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Web Hosting Glossary


Apache is an open-source HTTP Web server software, it is currently the most popular web server on the Net.  It is usually run on Unix operating system versions like Linux or BSD.  Microsoft has IIS on Windows.


An applet is an embedded small executable module program on a web site. Applets are usually written in Java. They are mainly used for creating a virtual or 3-dimensional object that may move or interact with the web site.  Java applets run in a "sand box" or "virtual machine,", so they can't perform unauthorized functions to other computer from your computer.

Anonymous FTP

A file transfer protocol (FTP) service in which any user can copy files by logging on with the name "anonymous."

ASP (Active Server Pages)

Microsoft NT scripting language which allows people to design web pages that can make displaying, manipulating and editing databases quick and easy. An Active Server Page has an .asp extension and it mixes HTML and scripting code that can be written in VBScript or JScript.  ASP-compatible Web servers can execute these scripts. On the client side, an ASP is a standard HTML document that can be viewed on any platform using any Web browser. ASP is distributed with Microsoft's IIS web server. 
ASP.NET is the next version of ASP.

Audio/Video Streaming

The process of providing audio and video clips and content  via a web page.  


A high-speed line or series of connections that forms a major pathway within a network. The term is relative as a backbone in a small network will likely be much smaller than many non-backbone lines in a large network. .  Backbones are operated by large companies like AT&T, Sprint, IBM.


Bandwidth is the amount of data that can be transferred over the network in a fixed amount of time. Usually measured in bits-per-second. A full page of English text is about 15,000 bits. 28.8 modem can deliver 28,800 bps, a T3 line is about 44Mbps. Full-motion full-screen video would require roughly 10,000,000 bits-per-second, depending on compression. Bandwidth in web hosting is often referred to as monthly transfer, is the amount of data a single account can transfer in a single month. "unlimited bandwidth," is impossible to provide.

Binary Mode

FTP  mode used to transfer binary files (multimedia files, executables and other data files), usually you type Ďbiní to get to binary mode.


Client GUI software that is used to look at various kinds of Internet resources. Examples include Microsoft's Internet Explorer and Netscape's Navigator/Communicator.


(Common Gateway Interface) --
A standard for running external programs from a World-Wide Web HTTP server. CGI
specifies how to pass
arguments to the executing program as part of the HTTP request. Commonly, the program will generate
HTML which will be passed back to the browser but it can also request URL redirection.

A common use of CGI is in form processing, where the Web browser sends form data to a CGI script on the server, the script integrates the data with a database, and sends back the results as a Web page. Use of CGI can make a Web page much more dynamic and add interactivity for the user.  Any piece of software can be a CGI program if it handles input and output according to the CGI standard. You can often see that a CGI program is being used by seeing "cgi-bin" in a URL, but not always. A CGI program can be written in any language like Perl, C, PHP. Python, and other scripting languages, and it is often stored in a special directory like /cgi-bin. 


Owning a server but having it at another location for the use of their internet connection. Usually this is done because the server owner wants their machine to be on a high-speed Internet connection and/or they do not want the security risks of maintaining that server in their environment. Unlike the dedicated server, the client controls both hardware and software.  


A collection of information, usually including a username and the current date and time, stored on the local computer of a person using the World Wide Web, used chiefly by websites to identify users who have previously registered or visited the site. Simply speaking, itís a message given to a Web browser by a Web server. The browser stores the message in a text file called cookie.txt. The message is then sent back to the server each time the browser requests a page from the server. The main purpose of cookies is to identify users and possibly prepare customized Web pages for them.  When you enter a Web site using cookies, you may be asked to fill out a form providing such information as your name and interests. This information is packaged into a cookie and sent to your Web browser which stores it for later use. The next time you go to the same Web site, your browser will send the cookie to the Web server.

Cold Fusion

Cold Fusion is a scripting language for web designers to  develop database interfacing application which simplifies database queries by allowing for a simpler programming language to handle functions between the user's browser, the server, and the database.

Click Through

 This term is used to describe the ratio of clicks to impressions on an advertisement, usually a banner ad. If a banner has been shown 100 times and 3 people click on it, it will have a 3% click through ratio.

Control Panel:  An web based  package of tools permitting easy site management. Most control panels will let you upload files, add email accounts, develop databases, view usage statistics,  manage your files, etc..


Also known as spider, used by search engines to generate indexes, by retrieving web pages and follows the hyperlinks contained in them.


A collection of data arranged for ease and speed of search and retrieval. It contains records of information that are organized and presented to serve a specific purpose, such as the facilitation of searching, sorting, and recombination of data.

Database Support

Web server supports various database functions.  Some commonly used database programs are MySQL, Access, Oracle, and  SQL server. Databases can be very difficult to configure properly.

Dedicated Servers

Web hosting company provides dedicated  servers  for your use only, and assumes the responsibility for the technical support and maintenance of websites, you lease or rent the server. This usually means a much faster loading time for your site because the entire computer is "dedicated" to running the server software .

Domain Name

The unique name that identifies an Internet site. Domain Names always have 2 or more parts, separated by dots. The part on the left is the most specific, and the part on the right is the most general. A given machine may have more than one Domain Name but a given Domain Name points to only one machine.


Flash is a multimedia development tool that creates high-end applications to be embedded into web pages. Flash programs can also be used as stand-alone applications. The software can deliver high-end graphics through the web by keeping the file sizes relatively small.


A method of protecting one network from outside networks. A firewall blocks unwanted access to the protected network while giving the protected network access to networks outside of the firewall.

Front Page

FrontPage is an HTML composing tool developed by Microsoft. It is one of the most commonly used tools to create web pages.

Frontpage Extensions

Microsoft Front Page server extensions. A set of programs and scripts that support authoring in FrontPage and extend the functionality of a Web server. The FrontPage Server Extensions are available for Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) and other popular Windows and UNIX Web servers. To learn whether your Web server is supported, visit  .  These extensions can be thought of as "mini programs" that allow features of a web site created with MS Front Page to operate smoothly. It is possible to use MS Front Page to create a web site and host that site on a server that doesn't offer FP extensions, however some of the powerful features of the program cannot be used in these web sites.

FTP (File Transfer Protocol)

File Transfer Protocol - The Internet service that transfers files from one computer to another over the internet. Most web sites are uploaded to the Internet by means of an FTP program. This is how the web site you create on your computer at home is transferred (uploaded) to the Internet.


A Term used to describe when a banner advertisement is loaded on a web page and displayed to a user.

IP Address (Internet Protocol Address)

The standard way of identifying a computer that is connected to the internet. The IP address is four numbers separated by periods, and each number is less than 256, for example,


A scripting language. JavaScript is limited in performance because it is not compiled before execution. Basic online applications and functions can be added to Web pages with JavaScript. A Web browser, such as Microsoft Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator, is required to interpret JavaScript code.

Meta Tag

An HTML tag that must appear in the header portion of the page. Meta tags supply information about the page but do not affect its display. "Generator" is a common meta-tag used to specify which editor created the page.


Miva, formerly known as HTMLScript, is produced by Miva Corporation. Miva allows you to quickly build dynamic Web sites that integrate scripting, database, and commerce features.


 MySQL is a type of database. It is commonly coupled with PHP to provide a way for users to access data stored in the database from the web. It is commonly found on Unix servers.  Other types of Databases include MS Access, MS SQL Server, and Oracle.


PERL (Practical Extraction and Report Language):  A popular scripting language which has strong text processing capabilities. It is widely used on the Internet to create CGI programs.


PHP is an en-source server-side scripting language. PHP is an excellent pre-processing engine that supports a very robust HTML-embedded scripting language. Much of its syntax is borrowed from the C, Java and Perl. The commands are executed on the web server, the web browser only sees the resulting HTML output of the PHP code.


A simple, high-level interpreted language. Python combines ideas from ABC, {C}, Modula-3 and Icon. It bridges the gap
between {C} and
shell programming, making it suitable for rapid prototyping or as an extension language for C
applications. It is
object-oriented and supports packages, modules, classes, user-defined exceptions, a good C
interface, dynamic loading of C modules and has no arbitrary restrictions.
Python combines remarkable power with very clear syntax. It has interfaces to many system calls and libraries, as well as to various window systems, and is extensible in C or C++. It is also usable as an extension language for applications that need a programmable interface.

Raw Logs

Raw logs refers to the logs generated by the web server. The data can be used to get statistical analysis using various tools.  Each line in the log file 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, etc..

SSL (Secure Socket Layer)

A protocol designed by Netscape Communications Corporation to provide encrypted
communications on the
Internet. SSL is layered beneath application protocols such as HTTP, SMTP, Telnet,
FTP, Gopher, and NNTP and is layered above the connection protocol TCP/IP. It is used by the HTTPS
access method.
The prottol that enables secure communications between a server and a browser.

Before using SSL in commerce, you'll also need to get is a certificate from a Certificate Authority. URL's that begin with "https" indicate that an SSL connection will be used. SSL provides privacy, authentication, and message Integrity. In an SSL connection each side of the connection must have a Security Certificate, which each side's software sends to the other. Each side then encrypts what it sends using information from both its own and the other side's Certificate, ensuring that only the intended recipient can de-crypt it, and that the other side can be sure the data came from the place it claims to have come from.

Server-Side Includes

Server-Side Includes.  Instructs the server to include some dynamic information in a Web page before it is sent to a client.  A common use for SSI commands is to insert a universal menu into all of the pages of the web site so that the menu only has to be changed once and inserted with SSI instead of changing the menu on every page.

Shared Hosting

You share your web server with other clientís web sites.  It allows you to effectively manage your site by sharing server space with other clients allowing for a lower cost of service.


An Internet communications protocol that enables a computer to function as a terminal working from a remote computer.




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