The following is a glossary of popular words associated with web hosting.

ActiveX
 A loosely defined set of technologies developed by Microsoft. ActiveX is an outgrowth of two other Microsoft technologies called OLE (Object Linking and Embedding) and COM (Component Object Model). As a moniker, ActiveX can be very confusing because it applies to a whole set of COM-based technologies. Most people, however, think only of ActiveX controls, which represent a specific way of implementing ActiveX technologies. Once downloaded, ActiveX controls have a large degree of freedom, presenting a security risk. ActiveX controls have to be digitally signed by their creator. Major competitor to ActiveX controls are JavaBeans. Some hosts support ActiveX server components for ASP.

Address
 Unique identifier or location of a web page. Also called a Web Address or URL (Uniformed Resource Locator)

Anonymous FTP (Anon FTP)
 A method for downloading and uploading files using FTP protocol without having a username or a password. In place of a username, word “anonymous” is used, and in place of a password, email address is usually used. If a hosting plan offers this service, your users will be able to download or upload files with FTP without having their own account

Applet
 Most often refers to a small Java program designed to run in a Web browser. Java applets run in a sandbox, so they can’t perform unauthorized functions like file reading or opening Net connections to other computer from your computer.

Archive
 (1) To copy files to a long-term storage medium for backup. Large computer systems often have two layers of backup, the first of which is a disk drive. Periodically, the computer operator will archive files on the disk to a second storage device, usually a tape drive. On smaller systems, archiving is synonymous with backing up.
 (2) To compress a file.

ASCII
 (American Standard Code for Information Interchange). A standard for coding text files. Every character has an associated number and any text can be represented by a sequence of numbers.

ASP
 Active Server Pages. ASP is Microsoft’s server-side scripting technology. An Active Server Page has an .asp extension and it mixes HTML and scripting code that can be written in VBScript or JScript. ASP is distributed with Microsoft’s IIS web server, so most host using IIS will also offer ASP for dynamic web programming. ASP.NET is the next version of ASP. Other popular server-side scripting languages are Perl, PHP, ColdFusion, TCL, Python, and JSP.

Authentication
 The process of identifying an individual, usually based on a username and password. In security systems, authentication is distinct from authorization , which is the process of giving individuals access to system objects based on their identity. Authentication merely ensures that the individual is who he or she claims to be, but says nothing about the access rights of the individual.

Bandwidth
 (1) The amount of data that can be transferred over a network in a fixed amount of time. On the Net, it is usually expressed in bits per second (bps) or in higher units like Mbps (millions of bits per second). 28.8 modem can deliver 28,800 bps, a T1 line is about 1.5 Mbps.
 (2) Bandwidth is also synonymous with the term Data Transfer and is used by many hosting companies to refer to the aggregate total of data (in MB) that is allowed to by downloaded or uploaded into your account in a given month

Binary
 The Base 2 number system. Important for computers as chips and memory are designed with binary-based registers.

Binary mode
 FTP client mode used to transfer binary files (multimedia files, executables and other data files). Not suitable for transferring normal text files.

Bit
 (Binary DigIT) the smallest unit of information, comprising of either a 1 or 0.

Bit rate
 The speed at which bits are transmitted over a communication link. Expressed in bits per second (bps).

Browser
 Short for Web browser, a software application used to locate and display Web pages. The two most popular browsers are Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer. Both of these are graphical browsers, which means that they can display graphics as well as text. In addition, most modern browsers can present multimedia information, including sound and video, though they require plug-ins for some formats.

Browser sniffing
 The process in which the web site tries to determine what kind of web browser the user is using. This is done to suit the web site to the particular capabilities of the browser.

Cable Modem
 A modem designed to operate over cable TV lines. Because the coaxial cable used by cable TV provides much greater bandwidth than telephone lines, a cable modem can be used to achieve extremely fast access to the World Wide Web.

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
 A feature of HTML that gives both Web site developers and users more control over how pages are displayed. With CSS, designers and users can create style sheets that define how different elements, such as headers and links, appear. These style sheets can then be applied to any Web page.
 The term cascading derives from the fact that multiple style sheets can be applied to the same Web page. CSS was developed by the W3C.

Certificate
 Digital ID used for SSL transactions. It includes owner’s public key, the name of the owner, the issuer, hostname, and the expiration date.

CGI
 Abbreviation of Common Gateway Interface, a specification for transferring information between a World Wide Web server and a CGI program. A CGI program is any program designed to accept and return data that conforms to the CGI specification. The program could be written in any programming language, including C, Perl, Java, or Visual Basic.
 CGI programs are the most common way for Web servers to interact dynamically with users. Many HTML pages that contain forms, for example, use a CGI program to process the form’s data once it’s submitted. Another increasingly common way to provide dynamic feedback for Web users is to include scripts or programs that run on the user’s machine rather than the Web server. These programs can be Java applets, Java scripts, or ActiveX controls. These technologies are known collectively as client-side solutions, while the use of CGI is a server-side solution because the processing occurs on the Web server.
 One problem with CGI is that each time a CGI script is executed, a new process is started. For busy Web sites, this can slow down the server noticeably. A more efficient solution, but one that it is also more difficult to implement, is to use the server’s API, such as ISAPI or NSAPI. Another increasingly popular solution is to use Java servlets.

cgi-bin<br> A directory on the server where the executable CGI scripts reside.

Client
 A computer program that requests a service from a server program, usually over the network.

clustering
 Connecting many computers or servers and making them appear as one machine. This is done to increase reliability and performance.

ColdFusion
 A product created by Allaire Corporation of Cambridge, Mass. (in 2001, Allaire merged with Macromedia) that includes a server and a development toolset designed to integrate databases and Web pages. With Cold Fusion, a user could enter a zip code on a Web page, and the server would query a database for information on the nearest movie theaters and present the results in HTML form. Cold Fusion Web pages include tags written in Cold Fusion Markup Language (CFML) that simplify integration with databases and avoid the use of more complex languages like C++ to create translating programs.

Control Panel
 A utility, provided by Web Hosting companies to their clients, that allows a client to log in to their account and perform a number of account maintenance functions (billing information, e-mail accounts, ftp accounts, etc)

Cookie
 A message given to a Web browser by a Web server. The browser stores the message in a text file. 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. The server can use this information to present you with custom Web pages. So, for example, instead of seeing just a generic welcome page you might see a welcome page with your name on it.

CPU
 Central Processing Unit. The actual “computer” that executes programs on a machine.

Crawler
 Also known as spider, an automated software that retrieves web pages and follows the hyperlinks contained in them. Used to generate indexes used by search engines.

Data transfer (aka Transfer)
 In Web Hosting parlance, data transfer (also called Bandwidth) typically refers to the amount of data that is permitted to be downloaded per month, usually expressed in MB. A web hosting account with 1000 MB transfer will allow users to stream or download any number of files provided the aggregate data does not exceed 1000 MB for the month.

Database
 Data in a structured format stored on a server. Most popular type is a relational database. The most common query (information retrieval) language for relational databases is SQL. Linux-based hosts most commonly include MySQL database and Windows NT-based hosts usually include Access or MS SQL databases.

Dedicated Server
 In the Web hosting business, a dedicated server is typically a rented service. The user rents the server, software and an Internet connection from the Web host.

DNS
 Short for Domain Name System (or Service or Server), an Internet service that translates domain names into IP addresses. Because domain names are alphabetic, they’re easier to remember. The Internet however, is really based on IP addresses. Every time you use a domain name, therefore, a DNS service must translate the name into the corresponding IP address.
 The DNS system is, in fact, its own network. If one DNS server doesn’t know how to translate a particular domain name, it asks another one, and so on, until the correct IP address is returned.

Domain name
 Domain name is an easy-to-remember address that can be translated by DNS into server’s IP address. Domain names are hierarchical. Domain’s suffix indicates which TLD (top level domain) it belongs to, for example .com, .gov, .org, .net, or .jp. Recently ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) added several new TLDs, like .biz, .pro., and .museum.

DSL
 Digital Subscriber Line. A technology that allows high-speed internet connections to the Internet over phone lines.

E-Business
 Using web and Internet technologies in conducting the business activities. Also expanding end enhancing traditional business practices by means of the Internet.

FAQ
 (Frequently Asked Question) Lists of frequently asked questions and answers to them are used as a way of sharing knowledge on the web. They are a very good way of finding solutions to different problems. Some companies include them in their web sites to minimize the number of Customer Support inquiries.

FCC
 (Federal Communications Commission). U.S.A. telecommunications regulatory organization. It controls standards that pertain to electronic and electromagnetic transmission and also licenses the frequencies and bandwidth for the commercial use.

Fibre Optic Cable
 A cable used for transmitting data as a light wave. A fiber optic cable is composed of one or more optical fibers. It is more expensive that copper wire, but offers higher transmission speeds and over larger distances.

Filtering
 Screening network packets for certain properties, such as the source or destination address, protocol used or even a pattern in the data. It is used in firewalls in order to decide if the traffic is to be forwarded or rejected. Provides the basis for network security.

Finger
 A UNIX program that takes an e-mail address as input and returns information about the user who owns that e-mail address. On some systems, finger only reports whether the user is currently logged on. Other systems return additional information, such as the user’s full name, address, and telephone number. Of course, the user must first enter this information into the system. Many e-mail programs now have a finger utility built into them.

Firewall
 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.

Flame
 An insulting email message sent to an individual as punishment for not adhering to the netiquette. Can be sometimes seen in the newsgroups or on internet message boards.

FrontPage Extensions
 Microsoft’s server-side applications that lets users of FrontPage Web site creation tool to incorporate “web-bots” that perform pre-packaged function like full-text Web site searching or adding a hit counter. FrontPage extensions are also available for Unix-based operating systems but some hosts refuse to use them because of potential security holes.

FTP
 Short for File Transfer Protocol, the protocol for exchanging files over the Internet. FTP works in the same way as HTTP for transferring Web pages from a server to a user’s browser and SMTP for transferring electronic mail across the Internet in that, like these technologies, FTP uses the Internet’s TCP/IP protocols to enable data transfer.
 FTP is most commonly used to download a file from a server using the Internet or to upload a file to a server (e.g., uploading a Web page file to a server). Major browser also have FTP capability.

GIF
 (Graphics Interchange Format) A graphic file format invented by Compuserve. One of the most widely used formats for internet and web. Uses a lossless compression method but is limited to 256 colors.

Gigabyte (GB)
 2 to the 30th power (1,073,741,824) bytes. One gigabyte is equal to 1,024 megabytes.

Graphical User Interface (GUI)
 A way of interacting with the computer that relies on graphical symbols. Most often requires a mouse. It is less powerful then the command-line interface, but is more user friendly and is easier to learn for users without technical background.

Hexadecimal
 Base16 numbering system. The hexadecimal system is useful because it can represent every byte (8 bits) as two consecutive hexadecimal digits. It is easier for humans to read hexadecimal numbers than binary numbers. For example FF in hexadecimal is 11111111 in binary or 255 in decimal.

Hit
 In the WWW world “hit” is used to describe a single request made by a web browser. The data transmitted by the web server in response to the request is a text file or a binary file (images, audio, video, executables and other data).

Home Page
 Main web page on a web site, usually with an introduction and links to other sections of the site. This is the page that is initially displayed when user makes a request for a particular domain name.

Host
 A networked computer dedicated to providing a certain kind of service. Most hosts on the internet are web servers (a type of host).

HTML
 Short for HyperText Markup Language, the authoring language used to create documents on the World Wide Web.
 HTML defines the structure and layout of a Web document by using a variety of tags and attributes. The correct structure for an HTML document starts with (enter here what document is about) and ends with . All the information you’d like to include in your Web page fits in between the and tags.
 There are hundreds of other tags used to format and layout the information in a Web page. Tags are also used to specify hypertext links. These allow Web developers to direct users to other Web pages with only a click of the mouse on either an image or word(s).

HTTP
 Short for HyperText Transfer Protocol, the underlying protocol used by the World Wide Web. HTTP defines how messages are formatted and transmitted, and what actions Web servers and browsers should take in response to various commands. For example, when you enter a URL in your browser, this actually sends an HTTP command to the Web server directing it to fetch and transmit the requested Web page. Hyperlink (or link)
 A special type of database system, invented by Ted Nelson in the 1960s, in which objects (text, pictures, music, programs, and so on) can be creatively linked to each other. When you select an object, you can see all the other objects that are linked to it. You can move from one object to another even though they might have very different forms.

Hypertext
 A special type of database system, invented by Ted Nelson in the 1960s, in which objects (text, pictures, music, programs, and so on) can be creatively linked to each other. When you select an object, you can see all the other objects that are linked to it. You can move from one object to another even though they might have very different forms.

Image Map
 An image displayed on a web page that has different areas that are hyperlinks. By clicking on different parts of the image browser can be redirected to another web page, or can display modified version of the current one.

IMAP
 Internet Message Access Protocol. A method allowing a client email program to access remote messages stored on a mail server. The protocol includes operations for creating, deleting, and renaming mailboxes, checking for new messages, message parsing, searching, and setting and clearing flags.

Internet
 A global network connecting millions of computers. More than 100 countries are linked into exchanges of data, news and opinions.
 Unlike online services, which are centrally controlled, the Internet is decentralized by design. Each Internet computer, called a host, is independent. Its operators can choose which Internet services to use and which local services to make available to the global Internet community.

Intranet
 A part of an organization’s network that is private. Only authorized individuals have access to the intranet.

IP
 Abbreviation of Internet Protocol, pronounced as two separate letters. IP specifies the format of packets, also called datagrams, and the addressing scheme.

Internet Protocol Address
 Internet Protocol Address. A unique number identifying all devices connected to the Internet. This number is usually shown in groups of numbers from 0 to 255, separated by periods, for example 207.46.230.218. The current version of IP is IPv4. A new version, called IPv6 or IPng, is under development.

ISP
 Internet Service Provider. A company that provides its subscribers with Internet access. Customers have a username and a password and can dial-up or use a cable or DSL line to connect to ISP’s network which is connected to the Internet. The biggest ISP is AOL.

Java
 Sun’s popular programming language. Java is a platform-independent (at least in theory), crash-protected, object-oriented language that can be used to write applets that run in a browser, servlets that run server-side, or independent programs. Java’s syntax is similar to that of C++.

Java class files
 The file or set of files that contain the code for a Java applet.

Java Servlet
 Servlets are programs written in Java that run on a Web server and can produce dynamic pages. Also see JSP.

Java Virtual Machine (JVM, Java Runtime Environment)
 A set of programs that allow for Java applets to be run on a particular computer system.

JavaScript
 Simple, client-side programming language created by Sun and Netscape. JavaScript can be embedded in HTML pages to create interactive effects and do tasks like validate form data. JavaScript is a separate language from Java. All popular modern browsers support JavaScript. A few hosts support server-side JavaScript.

JPEG
 Short for Joint Photographic Experts Group, and pronounced jay-peg. JPEG is a lossy compression technique for color images. Although it can reduce files sizes to about 5% of their normal size, some detail is lost in the compression.

Kbps
 Kilobits per second. 1Kbps = 1024bps.

Kilobyte (KB)
 In decimal systems, kilo stands for 1,000, but in binary systems, a kilo is 1,024 (2 to the 10th power). Technically, therefore, a kilobyte is 1,024 bytes, but it is often used loosely as a synonym for 1,000 bytes

LAN
 Local Area Network. A network of devices (computers, printers, hubs) occupying a small area. Usually LANs do not span more than one building. LANs are very fast compared to WANs.

Link
 (1) Another name for a connection. Sometimes refers to a physical line.
 (2) Abbreviated form of the term hyperlink.

Linux
 A public-domain UNIX-like operating system first developed by Linus Torvalds. Linux and FreeBSD are very often used by hosting companies as their operating systems for web servers as it is an inexpensive and highly stable/secure OS.

Login
 To make a computer system or network recognize you so that you can begin a computer session.

Mailing List
 A way of having a group discussion with list subscribers by email. Emails are sent to all list subscribers. Popular mailing list programs, like Listserv and Majordomo, allow for automated subscription and un-subscription from a mailing list. Some hosting plans allow creation of mailing lists.

Mailserver
 The Internet host (together with the appropriate software) that is used to send, receive and forward email messages.

MBps
 MegaBytes (MB) per second, 1 MB = 1,048,576 bytes or 1024 kilobytes.

Mbps
 Megabits (Mb) per second, 1Mb = 1,048,576 bits

Megabyte (MB)
 1MB = 1024 KiloBytes = 1,048,576 (2 to the 20th power) bytes

MHz
 MegaHertz = 1.000.000 Hertz. 1 Hertz is a cycle per second.

MIME
 (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions) a method of including binary data and other multimedia content within email messages.

Mirror site
 A site that stores the exact content of some other site. Mirroring is done in order to minimize the load on a particular server and also to increase reliability.

Modem
 MOdulator-DEModulator. A device used to transform digital data sent by a computer to analog format suitable for transmission over a transmission line. It also transforms analog signals back to the digital form.

MP3
 An extremely popular lossy audio compression format for audio files.

MPEG
 (Motion Picture Experts Group) video compression format for movies or animations.

mSQL (Mini SQL)
 Light-weight relational database.

MySQL
 Pronounced “my ess cue el” (each letter separately) and not “my SEE kwill.” MySQL is an open source RDBMS that relies on SQL for processing the data in the database. MySQL provides APIs for the languages C, C++, Eiffel, Java, Perl, PHP and Python. In addition, OLE DB and ODBC providers exist for MySQL data connection in the Microsoft environment. A MySQL .NET Native Provider is also available, which allows native MySQL to .NET access without the need for OLE DB.
 MySQL is most commonly used for Web applications and for embedded applications and has become a popular alternative to proprietary database systems because of its speed and reliability. MySQL can run on UNIX, Windows and Mac OS.
 MySQL is developed, supported and marketed by MySQL AB. The database is available for free under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL) or for a fee to those who do not wish to be bound by the terms of the GPL.

Newsgroup
 A virtual Internet place where people exchange thoughts, ideas and interests, and amuse themselves by means of text messages.

Offline
 The state of a computer or any other device when it is not connected to the network (i.e. it is not online).

Online
 The state of a computer when it is connected to the network and communicate with other machines.

Operating system
 A software heart of the computer. It is a set of programs that manage the hardware resources of a computer, provide the environment for application programs to run and provide the user interface. Most known operating systems are: different flavors of Unix (SunOs, HP-UX, Irix, FreeBSD, Linux).

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