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Glossary of Hosting Terms

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

Anonymous FTP – With an anonymous FTP, you don't have to assign or keep track of individual logins and passwords – you simply create a common login and password that lets anyone download files from your website. (See below for definition of FTP.)

ASP – Active Server Pages is a popular scripting language from Microsoft that allows you to create and use online databases.

Auto Responder – If you want an instant, pre-written reply to be sent out in response to emails your site receives, set up a specific auto responder email address.

Bandwidth – This refers to data transfer quantity, and is normally referred to in terms of a monthly allocation. You get about 40K page views (including video, audio, text and images) per 1GB of bandwidth. The more hits you get, the bigger bandwidth you need.

CGI – A Common Gateway Interface script acts as a translator for the data flowing from your web server, turning it into a readable, interactive web page or email.

CGI-BIN – This is a directory of all of the CGI scripts on your server.

CGI Library – As part of their service, most web hosts will give you a package of ready-to-go CGI scripts, which are commonly called a CGI Library.

Colocation – Colocation is similar to dedicating hosting services, but in this case the user fully owns the server and the hosting center simply provides a physical space, power, and a connection to the internet for the client.

Control Panel – Using a web host's control panel will let you edit and manage basic changes or data without having to involve their customer service department.

Database – A database allows you to organize data records so you can sort, search, and reconfigure as you need to.

Data Transfer – see Bandwidth .

Dedicated Server – If a business needs unique software or a lot of bandwidth to run its website, it will use a dedicated server to store it all. Other sites that use significantly less disk space can use a shared web host or server. (See Shared Server for additional information.)

Disk Space – Refers to the amount of storage a website needs, and includes everything from graphics to video files. The more pages or images you use, the more disk space you need.

Domain Name – Actual website IP addresses are a series of numbers, but domain names are how you can make your website easy to find and remember. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has developed a system of suffixes to identify which Top Level Domain (TLD) a site belongs to – you know them as .com, .org, .net, .edu, etc.

E-Commerce – Electronic Commerce is the term to use when referring to exchanging, buying, or selling goods or services using the Internet.

Email Forwarding – Allows you to have emails sent to several different email addresses to be forwarded to a single email address.

Firewall – You can build a firewall using a combination of software and hardware that will keep out anyone who is not authorized to access your computer or computer network.

FrontPage – You can produce and manage your website using this popular HTML editor created by Microsoft.

FrontPage Extensions – Used with Microsoft FrontPage, the Extensions provide scripts and programs for optimal use of certain features of your website.

FTP – A File Transfer Protocol uploads website files from individual computes to the site's server, which allows them to be seen on the Internet.

GB – 1 gigabyte = 1024 megabytes.

IMAP - If messages are housed on a mail server, an Internet Message Access protocol lets your email program access them.

IP – Internet Protocol. Each website on the Internet receives its own number, or IP Address, that identifies its location.

KB – 1 kilobyte = 1024 bytes.

Linux – Using open source development, Linux is a free software package that allows users to create their own operating system and then redistribute and reconfigure it for free.

Managed Hosting – A level of web hosting service that includes a dedicated server, customer support for technical matters, and maintenance by the web host.

MB – 1 megabyte = 1,000 kilobytes.

Merchant Account – If a website accepts credit cards as payment, it has a merchant account.

Microsoft Access – Microsoft produced this software to create and maintain a basic relational database.

Miva Empressa – A dynamic scripting language using XML, Miva allows you to develop interactive and browser-independent sites quickly and easily, including E-Commerce and database sites.

Miva Merchant – E-Commerce sites can use Miva Merchant to develop one or more browser-based online stores.

MS SQL – The Microsoft SQL Server allows hosts that use Windows to create and manage a relational database.

MySQL – Unix hosts normally use this open source relational database.

Payment Gateway - This application service provider (ASP) works like a cash register in a store. It encrypts secure information and authorizes Internet credit card transactions, then at a specified time deposits the funds into your bank account.

Perl – Data management and processing are programmed using the Perl language.

PHP – The Hypertext Preprocessor is free software that provides the scripting language for producing interactive websites.

POP – Post Office Protocol allows you to see emails housed on a mail server.

POP3 – A POP3 lets you use several different email addresses within your domain (i.e., info@, support@, accounts@ etc.) and redirects them to a single inbox.

Server – A host computer or server manages a client-server relationship by staying connected to the Internet and providing your web page for viewers to access.

Setup Fee – This is a fee your web hosting company charges to open and initially configure your account.

Shared Server – When more than one unique web site is hosted on one server, they share that server using predetermined quantities of disk space. Having a shared server host your web site is the least costly way to do it. (See Dedicated Server for additional information.)

Shopping Cart Software – This software lets online customers collect, add, or delete items on your website before their order is processed. There are all types of shopping cart software available in varying degrees of functionality and price.

SMTP – The Simple Mail Transfer Protocol is what allows email to be sent using the Internet.

SQL – Structured Query Language is used in database programming and allows the programmer to access, create and maintain all features of a relational database.

SSI – This scripting language, known as SSI or Server Side Includes, lets you insert the content of a file into an existing web page, which allows you to have automatic updates for your viewers.

SSL – Recognizable by the address “https:// ….”, a Secure Sockets Layer provides secure information to safely travel over the Internet.

Static IP Address – In a shared server web-hosting environment, all domain names that share a server have the same IP address. But if you have a static IP address, that number is identified only with your web site.

Storage Space – see Disk Space.

Subdomain – Subdomains refer to a type of domain name that is part of a larger domain name.

i.x,, sub2.domain

Uptime – This term refers to when a web site is up and running. Usually, websites keep track of their uptime, or how much in a given period their website is available to viewers, and report it as a percentage of that given period.

UNIX – UNIX is a trademarked name that refers to the operating system most often used by web servers, and is popular because of its portability, its use of plain text, and its time-sharing configuration for multiple users.

Virtual Dedicated Servers – see Virtual Private Servers.

Virtual Private Servers – A level between shared servers and dedicated servers, virtual private servers allow customers to share a server while having their own dedicated resources.

Virtual Web Hosting – see Shared Server.

WAP – The Wireless Application Protocol allows wireless equipment and devices to access the Internet.

Web-Based Email – If you can access your email from the Internet, you have web-based email. This is as opposed to a Microsoft Outlook type of program that is housed on your computer.

Web Statistics – This information can show you the number of unique visitors to your site, where on the Internet they came from, or what they used in searching the Internet to arrive at your website.

Windows Hosting – Web servers can use a variety of operating systems, and Microsoft Windows developed its own dynamic, multitasking, graphics-based system.

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