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Web Hosting Glossary of Terms

Sun Hosting's state-of-the-art Dual Core Servers.

We are pleased to provide our users and customers with a valuable Glossary of Terms used in the web hosting industry.


Application Server
A special type of computer program that provides some basic functionality that can be called upon by customized applications.

Bandwidth
Refers to the amount of data that can be transferred during a given period of time.

Bulletin Board
An online application that supports threaded conversations among users. Users can browse through previously posted messages or add their own messages.

Burstable
Term used to indicate the maximum amount of bandwidth that can be supported during a short period of time.

Cage
An enclosed hosting area found at some Web hosting companies that is used to host the computer equipment needed to maintain a Web site.

Chat
Community software that allows users to message instantly to one another.

Cold Fusion
A brand of application software used to develop interactive databases.

Co-location Server
Type of site hosting where high speed Internet access is provided for a Web server that you provide and set up. Generally, the ISP is responsible for making sure the connection is up, while you are responsible for making sure the server works.

Common Gateway Interface Script (CGI Script)
A type of script that results in an action based on the user's input.

Cookie
A type of file that is deposited by a Web site, onto a user's computer and used to track a user's activities on the Web site.

Database Server
A computer (server) that is designed to host and run a database. A good example of a popular database server is the MySQL database server. MySQL is of the open-source variety and is growing rapidly in popularity.

Data Center
A building used to house all the equipment and telecommunications lines necessary to support Web sites.

Dedicated Line
A type of telecommunications service that involves allocating a specified amount of bandwidth to a given location.

Dedicated Server
A type of Web site hosting where the service provides site hosting equipment for the exclusive use by the customer. It may or may not include the appropriate software as well.

Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)
A way of sending digital data over regular copper telephone lines.

Domain Name
A text-based address used to identify a Web site. Domain names provide a user-friendly way to access Web sites rather than having to enter in an IP address.

File Transfer Protocol (FTP)
A standard that allows for the transfer of files between two computers. FTP programs are often used to manage file transfers to Web sites.

Firewall
A software- or hardware- based solution that is designed to prevent unauthorized access to a corporate data network or LAN (Local Area Network). Click here for an example of a good firewall offering the maximum protection.

Hop
A relay point in a network. Web pages that are viewed by a particular visitor must travel across many hops between the Web site being accessed and the end user.

Internet Service Provider (ISP)
A company that provides Internet access and related Internet services.

IP Address
A code used to identify the location of a computer on a network. IP addresses consist of four sets of numbers that are separated by periods, with each number ranging from 0 to 255. IP addresses used to identify computers on the Internet are assigned to ensure no duplication occurs. The domain name system translates domain names into these addresses, which are represented by a series of numbers looking something like this: 68.15.134.72

Point of Presence (POP)
A physical location maintained by an Internet service provider to provide a local connection to the Internet.

Post Office Protocol (POP) E-mail
A popular protocol used to receive e-mail.

Proxy Server
A firewall server plus a full-featured proxy cache server that can drastically increase the intruder protection features of a corporate network. Additionally, a good proxy server can substantially increase the data throughput of any firewall system. Click here for an example of a proxy server.

Rack
Equipment used to house computing equipment.

Secure Pages
A type of Web page that has been protected so that the information entered or being displayed on that page can only be viewed by the visitor to that page. Pages that are encrypted to ensure privacy are used typically for forms where sensitive information, such as a credit card number, is being relayed. You can tell if a page is secure by the Web page location - you will see https: instead of the more familiar http: tag at the beginning of the address.

Search Engine Optimization
The process of optimizing a website for the major search engines, such as Google, AltaVista, Yahoo and the others. Optimizing a website in that fashion will help it gain higher positioning in the search engines, thus greater visibility. Examples of companies providing such services are:

Secure Server
A type of Web server that can protect the display and transmission of information over the Internet by supporting major security standards like SSL.

Shared Hosting
A type of Web site hosting where the hosting service provides all the hardware and software necessary to connect to the Internet.

Shopping Cart
A commerce technology that allows users to purchase a specified item from a Web site.

Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP)
A standard used to send e-mail.

Solaris
A UNIX based operating environment developed by Sun Microsystems.

Static Page
A web page that consists of a distinct file that resides on a web server.

T1, T3 Lines
High-speed telecommunications links. T1 lines convey data at speeds up to 1.544 Megabits per second. T3 lines support data speeds of 43 Megabits per second. They can be used to connect a user to an Internet service provider (typically T1), or to connect an Internet service provider to other locations on the Internet (T3).

Telnet
A type of computer program that provides access to remotely located computers. Control of that remote computer occurs through commands entered via text.

UNIX
A type of operating system often used in environments requiring robust applications such as site hosting. Multiple versions of UNIX, including Linux, exist.

Virtual Domain Name
A shared hosting service feature that allows companies to utilize a domain name as their Web site address. Companies that do not offer this will require that the hosting company's domain name be part of your Web site address.

Web Server
A computer that has been set up to deliver Web pages.

Web Site
A discrete collection of pages that can be accessed via the World Wide Web. Web sites consist of multiple files that can either be viewed by a browser or provide some back-end functionality.


Disponible en français: Hébergement Web Canada    

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