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Web Hosting Made Simple

To a Newcomer, web hosting features and terms can be confusing to say the least. We have set out a list of features and terms below along with simple explanations of their meanings so you can better understand which web site hosting package suits your needs.

If this is all too confusing and you just want someone to take care of
it all for you, then try our Managed Hosting

For explanations of items not covered here please visit Comprehensive explanations of many technical terms are available there.

Common Gateway Interface (CGI) programs run on a web server but can be invoked through a web page by visitors to your site. CGI programs can be written in a variety of programming languages including C, C++, Perl and Python. They can be used to perform a wide range of tasks such as processing forms, sending email, building html pages 'on-the-fly' or counting site visitors.

Domain Name System (DNS)
The Domain Name System maps IP addresses (like to domain names (like Due to the distributed nature of the DNS system it can take a few days for changes to propagate themselves around the web to become visible from all locations.

FTP (File Transfer Protocol) is an Internet protocol which can be used to transfer files from one computer to another. FTP can be used to upload your web pages from your local machine onto our servers.

GPG (GNU Privacy Guard) is a complete and free replacement for PGP (Pretty Good Privacy). It is an OpenPGP compliant application which can be used to encrypt sensitive files on your site.

Files or email messages encrypted using GPG can be decrypted using your PGP 5.x software on your local machine.

Hyper Text Markup Language is a formatting language that tells browsers how to format a page.

html is a subset of SGML (Standard Generalized Mark-up Language) which is a vast and complex standard. html's structure is fixed and web browser developers have had to add their own non-standard extensions to provide missing features. This is why web pages often are displayed differently in different browsers.

html can be written as plain text or by using html editors such as FrontPage, DreamWeaver, Composer and many others.

IMAP stands for Internet Message Access Protocol. It is a method of accessing electronic mail or bulletin board messages that are kept on a (possibly shared) mail server.

Java is an object-oriented programming language which is platform independent. It is designed to operate in a distributed computing environment, namely the Internet.

In web programming Java applets can be embedded into web pages to extend the functionality of your site. Please note that our servers do not support servlets.

JavaScript is a popular scripting language and is used in millions of web pages to power rich, interactive content and increasingly powerful web applications. JavaScript code can be included in your html pages and is then executed by your visitors' browsers, rather than being executed on the server. That is, JavaScript is executed on the client side rather than on the server side.

JavaScript is fundamentally different to Java.

Linux is an Open Source variant of UNIX, initially written by Linus Torvalds in 1991 as a re-implementation of UNIX, which can be freely distributed and added to under the GNU Open Source License. Today Linux is a mature, extremely reliable and versatile operating system which comes in several distributions including RedHat, Debian, and Corel.

MySQL is a database management system. A database is a structured collection of data. It may be anything from a simple shopping list to a picture gallery or the vast amounts of information in a corporate network. To add, access, and process data stored in a computer database, you need a database management system such as MySQL. Since computers are very good at handling large amounts of data, database management plays a central role in computing, as stand-alone utilities, or as parts of other applications.

MySQL is a relational database management system. A relational database stores data in separate tables rather than putting all the data in one big storeroom. This adds speed and flexibility. The tables are linked by defined relations making it possible to combine data from several tables on request. The SQL part of MySQL stands for "Structured Query Language" - the most common standardized language used to access databases.

Non-Virtual Domain
A non-virtual domain is a web address of the form Non-virtual domain hosting is less popular than it used to be since domain name registration prices have fallen.

Perl is an interpreted high-level programming language developed by Larry Wall. According to Larry, he included in Perl all the cool features found in other languages and left out those features that weren't so cool.

Perl has become the premier scripting language of the Web, as most CGI programs are written in Perl. However, Perl is widely used as a rapid prototyping language and a "glue" language that makes it possible for different systems to work well together. Perl is popular with system administrators who use it for an infinite number of automation tasks.

Perl's roots are in UNIX but you will find Perl on a wide range of computing platforms. Because Perl is an interpreted language, Perl programs are highly portable across systems.

PHP is an html-embedded server-side scripting language. Much of its syntax is borrowed from C, Java and Perl with a couple of unique PHP-specific features thrown in. The goal of the language is to allow web developers to write dynamically generated pages quickly.

When a PHP page is requested, it passes through the PHP interpreter on the server, which performs the operations specified in the script and outputs html, which is sent to the browser that requested it.

PHP is especially powerful when used in conjunction with a database management system such as MySQL.

Post Office Protocol is a protocol designed to allow single user computers to retrieve electronic mail from a POP server. This is the most common protocol used to retrieve mail from our servers.

Python is an interpreted, interactive, object-oriented programming language. It is often compared to Tcl, Perl, Scheme or Java.

Python combines remarkable power with very clear syntax. It has modules, classes, exceptions, very high level dynamic data types, and dynamic typing. There are interfaces to many system calls and libraries, as well as to various windowing systems (X11, Motif, Tk, Mac, MFC). New built-in modules are easily written in C or C++. Python is also usable as an extension language for applications that need a programmable interface.

Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) is used to transfer mail reliably and efficiently. Once a message has been sent and delivered using SMTP, it is usually retrieved from the final mailbox using the POP or IMAP protocols.

Secure Shell (SSH) is a secure replacement for telnet. It encrypts all traffic, and provides various levels of authentication depending on your needs. Main features of Secure Shell include secure remote logins, file copying, and tunneling TCP and X11 traffic. SSH is running on our servers. All you need to do to access it is SSH client software - please see our Download Library to get your free copy today.

UNIX is an extremely robust and reliable operating system that is widely used for networked environments.

UNIX has a unique development history. Since the fist version was created in 1974, UNIX has been released by various vendors including Sun Microsystems, IBM and Silicon Graphics with contributions from Universities and Computing Professionals. The open source evolution of the UNIX operating system is an especially good way of creating the best possible software with a significant number of contributors and stringent testing and peer reviews of any new additions.

Virtual Domain
A virtual domain allows you to have your own domain name ( without having to install expensive server hardware and software. We allocate space on our servers for your use. Your space can be accessed through the web at and email can be sent to you at




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