E-Commerce Web Hosting Glossary
ASP / .ASP (Active Server Pages)
ASP has come to have numerous meanings in the technology/computing/internet
world. ASP is a term for application service provider, and is a
new term meaning to provide a hosted application. An application
might be to run a virus application from a website which in turn
scours your local hard drive. The application is never installed
on your machine. Another might be to provide accounting or billing
or warehouse software from a remote location. Neotrope offers an
e-commerce solution through its BlueSpin.com website that works
in this way — you rent space as part of a larger application
which we host.
".asp" can also refer to active server pages, an outgrowth
of server side includes and tag-based HTML extensions created by
Microsoft and used almost exclusively on Windows NT machines. A
scripting language which allows you to design Web pages that can
make displaying, manipulating and editing databases simpler.
A high-speed line or series of connections that forms a major pathway
within a network. On the Internet there are several major backbone
providers like BBN Internet , MCI/SprintLink, and US West.
Amount of data you can send through a connection. Usually measured
in bits-per-second (bps). A 56K modem transfers data up to 53Kbps,
or 53,000 bits-per-second. Terms is also sometimes used in place
of "data transfer."
CGI (Common Gateway Interface)
A set of rules that describe how a Web Server communicates with
another piece of software on the same machine
Ability for the customer to write custom programs to manipulate
data on their Web site.
Any software application (and sometimes used to describe the computer
itself) connected to the server and run to send/retrieve data to
a server is called a client, such as a web browser. This relationship
between the "client" and the "server" is often
referred to as a "client server relationship."
Refers to having a server that belongs to one group physically located
on an Internet-connected network that belongs to another group.
Usually done because the server owner wants their machine to be
on a high-speed Internet connection and/or they do not want the
security risks of having the server on thier own network.
Custom Error Messages
Refers to the ability to create custom pages on a hosting account
to replace default 404 and other error pages.
This is the amount of data that you are allowed to transfer with
your account. Data is this case usually referrs to images and text.
Typically refers to a data transfer allotment, most often in GB
(gigabytes). Thus, a hosting plan might come with, "3GB of
data transfer." 500 MB of data transfer is equivilant to about
25,000 page views.
To access and update a Web site, hosting customers need dial-up
access to the Internet (see ISP). Techically, xDSL would still be
considered a dial-up account since you don't have a dedicated wire
for data transfer.
Disk Space (Storage Space)
Amount of hard disk space available for storage of all Web pages,
HTML, CGI-bin programs, e-mail, log files, images, sound clips,
audio, video clips, etc. 1MB equals one megabyte, or approximately
milllion bytes. A 100K file would be 100,000 bytes.
The unique name that identifies an Internet site. Domain Names always
have 2 or more parts, separated by dots. The part on the left is
the most specific, and the part on the right is the most general.
Domain Name Registration
Refers to registering a name which can be used for hosting a domain
name, such as www.yourname.com.
Connection to Internet Backbone favored by most medium-size Web
hosting providers. More than 28 times the bandwidth of a T-1 connection.
Electronic Commerce (E-Commerce)
Allows Website customers to sell products and services online and
accept payment at the same time, usually through a cgi-script of
E-mail forwarders and aliases are e-mail addresses such as email@example.com
which do not have a username/password as a "POP" account
would. Instead, you would set up firstname.lastname@example.org to forward
to a real POP account such as email@example.com. The
only real distinction between an alias and a forward, is than an
alias will likely forward to another existing account at the same
domain, whereas a forward might be sent to another e-mail account
with an ISP: such as firstname.lastname@example.org being forwarded to email@example.com
E-Mail Autoresponders/Vacation Messages
Allow customers to set up an automatic message to respond to anyone
who sends email to the customer.
In the DOS/Windows computer world, and UNIX as well, almost every
file (anything on your computer that isn't a folder is a file in
this context) must have some kind of extension. Example: index.htm
would be a filename, where ".htm" is the file extension.
On a PC in particular the operating system needs an extesion in
order to determine what kind of file it is, and what to do with
it when it is activated. With the internet, you may see extensions
like .exe, .cgi, .asp, .htm, .jsp, .cfm, .tam, .html, .shtml, .pl,
and many others. It is important to note that in some cases you
have to be aware of the proper extension to use for a file depending
on the environment in which the file will be used.
File Transfer Protocol (FTP)
Short for "file transfer protocol," FTP is a method for
transferring data to/from web servers via a slightly different method
than used by web browsers (which use the http method). FTP software
is used to upload files to your virtual, shared, or dedicated web
server site. FTP can also be used for direct downloads of files
and images from a web server without being served from the public
html directory (anonymous FTP). FTP access to a web server requires
a password and username in order to gain access to the file/folder
directories of a virtual domain.
Microsoft's FrontPage 2000 software is a Web site development software
package. It uses unique Microsoft file types (often referred to
as "Microsoft extensions"). A Web server and virtual domain
must be configured to accept these extensions.
Software needed by the customer to upload content files to their
FTP Site/Anonymous FTP
Anonymous FTP is a dedicated area on a virtual or dedicated hosting
domain for download of files, and even upload of files to an "incoming"
folder. FTP is a special way to login to another Internet site for
the purposes of retrieving and/or sending files.
The first page in the public directory of a domain, usually index.html.
Called thome page because it's the first page that loads from a
An institution that provides Web space to companies or individuals,
usually for money.
Hyper-Text Markup Language. The basic page instruction language
used to create web pages. Far easier for basic pages to use than
some might think because many commands are simple such as ""
for bold text. It can be more complex as you get into newer versions
which allow for floating layers, tables, style sheets, and features
which don't work across all web browsers.
Text which links to other content by being an in-context link. The
basis of the original text-only internet page structure. Any word
can be a link to another page, idea, image or internet site, thus
the "hyper" in the term. The actual link is called a "hyper
Internet Protocol address. A number analagous to a street address
on the Web. See IP Number. When the internet was invented many years
ago, there needed to be a way to identify one computer from another.
The "IP" or "internet protocol" address has
been used since then. In fact many corporate networks assign IPs
to desktop computers without the employee knowing that they've been
using Internet related technology for years, whether connected to
the internet or not. When a Web server is setup, it has its own
IP address to identify itself on the local network. Each virtual
server is given its own static (non-changing) IP address as if it
were its own machine.
IP Number (Internet Protocol Number)
Sometimes called a dotted quad. A unique number consisting of 4
parts separated by dots, e.g. 22.214.171.124
Internet Presence Provider. Another name for a hosting provider.
Internet Service Provider (see Dial-Up access). An ISP is a service
provider who creates the connection from your home or office to
the Internet. It's how you connect. Your ISP does not need to be
your hosting provider, or vice versa. This generally refers to how
you access the internet with your computer. Specifically, it is
the company you signed up with and where you "dial in"
to connect to the web. If you have an account with Earthlink, then
your ISP will be Earthlink.
An open-source server-based mailing list system, sometimes called
a "reflector" or "list server" (ListServ is
actually a similar product) because any message sent by a member
to the list is re-sent ("reflected") to all the other
A million bytes. (Technically, actually 1024 kilobytes).
NOC (Network Operation Center)
Sometimes called a Datacenter. This is the term for a secure, managed
network environment which may house tens or thousands of Web servers
with power backup and high-speed connections to the Internet Backbone.
NOCs usually have a mixture of OC-3 and DS-3 connections, or higher
The name used by Microsoft for its business class operating system,
called Windows NT (for "new technology"). Windows NT includes
a rudimentary web server system, and other tools used to create
local networks. Windows NT is useful for creating low-cost websites
because NT will run on inexpensive hardware and has familiar tools
to Windows 95/98 users. However, in practice, it has been found
to be about as buggy as Windows itself, and is shunned by many web
hosting purists because of its unreliablity relative to the more
expensive UNIX hardware/software platform. Neotrope no longer offers
WindowsNT hosting services, although we can recommend dedicated
hosting providers who do.
Ultra-fast connectivity for their mission-critical Internet needs,
ranging from 60- 155 Mbps of service. Up to 3 times more bandwidth
capability than a T-3.
A protocol used to retrieve e-mail from a mail server. Most e-mail
applications (sometimes called an e-mail client) use the POP protocol,
although some can use the newer IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol)
or APOP. POP stands for "post office protocol" not your
dear old dad. A "pop" account is any real e-mail account
which uses a password and username to retrieve mail from a virtual
server. The username would be firstname.lastname@example.org and the password
would usually be a mixture of letters and numbers.
The Primary Domain Name Server for the customer's domain. These
are the DNS IP numbers, usually preceeded by "ns.name.com"
and "ns2.name.com" and a domain must point at a DNS for
it to "resolve" to a local virtual location.
Secure Server (SSL)
Secure Socket Layer (SSL) protocol. Requires use of a certificate
for secure access. A Secure Socket Layer does not provide for credit
card clearing or any other form of payment processing. It only provides
a facility for secure transactions across the Internet. Some hosting
providers allow use of a "shared" certificate.
In a modern computing environment there are usually two kinds of
computer classifications when more than one is connected together
to create a network. The server is the computer which provides data
and is the central repository, and/or gatekeeper between multiple
"client" computers. A server can also be called a "host"
because it hosts the data "served" to "clients."
Server Side Includes
Server side includes (or SSI) is a set of tags which can be used
within HTML pages to be replaced by something else, added ("included")
by the server. An example might be that you have one file with copyright
information which goes on the bottom of every page. By using a SSI
tag, you could tell the server to replace every tag on every page
with the copyright information. The benefit is that you could have
one file containing the copyright information that gets placed on
hundreds of pages on your site. By updating the single page, all
the others are instantly updated when loaded by the server. On most
servers you must use a filename extension of ".shtml"
in order for SSI tags to operate.
A UNIX shell account to their shared server Web site, allows a customers
to update their Web site content using Telnet.
A leased-line connection capable of carrying data at 1,544,000 bits-per-second.
At maximum theoretical capacity, a T-1 line could move a megabyte
in less than 10 seconds. That is still not fast enough for full-screen,
full-motion video, for which you need at least 10,000,000 bits-per-second.
A leased-line connection capable of carrying data at 44,736,000
bits-per-second. This is more than enough to do full-screen, full-motion
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.
Total amount of data transferred from the customer's Web site to
clients. Includes all HTML, Web pages, images, sounds, videos, etc.
See Data Transfer.
An operating system used on business-class computers typically used
as "servers" which serve databases, websites, or other
corporate applications. UNIX has numerous variants including IRIX
(SGI), Solaris (Sun), and derivitives including Linux, Apple OSX,
URL (Uniform Resource Locator)
The standard way to give the address of any resource on the Internet
that is part of the World Wide Web (WWW). A URL looks like this:
Virtual hosting describes a remote web server which is "host"
to numerous domain names, where each domain name owner has all of
the features of having a dedicated (on site) server. Virtual hosting
provides for most of the same features of a dedicated server but
is located in a high speed dedicated data center costing millions
of dollars. The cost to maintain a virtual server for each site
owner is a fraction of the cost of a dedicated server, with most
of the benefits.
A computer, or a software package, that provides a specific kind
of service to client software running on other computers. The term
can refer to a particular piece of software (such as Apache or WebStar)
or to the machine on which the software is running.
A Web site is a collection of Web pages that reside together on
the World Wide Web and are connected. Web site also refers to the
server space allocated to a specific customer in a shared "virtual"
server environment. NeotropeHosting.com would be a "Web site,"
while the page you are reading now would be a "Web page."
Web Site Traffic Reporting
Reporting software to provide information such as the frequency
of hits, page views, amount of data transfer, and total transfer
sizes. Popular reporting tools include Analog, Webalizer, and WebTrends.