Hosting Glossary

ASP (Active Server Pages) | Auto Responder | Bandwidth | CGI, CGI-BIN | Domain Name | E-mail | FTP | POP3 E-mail | IP Address | Name Server | Server Side Includes (SSI) | Spam (Spamming) | Second Level Domain |


» ASP(Active Server Pages)

enable web developers to make their sites dynamic with database driven content. The code is mainly written in VB Script, and it is produced on the server of the web site instead of the browser of your web site visitors. The server reads the ASP code and then translates it to raw HTML. This means that the web site owner doesn't have to worry about the visitor having the right tools to view the the web site's dynamic content. The only downfall to ASP is that since it is run from the server, it takes longer for the pages to load because there are more steps involved in translating the code.

» Auto Responder

An automated program that acknowledges receipt of an e-mail message, and then sends back a previously prepared email to the sender, letting them know it was received or that certain actions are being taken. Most of you probably already have a basic idea of what this is when you go on vacation and you create an auto response at your work to let everyone that emails you know that you will be away for the next week.

» Bandwidth

This is the amount of data that is sent through a connection. If you have a large web site, with many visitors, you will need a lot more bandwidth than someone with a one page web site that gets 2 visitors a month. Some hosting plans offer unlimited bandwidth, but most have limits or will just make you pay for extra bandwidth because if a site is clogging their servers with visitors, they want to get compensated for that.


CGI (Common Gateway Interface) A CGI is a program that tanslates data from a web server and then displays that data on a web page or in an email. Many people use CGI's for guestbooks and email forms. Some hosts have pre-made CGI scripts that are ready to use and plug into a web site. CGI-BIN The most common name of a directory on a web server in which CGI programs are stored. The “bin” part of “cgi-bin” is a shorthand version of “binary”, because once upon a time, most programs were refered to as “binaries”. In real life, most programs found in cgi-bin directories are text files -- scripts that are executed by binaries located elsewhere on the same machine.

» Domain Name

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. A given machine may have more than one Domain Name but a given Domain Name points to only one machine.

» E-Mail

(Electronic Mail) Messages, usually text, sent from one person to another via computer. E-mail can also be sent automatically to a large number of addresses ( Mailing List ).


File Transfer Protocol (FTP) This is the process of transfering files to a web site's server. For example: If John Doe were to create his web site on his local computer at home, he would need a way to get that web site to the actual server that hosts his site so that the public can see it. There are many programs he can use to do this, but if he has Windows 98, then he more than likely already has an easy tool to use called Windows Web Publishing Wizard. To see if you have it go here: Start > Programs > Microsoft Web Publishing > Web Publishing Wizard. If you do not have this, there is a free FTP program called WS_FTP and you can download it at Once John Doe has his a folder on his local drive full of everything he wants to upload to the server, he can use one of the FTP programs to upload it.

» POP3

POP stands for Post Office Protocol. This is a protocol used to retrieve e-mail from a mail server. Most e-mail applications use the POP protocol. The newest and most widely used version of POP email is POP3 email. You will see the term POP3 in most of the web hosting plans available today.

» IP Address

Sometimes called a dotted quad. A unique number consisting of 4 parts separated by dots, e.g. Every machine that is on the Internet has a unique IP number - if a machine does not have an IP number, it is not really on the Internet. Most machines also have one or more Domain Names that are easier for people to remember.

» Name Server

Also called a host or a name server. A computer that has both the software and the data needed to resolve domain names to Internet Protocol (IP) numbers. Most name servers have names like


Server Side Includes (SSI) are commands that can be included in web pages that are processed by the web server when a user requests a file. The command takes the form . A common use for SSI commands is to insert a universal menu into all of the pages of the web site so that the menu only has to be changed once and inserted with SSI instead of changing the menu on every page.


An inappropriate attempt to use a mailing list , or USENET or other networked communications facility as if it was a broadcast medium (which it is not) by sending the same message to a large number of people who didn’t ask for it.

» Second Level Domain

In the Domain Name System (DNS), the next lower level of the hierarchy underneath the top level domains. In a domain name, that portion of the domain name that appears immediately to the left of the .com, .net, .org, etc...) For example, the would be the second level domain for this web site. The top-level domain is .com.