Glossary of Terms


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Understanding Basic 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 , .!@#$%^&*


A Record : Also known as an Address Record. It is the main DNS record used to tell the internet what IP address it will find the various parts of a domain or web site at.

Access : Microsoft Access Database. Database system sold alone or with the Microsoft Office package. The person creating the database must have the software running on their computer. The database can then be used online by uploading the database using an FTP client. To use an Access database online, it must be uploaded to a Windows web server. It is not supported on a *nix based server. Access databases use the file extension .mdb

Active X: Software components which perfom a specific function. Created by Microsoft. Many web pages embed ActiveX to run a program o stream videos and music. The feature for running ActiveX in a browser is often defaulted as disabled because they have been known to be used for distributing spyware and computer viruses.

Address Bar : Section of a web browser where you type in the web address to get to a specifc web page. Often confused with the Search Bar. If you get a specific web page, you used the address bar. If you get a list of search engine results you may be using the search bar.

Agora Cart : A popular e-commerce shopping cart included with many hosting packages because it is free. For support, information, or to download the shopping cart, please visit:

Apache : A popular web server software. It is used to handle the HTTP requests from the internet. For more information about Apache, see their website at

Applet : A small program written using Java programming language. Mainly embedded on a web page to create a dynamic feature such as a clock of counter.

Archive : Often times a compressed copy of files that are stored in the event that one wishes to retreive old information.

ASCII : American Standard Code for Information Interchange. (pronounced ass-key). Code that defines 128 characters in terms that computers understand such as binary, octal, decimal and hexadecimal. For example, the code defines the letter A in binary as 100 0001. This standard was adopted and most modern character/encoding systems are based on the ASCII system.

ASP : Active Server Pages. A powerful scripted language for creating dynamic websites. It can be run on a *nix system, but requires an emulator to run. The best platform for running ASP files is a Windows web server. For information and tutorials on ASP, see:

Attachment : An Attachment is an additional file which has to be downloaded. For example a picture can be attached and sent with an email. The image is an additional file that needs to be downloaded.

Audio Streaming : Playing audio files through a web medium such as an MP3 player on a website.

Authentication : This is a password verification system. A user name and password combination are used to access a login page or to send and receive email. To protect customers from email "spoofing", many companies require the outgoing server to now have an authentication system.

Auto-Responder : An automated system that sends an email in response to any email received. It is triggered when the receiving email address gets a new email. Many companies use this to send customers an automated confirmation and thank you when an order is received.

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Backup : A copy of files kept on a separate computer or medium in case something should happen to the files currently in use. ALWAYS keep backups of anything you can not afford to lose.

Bandwidth : How much data you can send through a connection. Usually measured in bits-per-second. All information; text, color, image, sound, on a web page must be downloaded to end user's computer in order for them to see or hear it. The information or data being sent from the web server to the user's computer uses up allocated bandwidth. It can be compared to a pipeline. When an internet surfer goes to a web site, they turn on the faucet. The more information that is on a web page, i.e. the more images, videos, text, etc., the more data must be sent through the pipe carrying the electronic data to the computer being used by the internet surfer. The larger the pipe, or the smaller the amount of data, the faster it will flow. If the pipe, or bandwidth, is smaller than the amount of data flowing through, then things will be slow to load. Most Internet Service Providers give users a larger amount of bandwidth for downloading, than they do for uploading. So web surfing may be quick, but uploading a website through FTP may go slow.

Blog : A type of web page where the individual user can write about anything. It is done in a journal or diary format with entries being displayed in a chronological order.

Bookmark : A marker stored either by your web browser program or through a special internet site to help keep track of web addresses that users want be able to easily return to.

Bulletin Board : A type of web page that allows users to post messages.

Browser : A graphical user interface that allows the everyday person to use the internet in a user friendly manner with text, graphics, and videos. Without the browser, the internet would still be all text.

Binary : The "language" that computers understand. Represented by 0 and 1. These numbers actually represent an electrical current in the off or on state.

Bot: Short for Robot. Also known as a Spider. These are programs that crawl the internet and gather information.

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Catchall : Refers to a type of email set up where any email address not predefined for that domain name will go to a single mail box. For example, I have a catchall email set up. My email address is Someone who does not know how to spell my name, but is trying to send an email to me, may send it to Since the email address does not exist, the sent email will end up in the catchall system so I can still get it. If I did not have a catchall set up, the person sending to would get a message back stating the email address,, does not exist.

CGI : Common Gateway Interface. It acts as an interpreter for scripting languages. It allows an interface for the computer and languages such as PHP or Perl to be read.

Click Through : Ratio of clicks to impressions for an advertisement. 1:100 or 1% click through rate would be an advertisement that has appeared on a web page 100 times and only 1 person clicked on the advertisement.

CNAME : Canonical Name records act as an alias. It redirects a part of a domain name to someplace else. Some people may host a portion of their domain someplace else. For example may be hosted with and may be hosted with A CNAME allows a company to make any number of changes to their own IP address or DNS records without the customer having to make changes to their own DNS records. CNAMES are most often used by companies that do not offer full web or DNS hosting, as they expect to only host a small portion of a domain name.

Co-Location: Facility used to house web servers. This is a system that rents out to several companies who do not wish to maintain their own data center.

Cold Fusion : A programming language used to create dynamic pages.

Command Line: Text based interface. All commands and responses from the computer are done in plain text. There are no icons or graphics.

Control Panel : The Graphical User Interface for web hosting clients to control aspects of their web site.

Cookie : A small text document saved by a user's browser that provides information. It helps identify users to provide a better experience for them.

Cron Job : A script written that will tell the computer to perform a specific function at a specific time.

CSS : Cascading Style Sheet. A means of coding that allows for separation of web page content from the code that tells the browser how the web page should look.

Custom Error Page : A customized error page shown to an end user rather than the default error page that simply shows the user they have received an error.

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Data Transfer : Digital communication. The means of moving information through the internet from one place to another.

Database : A set of related data organized into tables and fields.

Dedicated Server : A server that is dedicated to 1 specific task or thing. In web hosting, this often refers to a single customer or client on 1 server.

Directives: An instruction or guideline that indicates how to perform an action. For websites it is used for Password Protection, Custom Error Pages, Certain Redirects, etc.

DNS : Domain Name System is the set up that converts human readable web site names into something that computers can read.

Domain Name : A domain name is the unique human readable identifier for someplace on the internet. is the domain name for this web site.

Domain Parking : A system used to hold a domain name that has no website created. Parked pages programs usually display advertisements based on the domain name.

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E-Commerce : Conducting business on the Internet usually through a web based store.

E-mail : A way to send messages, letters, and memos to another person.

Email Client : A program that is installed on a computer. A user must then set the program up by giving it the proper information for connecting to the email account they wish to send and receive email from.

Encryption : A means encoding data to keep it safe.

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FAQ : Frequently Asked Questions.

Filename extension : The last three or four letters of a file name that appear after the dot. It is used to tell computers what format the file should be read in and how it was encoded.

Forum: A popular web application that allows users to have discussion groups.

FrontPage Extensions : A set of programs and scripts that allow specific features of Front Page to be used to create dynamic web pages.

FTP : File Transfer Protocol. A system of sending and receiving files from one computer to another computer using the internet.

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Gateway : A set-up that translates between two diffrenet protocols

GUI : Graphical User Interface. A program that uses icons and easy to use interactions between the end user and the underlying commands that are executed. The opposite of GUI would be command line where all commands are entered in a text based format and you have to remember the exact commands rather than clicking on an image.

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Hosting Provider : Company that provides the server, space, and software to allow for web files or email.

HTTP : Hypertext transfer protocol. Protocol that defines how messages are formatted and transmitted over the world wide web.

HTML : Hypertext markup language. A basic coding language for web pages that consists of a set of tags providing text based instructions to browsers.

Host : A server that provides for access to the files it stores.

Hit : Often confused with the number of visitors someone has to their website. A hit is actually a measurement of every element a visitor downloads. An element is each thing on the web page- each image is a single element, HTTP headers are elements, a style sheet is an element, a script is an element. Sometimes people wonder why there are such big differences between the number of hits and the number of visitors when they view their web site statistics. If a web page has a lot of elements, such as an image gallery, you can have a web site with hundreds of hits, but only a few visitors.

Home Page : The main page of a web site.

Hyperlink : A link using HTML to connect to another web based object.

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IANA : Internet Assigned Numbers Authority. Responsible for overseeing global IP address allocation, Root Server management, and Internet Media Types. It is operated by ICANN. For more information about IANA see:

ICANN : The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. Responsible for managing and coordinating the Domain Name System (DNS) to ensure that every address is unique and that all users of the Internet can find all valid addresses. It does this by overseeing the distribution of unique IP addresses and domain names. It also ensures that each domain name maps to the correct IP address. ICANN is responsible for accrediting and setting standards for domain name registrars. For more information about ICANN and accredited registrars see:

IIS : Internet Information Services. A popular web server software created by Microsoft for servers running on Windows. It handles the HTTP requests.

IP : Internet Protocol. Protocol used with data packet switching. Referred to as TCP/IP when discussing the internet protocol suite.

IP address: Internet Protocol address. An IP address is a unique set of numbers that computers use to identify the location of another computer. Think of it as a street address on the internet super highway. It refers to the computer readable addressing system. The most widely used is IPv4 an IP address using IPv4 will looks like this: The newest system is IPv6 an IP address using IPv6 will looks like this: 2003:1df8:0:8a2e:85a3:9hf8:7433. The IP addressing system is broken up into classes and geographic locations.

IPv4 : Internet Protocol version 4. The computer readable addressing system. It uses a 32 bit addressing system in Dot-Decimal notation consisting of 4 octets. An IPv4 address is expressed as:

IPv6 : Internet Protocol version 6. The computer readable addressing system. It uses a 128 bit addressing system consisting of 8 groups of 4 hexadecimal digits. An IPv6 address may be expressed as: 2003:1df8:0:8a2e:85a3:9hf8:7433.

ISP: Internet Service Provider. The company that enables a computer to connect to the internet.

Image Map : Uses a set of coordinates on an image as a hyperlink.

IMAP : Internet Mail Access Protocol. It allows users to access the same email messages from multiple computers using an email client.

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Java: A scripting language created by Sun technologies. It helps create dynamic and interactive web pages.

JSP: Javascript Server Pages. A scripting language created by Sun. Slightly different than java.

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LAMP: Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP A commonly standard web server set up.

Link : A means of making a connection to something else.

Linux : A popular open source operating system.

Load Balancing:

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MAC Address : Media Access Control address. A permanent and globally unique identification system. It uses the address assigned to the Network Interface Card, (NIC), by the manufacturer.

Mailing List : A list of email addresses that allows a user to send an email message to group without having to enter each individual address.

Microsoft SQL Server : A database system that works on a windows platform

MIME : Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions. Originally a standard for defining the types of files attached to an email, it is now used to identify mixed-media content, (such as gif, jpeg, mpeg), and tell the browser how to handle it.

Mirror site : A server that contains a copy of data. It is used to prevent traffic from becoming too heavy on a single server.

MIVA : An e-commerce software program.

Multicast : Transmission of information to multiple users at a time.

MySQL: A popular database system used in web hosting. MX Record: Mail Exchanger. DNS record that tells the internet where to route email for a domain.

Managed Hosting : Where a hosting company manages the maintenance of the server.

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Netiquette : A set of rules for being polite when using internet/web based applications

Newsgroup : An online discussion group.

Newsreader : A program that lets you subscribe to, read and post messages to newsgroups

Name Servers : A nameserver or sometimes called a domain name server is a computer with software that maintains a cross-reference between domain names and IP addresses.

nix : Short for Unix and Linux based operating systems

NOC (Network Operations center) : The place where the servers are located. Often the technicians working in this area are referred to as NOCs.

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ODBC : Open Database Connectivity. A way of connecting to a database.

Offline : Not connected to the internet.

Operating system : Software that tells the computer how to handle an application.

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POP : Post Office Protocol. A system used to copy email messages from an email server using an email client.

PHP : Hypertext Pre Processing. A scripting language used to create dynamic web sites often used in conjunction with a database.

Perl : Practical Extraction and Report Language. A scripting language used to create dynamic websites.

Platform : The setup used for a computer. This most often refers to the Operating system- Windows or Linux, but includes further application support as well such as the web server or the type of database supported.

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Registrar : A company that registers domain names and holds records of all domain names registered with them so the internet can locate where to find information about the location of the domain name.

Redemption : When a domain name is more than 30 days past expiration the registrar will still allow the owner to renew the domain name, but they tack on an extra fee.

Registration Service Provider : The company the domain name was purchased through. This is not the same as a registrar. Many registration service providers resell domain names for registrars. The registration service provider is the company that must be contacted to renew or transfer a domain name.

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Spider : A program used to gather information from web pages and databases.

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Top Level Domain (TLD) : The portion to the far right of the dot in a domain name. Examples of the most common ones are: .com, .org, .net.

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Video Streaming :

Virtual :

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W3C: World Wide Web Consortium. The organization that develops standards, specifications, guidelines, software and tools for the World Wide Web. To see more about W3C, please visit:

Web designer : Someone who creates the aesthetics of a web site.

Web developer : Someone who codes the dynamics and interactive aspects of a web site such as a database or specialized programming.

Webmaster : Someone responsible for maintaining a web site.

webmail : A web based email system that can be accessed from any computer connected to the internet. Gmail, Hotmail, and Yahoo are examples of free webmail systems. Most hosting providers will provide a webmail system for accessing and sending email using your domain name. Popular webmail systems are Squirrel, Horde, cube mail, round mail and @mail.

Web Server: Software that processes the HTTP requests from a browser.

Whois : A program used to query the databases maintained by the domain registrars. A whois system will provide all public information about a domain name such as the registrar, the company the domain name was registered through, when it was created, when it expires, the name servers, and the Administrative, Billing, and Technical contacts on file.

WWW : World Wide Web. The graphical portion or the HTTP servers of the internet that most people are familiar with. It is also the most common subdomain in use. is a subdomain of the domain name

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X, Y, Z

XML : eXtensible Markup Language. An acceptable replacement for HTML.

Zone File : Is the set of individual DNS records.

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*nix : Short for Unix and Linux based operating systems

.htaccess : An ASCII text file. The file has no name, just an extension. The extension is .htaccess. This file must be uploaded using FTP ASCII mode (not binary). A user can place commands which will change the behavior of their site. A .htaccess file allows you to password protect folders, change the default document, redirect users, etc. For more information about .htaccess see: Comprehensive Guide to .htaccess

.Net Framework : Programming environment created by Microsoft. It allows for using programming languages such as Cold fusion, ASP.Net and VB.Net

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