Hosting and Domain Technical Terms

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This glossary defines terms related to hosting, email, and DNS.

Terms beginning with A-C

AAAA record
An AAAA record stores a 128-bit Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) address, which does not fit the standard A record format. For example, 2007:0db6:85a3:0000:0000:6a2e:0371:7234 is a valid 128-bit IPv6 address. It maps the host name to an address associated with a domain name and specifies that AAAA records must be processed.
admin contact
The admin contact represents a domain name registrant and domain name. This contact is authorized to initiate changes with the domain name registrar.
admin email
The admin email is the email address listed for a domain name’s administrative contact. During the transfer process, the admin email receives information relevant to the completion of the transfer.
Affiliate Program
The Affiliate Program gives individuals access to an affiliate’s site to provide its products or services.
aliased nameserver
An aliased nameserver is owned by a hosting provider but is aliased (or masked) to a name that you specify.
The Apache program is a popular open-source Web server. It supports Perl and PHP scripts.
An applet is a Java application that runs inside a Web page. It’s independent of the operating systems where it runs.
application service provider
An application service provider offers software applications to users over the Internet from a centralized data center.
An archive displays all of a blogger’s posts on one page organized by date or category.
A record
An A record is the part of the zone file that directs the domain name to a specific IP address. A records are modified routinely when users want to point their domain name to the IP assigned to their hosting account.
assisted server
An assisted server has admin capabilities managed by the hosting account that generally include additional technical support for the server.
The Microsoft® scripting language ASP, or ASP.NET, is used in building dynamic websites. Typically, sites with ASP are compatible with Windows accounts.
audio streaming
A widely used feature, audio streaming provides audio content or music on a website. It significantly increases a website’s bandwidth usage.
Authentication identifies an individual, usually with a user name and password.
authorization code
The authorization code grants permission to complete a domain name transfer to the customer’s new domain name provider.
auto responder
The auto responder automatically sends a brief, preprogrammed response to received emails. Most auto responders let you customize the automatic message.
The backbone is a high-speed line or series of connections that forms a major pathway inside a network.
A backorder puts a user in line to attempt capture of a domain name before it expires and is released to the market.
Most Web hosts offer backups, or copies, of data on their servers every 24 hours to prevent lost information.
Bandwidth is a site or connection’s capacity to carry information. It plays an important role in how many visitors can efficiently download a site at one time.
Blog is the abbreviation for Web log. A blog represents the opinions or thoughts of the website’s author, who updates it regularly for viewing by the general public.
A blogcast is a blog and a podcast merged into a single website.
A Blogger is the author of a Web log.
Blogging is the act of writing and posting to a blog.
The blogosphere is the Internet blogging community.
A blogroll is a list of links to other blogs located in a blog’s sidebar.
A browser is an application used to view and work on the Internet. Popular browsers include Internet Explorer®, Mozilla®, Firefox®, and Safari™.
browser report
A browser report provides a detailed breakdown of popular Web browsers each time they visit a user’s website.
Business registration provides additional information in Whois database results. Customers can post business hours and other company-specific information using the business registration page.

A captcha is an image that contains a numerical or alphabetic code. Web pages use captchas to identify active user access to specific pages rather than spiders or programs.
carbon copy
Carbon copy is an email option that sends a second copy of each received email to the specified address.
CashParking is an online monetization system for domain names. It uses parked pages with commercial listings. Each time a visitor clicks a displayed pay-per-click ad, the domain name owner receives revenue credit.
A catch-all is an email address that receives all email for a specific domain name when the recipient is not defined. Even if the first portion of the email address is not spelled correctly, the email is delivered to the catch-all address.
certified domain
A certified domain alerts customers that a website’s owner is the legal originator of a domain name. It includes a certified domain seal to display on the website’s pages.
CGI is used to translate data from a Web server to Web page display or in an email. The transfer of data between the script and the server allows HTML pages to interact with other applications.
CGI bin
The CGI bin stores CGI scripts on the server.
Click-through describes the ratio of clicks on a specific advertisement or banner ad.
clustered hosting
Clustered hosting eliminates issues typical of shared hosting by providing customers with a way of handling security and balancing loads and vital site resources.
CNAME record
A CNAME record contains the name of the client’s principal identifier.
Co-location is renting a secure space with reliable network connectivity in a data center while maintaining personal user equipment.
co-location center
A co-location center is a type of data center where multiple customers share networking facilities.
A commentator leaves remarks regarding a blog entry.
Comments are reader feedback to blog posts.
A cookie is a message that a Web server sends to a Web browser. The browser stores the message in a text file. The browser sends the message to the server each time it requests a page to identify users and prepare their customized logins.
country code
A country code is a two-letter abbreviation for a country. In this context, it is used after the dot in a domain name. It is often called the domain name extension.
cron job
A cron job schedules commands to be executed periodically or at a specific time in the future.
CSS, or Cascading Style Sheets, are used to describe the presentation (look and formatting) of a document written in a markup language. They are commonly used to style Web pages written in HTML and XHTML, but the language can be applied to any kind of XML document, including SVG and XUL.
custom MX record
A custom MX record is created when a user has hosting through one provider and email service through another.

Terms beginning with D-F

data transfer
Data transfer is the amount of data transferred from a hosting server when a site viewer visits a page on a website. Sites with audio, video, and images can generate a large amount of traffic. Owners of those websites should select a hosting plan and provider with a high range of data transfer.
A DBA, or Database Administrator, is in charge of the physical aspect of the data warehouse, including design, performance, and maintenance work, such as backups.
dedicated hosting
Dedicated hosting is generally reserved for one website and provides hosting services to a single customer.
dedicated IP
A dedicated IP is a host interface identification used for location addressing. It is commonly used to access a website or location directly without benefit of a domain name.
digital signature
A digital signature is an encrypted message that ensures a message was sent by the person who claims to have sent it.
The DNS, or Domain Name System, stores information regarding domain and host names.
domain name
A domain name is the portion of a URL that locates a group or entity on the Internet.
domain name locking
Registrars offer domain name locking as a free security feature to prevent the unauthorized transfer of a domain name to another registrar or host.
domain name monitoring
Domain name monitoring tracks domain names of interest and alerts users to domain name changes.
domain name privacy
Domain name privacy keeps the domain name registrant’s contact information confidential. Instead of publishing the registrant’s contact information in the Whois database, the Whois database contains the contact information of the privacy provider.
domain name transfer
A domain name transfer moves a domain name from one registrar to another. Customers must wait 60 days to transfer domain names after a purchase, a prior transfer, or certain changes to domain name registrant information.
Drupal is software that lets individuals or a community of users to publish, manage, and organize content on a website.
dynamic Web page
A dynamic Web page has varying information or provides user interaction.
E-commerce provides payment facilities (credit card, PayPal®, etc.) for online purchases.
Email is an electronic message that can include text, images, and video files.
email forwarding
Email forwarding redirects email from one email address to another. This service accommodates customers who want to continue using their personal email but would like a more business-identified address for their clients to reference.
The encryption process converts data from its original form to a form that can only be used by authorized users.
encrypted password
An encrypted password is one that has been camouflaged to prevent hacking.
expandable post summaries
Expandable post summaries include short portions, or teasers, of a blog post on an index page. They link users to the full entry.
A favicon is a small graphic that appears to the left of the Web address in a browser’s address bar.
A firewall secures a network and protects it from access by unauthorized viewers.
A footer is the bottom portion of a blog or Web Page that lists navigation and copyright information.
Flash is animation software created by Macromedia. It requires little bandwidth and displays a moving or changing sequence of graphics. Flash commonly provides graphically driven website introductions.
A forum is a Web page where users post messages and replies on topics of interest.

Forwarding directs a domain name to another Web address or URL.
FrontPage is a widely known HTML editor created by Microsoft for building websites.
FTP, or File Transfer Protocol, is a method to transfer files across the Internet.
FTP backup
An FTP backup copies data to a remote computer using an FTP connection.
FTP client
An FTP client is software that assists users in uploading files to their sites using FTP.
FTP user
An FTP user is the user account name referenced when uploading files to a website using FTP.
fully qualified domain
A fully qualified domain name includes the host name. An example is

Terms beginning with G-I

Google Sitemaps
Google Sitemaps identifies crawlable URLs on a website.
A gTLD is a generic top-level domain name. gTLDs are usually three letters long and describe organizations and political structures.
guest book
A guest book is an area on a website where site visitors leave their names and information or feedback related to the site content.
A header is the top portion of the blog that lists the blog title.
hit counter
A hit counter keeps a count of website visits.

Hosting is the storage space or capacity for a website on the Internet.
host country
The host country specifies the country where the host resides.
host name
The host name, located just to the left of the dot in a URL, identifies the machine name as part of the Internet address.
host report
A host report identifies the 50 ISPs or computers that most frequently visit the site.
HTML, or Hypertext Markup Language, is a simple markup language used in writing website documents.
HTTP, or Hypertext Transfer Protocol, is a set of regulations used to transfer files on the Internet.
Hypertext is text displayed on a computer or other electronic device with references (hyperlinks) to other text that the reader can immediately access, usually by a mouse click or keypress sequence.

The IANA, or Internet Assigned Numbers Authority, oversees registration for different IP parameters, including port numbers, protocol and enterprise numbers, options, codes, and types.
ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, is a non-profit corporation given responsibility from the US government to manage the Internet domain name system.
IIS, or Internet Information Services, is an informational Web server used for Windows operating systems. Some site-building programs are only compatible with specific IIS versions.
IMAP, or Internet Message Access Protocol, retrieves email and views or manipulates it on the server.
index page
An index page is a default page which displays automatically when the user processes the top level of a website. The default page automatically displays if it is named correctly. Correct naming is dependent upon the type of hosting account and development tools available.
An intranet is a large internal network usually established by companies to improve communication efficiency. The access to an intranet is restricted to authorized users.
internationalized domain name
An internationalized domain name contains characters with diacritical marks from non-English languages or characters from non-Latin scripts.
IP address
An IP address, or Internet Protocol address, is a set of numbers divided by periods that specifies a location for the TCP/IP Protocol.

IP banning
IP banning prevents abusive users from posting to websites.
IRC, or Internet Relay Chat, is a real-time service that enables people from all over the world to communicate through a chat system on the Internet.
ISDN, or Internet Services Digital Network, is a service providing WAN combined transmission analog and digital services.
The ISP, or Internet Service Provider, provides users with Internet services.

Terms beginning with J-L

Java consists of several computer programs that, together, provide cross-platform application development.
Java servlet
A Java servlet is a program running on a network service, usually an HTTP server, that responds to client requests.
Joomla! is an open-source content management system. It’s coded using PHP and supports Internet and intranet content publishing.
JSP, or Java Server Pages, controls the content or appearance of Web pages. It generates XML.
Originally created by Linus Torvalds, Linux is a free, open-source operating system based on UNIX.
load balancing
Load balancing is a feature that distributes processing and communications activity across components to minimize resource usage and wait time on any individual component.
log file
A log file is a text file maintained on a server that displays accessed file locations.

Terms beginning with M-O

mailing list software
Mailing list software distributes newsletters and updates to customers as a marketing tool.
A marquee is a scrolling line of text inserted on a Web page. It’s used to draw viewer attention.
Masking a domain name keeps the original domain name in the address bar after the domain name is directed or forwarded to a different URL.
message highlighting
Message highlighting color codes email to identify email from important senders.
meta tag
A meta tag is an HTML tag containing information for search engines about a specific website. Meta tags contain keywords or phrases alerting search engines of a website’s content to be included in search results for users requesting related information.
meta title
The meta title is the title for a website that is inserted with meta coding. Meta titles help search engines compile appropriate search results.
MIME, or Multipurpose Internet Email Extensions, allows users to transfer audio, video and image files through email.
mirror site
A mirror site is an exact copy of another site that balances and spreads traffic load on busy websites.
Multihoming is having multiple network addresses in one computer.
MX record
An MX record is part of a domain name’s DNS. They include information on the domain name’s email servers (mail servers).
A nameserver is a host or computer server containing software and data (zone files) to resolve domain names to IP numbers. Domain names require a minimum of two nameservers hosted on separate networks.
news group
A news group is a USENET discussion group.
non-primary hosted domain name
A non-primary hosted domain name is any hosted domain name other than the primary. It can point to either the hosting root directory or a sub directory.
ODBC source
An ODBC source, or Open Data Base Connectivity Source, is a general communication method between a database and an application.
off-site DNS server
An off-site DNS server contains backup data that is used if the first server goes down.
operating system
An operating system shares a computer system’s resources including the processor, memory, disk space, network, and bandwidth.
overage protection
Overage protection prevents over-use of a customer’s hosting bandwidth.

Terms beginning with P-R

packet switching
Packet switching breaks data into smaller packets before transfer and then reassembles it at the final destination.
parked page
A parked page is a temporary Web page used before the domain name’s website or hosting is active. There is no penalty for parking a domain name.
Parking inactivates a domain name. Parked domain names display a temporary Web page.
Perl, or Practical Extraction and Reporting Language, is a script that processes text.
A permalink links to a specific article in the archives of a blog. The link remains valid even after the article is no longer listed on the front page of the blog.
Phishing is a form of Internet fraud used to steal personal and payment information. To avoid phishing, be sure a Web page is secure before making a payment or submitting valuable information to a website. A secured site’s address begins with “https.” Secured sites encrypt exchanged data to prevent unauthorized data capture.
A ping, or Packet Internet Groper, determines if another computer is currently connected to the Internet.
A podcast is an audio or video production posted to a Web page. Podcasts allow users to subscribe to a feed and receive new files automatically.
Pop3 server
A POP3 server connects email clients like Outlook and Apple Mail with mail servers.
A post is an entry posted to a blog. It includes an individual article, or an audio or video file.
power cycle
A power cycle reboots a virtual or dedicated server.
Podcasting shares audio and video files online. It often utilizes feeds for playback on mobile devices and personal computers.
primary hosted domain name
A primary hosted domain name is the main domain name on a hosting plan. It points to the hosting content root by default.
primary server
The primary server, or primary nameserver, of a domain name contains authoritative information regarding the domain name and its corresponding IP.
Propagation is the time delay required to complete a request or modification.
protected registration
Protected registration prevents most domain name transfers and domain name expiration.
RAID, or Redundant Array of Inexpensive Drives, is is the simultaneous use of two or more hard disk drives to achieve higher levels of performance, dependability, and larger data volume sizes.
RAM, or Random Access of Memory, is used when performing system tasks.
real time
Real time means that the reporting or recording of events occur at the time of the event.
redemption fee
A redemption fee is a fee paid to retain an expired domain name.
redemption period
The redemption period is the time frame after domain name expiration and before the domain name is returned to the registry for re-registration. During the redemption period, the domain name can be renewed, usually by paying a redemption fee.
redemption status
A domain name in redemption status has expired but can still be renewed, often by paying a redemption fee.
The registrant is the individual or organization that registers a domain name and holds the right to use it. The registrant is the legal owner of a domain name.
A registrar provides domain name registration services to individuals and companies.
A registry is a database associating DNS information with an individual, a legal entity, or operational entity for a specific domain name extension.
remote connection
A remote connection links a modem and a network through a dial-up connection.
A reseller is a company or person with hosting and domain name capabilities provided by an ICANN-approved registrar.
Robots, or search engine robots, read text and follow links to gather information for search engine databases.
The root is the top of the DNS hierarchy. It is commonly known as the “dot”.
root server
The root server is the portion of the hosting account or server that has access privileges for all locations and documents on that computer.

RSS, or Rich Site Summary, subscribes to news sites and blogs and displays their updates on a Web page.
RSS Feed
An RSS feed provides short descriptions of Web content or articles and a link to the full version of the content.
An rTLD, or restricted top-level domain name, is a domain name extension, such as .edu, .name, and .gov, that limits registration to persons or organizations meeting specific criteria.
Ruby on Rails
Ruby on Rails is an open source Web application framework. It’s written in Ruby and simplifies website development.

Terms beginning with S-U

saved skin
A saved skins is a design layout stored for later or repeated use.
Scalability is the ability add or reduce size to meet immediate requirements.
A screenshot is an image capture of a screen’s contents.
second-level domain name
A second-level domain name is the portion of a domain name that falls immediately to the left of the “dot”, or root. In, the second-level domain name is coolexample.
secondary server
The secondary server assumes control if the primary server fails.
security code
A security code is provided by the gaining registrar to a domain name’s administrative contact email address. It verifies to the gaining registrar that the domain name’s owner requested the transfer of the domain name.
server log
A server log contains a record of activity for a server.
shared hosting
Shared hosting provides self-contained hosting services to multiple users on one server.
SharePoint is Microsoft’s Web-based document organization platform. SharePoint helps facilitate collaboration, provides content management features, and supplies access to information essential to organization.

shell account
A shell account permits users to edit their files online in real time instead of making changes to their site offline and updating the changed files later.

A sidebar is one or more columns along one or both sides of blogger’s home page. The sidebar is generally used for links, calendars or lists.
Simple Control Panel
A Simple Control Panel is a basic control panel available with most Linux-based servers.
A sitemap contains a list of URLs on a website. It is provided to search engines to define Web pages that are available for crawling and can be included in the search engines’s database.
SMTP, or Simple Mail Transport Protocol, is a TCP/IP protocol. It governs electronic mail transmission and reception.
SMTP relay
An SMTP relay is sent and received by mail hosts.
SMTP server
An SMTP server is a computer that forwards email messages using SMTP protocol.
social bookmark
A social bookmark is a bookmark, suggested by others, that users can add to their own personal collections.
Spam is any junk or unsolicited email.
spam filter
A spam filter allows users to block messages from suspected spammers.
A spider is a software robot that crawls websites to gather Web content and link information for search engine databases.
SPF record
An SPF record, or Sender Policy Framework record, is an information record that validates legitimate email sources for a domain name.

SSH, or Secure Shell, is a utility to securely access a remote computer.
SSIs, or Server Side Includes, are commands processed by the Web server only when a user requests a file.
An SSL, or Secure Sockets Layer, is a security management protocol used for message transmission on the Internet.
static IP
A static IP is a fixed IP address, meaning that the IP remains unchanged with each user login.
A statistic is website usage information compiled into a user-friendly format. Statistics often include the number of visitors to a site, which pages receive the most requests and how much time is spent browsing the site.
SRV record
An SRV record, or a service record, provides information on available services.
Support is technical support provided to customers via telephone or email to resolve technical difficulties or site issues.
T1 connection
A T1 connection is a phone or data connection supporting the transfer of up to 1.544Mbits of data per second. T1 connections are commonly used by businesses and ISPs.
tape backup
A tape backup is a common and cost-effective method to back up Web pages. The device looks similar to a cassette. Some cassettes can store several gigabytes of data.
TCL, or Tool Command Language, is a scripting language and interpreter designed to embed in other applications.
TCP/IP, or Transmission Control Protocol, works with the IP address to ensure successful packet delivery to the intended destination.
technical contact
A technical contact is typically the individual or company managing the primary domain name nameserver.
Telnet is a command-line interface allowing communication between remote users and a Web server.
third-level domain name
A third-level domain name is the next highest level of the hierarchy below second-level domain names. A third-level domain name, if present, falls to the left of the “dot” and to the right of the second-level domain name. In, the third-level domain name is .co.
Tom Cat
Tom Cat is an open-source application of Java Servlet and JavaServer Pages technologies developed under Apache Software’s Jakarta project.
A traceroute is a UNIX command that produces a log of the precise locations of servers used to access a location on the Internet.
A trackback sends a ping from one site to another (both must be equipped for trackbacks) to notify of new link creation. Trackbacks notify the author of a post that the post has been added to another blog.
Transfer Concierge™
The Transfer Concierge is the department specializing in resolving domain name transfer issues.
TTL, or Time To Live, controls how often DNS changes will be submitted for propagation.
TXT record
A TXT record, or text record, associates specified text with a host or other name. It is used to define the SPF record.
UCC certificate
A UCC certificate is an SSL that can be used to secure multiple domain names.
unique IP address
A unique IP address is also known as a dedicated IP address.
UNIX is a computer operating system with built-in TCP/IP that is designed to be used by multiple users simultaneously. It is the most widely known server operating system on the Internet.
A URL, or Uniform Resource Locator, is the address defining the route to an Internet file or facility.
USENET is a network of thousands of news groups on the Internet.
A UUENCODE, or UNIX to UNIX Encoding, is a method of converting images to ASCII.

Terms beginning with V-X

video streaming
Video streaming provides video data or content on a Web page while it is being played on a remote client. This feature is used for live updates on websites.
Virtualization is a process or software to reduce server management cost through automation and provide more control over service levels.
virtual server
A virtual server is a Web server that shares its facilities with multiple users or sites.
Vlogging, or video blogging, shares commentary and ideas in video shorts instead of text.
A VPS, or Virtual Private Server, allows a hosting service provider to multiplex a single dedicated server into multiple, virtual-server machines. It provides private and protected Web services operating as an independent server.
A WAN, or Wide Area Network, is a large communication network that services a geographic area larger than a LAN.
Web-based email
Web-based email lets users log in to an email interface online with a username and password to check and compose email messages.
Web feed
A Web feed routinely provides updates or new content from subscribing websites.
A Weblog, or blog, is an online journal. Posts are usually displayed in reverse chronological order.
Windows NT/2000
Windows NT/2000 are two separate, graphics-based, multitasking operating systems developed by Microsoft. Both can act as a standalone operating systems for computers and workstations, or they can serve as an operating system for a website or network.
Whois is a central database that tracks domain names and IP registrations. It lists the owner and other contacts along with their email addresses, phone numbers, and addresses.
XML, or Extensible Markup Language, is a development language to create unique markup tags. All XML tags are defined by the programmer and may be interpreted differently in different applications.

Terms beginning with Y-Z

There are currently no terms in this section


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