of Technical Terms
A Record (Address Record) - An
entry in your DNS table (zone file) that maps each domain
name (e.g. you.com) or subdomain (e.g. abc.you.com)
to an IP Address. In other words, the A record specifies
the IP address to which the user would be sent for each
domain name. For example, you can have abc.you.com point
to one IP address, and xyz.you.com point to a different
Anonymous FTP - A method for allowing
the public to download files using FTP (File Transfer
Protocol) so that they don't have to identify themselves.
Usually the username "anonymous" should be
used, and either the password is provided by the FTP
server, or anything may be used as the password.
Applet - A small Java program which
is cross-platform compatible and can be embedded in
the HTML of a web page. Web browsers, which are usually
equipped with Java virtual machines, can run the applets
to perform interactive graphics, games, calculators,
etc. "Applets" differ from "Java applications"
in that they are more secure -- they can't access certain
resources on the local computer, such as hard drives,
modems, and printers; and they can only make an Internet
connection to the computer from which the applet was
ASP - Abbreviation for "Active
Server Pages". ASP is a server-side scripting language.
ASP commands are embedded within HTML documents (with
.asp extension) to provide dynamic content. ASP is often
supported by web hosts using a NT server.
Backbone - A "large"
transmission line (or series of connections) that forms
a major pathway within a network, and carries data gathered
from smaller lines that interconnect with it. The term
is relative -- a backbone in a small network can be
much smaller than non-backbone lines in a larger network.
Bandwidth - The amount of data
passing through a connection over a given time. It is
usually measured in bps (bits-per-second) or Mbps.
Bit - Short for "binary digit".
A bit is a single digit number in base-2, or in other
words, either a 0 or a 1.
bps - Abbreviation for "bits
per second". It is a measure of bandwidth. For
example, a 28.8 modem can transfer 28,800 bits per second.
Browser - A client software program
which allows the user to view and navigate through web
sites, and download or upload files. The most commonly
used browsers are Microsoft Internet Explorer, Netscape
Navigator, Firefox, Mozilla, and Opera.
Byte - A set of bits (normally
8, but sometimes more) that represent data, such as
a single text character.
Catch-all Email Account - An email
account which allows any email of the form, firstname.lastname@example.org,
to be forwarded or placed into a single email address.
For example, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com,
will all be sent to the same email address. Often hosts
allow you to also specify particular email addresses
to be forwarded to different email addresses, in addition
to the catch-all email which sends any other email address
to one designated email address.
CGI - Abbreviation for "Common
Gateway Interface". This is an interface standard
which provides a method of executing a server-side program
(script) from a web site to generate a web page with
dynamic content. Scripts conforming to this standard
may be written in any programming language that produces
an executable file, but are most often written in Perl,
Python, C, C++, or TCL.
CNAME Record (Canonical Name Record)
- An entry in your DNS table (zone file) that aliases
a FQDN to another FQDN (i.e. www.your-domain.com ->
your-domain.com). In other words, the CNAME record specifies
another domain to which the user would be redirected.
Cold Fusion - A scripting language
for interfacing databases and advanced web development.
Cold Fusion supports databases such as Microsoft Access,
FoxPro, dBASE, and Paradox.
Domain name - The unique name which
identifies an Internet web site. Domain names have two
or more parts, separated by periods (dots). www.greenwebdesign.com
is a domain name. Also see the definition for FQDN (Fully
Qualified Domain Name).
Domain Name System (DNS) - The
way that nameservers translate Internet domain names
to the corresponding IP addresses.
Email Forwarding - An email service
in which your email is automatically sent (forwarded)
from one or more email address, to another (possibly
several) specified email address. "Unlimited email
forwarding" may refer to: (1) a catch-all email
account; (2) the ability to specify any number of email
aliases (each of which may have a different forwarding
address); or (3) a combination of both.
Editor - Most free web site providers
provide a program (editor) to edit the HTML code of
web pages online. "Basic" means you edit the
HTML code directly in the editor. "Advanced"
means the editor will generate the the web page for
you after you make some selections, so you never see
the HTML code (good if you don't know HTML).
Encryption - Processing and altering
data so only the intended recipient can read or use
it. The recipient of the encrypted data must have the
proper decryption key and program to decipher the data
back to its original form.
FFA - Abbreviation for "Free
For All". FFA refers to web page scripts that automatically
update a links listing when someone submits their URL
to it (usually in hopes either someone will view the
page and click on their link, or search engines will
index the page with their URL). These are often submitted
to by automated programs which submit to hundreds of
FFAs at a time. Often the FFA service requires the submitter
to give an email address, to which they send SPAM. For
this reason, we recommend having one or more "junk"
email addresses rather than giving out your real email
Firewall - A combination of software
and hardware which, for security purposes, separates
a LAN into two or more parts, or partially isolates
a network from the Internet.
Forum - A script on a web site
with a submission form that allows visitors to post
messages on your web site for others to read. These
messages are usually sorted within discussion categories,
or topics, chosen by the host, or possibly the visitor.
A forum is also called a " web board" or a
FQDN (Fully Qualified Domain Name)
- A complete domain name consisting of a host, the
second-level domain, and the top-level domain. For example,
www.greenwebdesign.com is a FQDN. www is the host; greenwebdesign
is the second-level domain; and .com is the top level
FrontPage [Microsoft] - A commercial,
WYSIWYG, HTML editor for creating, editing, managing,
and uploading web sites. Some of the special features
of the program (such as a graphical counter, forms,
database, etc.) require that the web site be uploaded
to a server which supports Microsoft FrontPage extensions.
FrontPage inserts alot of proprietary code into the
pages you create with it, and is not really recommended
for anyone but the most basic users. If you would like
a more fully functional website with special features,
hire a real web designer who does not utilize this program!
FrontPage Extensions - Also called
FrontPage server extensions. These are a set of server-side
scripts and programs which enable users of Microsoft
FrontPage to use its special components (called Web
Bots). The extensions can be installed for Microsoft
Internet Information Services (IIS) and on other Windows
(usually Windows NT) and UNIX web servers.
FTP - Abbreviation for "File
Transfer Protocol". FTP is an Internet standard
for transferring files over the Internet. FTP programs
and utilities are used to upload and download web pages,
graphics, and other files from your hard drive to a
remote server which allows FTP access. Two commonly
used free FTP programs are WS_FTP and CuteFTP.
Gigabyte (GB) - 1024 Megabytes
(MB), which is 2^30 bytes, or 1,073,741,824 bytes. It
is sometimes used to refer to 1000 Megabytes.
Google Page Rank (GPR) - Google
ranks websites in their directory using a measure referred
to as GPR. For more information on the Google PageRank
Guestbook - A "guest book"
is a script on a web page with a form which allows web
site visitors to "sign in" and leave comments
or questions, which optionally may or may not be viewed
by other visitors.
Homepage - (1) The home page is
the first web page that is displayed after starting
a web browser (such as Microsoft Internet Explorer or
Netscape Navigator). (2) The home page also refers to
the intended beginning page of a web site on the Internet,
usually given by default if the root domain is given
without specifying the file name (for example, the URL
http://www.greenwebdesign.com/ will load the home page
for greenwebdesign.com, in this case a file named index.html).
Host - A computer located on a
network that provides file storage or services to other
computers on the network.
Hosting - Every web page, email,
file, or online service is stored ("hosted")
on a computer (called a "server") that is
connected to the Internet.
.htaccess - This is the default
name of a configuration file that contains "server
directives" (commands known by the server) that
tell the server how to behave. One common use for an
.htaccess file is to restrict access (password-protection)
to specific files or directories on the Internet or
intranet, or to specify a particular web page to be
accessed when there the file requested by the browser
is not found (error 404).
HTML - Abbreviation for "HyperText
Markup Language". HTML is the coding language used
to create Hypertext documents (web pages) for use on
the Internet. HTML files are intended to be viewed using
a browser such as Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator.
HTTP - Abbreviation for "HyperText
Transport Protocol". HTTP is the Internet protocol
for transferring hypertext files. It requires the host
to use an HTTP server program, and the viewer to use
a HTTP client program (see definition for "browser").
iHTML - Abbreviation for "inline
html". iHTML is a server-side programming language
for developing dynamic Internet content. For more info,
IP Number - Short for Internet
Protocol Number. This is a unique number consisting
of 4 numbers, each between 0 and 255, separated by periods
(e.g. 188.8.131.52). Every computer that is connected
to the Internet has a unique IP number to identify it.
The IP number is also called a "IP address"
or "dotted quad".
ISP - Abbreviation for "Internet
Service Provider". An ISP is an institution that
provides access to the Internet. For example, Time Warner
offers Roadrunner, or you may have Earthlink, AOL, ExecPC,
CoreComm, etc. There are thousands of ISP's in the US
who provide local and nationwide service.
Java - A network-oriented programming
language developed by Sun Microsystems. It was specifically
designed for writing scripts, or programs, that can
be safely downloaded to any type of computer through
the Internet and immediately run without the fear of
viruses or other damage to your computer. By making
use of small Java programs (called "Applets"),
web pages can include functions such as calculators,
animations, and interactive games.
for use in web pages that allows the use of dynamic
content. In spite of the similarity in name to Java,
it is not closely related to Java.
Kbps - Abbreviation for "Kilobits
per second", which is 1000 bits per second. It
is a measure of bandwidth.
Kilobyte (KB) - 1024 bytes (1024
is 2^10), but sometimes used to refer to 1000 bytes.
Mbps - Abbreviation for "Millions
of Bits Per Second", or "MegaBits Per Second".
It is a measure of bandwidth.
Megabyte (MB) - 1024 kilobytes
(KB). 1024 is 2^20 bytes, which is 1,048,576 bytes.
A megabyte usually refers to 1,000,000 bytes when used
to describe disk storage capacity and transmission rates.
Message Board - A script on a web
site with a submission form that allows visitors to
post messages on your web site for others to read. These
messages are usually sorted within discussion categories,
or topics, chosen by the host, or possibly the visitor.
A message board is also called a "web board"
or a "forum".
MP3 - Short for Mpeg Layer 3. MP3
is an audio compression standard for encoding music.
MP3 files have a file extension ".mp3".
MX record (eMail eXchanger) - An
MX record is an entry in your DNS table (zone file)
that controls where email is sent for the domain name.
MySQL - An Open Source Software
relational database management system which uses a subset
of ANSI SQL (Structured Query Language). For more information,
Name Server (Nameserver) - A program
or computer that translates names from one form into
another. For example, a DNS or "Domain Name Server"
(also called a "host server") performs the
mapping of domain names to IP numbers.
Newsgroups - The name for discussion
groups (forums) on USENET. A newsgroup is a discussion
about a particular subject consisting of messages submitted
by many users. Newsgroups may be "moderated"
by a designated person who decides which postings to
allow or delete, but most newsgroups are unmoderated.
OCx - Optical Carrier levels -
Used to specify the speed of fiber optic networks. The
base rate (OC-1) is 51.84 Mbps. OC-2 runs at twice the
base rate, OC-3 at three times the base rate (155.52
Mbps), etc. Planned rates are: OC-1, OC-3, OC-12 (622.08
Mpbs), OC-24 (1.244 Gbps), and OC-48 (2.488 Gbps).
OC-3 - A network line which transmits
155.52 Mbps. This is the size of the largest Internet
backbone providers networks. See OCx - Optical Carrier
Perl - A server-side scripting
language which is commonly used to write CGI programs.
Perl programs, or "scripts", are text files
which are parsed (run through and executed) by a program
called an "interpreter" on the server.
PHP - A server-side scripting language.
The PHP commands, which are embedded in the web page's
HTML, are executed on the web server to generate dynamic
HTML pages. See php.net.
Python - An interpreted, object-oriented
programming language. Python is copyrighted, but the
source code is freely available and open for modification
RealAudio / RealVideo - A client-server
software system and file format by Real Networks that
allows Internet users to play audio and/or video-based
multimedia content in real-time as they are being downloaded
(called "streaming media"), instead of the
user having to download the complete file before being
able to play it.
RealMedia - RealAudio and RealVideo
formats are collectively called RealMedia.
SMTP - Abbreviation for Simple
Mail Transport Protocol. SMTP is the main Internet protocol
used to send email.
Spam - An inappropriate attempt
to use email, USENET, or another networked communications
facility as if it was a broadcast medium (which it isn't)
by sending the same message to numerous people who didn't
ask for it. Many email services have "SPAM filters"
to help reduce the amount of spam emails. For more information
on fighting SPAM, click here.
SSI - Abbreviation for "Server-Side
Includes". A server-side scripting language. SSI
scripting commands are embedded within a web page and
are parsed and executed on the web server to generate
dynamic HTML pages. Common uses of SSI are to include
files (e.g. a header or footer file) that are used on
multiple pages, or to show the current date and time.
SSL - Abbreviation for Secure Sockets
Layer. SSL is a transaction security standard that provides
data encryption, server authentication, and message
integrity. SSL is usually used on sites that accept
credit card numbers or other private information.
Subdomain - Sub-domains are domain
names with the form, anything.yourdomain.com. By definition,
a subdomain should not have the prefix of "www".
In order to access this domain with the "www"
prefix (i.e. www.anything.yourdomain.com), you would
have to create a "sub-third-level domain"
with the prefix "www.anything".
T-1 - A leased-line connection
to the Internet which can transfer data at 1.544 Mbps.
A T-1 line could transfer a megabyte in less than 10
seconds if at maximum theoretical capacity. A T-1 line
contains 24 individual channels, each of which can transfer
data at 64 Kbps. Each of these 24 channels can transfer
voice or data traffic. Many telephone companies will
allow you to buy a portion of these individual channels,
called "fractional T-1 access". T-1 lines
are also called DS1 lines.
T-3 - A leased-line connection
to the Internet which can transfer data at 44.736 Mbps.
It is used mainly by ISPs (Internet Service Providers)
connecting to the Internet backbone. A T-3 line contains
672 individual channels, each of which can transfer
data at 64 Kbps. T-3 lines are also called DS3 lines.
Telnet - An Internet protocol for
accessing a remote server on the Internet. When you
log into the remote server using a Telnet program, you
receive a command line prompt for the server that you
can give commands to. Telnet is also known as "remote
Terabyte - 1024 gigabytes (GB),
but sometimes used to refer to 1000 gigabytes.
URL - Abbreviation for "Uniform
Resource Locator" - The web address (location)
of a web site, file, or resource on the Internet. For
example, http://www.greenwebdesign.com/ is a URL.
USENET - A worldwide system of
discussion groups, only part of which can be accessed
through the Internet. USENET contains well over 10,000
discussion areas, or forums, called "newsgroups".
Web address - The location, or
URL, of a web site, file, or resource on the Internet.
For example, http://www.greenwebdesign.com/ is a web
Web hosting (or webhosting) - Data
storage space accessed via the Internet, usually used
to host web sites and data files.
Web page - An HTML document which
has its own web address, or URL. The first page usually
requested at a web site is called the "home page".
Using frames, multiple pages (HTML files) can be viewed
in a browser and arranged in designated sections of
the display screen at the same time -- these can also
collectively be called a "web page".
Web server - (1) A computer program
that serves the requested files which form web pages
to the client's browser. (2) A web server can also refer
to the computer that runs the server software and holds
the files for one or more web sites.
Web site (or website) - A collection
of interlinked web pages with a related topic, usually
under a single domain name, which includes an intended
starting file called a "home page". From the
home page, you can get to all the other pages on the
web site. Also called a "web presence".
Whois - An Internet utility program
that obtains information (such as owner and contact
info) about a Domain name or IP number from the database
of a domain name registry. If the search result returns
"No match", the domain name is probably available,
and you can apply to register it. To search for a domain
name across all registrars at once, you can use BetterWhois.
WYSIWYG - An acronym for "What
You See Is What You Get". A WYSIWYG program is
one that allows you to create and edit a web page, text,
or graphical user interface so that you can see what
the end result will look like while the document is
being created. WYSIWYG web page editors conceal the
markup language (HTML) so as to allow the user to think
entirely in terms of how the page should appear. Microsoft
FrontPage and Adobe PageMill are two common WYSIWYG
editors. This type of editor is usually used by the
inexperienced/unskilled person who just wants to create
one website, fast, without having to hire anyone. You
can usually tell when someone has used such a program
to create a website, because it lacks advanced functionality,
may have broken or strangely sized/placed graphics,
XML (Extensible Markup Language) -
a specification, similar to HTML, developed by the
World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) for Web documents. XML
contains markup symbols (tags) to describe the contents
of a page or file, but unlike HTML, the markup symbols
are unlimited and self-defining (i.e. designers can
create their own customized tags and tag definitions).
XML is a subset of SGML (Standard Generalized Markup
Zone file - A file on a nameserver
that designates a domain name with all of its associated
subdomains, IP addresses, and mail server. Parts of
the zone file include the A record, CNAME, and MX records.
A zone file is also called a "DNS table".