that is connected to the Internet.
.htaccess - This is the default
name of a configuration file that contains "server directives" (commands known
by the server) that tell the server how to behave. One common use for an
.htaccess file is to restrict access (password-protection) to specific files or
directories on the Internet or intranet, or to specify a particular webpage to
be accessed when there the file requested by the browser is not found (error
HTML - Abbreviation for
"HyperText Markup Language". HTML is the coding language used to create
Hypertext documents (webpages) for use on the Internet. HTML files are intended
to be viewed using a browser such as Internet Explorer or Netscape
HTTP - Abbreviation for
"HyperText Transport Protocol". HTTP is the Internet protocol for transferring
hypertext files. It requires the host to use an HTTP server program, and the
viewer to use a HTTP client program (see definition for "browser").
iHTML - Abbreviation for "inline
html". iHTML is a server-side programming language for developing dynamic
Internet content. For more info, see ihtml.com.
IP Number - Short for Internet
Protocol Number. This is a unique number consisting of 4 numbers, each between
0 and 255, separated by periods (e.g. 22.214.171.124). Every computer that is
connected to the Internet has a unique IP number to identify it. The IP number
is also called a "IP address" or "dotted quad".
ISML - Short for InterShop
Markup Language. ISML is a set of scripting tags to generate dynamic web pages.
ISML tags are extensions of any tag-based language that conforms to SGML
standards. On servers which support this server-side scripting language, such as
all NorthSky (CommunityArchitect) cohosts, you can use these tags to
automatically include the contents of another file, the current date and time,
or a visitor counter on a web page. For more info (and details of all tags and
expressions) see this PDF file by Intershop.
ISP - Abbreviation for "Internet
Service Provider". An ISP is an institution that provides access to the
Java - A network-oriented
programming language developed by Sun Microsystems. It was specifically
designed for writing scripts, or programs, that can be safely downloaded to any
type of computer through the Internet and immediately run without the fear of
viruses or other damage to your computer. By making use of small Java programs
(called "Applets"), webpages can include functions such as calculators,
animations, and interactive games.
language for use in webpages that allows the use of dynamic content. In spite
of the similarity in name to Java, it is not closely related to Java.
Kbps - Abbreviation for
"Kilobits per second", which is 1000 bits per second. It is a measure of
Kilobyte (KB) -1024 bytes (1024
is 2^10), but sometimes used to refer to 1000 bytes.
Mbps - Abbreviation for
"Millions of Bits Per Second", or "MegaBits Per Second". It is a measure of
Megabyte (MB) - 1024 kilobytes
(KB). 1024 is 2^20 bytes, which is 1,048,576 bytes. A megabyte usually refers
to 1,000,000 bytes when used to describe disk storage capacity and transmission
Message Board - A script on a
website with a submission form that allows visitors to post messages on your
website for others to read. These messages are usually sorted within discussion
categories, or topics, chosen by the host, or possibly the visitor. A message
board is also called a "web board" or a "forum".
MP3 - Short for Mpeg Layer 3.
MP3 is an audio compression standard for encoding music. MP3 files have a file
MX record (eMail eXchanger) - An
MX record is an entry in your DNS table (zone file) that controls where email is
sent for the domain name.
MySQL - An Open Source Software
relational database management system which uses a subset of ANSI SQL
(Structured Query Language). For more information, see mysql.com.
Name Server - (Nameserver) - A
program or computer that translates names from one form into another. For
example, a Domain Name Server (also called a "host server") performs the mapping
of domain names to IP numbers.
Newsgroups - The name for
discussion groups (forums) on USENET. A newsgroup is a discussion about a
particular subject consisting of messages submitted by many users. Newsgroups
may be "moderated" by a designated person who decides which postings to allow or
delete, but most newsgroups are unmoderated.
OCx - Optical Carrier levels -
Used to specify the speed of fiber optic networks. The base rate (OC-1) is
51.84 Mbps. OC-2 runs at twice the base rate, OC-3 at three times the base rate
(155.52 Mbps), etc. Planned rates are: OC-1, OC-3, OC-12 (622.08 Mpbs), OC-24
(1.244 Gbps), and OC-48 (2.488 Gbps).
OC-3 - A network line which transmits 155.52 Mbps.
This is the size of the largest Internet backbone providers networks. See OCx -
Optical Carrier levels.
Perl - A server-side scripting
language which is commonly used to write CGI programs. Perl programs, or
"scripts", are text files which are parsed (run through and executed) by a
program called an "interpreter" on the server.
PHP - A server-side scripting
language. The PHP commands, which are embedded in the web page's HTML, are
executed on the web server to generate dynamic HTML pages. See php.net.
Python - An interpreted,
object-oriented programming language. Python is copyrighted, but the source
code is freely available and open for modification and reuse.
RealAudio / RealVideo - A
client-server software system and file format by Real Networks that allows
Internet users to play audio and/or video-based multimedia content in real-time
as they are being downloaded (called "streaming media"), instead of the user
having to download the complete file before being able to play it.
RealMedia - RealAudio and
RealVideo formats are collectively called RealMedia.
SMTP - Abbreviation for Simple
Mail Transport Protocol. SMTP is the main Internet protocol used to send
Spam - An inappropriate attempt
to use email, USENET, or another networked communications facility as if it was
a broadcast medium (which it isn't) by sending the same message to numerous
people who didnít ask for it. Many email services have "spam filters" to help
reduce the amount of spam emails.
SSI - Abbreviation for
"Server-Side Includes". A server-side scripting language. SSI scripting
commands are embedded within a webpage and are parsed and executed on the web
server to generate dynamic HTML pages. Common uses of SSI are to include files
(e.g. a header or footer file) that are used on multiple pages, or to show the
current date and time.
SSL - Abbreviation for Secure
Sockets Layer. SSL is a transaction security standard that provides data
encryption, server authentication, and message integrity. SSL is usually used
on sites that accept credit card numbers or other private information.
Subdomain - Sub-domains are
domain names with the form, anything.yourdomain.com. By definition, a subdomain
should not have the prefix of "www".
In order to access this domain with the
"www" prefix (i.e. www.anything.yourdomain.com), you would have to create a
"sub-third-level domain" with the prefix "www.anything".
T-1 - A leased-line connection
to the Internet which can transfer data at 1.544 Mbps. A T-1 line could
transfer a megabyte in less than 10 seconds if at maximum theoretical capacity.
A T-1 line contains 24 individual channels, each of which can transfer data at
64 Kbps. Each of these 24 channels can transfer voice or data traffic. Many
telephone companies will allow you to buy a portion of these individual
channels, called "fractional T-1 access". T-1 lines are also called DS1
T-3 - A leased-line connection
to the Internet which can transfer data at 44.736 Mbps. It is used mainly by
ISPs (Internet Service Providers) connecting to the Internet backbone. A T-3
line contains 672 individual channels, each of which can transfer data at 64
Kbps. T-3 lines are also called DS3 lines.
Telnet - An Internet protocol
for accessing a remote server on the Internet. When you log into the remote
server using a Telnet program, you receive a command line prompt for the server
that you can give commands to. Telnet is also known as "remote login".
Terabyte - 1024 gigabytes (GB),
but sometimes used to refer to 1000 gigabytes.
URL - Abbreviation for "Uniform
Resource Locator" - The web address (location) of a website, file, or resource
on the Internet. For example, http://hostmenow.us/ is a URL.
USENET - A worldwide system of
discussion groups, only part of which can be accessed through the Internet.
USENET contains well over 10,000 discussion areas, or forums, called
Web address - The location, or
URL, of a website, file, or resource on the Internet. For example, http://macarloname.com/ is a web
Web page - An HTML document
which has its own web address, or URL. The first page usually requested at a
web site is called the "home page". Using frames, multiple pages (HTML files)
can be viewed in a browser and arranged in designated sections of the display
screen at the same time -- these can also collectively be called a "web page".
"Web page" is sometimes written as "webpage".
server - (1) A computer program that serves the requested files which
form web pages to the client's browser. (2) A web server can also refer to the
computer that runs the server software and holds the files for one or more
Web site (or website) - A
collection of interlinked web pages with a related topic, usually under a single
domain name, which includes an intended starting file called a "home page".
From the home page, you can get to all the other pages on the website. Also
called a "web presence".
Webspace (or web space) - Data
storage space accessed via the Internet, usually used to host websites and data
Whois - An Internet utility
program that obtains information (such as owner and contact info) about a Domain
name or IP number from the database of a domain name registry. If the search
result returns "No match", the domain name is probably available, and you can
apply to register it. To search for a domain name across all registrars at once,
you can use BetterWhois.
WYSIWYG - An acronym for "What
You See Is What You Get". A WYSIWYG program is one that allows you to create
and edit a web page, text, or graphical user interface so that you can see what
the end result will look like while the document is being created. WYSIWYG web
page editors conceal the markup language (HTML) so as to allow the user to think
entirely in terms of how the page should appear. Microsoft FrontPage and Adobe
PageMill are two common WYSIWYG editors.
XML (Extensible Markup Language)
- a specification, similar to HTML, developed by the World Wide Web Consortium
(W3C) for Web documents. XML contains markup symbols (tags) to describe the
contents of a page or file, but unlike HTML, the markup symbols are unlimited
and self-defining (i.e. designers can create their own customized tags and tag
definitions). XML is a subset of SGML (Standard Generalized Markup Language).
Zone file - A file on a
nameserver that designates a domain name with all of its associated subdomains,
IP addresses, and mail server. Parts of the zone file include the A record,
CNAME, and MX records. A zone file is also called a "DNS table".