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Glossary of Terms    

Click Categories List on the navigation menu to the left to return to the list of all FAQ categories.

Category: Glossary of Terms

Agora
Apache
Autoresponder
Backbone
Bandwidth
Certificate Authority
CGI
Data Center
Data Transfer
Database
Disk Space
DNS
Domain Name
Domain Name Registration
E-Commerce
E-mail Forwarding
Exim
FTP
HTML
HTTP
HTTPS
Internet Protocol
IP
Leeching/Hot Linking

Mailman
Migration
MX Record
MySQL
Network
osCommerce
Payment Gateway
Perl
PHP
phpNuke
POP
ProFTPd
RealAudio
Registrar
Reseller
Router
SMTP
Spam
Spam Assasin
SQL
SSH
SSL
SSL Certificate
Virus

Agora

The Agora Shopping Cart is a fully-featured shopping cart that can be installed with the click of a button. Please refer to the Agora web site for more information.

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Apache

Apache is an open-source HTTP server for modern operating systems. Well known for being a secure, efficient and extensible web server, Apache's HTTP services are in sync with the current HTTP standards. Apache has been the most popular web server on the Internet since April of 1996. The August 2002 Netcraft Web Server Survey found that 63% of the web sites on the Internet are using Apache, making it more widely used than all other web servers combined. The Apache HTTP Server is a project of the Apache Software Foundation.

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Autoresponder

Autoresponders are e-mail messages that are sent automatically when an e-mail arrives for a specific e-mail account. The most common example of an autoresponder is the ubiquitous "Out of Office" message.

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Backbone

This term is often used to describe the main line or series of connections in a network. The backbones of the Internet are high-speed data highways serving as a major access points to which other networks connect.

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Bandwidth

Bandwidth is the amount of data that can be sent through a connection. With regards to a hosting account, bandwidth is used interchangeably with the term "data transfer" to measure the amount of data your account is allowed to transfer in a given time period (usually per month).

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Certificate Authority

One of several safeguards for secure e-commerce and overall data transfer, a certificate authority is a third-party organization that creates digital certificates. The certificate authority guarantees a user's identity and issues public and private "keys" for message encryption and decryption. Much like a notary, the certificate authority guarantees that a user is the person he or she claims to be, and that the provider of the information is who the user believes he or she is accessing. Certificate authorities issue security certificates used in SSL (secure) connections.

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CGI

CGI (Common Gateway Interface) is a set of rules governing communication between a web server and another piece of software on the same machine. CGI is the most common way for web servers to interact dynamically with users. Many HTML pages that contain forms, for example, use CGI to process the form's data once it's submitted.

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Data Center

With regard to web hosting, a data center (sometimes spelled datacenter) is a specialized facility designed specifically for housing web servers, including regulated power, dedicated Internet connection, security and support.

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Data Transfer

The amount of data that can be transmitted in a fixed amount of time. See Bandwidth.

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Database

An organized collection of information organized especially for rapid search and retrieval. Databases tend to be organized by fields, records, and files. A field is a single piece of information; a record is a complete set of fields; and a file is a collection of records.

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Disk Space

Disk space refers the amount of data storage that an account has. 500 Megabytes of disk space means you can store up to that much data in your account folder.

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DNS

The Domain Name System (DNS) helps users to find their way around the Internet. Every computer on the Internet has a unique address (like a telephone number) consisting of a difficult-to-remember string of numbers (also known as an "IP address"). DNS allows a familiar string of letters (the "domain name") to be used instead of IP addresses, making the process of finding and remembering a web site's location easier. Translating a domain name into an IP address is referred to as "resolving" the domain names.

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Domain Name

A domain name is "mnemonic" device used to make web site more memorable and make web surfing easier and more user-friendly. You must register a domain if you wish to use it.

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Domain Name Registration

The only way to start using a domain name is register it. The domain name industry is regulated and overseen by ICANN, the organization that is responsible for certifying companies as domain name registrars. At one time there was only one domain name registrar -- Network Solutions, Inc.-- but today there are many accredited registrars.

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E-Commerce

Put simply, e-commerce means conducting business online. E-commerce software programs run the main functions of an e-commerce web site, including product display, online ordering, and inventory management. This software resides on a commerce server and works in conjunction with online payment systems to process payments.

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E-mail Forwarding

The process of redirecting your incoming mail to a different mailbox. For example, if you have a number of e-mail addresses, you can have them forwarded to a single mailbox. This makes it easier to retrieve and manage your messages.

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Exim

Exim is a message transfer agent developed at the University of Cambridge for use on Unix systems connected to the Internet. Freely available under the terms of the GNU General Public License, Exim can be configured to allow users to set up filter files as an alternative to the traditional '.forward' files. A filter file can test various characteristics of a message, including the contents of the headers and the start of the body, and direct delivery to specified addresses, files, or pipes according to what it finds. This makes it easy for us to help you filter out SPAM and viruses.

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FTP

FTP (File Transfer Protocol) is the standard method for downloading and uploading files over the Internet. With FTP, you can login to a server and transfer files (meaning you can "send" or "receive" files). Some sites have public file archives that you can access by using FTP with the account name "anonymous" and your e-mail address as the password. This type of access is called anonymous FTP. Macintosh owners often use an FTP program called Fetch; one of the best FTP programs for Windows is called WS-FTP.

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HTML

HTML (HyperText Markup Language) is the authoring language used to create documents on the World Wide Web. HTML defines the structure and layout of a web page by using a variety of tags and attributes.

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HTTP

HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol) is the standard Internet protocol for the exchange of information on the World Wide Web. Basically, it 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.

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HTTPS

Https is the protocol for the server software that provides "secure" transactions on the World Wide Web. If a web site is running on an HTTPS server, you will see HTTPS instead of HTTP in the address bar of your browser. This verifies that you are in "secure mode."

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Internet Protocol

Internet Protocol (IP) is the set of technology standards and technical specifications that enable information to be routed from one network to another over the Internet. It is the way networks exchange data with each other. For example, IP is the delivery mechanism by which your e-mail gets sent. IP defines how the data will be divided into packets; each packet is coded with an IP address; and various packets constitute a single message. These packets travel across the Internet by different routes and arrive at the destination in a scrambled order.

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IP

Short for Internet Protocol.

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Leeching/Hot Linking

Hot Linking or Leeching is the use of images from other websites in order to conserve bandwidth, passing on the cost of serving the images in question to a less knowledgeable and often unsuspecting webmaster.

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Mailman

Mailman is free software for managing electronic mail discussion and newsletter lists. Mailman is integrated with the web, making it easy for users to manage their accounts and for list owners to administer their lists. Mailman supports built-in archiving, automatic bounce processing, content filtering, digest delivery, spam filters, and more. Visit the Mailman web site for more details.

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Migration

To move data from one database to another, or to move a web site from one server to another.

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MX Record

Short for mail exchange record, an MX Record is an entry in a domain name database that identifies the mail server that is responsible for handling e-mail for that domain name.

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MySQL

The MySQL database server is the world's most popular open source database. Its architecture makes it extremely fast and easy to customize. This powerful database server is used by many open source programs including phpBB, osCommerce, and phpNuke.

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Network

A network exists whenever 2 computers are connected so that they can share resources. The most common types of network are LANs (Local Area Networks, in which the computers share the same office space, room, or building) and WANs (Wide Area Networks, in which LANs are connected at different geographic locations by telephone lines or radio waves, as in wireless communications).

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osCommerce

osCommerce is an online shop e-commerce solution under ongoing development by the open source community. Its feature-packed out-of-the-box installation allows store owners to set up, run, and maintain their online stores with minimum effort and with absolutely no costs or license fees involved. osCommerce combines open source solutions to provide a free and open e-commerce platform, which includes the powerful PHP web scripting language, the stable Apache web server, and the fast MySQL database server. For a full list of features please visit the osCommerce web site.

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Payment Gateway

An application that replicates the functionality of a credit card company, allowing credit cards to be processed successfully online.

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Perl

A script programming language used to process text. It runs on many platforms (including Windows and Macintosh) and is installed on most Unix workstations. It is available for free and allows web developers to quickly write code or perform system administration tasks. Created by linguist Larry Wall in 1987 to mimic natural languages, it is considered "the duct tape of the Internet" and has been hailed as the single most important tool for expanding web sites quickly. More than half of the sites on the web are built using Perl, which functions as a foundation for holding together text files and other applications. Perl is also viewed by many as "the poster child of the open source software revolution" because volunteer programmers from all over the world work together to make it better.

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PHP

PHP (PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor) is an HTML-embedded scripting language. Much of its syntax is borrowed from the programming languages C, Java and Perl, with a couple of unique PHP-specific features thrown in. The goal of the language is to allow web developers to write dynamically generated pages quickly.

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PHP Nuke

PHP Nuke is the most popular web portal software. Developed by Francisco Burzi, it is a complete solution for any webmaster who would like to develop and manage his own content without advanced knowledge of databases or site development. PHP Nuke possesses the world's biggest support community for a PHP project.

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POP

POP (Post Office Protocol) is a protocol used by mail clients to retrieve messages from a mail server. It comes in two flavors: POP2, which requires SMTP to send messages, and POP3, which can be used with or without SMTP. E-mail accounts are often referred to as "POP accounts."

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ProFTPd

ProFTPD is FTP server software that grew out of the desire to have a secure and configurable FTP server, and out of a significant admiration of the Apache web server. A number of well known and high traffic sites use ProFTPD. Visit the ProFTPD website for more information.

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RealAudio

RealAudio is software that enables online users equipped with conventional multimedia personal computers and voice-grade telephone lines to browse, select, and play back audio or audio-based multimedia content on demand, in real time. Contrary to popular belief, no server software is needed to stream RealAudio Media.

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Registrar

A registrar is a company accredited by ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) to register, manage and keep track of domain names. All domain names are registered via a registrar.

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Reseller

If executed properly, reselling web hosting and related services can be a low-maintenance, high-profit way to online success. Reseller programs allow businesses to lease servers, connections and bandwidth from established hosting firms, but brand the product as their own. Even some of today's biggest hosting companies simply resell the products of bigger companies, due to the lower staffing and equipment expenses required. Resellers act independently of web hosting companies, and are not treated as employees.

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Router

An electronic device that connects two networks. For example, a router may connect a local network to an ISP for Internet access. In a packet-switching network such as the Internet, it is one of the most basic devices. Routers receive packets of data, filter them, and forward them to a final destination using the best route.

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SMTP

SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) is a standard protocol for sending e-mail messages. All outgoing mail traffic travels through SMTP and all mail servers accept mail traffic via SMTP.

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Spam

Spam is electronic junk mail or junk newsgroup postings. It often takes the form of an e-mail message sent to a large number of people without consent. Spam is usually sent to promote a product or service.

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Spam Assasin

Spam Assassin is a mail filter used to identify and avoid spam. Using its rule base, it conducts a wide range of heuristic tests on mail headers and body text to identify unwanted e-mail.

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SQL

The Standardized Query Language used for requesting information from a database. The original version (called SEQUEL, for Structured English QUEry Language) was designed at an IBM research center in 1974 and 1975.

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SSH

Developed by SSH Communications Security Ltd., Secure SHell, or SSH, is a program used to log into another computer over a network, to execute commands in a remote machine, and to move files from one machine to another. It provides strong authentication and secure communications over normally insecure channels. SSH protects a network from attacks like IP spoofing, IP source routing, and DNS spoofing. An attacker who has managed to take over a network can only force SSH to disconnect, but cannot play back the traffic or hijack the connection when encryption is enabled.

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SSL

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is a protocol for transmitting private documents via the Internet, using a public key to encrypt data and transfer it.

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SSL Certificate

An SSL certificate is used for the server authentication, data encryption, and message integrity checks. With a valid SSL certificate, your Internet communications are transmitted in encrypted form. Information you send can be trusted to arrive privately and unaltered to the server you specify (and no other).

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Virus

A virus is a computer program or section of code that gets into a computer without permission and runs a process (usually harmful). Viruses often replicate on computer systems by incorporating themselves into shared programs. Viruses range from harmless pranks that merely display an annoying message to programs that can destroy files or disable a computer altogether. Some well-known examples include the "I Love You" virus, code red, Klez, and NIMDA. Viruses are most commonly transmitted through e-mail; "strains" have appeared that use personal e-mail address books to propagate themselves from machine to machine.

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