Glossary of Web Hosting Terms

Here is a compilation of the glossary of someof the common terms used in the web hosting industry.

You will also want to read:

Common Causes of Website Suspension and Deactivation
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A General guide to Safe Website Updating
How can i check the speed of my website?
How to Address Excessive Resource Usage on a Web Hosting Account

Dedicated hosting
    This is a hosting account where that is totally commited to a webmaster who takes full control of all resources allocated to that particular account.

Linux Server
    A server powered by Linux (a free open source Operating System popular among web hosting companies)

Reseller Hosting
    A hosting service where a dedicated server owner reselles the web hosting space to numerous customers wiho themselves can further resell to smaller web hosting space buyers.

Server
    A computer that manages information delivery to other computers. These are the hosts of your website and they are very likely owned by the web hosting companies

Shared hosting
    A web hosting service that allows a server owner to create accounts for several websites pulling together and consolidating the accounts inside a centralized a server. All concerned accounts share whatever system resources available within that server.

VPS Hosting
    Virtual Private Server, also referred to as a VPS, refers to a partitioned server so that each partitioned will function as if it is a full fledge server on its right.

Windows Server
    This is a server powered by Windows Operating SystemS

Ad Server
- An ad server is a computer server, specifically a web server, that stores advertisements used in online marketing and delivers them to website visitors.

Background Process - A background process is a process running independently of the current process. It may create files on its own without input/output from the main program.

CGI - Stands for Common Gateway Interface. In regards to PHP, this is an alternative to running PHP as Apache. At HostGator, we do run PHP as a CGI module, but that's not the whole story. We actually use a much more secure environment called suPHP.

Chmod - The chmod command changes file permissions on the server. This can be done manually in FTP or SSH.

Chown - The chown command changes a file's owner. A server administrator will have to make this change.

CMS - content management systems used to create powerful websites with a user friendly interface. They help setup and manage your site content.

Daemons - (pronounced deemon or daymon) A daemon is a long running process that you wouldn't normally stop/start. Sometimes they provide kernel services. If you look at Unix, anything ending with a 'd', such as httpd, is a daemon.

Dictionary Attack - A method often used by spammers. They send various emails and passwords to a domain hoping that one will succeed.

Also read:

How to Avoid a Website Suspension
How to prevent your website from a hack
On-Page and Off-Page Search Engine Optimization - Keys to SEO Success
Web Hosting Options to start your online business


DNS - Stands for Domain Name Services. The general term refers to naming computers so that humans do not need to use IP addresses. In the hosting world, DNS usually means the nameservers, which guide domain name requests to the correct server. HostGator will send you two nameservers in your welcome email.

DSO - Stands for Dynamic Shared Object, also known as mod_php. This means one wants PHP running as an Apache module. However, this is not allowed on shared servers (see CGI). Customers must have a VPS or Dedicated Server to even consider running PHP as Apache.

GNU - The GNU General Public License that is attached to Unix and Linux OS.

GUI - A graphical user interface or GUI is a type of user interface which allows people to interact with a computer and computer-controlled devices. Instead of requiring typed commands, the GUI offers graphical icons, visual indicators or special graphical elements called "widgets".

IDLE - In e-mail technology, IDLE is an IMAP feature that allows a client to indicate to the server that it is ready to accept real-time notifications.

LAMP - Lamp stands for Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP.

Mailer-Daemon - Mailer-daemon is email server software responsible for message delivery. Messages from mailer-daemon @example.com usually indicate a problem with the recipient's mail server or address. For example, a common problem that causes a mailer Daemon message is sending a message to an incorrect e-mail address. If you send legitimate email to a valid account and still get responses back from mailer-daemon , your domain may be on a blacklist.

Bandwidth Overselling - Overselling refers to the ability to sell more bandwidth and disk space than you have.

Payment Gateway - Another name for a Merchant Account. This allows you to accept credit cards and other electronic payments.

PDF - The Portable Document Format (PDF ) is the file format created by Adobe Systems. PDF is used for representing documents with text, fonts, images, and 2-D graphics. Common uses are to distribute copies of books and owner manuals.

Pointer Record - A pointer record is a common name for a PTR record.

Propagation - Propagation is the process where your new DNS information is spread to all the computers in the world. This process can take up to 48 hours to complete. Until propagation is complete, your domain and emails will not work consistently.

PTR record - A Pointer Record, PTR, lets anyone receiving your email to verify that it originates from the expected location. If no, then the email is likely spam.

Queue - (pronounced kyoo) A queue is a list of requests that are waiting to be answered.

Reverse DNS - A Reverse DNS Lookup is when someone searches your IP address to match it to your domain. A reverse DNS record is a common name for a PTR record .

SSI - Server side includes. A scripting language used to get information from the server and include it on your webpage. It can also be used to include other files from the server.

SSL - Secure Socket Layers. This technology encrypts information as it is transferred across the internet. Web site owners need this to protect private information being sent from a visitor's browser to the website owner's server, and vice versa.

SPF Record - Sender Policy Framework. An SPF record is an entry added to the DNS zones for a domain. This record verifies that a user has permission to send mail from that domain. This is used to prevent spoofing.

suPHP - Also known as SuExec or phpSuExec. This PHP environment allows hosts to fix the pitfalls of running PHP as Apache or as CGI. Yes, suPHP also runs PHP as a CGI module, but there are major differences. Read more.

tty - TTY means teletype, which is a text phone. So, a TTY is any device which accepts text messages. TTY is also a Unix command that outputs the name of the current terminal.

Urchin Stats - A statistics program like AW Stats.

Web Application Framework - A web application framework is software that aims to reduce server work associated with common activities used in Web development. For example, many frameworks provide libraries, templates, style sheets and anything else that can reuse code.

Whois - A whois search finds the registration information on a domain name. The whois information is the domain owner's contact information.

Add on Domain: Ay additional website that can be incorporated into your account, thus sharing whatever resources allocated to your plan. It uses a seperate domain name that is added to your hosting account.

Bandwidth: The amount of data that is transferred within your account. Data transfer takes place whenever visitors come to your site or some interactions are involved.

Dedicated IP: This refers to an IP address that is permanently assigned to your website. In fact, this is the pre-requisite to obtain SSL so that you can accept payment via the website.

Disk Space: This represents the storage space; the more it is, the more files, pages, emails, etc you can put on your server.

Parked Domain: Additional domains that will lead traffic back to your existing account. It is customary for webmasters to acquire the .com and .net versions of their domain. If users type in any of these variations into the browser address bar, your website will get displayed.

SSL: Secure Socket Layer refers to a specific encryption technique that governs the secured transactions over the web.

Uptime: The total time on record when there is no interruption on the server (or the whole time range when your website allows unfettered access). It is measured as a percentage number. A greater reading is more favorable (99% and above uptime) as that ensures minimum disruption to your site.

tion of following terms will help ease the pain!

.htaccess: The htaccess file is a special file that allows for parameters setting on certain files. It significantly controls the behaviour of websites. Mostly these have to do with permissions setting, deciding on whom to access what file.

FTP: File Transfer Protocol or FTP refer to some prescribed standards of uploading and downloading files. There have been some improvisations in this area and additional features are anonymous FTP and the ability to assign accounts so others can transfer files

SSH: Secure Shell, is another method to transfer file. This is not the most approved way among many shared hosts (some webhosts ban it outright)

Auto Responder: A pre-written email that is transmitted automatically as the inbox takes in new email. This is commonly used as an “away” messages when one goes on holidays with the auto responder says that response would not be immediate

Catch All: A destined email address that captures all emails (those without an already assigned email address) sent to your account

IMAP: Internet Message Access Protocol which describes an email retrieval method. A copy of the original email will be left permanently inside the server until it is deleted at the server. This arrangement is preferred for people who are on multiple computers and email clients as they can always track back to any email wherever they are.

Mailing List: You can group contacts into a mailing list so that you can send email to all of them at once.

Pop 3: This is a description of the standard employed to retrieve emails from the server

SMTP: An email protocol for emails sending. Generally web hosts have no issue for you to send email through their server. However, there are some ISP that insist your email to be out through their servers, rather those owned by your web host

Spam: Bulk mails program that target internet users’ inbox, usually used to hawk products or services.

Webmail: A browser based interface that allows you to send and receive email,
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