A Glossary of useful terms
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A program for end-users that performs a specific task, or a group of tasks of a specific type. Often called "app" for short. Some familiar categories of applications are word-processing apps, spreadsheets, databases, and Web browsers.


A major network which carries Internet traffic. Accessibility to multiple backbones gives redundancy should one network have problems.


A measurement of the amount of data that can be transmitted in a fixed span of time. Also called "data transfer."


Bit stands for Binary digIT, an electronic signal which is either on (1) or off (0). It is the smallest unit of information the computer uses. There are eight bits in one byte.


An application that permits users to access pages on the World Wide Web. Some examples of browsers (also called Web browsers) are Internet Explorer, Lynx, Mozilla, and Netscape.


A server's ability to output a great deal of bandwidth at one time, so that a large number of Web users can access one Website at the same time.


Abbreviation for "binary term." Basic unit of electronic storage, capable of holding a single character. Equal to 8 bits.

A kilobyte, usually abbreviated K or KB, equals 1,024 bytes.

A megabyte, usually abbreviated M or MB and pronounced "meg," equals 1,048,576 bytes.

A gigabyte, usually abbreviated G or GB and pronounced "gig," equals 1,073,741,824 bytes.

A terabyte, usually abbreviated TB, equals 1,099,511,627,776 bytes.

There are larger measures of bytes, but they are not (at least yet) in common use.


A chunk of information (often stored as a text file) that contains information about who owns the certificate, certificate issuer, expiration dates, and a unique serial number or other unique identification. It is used by the SSL protocol to establish a secure connection.


"Common Gateway Interface": A computing mechanism that allows a user and a Webpage to exchange information interactively (dynamically) with one another. Typically, in such an exchange, the user inputs certain information into a field or form displayed on a browser, and the computer uses that information to process and display a "reply" of some sort.

One type of CGI is the shopping cart, which is widely used on e-commerce sites. It enables users to provide orders, including credit card numbers and shipping information, to online vendors.

CGI Script

A computer program, usually written in C or Perl programming language, that enables CGI to work on a Website.


Connecting a customer's own computer equipment to a webhosting company's network. Instead of renting the customer server space or a dedicated server, the company rents a physical space in the company building for a customer's server to be connected directly into the company's network.


The ability of two or more computers to link up to each other and exchange information.


An electronic marker that many Websites, especially e-commerce sites, often leave on the computer of a user who has visited that site. Cookies usually contain information about users that they themselves have provided to the Website, so that the Website can produce it quickly when they next visit it, and thus serve them better. However, many users prefer to disable cookies in the interest of protecting their privacy.


"Central Processing Unit": The "brains" of a computer, where data is processed.


An incident in which a server shuts down unexpectedly because too many demands are being made on it. Typically, Websites and Webpages crash because too many users are trying to access them at one time.


An application that stores and organizes information into tables so that it can be sorted by any of various characteristics and displayed in a variety of ways.

One very powerful type of database is the relational database, which keeps information in multiple table files. This is a more efficient arrangement than keeping all information in just one table, and thus it allows the database to process and display information more quickly.

Another type of database is the distributed database, which can more or less be defined as multiple databases run by different individuals and/or companies that link to one another, so that when information is updated on one database, it's updated on all of them. The DNS system is the world's largest distributed database.

Dedicated Server

A server which provides bandwidth and disk space to a single customer.

Disk Space

Storage space for electronic files on a disk, a drive, or a server.


"Domain Name Service": A system for converting domain names to the IP addresses of websites. Any server that is responsible for updating the domain names, host names, and IP addresses for the domain to which it belongs, so that users at other computers may find that domain, is called a DNS Server.

DNS records are sets of directions by which computers can find other computers on the Internet: they point to the exact IP address at which each Website is hosted. Without DNS records, domain names could not function. Every domain name on the Web has at least two DNS records. Often, they're ns1.xxxxx.com and ns2.xxxxx.com, "xxxxx" being the domain name in question.


A group of networked computers and/or devices that are administered as a unit with common rules, procedures, and formatting standards. For the purposes of the Internet, domains are defined by their IP addresses. All devices sharing a common part of the IP address are said to belong to the same domain.

Domain Name

The part of an URL that comes after the host name and includes the TLD. For example, in http://www.abcdefg.com, the entire domain name would be abcdefg.com. (The com by itself is the TLD.)


The act of copying data from a main source, such as the World Wide Web, to a peripheral device, such as a computer or a disk.


The act of selling products and services over the World Wide Web.


The transmission of mail-style messages over a communication network. Alternatively, the message being transmitted.

Email Forwarding

A service in which email sent to one account is automatically redirected to another. Also refers to the act of sending email to another person after it has been sent to you.


"File Transfer Protocol": The protocol used on the Internet to exchange files between servers and browsers.


Roughly a billion bytes.


"Graphical User Interface": An application that interprets the alphanumeric data generated by a computer and displays it in a visually logical and appealing format.


Any physically tangible part of a computer system, i.e. CPU and monitor to peripheral devices such as printers and modems.


Any time a piece of data matches pre-specified criteria. For example, Google will bring up a list of 'hits' on its search results page. Alternatively, the retrieval of any item from a server. Also called a "page hit."

Host Name

The word, phrase, or string of characters immediately after the "http://" in an URL, and before the "dot" that precedes the domain name. The best-known host name is "www", which is short for "World Wide Web".

Hosting (or Webhosting)

Storing the contents of Webpages and Websites on a server, usually as a service to the owners of the Websites.


"HyperText Mark-up Language": The basic mark-up language used to format and place text, graphic elements, etc. on Webpages.


"HyperText Transfer Protocol": the protocol by which a server interacts with a Web browser so that the user may view pages stored on that server via that browser.

Identity Theft

The crime of stealing a victim's personal information, i.e. Social Security number, credit card number, bank account number, or other sensitive information, generally for fraudulent purposes.


The massive global network connecting millions of computers, often called "the 'Net" for short.

The Internet is not the same thing as the World Wide Web. The word "Internet," technically speaking, refers to the vast networking infrastructure underlying the 'Net. The Web, which is an information- sharing model built on top of the Internet, is one of a number of ways a user may access information over the 'Net.


A system of computer communication used within any corporation or other defined organization, and generally not accessible to individuals outside that organization.

IP Address

A unique identifier for a computer or device. An IP address is most commonly formatted as a 32-bit numeric address, and written as four numbers separated by periods. Each number can be from 0-255. When a device or private network connects to the Internet, a a registered IP address (also called an Internet address) is required.


A scripting language that is commonly used in conjunction with HTML and other mark-up languages to create CGIs and thus facilitate interactivity.


Roughly a thousand bytes.


"Local-Area Network": A computer network confined to a relatively small spatial area, typically within one building or group of buildings. Two or more connected LANs make up a wide-area network, or WAN.


A secure, C-based proprietary CGI scripting language. LL is used primarily (as an alternative to the less secure, slower-loading PHP) to generate dynamic web pages.

Mark-Up Language

A system of encoding text, graphic elements, etc. so they will appear properly formatted and placed on Webpages.

Mark-up languages, the best-known of which is HTML, mainly consist of pairs of tags that the writer puts around the images or sequences of text s/he wants to format or arrange. Each pair consists of an opening tag and a closing tag. Usually the two tags contain the same letter or short sequence of letters, but in the closing tag the contents are preceded by a forward slash (/). One example is the pair of tags used to create bold text, <b> and </b>.


Roughly a million bytes.


The computer display screen. Some computers, such as Macintoshes, may incorporate the monitor and the CPU into one piece of hardware, but in most of today's computers, the two are separate.

Operating System

Often abbreviated "OS". The program that runs on a computer and performs basic tasks, so that applications, which handle specialized tasks only, may run on top of it.


To park a domain name with a Webhosting company is to register the name, then leave it on that company's server without using it.

Peripheral Device

Refers to a device that's secondary in importance to other devices. Usually "peripheral" refers to items other than computers, such as a modem, a scanner, or a printer. However, a single computer in relation to the entire Internet is also defined as peripheral.


"Post Office Protocol": The common protocol allowing email applications to download email messages from servers. In essence, POP allows a user to have a virtual mailbox.


The ability of software to run on a variety of computers and/or browsers.


A standard in common computer operation that is followed by widely different types of software, programming languages, operating systems, and applications, so that computers may communicate with one another.


The practice of keeping more hardware on hand than needed for normal operations, and keeping the same information "backed up" on each of them. This allows for faster and more complete recovery in the event of a crash, power outage, physical damage, etc. Redundancy can also apply to a company's Internet connection, so that if one Internet provider goes down, the servers can still be accessed from the Internet.


The act of acquiring a domain on the World Wide Web, usually at monetary cost. Domain names and IP addresses must be registered because no two computing devices or private networks may have identical names or addresses.


The relative likelihood that any server, computer, or software program will continue to function.

Secure Server

A server which is safe against attacks by hackers, so that sensitive information may be stored on the server without undue worry over its potential revelation or theft.

A secure server usually runs SSL which encrypts communications between the server and browser, making it difficult to intercept sensitive information during transmission.


Any computer that manages network resources, such as the storage of Webpages or the running of CGI scripts.

Shopping Cart

An extremely common sort of CGI, used in particular by e-commerce sites, that tracks a customers' purchase choices and payment and shipping information.

Signpost Domain

An auxiliary domain name which links the user to the primary domain name.


"Simple Mail Transfer Protocol": a protocol by which servers send email messages to one another. The older version of POP requires SMTP for use, but the newer version, POP3, does not.


A specific set of instructions that allows a user to accomplish certain tasks. In contrast to hardware, software is the part of a computer that is not tangible.


"Secure Sockets Layer": a protocol for transmitting private, confidential, and/or sensitive information over the Internet, using encryption code. A URL requiring an SSL connection generally begins with https:// instead of http://.


A domain within a domain. In an URL, it is typically specified by the host name. Frogsmart.com offers unlimited subdomains with all our packages.

T3 Connection

A fast, dedicated phone connection used by the Internet's backbone, and also by some Internet service providers. Also called a T3 carrier.


Roughly a trillion bytes.


The global certificate authority that provides digital certificate products and 128-bit encryption SSL for servers.


"Top-level domain": the extension at the end of an URL. The best-known one is, of course, .com, but there are also .net, .org, .gov, .biz, .edu, .mil, and the various TLDs designating countries other than the U.S., such as "uk" for the United Kingdom, or "ca" for Canada.


The total number of users requesting access at any one time. Higher traffic usually means slower responses from servers as more demands are put upon them.

Unique Visitor

Any single user who has accessed a Website, from the viewpoint of the site's statistics log. This is in contrast to a "hit." A unique user may, and usually does, generate more than one hit for a Website.


The act of copying data from one's own computer to another computer, which includes posting it on the World Wide Web or elsewhere on the Internet (such as Usenet).


"Universal Resource Locator": the global address to a page on the World Wide Web. A typical URL would be along the lines of http://www.abcdefg.com. In that example, http:// is the protocol, www is the host name, abcdefg.com is the domain name, and the com is the TLD.


Abbreviation for "World Wide Web Consortium": the international group of experts, headed by Tim Berners-Lee (the Web's original architect), that develops and maintains open standards so that the Web evolves in a unified direction.


"Wide-Area Network": A network consisting of two or more mutually interconnected LANs (Local Area Networks). The largest WAN in existence is the Internet.

Email that can be accessed via a website rather than an email application such as Outlook. A Website must have DNS records enabled before it can offer Webmail.

World Wide Web

A system made up of servers that support documents formatted in HTML and other mark-up languages, and built on top of the Internet. Often called "the Web" for short.

The World Wide Web is not the same thing as "the Internet," but rather is one of several information-access systems built on top of the 'Net, through which users may use the 'Net.