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Common Web Hosting Terms

ASP

Active Server Pages. A document that contains embedded server-side scripting. ASP-compatible Web servers can execute these scripts. On the client side, an ASP is a standard HTML document that can be viewed on any platform using any Web browser. These scripts can be written in any programming language which can be processed by the server.

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Browser

Client software that is used to look at various kinds of Internet resources. Examples include Microsoft's Internet Explorer and Netscape's Navigator.

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CGI

Common Gateway Interface - A standard method of extending Web server functionality by executing programs or scripts on a Web server in response to Web browser requests. A common use of CGI is in form processing, where the Web browser sends form data to a CGI script on the server, the script integrates the data with a database, and sends back the results as a Web page. Use of CGI can make a Web page much more dynamic and add interactivity for the user. CGI scripts are just scripts which use CGI. Those scripts can be written with the help of  Perl, PHP3, MIVA, Python, and other scripting languages.

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Cold Fusion

Cold Fusion is a scripting language for web designers that wish to do advanced development and/or database interfacing. Cold Fusion supports MS Access, dBASE, FoxPro, and Paradox databases.

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Database

A file containing records of information that are organized and presented to serve a specific purpose, such as the facilitation of searching, sorting, and recombination of data. Databases can be published on the World Wide Web to let site visitors look up information in records or add new information to the database.

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Domain Name

The address of a network location in the format that identifies the owner of that address in the format: server.organization.type. For example,   'mysite.myhost.com' is domain name where '.com' refers to top-level domain, 'myhost.com' - to second-level domain and 'mysite.myhost.com' - to third-level domain or so-called "subdomain".

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E-mail

Electronic Mail -  The exchange of electronic text messages and computer file attachments between computers over a communications network, such as a local area network or the Internet.

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E-mail forwarding

That means any email that is sent to any address at your domain is forwarded to the 1 email address that you specify. For instance if specify yourcompany@aol.com as your email address then info@YourCompany.click2site.com, sales@YourCompany.click2site.com, bob@YourCompany.click2site.com will all be forwarded to yourcompany@aol.com

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FrontPage Server Extensions

FP extensions - A set of programs and scripts that support authoring in FrontPage and extend the functionality of a Web server. The FrontPage Server Extensions are available for Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) and other popular Windows and UNIX Web servers. To learn whether your Web server is supported, visit http://www.microsoft.com/frontpage/

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FTP

File Transfer Protocol - The Internet service that transfers files from one computer to another over standard phone lines. You can create FTP hyperlinks (ftp://) on your web page.

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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 e-mail format and Internet e-mail format. Another, sloppier 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.

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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 'hits' would occur at the server: 1 for the HTML page, and one for each of the 3 graphics.

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Host

Any computer on a network that is a repository for services available to other computers on the network. It is quite common to have one host machine provide several services, such as WWW and USENET.

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Hosting

This term can be used to refer to the housing of a web site, email or a domain.

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Impression

Term used to describe when a banner advertisement is loaded on a web page and displayed to a user. Also referred to as Exposure.

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Internet Service Provider (ISP)

A company that provides access to the Internet, such as AOL, Prodigy, Megapath t1 service, etc. Allows users to dial up through a modem, DSL, or cable connection to view the information on the internet.

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IP Number/IP address

Internet Protocol Number - Sometimes called a dotted quad. A unique number consisting of 4 parts separated by dots, e.g. 201.144.255.1
A dedicated IP address is an IP address unique to the domain it is assigned. Shared IP domains share the IP address of the server the domain resides on rather than having their own dedicated IP. To have subdomains (for example, sub.yourdomain.com, where sub is the subdomain) or DNS pointers (where a domain points to another domain using DNS entries rather than html forwarding) you must have a dedicated IP.

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ISAPI

ISAPI (Internet Server Application Programming Interface) is an API for writing extensions to web servers. It was originally developed by Process Software, and adopted by Microsoft as its standard server API. It complements or replaces the Common Gateway Interface (CGI), the standard interprocess protocol for writing extensions to web servers.
ISAPI's main advantage over CGI is that it uses dynamic-link library (DLL) function calls to communicate with extension components, rather than environment variables and standard I/O, as CGI does. There's a lot of overhead when starting new processes on Win32 platforms, and DLL calls eliminate the need for new processes, thus reducing the running time.

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Java

A general-purpose programming language created by Sun Microsystems. Currently, the most widespread use of Java is in programming small applications, or applets, for the World Wide Web. 

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JavaScript

A scripting language developed by Netscape Communications and Sun Microsystems, Inc. Compared to Java, JavaScript is limited in performance because it is not compiled before execution. Basic online applications and functions can be added to Web pages with JavaScript, but the number and complexity of available application programming interface functions are fewer than those available with Java. JavaScript code, which is included in a Web page along with the HTML code, is generally considered easier to write than Java, especially for novice programmers. A JavaScript-compliant Web browser, such as Microsoft Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator, is required to interpret JavaScript code.

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LAN

(Local Area Network) -- A computer network limited to the immediate area, usually the same building or floor of a building.

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Macromedia Flash

Flash is a multimedia development tool that creates high-end applications to be embedded into web pages. Flash programs can also be used as stand-alone applications. Flash's power comes from the use of vector graphics which can be scaled to anybody's monitor settings without a loss of quality. Another feature that makes Macromedia's Flash popular is the compact size of Flash files. The software can deliver high-end graphics through the web by keeping the file sizes relatively small.
Flash can also incorporate video clips, image files, sound files, and will import files from other vector programs like Adobe Illustrator.

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MIVA

Miva, formerly known as HTMLScript, is produced by Miva Corporation. Miva allows you to quickly build dynamic Web sites that integrate scripting, database, and commerce features. There are also tools available that allow you to build Miva-powered Web pages on your Windows-based PC and then upload them to the server when you are ready.
Complete information about the Miva engine and the syntax and use of the special Miva tags is available at http://www.miva.com/products/engine/

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MP3

MP3, or MPEG Layer 3, allows for CD-quality sound files at very high compression. Compared to .wav files, MP3 require approximately 1/20th of the space for the same quality of sound.
Because of these characteristics, MP3 has become a widely accepted, standard setting file format for encoding music.
While MP3s have become very popular, they have also been abused by persons by means of music piracy.

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NT

Windows NT is Microsoft's 32-bit operating system. Used by web hosting companies in the network environment to offer customers support for Microsoft base products such as MS Access, MS SQL Server, and FrontPage 98/2000.

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Open Database Connectivity

ODBC - An application programming interface (API) for authoring applications that are independent of any particular database management system.

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Perl

Perl is a scripting language which is widely used on the Internet to create CGI programs. Perl programs are actually text files that are parsed, or run through, by a program called an 'interpreter'.

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PHP

PHP, formerly known as PHP/FI, is an excellent pre-processing engine that supports a very robust HTML-embedded scripting language. Much of its syntax is borrowed from the C, Java and Perl programming languages, with some unique PHP-specific features thrown in. The goal of the PHP language is to allow Web developers to quickly write powerful, dynamically generated pages. To learn more about PHP click here.

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POP

 (Post Office Protocol) is a simple incoming mail protocol that can be thought of as a "store-and-forward" service. With POP, your email is saved in a mailbox on the server, and is transferred to your email client when you check it. Once they are downloaded, your email messages are no longer maintained on the server. POP is the best choice when you always read your email messages from the same computer, but is somewhat inconvenient to those who need access to all of their messages from many locations.

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Python

Python is a scripting language which incorporates modules, exceptions, dynamic typing, very high level dynamic data types, and classes. Python combines remarkable power with very clear syntax. It has interfaces to many system calls and libraries, as well as to various window systems, and is extensible in C or C++. It is also usable as an extension language for applications that need a programmable interface.

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RealAudio & RealVideo

RealAudio and RealVideo, developed by Real Networks, Inc., are among the most popular methods of broadcasting audio and video content across the Internet.
Collectively known as Real Media, RealAudio and RealVideo use a technology called streaming. Rather than force you to download an entire media file to your computer before you can play it, this technology allows you to play RealAudio and RealVideo clips over the Internet while they are being downloaded to your computer. To learn more about Real Networks, Inc. products click here.

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Script

A type of computer code that can be directly executed by a program that understands the language in which the script is written. Scripts do not need to be compiled to be run.

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Secure Sockets Layer

SSL - A proposed open standard developed by Netscape Communications for establishing a secure communications channel to prevent the interception of critical information, such as credit card numbers. The primary purpose of SSL is to enable secure electronic financial transactions on the World Wide Web, although it is designed to work with other Internet services as well. This technology, which uses public key encryption, is incorporated into many Web browser and Web servers.

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Server

A computer that offers services on a network. On the World Wide Web, a server is a computer that runs the Web server software that responds to HTTP protocol requests. Also called host.

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Server-side include

SSI - A feature provided by some Web servers that automatically inserts text onto pages when they are fetched by a Web browser.

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Structured Query Language

SQL - A database query and programming language widely used for accessing, querying, updating, and managing data in relational database systems. Using SQL, you can retrieve data from a database, create databases and database objects, add data, modify existing data, and perform other, more complex functions. With SQL, you can also change the server configuration, modify database or session settings, and control data and access statements.

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Telnet

The command and program used to login from one Internet site to another. The telnet command/program gets you to the login: prompt of another host.

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UNIX

A multi-user, multitasking operating system that exists in various forms and implementations, typically used on proprietary computer workstations. Many Web servers run on UNIX systems.

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URL

Uniform Resource Locator - A string that supplies the Internet address of a Web site or resource on the World Wide Web, along with the protocol by which the site or resource is accessed. The most common URL type is http://, which gives the Internet address of a Web page. Some other URL types are gopher://, which gives the Internet address of a gopher directory, and ftp://, which gives the network location of an FTP resource.

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Visual Basic Scripting Edition

VBScript - A subset of the Visual Basic for Applications programming language, optimized for Web-related programming. As with JavaScript, code for Visual Basic, Scripting Edition is embedded in HTML documents. This version is included with Microsoft Internet Explorer. 

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WAN

Wide Area Network - Any internet or network that covers an area larger than a single building or campus.

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Zone file

The group of files that reside on the domain host or name server. The zone file designates a domain, its sub-domains and mail server.

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