Web Hosting Guide

WebHosting Guide

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  • ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line)

    A method for moving data over regular phone lines. An ADSL circuit is much faster than a regular phone connection, and the wires coming into the subscriber's premises are the same (copper) wires used for regular phone service. An ADSL circuit must be configured to connect two specific locations, similar to a leased line.

  • ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange)

    This is the de facto world-wide standard for the code numbers used by computers to represent all the upper and lower-case Latin letters, numbers, punctuation, etc. There are 128 standard ASCII codes each of which can be represented by a 7 digit binary number: 0000000 through 1111111.

  • Backbone

    A high-speed line or series of connections that forms a major pathway within a network. The term is relative as a backbone in a small network will likely be much smaller than many non-backbone lines in a large network.

  • Bandwidth

    The transmission capacity of the lines that carry the Internet's electronic traffic. Or how much data you can stuff through a connection. Think of a network as a water pipe - the higher the bandwidth (the larger the diameter of the pipe), the more data (water) can pass over the network (through the pipe). Historically, it's imposed severe limitations on the ability of the Internet to deliver all that we are demanding it deliver. See Also: 56k Line.

  • Bit (Binary DigIT)

    A single digit number in base-2, in other words, either a 1 or a zero. The smallest unit of computerized data. Bandwidth is usually measured in bits-per-second.

  • Bps (Bits-Per-Second)

    A measurement of how fast data is moved from one place to another. A 28.8 modem can move data at 28,800 bits per second.

  • Byte

    A set of Bits that represent a single character. Usually there are 8 Bits in a Byte, sometimes more, depending on how the measurement is being made.

  • Cache

    A region of memory or the Hard Drive where frequently accessed data can be stored for rapid access.

  • CGI (Common Gateway Interface)

    A set of rules that describe how a Web Server communicates with another piece of software on the same machine, and how the other piece of software (the "CGI Program") talks to the web server. Any piece of software can be a CGI program if it handles input and output according to the CGI standard.

  • cgi-bin

    The most common name of a directory on a web server in which CGI programs are stored. The "bin part of "cgi-bin" is a shorthand version of "binary" because once upon a time, most programs were refered to as "binaries". In real life, most programs found in cgi-bin directories are text files -- scripts that are executed by binaries located elsewhere on the same machine.

  • Client / Server

    Computer technology that separates computers and their users into two categories: clients or servers. When you want information from a computer on the Internet, you are a client. The computer that delivers the information is the server. A server both stores information and makes it available to any authorized client who requests the information. You may hear this one frequently, especially if someone says, "You can't contact us today because our Web server is down."

  • Cookie

    The most common meaning of "Cookie" on the Internet refers to a piece of information sent by a Web Server to a Web Browser that the Browser software is expected to save and to send back to the Server whenever the browser makes additional requests from the Server.

  • Domain Name

    The unique name that identifies an Internet site. Domain Names always have 2 or more parts, separated by dots. A Domain name is the Internet's way of translating the IP address of a particular computer into an easy to remember combination of words and numbers. A given machine may have more than one Domain Name but a given Domain Name points to only one machine. For example, the domain names:


    can all refer to the same machine, but each domain name can refer to no more than one machine.

  • Download

    The process of copying data file(s) from a remote computer to a local computer. When you copy a file from a computer on the Internet onto your computer, you are "downloading" that file. The opposite action is upload where a local file is copied to a server.

  • Ethernet

    A very common method of networking computers in a Local Area Network or LAN. Ethernet will handle about 10,000,000 bits-per-second and can be used with almost any kind of computer.

  • Email (Electronic Mail)

    Messages, usually text, sent from one person to another via computer. Email can also be sent automatically to a large number of addresses (Mailing List).

  • FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

    FAQs are documents that list and answer the most common questions on a particular subject. There are hundreds of FAQs on subjects as diverse as Pet Grooming and Cryptography. It's good netiquette (The Internet's code of conduct) to check for FAQs and read them. FAQs are usually written by people who are tired of answering the same question over and over.

  • Fire Wall

    A combination of hardware and software that separates a LAN into two or more parts for security purposes. Commonly used to separate a corporate network from the Internet at large.

  • FTP (File Transfer Protocol)

    A very common method of moving files between two Internet sites. FTP is a special way to login to another Internet site for the purposes of retrieving and/or sending files. There are many Internet sites that have established publicly accessible repositories of material that can be obtained using FTP, by logging in using the account name anonymous, thus these sites are called anonymous ftp servers.

  • Gateway

    The technical meaning is a hardware or software set-up that translates between two dissimilar protocols, for example Prodigy has a gateway that translates between its internal, proprietary email format and Internet email format. Another meaning of gateway is to describe any mechanism for providing access to another system, e.g. AOL might be called a gateway to the Internet.

  • GIF (Graphics Interchange Format)

    A graphics file format that is commonly used on the Internet to provide graphics images in Web pages.

  • Hit

    As used in reference to the World Wide Web, "hit means a single request from a web browser for a single item from a web server; thus in order for a web browser to display a page that contains 3 graphics, 4 "hit would occur at the server: 1 for the HTML page, and one for each of the 3 graphics. "hits are often used as a very rough measure of load on a server, e.g. "Our server has been getting 300,000 hits per month. Because each "hit can represent anything from a request for a tiny document (or even a request for a missing document) all the way to a request that requires some significant extra processing (such as a complex search request), the actual load on a machine from 1 hit is almost impossible to define.

  • HTML (Hypertext Markup Language)

    The basic language that is used to build hypertext documents on the World Wide Web. It is used in basic, plain ASCII-text documents, but when those documents are interpreted (called rendering) by a Web browser such as Netscape, the document can display formatted text, color, a variety of fonts, graphic images, special effects, hypertext jumps to other Internet locations and information forms.

  • HTTP (HyperText Transport Protocol)

    The protocol for moving hypertext files across the Internet. Requires a HTTP client program on one end, and an HTTP server program on the other end. HTTP is the most important protocol used in the World Wide Web (WWW).

  • IP Number (Internet Protocol Number)

    A unique number consisting of 4 parts separated by dots, e.g. Every machine that is on the Internet has a unique IP number - if a machine does not have an IP number, it is not really on the Internet. Most machines also have one or more Domain Names that are easier for people to remember.

  • Leased-line

    Refers to a phone line that is rented for exclusive 24-hour, 7 -days-a-week use from your location to another location. The highest speed data connections require a leased line.

  • Mailing List

    An e-mail based discussion group. Sending one e-mail message to the mailing list's list server sends mail to all other members of the group. Users join a mailing list by subscribing. Subscribers to a mailing list receive messages from all other members. Users have to unsubscribe from a mailing list to stop receiving messages forwarded from the group's members.

  • MIME (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions)

    The standard for attaching non-text files to standard Internet mail messages. Non-text files include graphics, spreadsheets, formatted word-processor documents, sound files, etc. An email program is said to be MIME Compliant if it can both send and receive files using the MIME standard.

  • Mirror

    Generally speaking, "to mirror is to maintain an exact copy of something. Probably the most common use of the term on the Internet refers to "mirror sites which are web sites, or FTP sites that maintain exact copies of material originated at another location, usually in order to provide more widespread access to the resource.

  • Name server

    A computer running a program that converts domain names into appropriate IP addresses and vice versa. Name Servers (also known as Domain Name Servers) are the backbone of the Internet system.

  • POP (Point of Presence, also Post Office Protocol)

    Two commonly used meanings: Point of Presence and Post Office Protocol. A Point of Presence usually means a city or location where a network can be connected to, often with dial up phone lines. So if an Internet company says they will soon have a POP in Belgrade, it means that they will soon have a local phone number in Belgrade and/or a place where leased lines can connect to their network. A second meaning, Post Office Protocol refers to the way email software such as Eudora gets mail from a mail server. When you obtain a SLIP, PPP, or shell account you almost always get a POP account with it, and it is this POP account that you tell your email software to use to get your mail.

  • SMTP (Simple Mail Transport Protocol)

    The main protocol used to send electronic mail on the Internet. SMTP consists of a set of rules for how a program sending mail and a program receiving mail should interact.

  • Spam (or Spamming)

    An inappropriate attempt to use a mailing list, or USENET or other networked communications facility as if it was a broadcast medium (which it is not) by sending the same message to a large number of people who didn't ask for it. The term probably comes from a famous Monty Python skit which featured the word spam repeated over and over. The term may also have come from someone's low opinion of the food product with the same name, which is generally perceived as a generic content-free waste of resources. (Spam is a registered trademark of Hormel Corporation, for its processed meat product.) E.g. John Smith spammed 50 USENET groups by posting the same message to each.

  • SQL (Structured Query Language)

    A specialized programming language for sending queries to databases. Most industrial-strength and many smaller database applications can be addressed using SQL. Each specific application will have its own version of SQL implementing features unique to that application, but all SQL-capable databases support a common subset of SQL.

  • SSL (Secure Sockets Layer)

    A protocol designed by Netscape Communications to enable encrypted, authenticated communications across the Internet. SSL used mostly (but not exclusively) in communications between web browsers and web servers. URL's that begin with "https" indicate that an SSL connection will be used.

  • TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol)

    This is the suite of protocols that defines the Internet. Originally designed for the UNIX operating system, TCP/IP software is now available for every major kind of computer operating system. To be truly on the Internet, your computer must have TCP/IP software.

  • Telnet

    An Internet protocol that let you connect your PC as a remote workstation to a host computer anywhere in the world and to use that computer as if you were logged on locally. You often have the ability to use all of the software and capability on the host computer, even if it's a huge mainframe.

  • UNIX

    A computer operating system (the basic software running on a computer, underneath things like word processors and spreadsheets). UNIX is designed to be used by many people at the same time (it is multi-user) and has TCP/IP built-in. It is the most common operating system for servers on the Internet.

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