Web Hosting Glossary: Learn About Web Hosting

- A -

Adult Sites Allowed: Adult material tends to be a taboo in a lot of different cultures in the world today and that is reflected in the way that a lot of web hosts will operate; namely in not allowing that type of content on their servers.  If you are interested in operating a website with that kind of content, make sure that your web host actually allows it first.

Alias: An alias is something that is used as the front line to direct traffic to something else.  The most common use for an alias is in personal privacy, but alternate uses can be seen from time to time.

Applet: An applet is a piece of software that is actually created to function inside a specific website.  The most common language to write applets in is a language known as Java and the most common types of applets are the ones used to create special virtual effects on a website such as a flying title or a specialized mouse cursor.

Active Server Pages (ASP): ASP is an alternative to PSP that was created by Microsoft.  Basically, it allows a person to use database content to script servers into making sites dynamic and interactive.  Servers have the ability to read ASP code and use those instructions to create specialty HTML for each visitor to the website.

Audio Streaming: This is the process of offering actual audio content on your particular website.  Because of the high bandwidth costs of such an act, a number of web hosts will not allow audio streaming; especially with more basic packages.

Auto Responder: A program that is triggered by receipt of an e-mail message, usually sent to the auto responder by way of a website form.  Based on the e-mail message, the auto responder takes some action, usually the sending back of a reply e-mail to the person that sent the initial e-mail.

Availability: This refers to the relative amount of time that a particular web host is active.  For example, if your web host claimed to have 99.9% availability, then it means that your own website would only be inactive for about 8 seconds each day.  Nowadays, any availability figure that is less than 99.0% is not worth using.

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Backbone: Networks need to operate by virtue of a number of connections within them; any major pathway within a network consisting of multiple connections is a backbone.

Backups: Some web hosts provide this service as part of their packages; backing up data on their servers every now and then.

Browser: Any kind of software designed to read and display the HTML code shown to it from different websites.  Two major browsers of today are Internet Explorer and Firefox.

- C -

C: C is a family of different object oriented programming languages.  C is the oldest one, with three variants of C+, C++ and C# having stemmed from it over the years.

CGI (Common Gateway Interface): As the name might imply, a CGI is sort of a middle man program; allowing the interface of the web server and the final product (either a web page or an e-mail).  The purpose of the CGI is to take information from the input (the web server) and display that data as output that the user can understand.

Chat Server: A specialized type of server that some web hosts offer to clients that allows the client to host a chat room on their website.  This is getting less popular now, as the golden age of online chat rooms is long gone in favour of personal instant messaging programs.

Click Through: When a user sees and advertisement and then clicks on that advertisement, that is known as a click through.  The percentage of clicks as a function of total ad impressions is known as the click through rate.

ColdFusion: A Macromedia program that makes database querying easier to do.

Co-Location: The process of purchasing your own web server, but having it housed and maintained by a hosting company.

Control Panel: A software package of tools that you can use to manipulate various parts of your online enterprises.

Cookie: An instruction that a browser gets from a server and that is stored in a text file on your hard drive.  Cookies are mainly used to be able to identify repeat visitors and allow the web site to display the same features the visitor configured the last time they were at the web site.

Credit Card Billing: The process of an online web site through the use of some merchant payment provider (i.e. PayPal or some similar service) accepting payments for products or services by credit card.

CSS: Stands for cascading style sheets.  These are used to maintain the same styles vis-à-vis colours and text parameters through multiple web pages through just the construction of one style sheet.

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Database Support: If you see this from a particular web host, it means that they will give you support if you wish to use databases and related querying languages such as MySQL or MSSSQL.

Data Transfer: The amount of memory or bandwidth that is used when a user visits a specific website.  Text websites are likely to have low data transfer, whilst multimedia websites are likely to have more.

Dedicated Server: A server that is specifically used by the web hosting company for just one client.  Similar to co-location, except that the server is owned by the web host rather than the client.

Disk Space: The amount of actual server space that you have in order to host your website.  For every page of text on your website, you will need approximately 50 KB of text.  If you are going to have pictures, applets and multimedia on your website, then you will need more.

Domain Parking: The act of acquiring a domain name well ahead of the website actually being constructed.

Domain Name: A unique identifier used to distinguish a particular website.  For example, yahoo.com is a domain name.

DNS: An acronym that stands for Domain Name System.  It is a method that is used to track web sites by tracking the domain name to a server and then using the IP address of that server to identify the website.

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E-Mail POP Account: POP stands for Post Office Protocol and is one of the methods that are used to facilitate the transfer of data in the form of e-mail messages back and forth between e-mail servers and e-mail clients.

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Frontpage: A program created by Microsoft that can be used to construct websites.

Frontpage Extensions: Smaller pieces of software installed on servers in order to ensure a smooth transition from the website as it can be seen offline in frontpage to how it can be seen online by a visitor.

File Transfer Protocol (FTP): A system that can be used to transfer files back and forth to a website server through the use of a remote connection from another hardware setup.  FTP is most commonly used when a person wants to transfer files directly to a server without having to first log into their server account to do so.

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Host: The actual company that is responsible for storing the files of your website on their server and then using that server to connect to a particular domain name that people that want to see your website can visit.  Most hosts will charge a fee monthly, quarterly or yearly for the use of their services.

Host Country: The country in which a particular hosting company is headquartered.

Host Platform: The actual platform provided by the host; usually either some recent form of Windows or Linux.

HyperText Markup Language: The full phrase that the acronym HTML stands for, it is the primary language that webpages are built in.

HyperText Transfer Protocol: The full phrase that the acronym HTTP stands for, it is the protocol used to connect client programs and server programs (i.e. browsers and servers).

- I -

IP Address: IP addresses are unique numbers that stand for Internet Protocol Addresses.  They are used to identify different computers or networks or servers as well as where those particular units are situated.

Internet Service Provider: A company that is responsible for providing access to the internet for its clients, who might be using that internet access for personal or business reasons.

- J -

Javascript: A language that allows people to add different dynamic aspects to a particular website they might be constructing.  A good example of a javascript element in today’s world is AdSense.

Java Servlet: The same as Javascript, except it happens to be used on servers rather than on clients.

- M -

Mailing List Software: A piece of software that eases the burden of conducting mailing list discussions.  A lot of web host companies have a specific piece of software that they will license to you in exchange for business.

- O -

ODBC Sources: ODBC stands for Open Database Connectivity.  It is a piece of software or a program application that is used to connect databases to applications that use the information contained within them.

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Perl: PERL stands for Practical Extraction and Report Language.  It is a great language for use when you want to scan a number of text files quickly and pull specific information from them.

PHP: PHP is a scripting language similar to ASP, except created with a generic software license rather than the proprietary one that Microsoft owns for ASP.

Post Office Protocol: See E-mail POP Account

Price: The cost of services that the web hosting company is providing to you.  The price goes up depending on how involved you want your hosting package to be and how much flexibility you want it to contain.

- R -

Reseller Plans: Web hosting plans that allow you to earmark portions of your own account to be used to create other accounts that you can then re-sell to other people.

Root Server: The server that contains all of the information needed in order to display the top level of a particular domain.  For example, the root server for Yahoo would contain the information needed for the yahoo.com page.

- S -

Setup Fee: A fee that is required by some packages from some companies in order for the account that you purchased to be set up.

Server: A piece of hardware that allows the provision of certain kinds of services to other pieces of hardware that link up with it through facilitated internet connections.  Different servers will contain information for websites, e-mail accounts and many other things as well.

Shell Account: An account that actually allows you to edit your website in real-time directly while the files are on the server.  This is an advanced option and for most cases should not be necessary as simple editing offline and then uploading online should be sufficient.

Simple Mail Transfer Protocol: The phrase represented by the acronym SMTP, it is a particular kind of protocol used in the managing and retrieval of e-mail messages from an e-mail server.

Server Side Includes: The phrase represented by the acronym SSI, these are particular commands that are allowed in web pages when a user of that web page requests something to be done.

Secure Socket Layer: The phrase represented by the acronym SSL, this is a specific type of protocol that is used to encrypt files and therefore maintain privacy in conversations taking place across the internet.  It was designed initially by Netscape.

Shopping Cart Software: A program that can be installed on a server to act as a virtual store; allowing people to choose items to purchase, have their costs calculated for them and have their payments processed.

Statistics: Information regarding things like the users that visit your website, what they do and the amount of bandwidth they use doing it.  A lot of statistics programs are available out there but many web hosts include basic statistics as part of their packages as well.

Support: Staff that are employed by the web host to help clients with any problems they might be having.

- T -

TCP/IP: The protocols that are used by personal users as well as businesses in order to connect to the internet.

- U -

UNIX: A multi user TCP/IP operating system.

Uniform Resource Locator: The phrase represented by the acronym URL, it is the web address of a website.  For example, www.yahoo.com is the URL for Yahoo’s main website.

Unique IP Address: An IP address that is set aside for a particular website or user.

- V -

Video Streaming: The provision of video content on a website.

Virtual Server: The situation whereby a single server has multiple people using it.


Nichelle Antoque, on Thu, 05/10/2012 - 05:08, said...

Great read! thanks for this glossary you posted. It really helped me a lot. I'm sure website developers out there will also be benefited from this. I like your website. It's pretty interesting and informative. Keep up the good work!

Nichelle from tête de lit

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