Web Hosting Glossary

Anonymous FTP

This stands for Anonymous File Transfer Protocol. This protocol allows anyone to access your site's file storage with a single set of login credentials thus allowing for easy distribution of file downloads. This technology is most useful for people who intend to provide downloads for public consumption.


This is a script that will automatically send a response by e-mail when it accepts incoming e-mail.


The data transfer allotted to a user in a single pay period. This transfer limit is approached any time someone accesses your site to view text, images, sounds, videos, or other forms of data. Higher amounts of page views generally result in larger amounts of bandwidth being consumed.

Control Panel

A control panel is an interface for managing a web hosting service. This tool will often include many important functions such as rebooting the server, uploading files, and viewing key analytics for the website.


A database is an organized collection of data that can be optimized for searching and sorting.

Dedicated Server

Dedicated servers are the most powerful web hosting option, often useful for websites that consume a very large amount of memory and disk-space. A dedicated server is when an entire server is provisioned for a single account which has access to all the resources available on the machine. A dedicated server is much more expensive when compared with a basic web hosting service. If you intend to have a personal website or run a small business, in most cases you won't need to buy a dedicated server.

Disk Space

Space which can be consumed by permanent data files, such as images, videos, and webpages. Sites which plan to host user files and videos will require a large amount of disk space.

Domain Name

A domain is an alias that converts a string of letters into a server IP. Domain names are often used to make easy-to-remember links to sites. Each domain is part of a larger hierarchy that connects a Top-Level Domain (.com, .org, .net, etc.) and subdomains (google.com, www.google.com, etc.).

E-Mail Forwarding

When an e-mail is received it is automatically sent to another e-mail account that you have specified. E-Mail forwarding can be very useful for managing multiple personal and business accounts.


A website creation tool that helps graphically edit .html files, created by Microsoft.

FrontPage Extensions

A set of additions for Microsoft FrontPage that helps with the creation of interactive and more complex websites.


File Transfer Protocol. A method of uploading and downloading data from a website. FTP is often used by web hosts to allow the owner of a site to upload files to the server.


Gigabyte. 1024 MB (Megabytes).


Internet Message Access Protocol. A protocol which allows e-mail messages on a server to be accessed remotely by tools such as Mozilla Thunderbird and Microsoft Outlook.

IP Address

Internet Protocol Address. A number issued by an Internet Service Provider (ISP) that uniquely identifies a computer on the Internet.


Kilobyte. 1024 bytes.


Megabyte. 1024 KB (kilobytes).


MySQL is one of the most popular database management systems on the Internet. Most Unix-based servers will include MySQL.


A programming language that is occasionally used on a webserver in place of PHP.


As the most common server-side programming language, PHP scripts can be embedded in a web page allowing for dynamic content to be created and accessed from within a database.


Post Office Protocol; using POP3 protocol you can download your e-mail to your computer and then manage it with mail user agents like Outlook or Thunderbird even if you have no Internet connection (offline email).


A computer which has been set up to accept connections over the Internet and serve data. Often servers are configured for the HTTP protocol so that they can serve web pages.

Setup Fee

A fee which is paid upon initiation of web hosting.

Shared Web Hosting

With shared hosting, a single server is provisioned into multiple 'slices' which act like virtual machines and share the same pool of resources. Shared hosting is often cheaper than dedicated hosting.

Shopping Cart Software

Software that manages a virtual 'shopping cart' so that users can purchase multiple items in a single transaction. Shopping carts are vital for websites designed to accommodate e-commerce. Many platforms include basic shopping cart services for free, but some may come with additional costs.


Simple Mail Transfer Protocol. A protocol for sending e-mail. SMTP protocol allows you to send e-mail using mail user agents like Microsoft Outlook or Thunderbird.


Structured Query Language. A programming language that handles database operations and allows users to access, update, and manage data through a relational system.


Server Side Includes is a system to assist in updating content on web sites. Developers often use SSI to create modular content added with .shtml files.

Static (Dedicated) IP Address

A permanent and unchanging IP address. When a site has a static IP, the IP address is mapped only to that individual site and is completely interchangable with the domain name.


A discrete division of a web domain that is handled separately by a web server. An example is community.mywebsite.com.


The frequency that a site is available to users.


UNIX is the foundation for Linux, Mac, BSD, and Solaris operating systems. UNIX-based operating systems are used by the majority of web hosting services.

Virtual Private Server (VPS)

A shared hosting solution in which each user is given a discrete 'slice' of system resources.

Virtual Web Hosting

Shared hosting in which multiple users share the same machine resources.

Web-based E-Mail

A special interface which allows you to access and manage your e-mail with a web browser. If your web hosting supports Web-based E-Mail Access, you don't necessarily have to use mail user agents like Outlook or Thunderbird to manage your e-mail.

Web Statistics

Analytical data that can provide insight into the way users connect to and use your web server.

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