[ glossary ]



A piece of software running on your computer that allows you to view web sites. The most popular browsers today (2004) are: Internet Explorer (Win and Mac), browsers of the Mozilla family (Win, Mac, Linux), Opera (Win, Mac, Linux) and Safari (Mac).

TIP: Ideally, your web site should look and work the same on all browsers.

CGI (Common Gateway Interface)

A CGI (common gateway interface) program is a program that forms web pages "on the fly" using data from the web server and, possibly, from an online form.

An example of such a program is a mailing list subscription program. Other examples include simple text search programs, discussion boards, guestbooks, and so on.


A server is colocated when it's owned by client but physically placed on web hosting provider's premises. Colocation allows the client to create custom confiugration on their server and avoid equipment rental fees. Client pays for the bandwidth and rack space. Read more about Colocation Web Hosting

Domain Name

A unique identifier for web sites. For example, this site's domain name is "webhostingmenu.com". Domain names have two parts - the name itself and the "top-level domain" - for example, ".com", ".net", ".org".

DNS (Domain Name System)

In reality, web sites have numeric addresses. A system for converting domain names and host names into numeric IP addresses is called the "Domain Name System". DNS records are maintained by special servers around the globe called "DNS Servers".

FTP (File Transfer Protocol)

A protocol for uploading and downloading content to/from your web site. The protocol was very popular in the 1990's. However, for security reasons, many providers now allow only modified (secure) versions of it.


The word has two meanings:
  1. Web hosting provider
  2. Host name - the string identifier of a specific machine which can be running Internet services - for example, search.yahoo.com.

HTML (Hypertext Markup Language)

The mark-up language which is used on the majority of the Internet's web site pages.

IP Address

A logical address used to identify a computer or any other type of networked device. ("Logical" here means that the address is configured through software - as opposed to the "physical" address which is given to the device at the factory).

ISP (Internet Service Provider)

A company that provides Internet connection for your home or office. Your web hosting company may or may not be the same as your ISP.


A popular programming language. Java (in its server-side version, "servlets") is used extensively in creating server-side programs.


A simple scripting language allowing to add interactivity to web pages. For example, JavaScript code can help you verify parameters that are being submitted via online form and alert the user if anything is wrong (e.g. there are letters instead of numbers in the zip code field).


Interpreted language. Perl is often used for creating CGI programs. Perl is very useful for data and string parsing (such as analyzing parameters from online forms).


A scripting language.

POP (Post Office Protocol)

A method of retrieval of electronic mail.

SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol)

Protocol used for Internet mail delivery. You need to connect to an SMTP server in order to send electronic mail.

SSL (Secure Socket Layer)

A protocol for enabling encrypted communications with web sites. See Web Hosting With SSL for further information.


A suite of network protocols used on the Internet (as well as on many other networks).


A popular operating system which was designed with resource sharing and networking in mind. Today's most popular UNIX-based and UNIX-like operating systems include Mac OS X (the FreeBSD), Sun Solaris and Linux. All three are used for web hosting. The only major non-UNIX system in web hosting today is Microsoft Windows.