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 WhatIs.com.
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
Domain Name System (DNS)
The Domain Name System maps IP addresses (like 126.96.36.199) to domain names (like you.com).
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
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.
be included in your html pages and is then executed by your visitors' browsers, rather than
on the server side.
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.
A non-virtual domain is a web address of the form yourdomain.com/sitename/. 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
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
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.
A virtual domain allows you to have your own domain name (http://www.yourname.com) 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 http://www.yourname.com and email can
be sent to you at firstname.lastname@example.org.