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Glossary of Web Hosting 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

Access - See MS Access.

Active Server Page (ASP) - Short for Active Server Pages. ASP is a server-side scripting environment (not a scripting language) developed by Microsoft that allows embedding of scripting commands in HTML documents to create dynamic web pages. ASP is particularly useful for reading from and writing to databases in the background, and displaying the results on web pages. ASP comes with VBScript and JScript scripting engines, but third-party engines for Perl, REXX, and Python are also available.

ActiveX - ActiveX controls are software modules based on Microsoft's Component Object Model (COM) architecture. They add functionality to software applications by seamlessly incorporating pre-made modules with the basic software package. Modules can be interchanged but still appear as parts of the original software. ActiveX controls turn Web pages into software pages that perform like any other program launched from a server.

Apache - Apache is a freely available Unix based web server program, which was built by a group of open source programmers. It is currently the most commonly used web server program on Internet connected sites. Visit the official Apache web site for more details.

Ad banner A commercial message i.e. animation or a banner on a web page promoting a product.

Ad Clicks A click on an advertisement on a web site, which takes a user to another web location or another frame of page within the advertisement, it is referred to as an ad click.

Ad Impressions Its a measurement of responses from an ad delivery system, to an ad requested by the user's browser, which is recorded in a certain format depending on the delivery system. Web pages have ads. Once the visitor has viewed an ad on a web page an impression is recorded. Ad Views are different from Page Views.

Ad Click Through Ratio Percentage of users who click on an advertisement i.e. ratio of ad clicks to ad impressions. This is an indication of the effectiveness of this ad.

Bandwidth - The amount of data that can be transmitted at a given moment to a server. The higher your bandwidth, the larger amount of traffic your site can handle at one time. Measured in in BPS or KBPS (bytes per second or kilobytes per second).

Browser A Client program (software) that is used to look at various kinds of Internet resources and HTML pages. (For example Netscape, Microsoft Explorer)

CGI - Short for Common Gateway Interface. The CGI standard lays down the rules for running external programs in a Web HTTP server. CGI programs or scripts can be written in several programming languages including C, C++, Java and Perl.

Cgi-bin - The directory on a Web server where CGI scripts are stored. The name of the CGI directory can be changed by the webmaster or system adminstrator.

Co-location hosting - This hosting option gives webmasters more freedom over their servers. Webmaster have to provide the hardware and network administration and the hosting company will provide the rack space and Internet connection.

Cold Fusion - Coldfusion is a Macromedia technology which allows the programmer to a proprietary scripting language directly within an html document on the server. The server runs the code to generate the final page which is returned to the client's browser. This style of embedding a server parsed languaged directly within an html file is very similar to PHP, ASP and JSP.

Cookie - Cookies are blocks of text placed in a file on your computer's hard disk. Web sites use cookies to identify users who revisit the site.

Cron Jobs - Cron jobs (aka Crontabs) are commands for running certain UNIX processes that need to be executed at a specific time, either on a regular or continuous basis.

CSS - Cascading Style Sheets are a big breakthrough in Web design because they allow developers to control the style and layout of multiple Web pages all at once. With CSS, when you want to make a change, you simply change the style, and that element is updated automatically wherever it appears within the site.

Data Center - This is where all the servers are located. Technicians are in the same building for administration and technical support.

Dedicated Hosting - aka as dedicated server. This type of hosting allows a webmaster to rent an entire server. This server is not shared with anybody. This is more flexible than shared hosting (see below), as webmasters have full control over the server, including choice of operating system, hardware, etc. Administration, however, is still handled by the hosting company.

Disk Space - Refers to an amount of space on a web server's hard drive. If for example a web hosting customer was given a disk space allocation of 100 MB on a web server, the customer would be able to store a total of 100 MB of data. This can be html, php, asp, images, or other files.

Diesel Generator - In the event of a power outage, a diesel-powered generator is used by web hosting companies as a back-up source to generate electricity for the web servers in the datacenter.

Domain names - Domain names are the word sequences users enter in their address bar of an internet navigator to visit a specific web site. Each domain name is assigned to an IP address. The DNS ( Domain Name System ) is used to translate the IP addresses into words.

Domain Parking - See Glossary of Domain Name Terms.

Firewall - Software that acts as a security filter that can restrict types of network communication. Most often used between a LAN and Internet.

Flash - A plug-in that plays Flash movies, which usually include animation, sound and even video clips, right in your browser. Flash was developed by Macromedia.

FrontPage - See MS FrontPage.

FTP - Short for File Transfer Protocol. Webmasters can easily manage all their files by connected to their FTP.

HTML - Short for the HyperText Markup Language, the language by which Web servers and client browsers communicate. HTML files are plain text files, so they can be composed and edited in different types of operating systems.

HTTP - Short for HyperText Transfer Protocol, the protocol by which HTML files move across the Internet. Hypertext Markup Language. HTML allows text to include codes that define fonts, layout, embedded graphics, and hypertext links.


IIS - Short for Internet Information Server, Microsoft's server software for Windows NT / 2000 / 2003 .

IP - Short for Internet Protocol. An IP address is a unique 32-bit number, which identifies a computer in an IP network.

IRC - Internet Relay Chat. A system that enables Internet users to talk with each other in real time over the Internet. Most web hosts don't allow webmasters to host an IRC server on their network.

Java - A programming platform developed by Sun Microsystems commonly used for web applications on web servers.

JSP - Short forJava Server Page. Regular HTML webpages with embedded scripts that deliver dynamic content. Mostly used on Linux, Unix and Solaris platforms.

Load Balancing - Load balancing is dividing the amount of work that a server has to do between two or more servers so that more work gets done in the same amount of time.

Managed hosting - A dedicated server that comes with a full suite of technical support and maintenance services. This differs from unmanaged dedicated web hosting, where customers are provided with their own servers but are still responsible for all maintenance duties.

MIME - MIME (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extension) is an Internet protocol that allows other information such as word processing documents, graphics, sound and video to be sent as attachments to E-mail messages.

MS Access - Microsoft's advanced database creation and maintenance software. It is very popular among developers who maintain online databases with Windows NT.

MS FrontPage - A popular site design and management tool developed by Microsoft. Official Web site.

Name server - A server responsible for translating IP addresses and domain names.

NOC - Short for Network Operations Center. This is where all the servers are located. Technicians are in the same building for administration and technical support.

Parking - See Glossary of Domain Name Terms.

POP - Short for Post Office Protocol. It allows e-mail messages to be downloaded and stored locally through a local email client like Outlook, Eudora, and Netscape Messenger. Also see SMTP.

Propagation Period - See Glossary of Domain Name Terms.

Protocol - Defines rules for the transmission of data.

Root - The top of the Domain Name System (DNS) hierarchy.

Shared hosting - The most basic type of web hosting. A web server is shared for numerous web sites.

Shell Access - Shell access allows a user to connect to a server using a SSH client.

- Short for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol, a protocol for sending e-mail messages between servers. Also see POP.

SQL - Short for Structured Query Language. A standard protocol used to communicate with databases. Servers which can handle SQL are known as SQL servers.

SSH - SSH Telnet is a secure form of Telnet. It is a more powerful means of access than FTP, as it allows running scripts. SSH also allows more possibilities for unwanted actions which may harm the web server. A very popular (and free) SSH client is Putty.

SSI - Short for Server Side Include - A way for a web server to include variable values and information from an external source into a web page as it is requested by the browser. Uses include automatic display of data like the Last Modified date of the page, or storing common page elements in their own files, enabling site-wide updates by modifying a single file. Introduction to Server Side Includes

SSL - A protocol created by Netscape Communications Corporation for general communication authentication and encryption over TCP/IP networks. The most popular usage is HTTPS, i.e. the HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP) over SSL.

Subdomain - See Glossary of Domain Name Terms.

Telnet - Telnet is the main Internet protocol for creating a connection to a remote server.

TCP - Short for Transmission Control Protocol. TCP allows two web hosts to exchange data, and ensures that not data packets are lost during the transfer.

TLD - See Glossary of Domain Name Terms.

UNIX - Unix is an open source operating system that was created created by Linus Torvalds in the late 1960s. The UNIX operating system comprises three parts: the kernel, the standard utility programs, and the system configuration files. Unix has spawned various popular spin-offs, like FreeBSD and Linux.

USENET - Usenet is a world-wide network of discussion groups (or news groups).

Virtual hosting - See shared hosting.

Virtual Private Server (VPS) - Almost the same as a managed server. The main difference is that several Virtual Private Servers are on one server. Customers therefore get hosting services that are similar to that of dedicated Web hosting but without sacrificing performance or privacy. Vps' are the ideal solution for webmasters who are not ready for a dedicated server but need to upgrade from their shared hosting account.

Web Space - See disk space.

WHOIS - A central database which tracks all domain name and IP registrations. Whois.sc

Windows NT / 2000 / 2003 - These are graphic-based, multitasking Operating Systems developed over the past few years by Microsoft. Both can act as standalone OS for personal computers/workstations, or can serve as an OS for a Web site/network. Most Web hosting companies and resellers offer Windows-based hosting in some capacity or other.

XML - Short for Extensible Markup Language, which allows you to define the tags (markup) that you need to identify the data and text in XML documents. XML Introduction

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