Hosting Glossary

There are basic concepts and terminology you should understand. Even if you are regularly involved in other elements of of the Internet (web design, for instance), it is not uncommon to feel confused about hosting terminology, since most people use it only infrequently when first setting up a website.

404 Error Message
When someone tries to access a page on your site that does not exist, an error message will come up to tell the user that the page he is trying to access does not exist on the server. Control panel features allow you to customize this and other error messages. You may show your company information, redirect the user to another default page, etc.

Access Log
An access log is a list of all the requests for individual files that people have requested from a Web site. These files will include the HTML files and their imbedded graphic images and any other associated files that get transmitted. The access log (sometimes referred to as the “raw data”) can be analyzed and summarized by another program. You have access to your raw logs, and AWstats and Analog stats through the domain control panel at any time.

Anonymous FTP
Allows the public to log into your website’s FTP server with a common login. Anonymous FTP is benefitial for the distribution of large files to the public, avoiding the need to assign large numbers of login and password combinations for FTP access. You’ll only need this if you want large numbers of people to be able to download files directly from your Web site. This is different from “FTP access.” You must have a static IP to set up anonymous FTP.

Apache is the name of the software that allows you to run a web service on a UNIX server. Apache is very popular and provides access to most web sites on the internet.

Sends an automated email response to incoming email sent to a specific address. One autoresponder per email address. E.g. Visitor X sends an email to: [email protected] Autoresponder sends an pre-written message to visitor X automatically. You can set these up by entering simple test from the control panel.

Software that is used to look at various kinds of Internet resources. Examples include Chrome, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, Opera, Mozilla, etc. There are custom versions of browsers used by various ISP’s, lke AOL and Earthlink. You are using one now, to read this page. When we refer to “browser-based” features like webmail, we are talking about things that you access by surfing to a webpage in a browser. The advantage of that is the ability to use a pssword to access those pages from any browser, not just the one on your home or office computer.
The directory where you gather your CGI scripts, so the server knows to parse (process) them. You may use this directory to upload scripts that you write or find elsewhere on the Web. There are some websites on Internet where you could find all kinds of freely available CGI scripts like CGI Resource Index and Some scripts are pre-installed in a server-wide cgi-bin (called “cgi-sys”), like a secure form-to-mail script, accessible to every client from your control panel.

CGI (Common Gateway Interface)
A “CGI program” is a set of rules that defines communiation between the server and pieces of software on it. Usually a CGI program is a small program that takes data from a web server and does something with it, like putting the content of a form into an e-mail message, or turning the data into a database query. Gryphyn Media customers have access their own cgi-bin directory to place custom CGI scripts, provided the script conforms to the terms and conditions of the Acceptable Use Policy.

Control Panel/CPanel
Included with all domains, this web-based control panel allows you to completely control your website. Through the power of this online software you can create e-mail accounts, 404 error pages, subdomains, and mailing lists. You can also manage your users, passwords, FTP accounts, files and directories, visitor statistics, databases, and a lot more.

The clock daemon in UNIX that executes commands at specified dates and times according to instructions in a file. You can schedule cron jobs from the control panel.

Default or “Catch-all” Email Account
All unassigned or misspelled email addresses go the default account, which is your assigned username. For example, if you have been given a domain username of “bobsmith,” (along with a password), all email with “no place esle to go” will be forwarded to “[email protected]”. You may forward this account to another POP3 email account that you create, or any email account.

Disk Space/Storage ExplainedClick here

DNS (Domain Naming System)
The DNS is a distributed, replicated system that allows nameservers to map easily remembered domain names to an IP number. You register settings at your domain registrat that tell the DNS where to send traffic for your domain name, by specifying the nameservers of your host.

Domain Alias
Allows additional domain names to point to your website. E.g. Company X registered two domain names, A and B. It decides on A as its default website. Then domain B becomes a “domain alias” of domain A. Whenever someone types in domain B, They are automatically “pointed” or redirected to domain A.

Domain Name Find out about buying a domain name
Basically an easy to remember Internet address in plain text which computers will translate into an IP address which is a long set of numbers. Formal definition:

“An addressing construct used for identifying and locating computers on the Internet. Domain names provide a system of easy-to-remember Internet addresses, which can be translated by the Domain Name System (DNS) into the numeric addresses (Internet Protocol (IP) numbers) used by the network. A domain name is hierarchical and often conveys information about the type of entity using the domain name. A domain name is simply a label that represents a domain, which is a subset of the total domain name space.”

Domain Name Registration Find out about buying a domain name

In order for visitors to find your website using the domain name of your choice, you need to do two things, both of which can be handled by us. First, you need to reserve your domain name with a registrar. Second, you need to provide your registrar with the name server of your domain name. We can work with your registrar if you are having difficulties, or recommend a registrar if you do not have one at all.

Email Forwarding (alias)
This feature forwards messages that arrive for a specified email address, to another specified address. X sends an email to [email protected]. Our server receives the mail and immediately forwards it to [email protected]. The email address is not used to send outgoing mail. This would be useful, for example if you have someone at another location handling some special type of inquiry. It is different from a POP3 email account, where a user can pick up mail directly from the server and reply using that email address.

Email Client
The tool you use to pick up your email from the server. Outlook, Eudora, and Mozilla are examples.

This is an auto-installer (on some accounts) that lets you install various open source scripts. Note: this tool just lets you conveniently install scripts. It does not imply that we will support your use of the scripts. You must go to the developer’s website to read details about using the sites and seek whatever support is offered there.

File Manager
A tool on the control panel of your domain account. Allows you to upload, edit, and change permissions on files from anywhere you can get Internet access. Substitutes for an FTP client.

FrontPage Extensions
In order for you to use all the features that come with your Microsoft FrontPage WebPage editor, FrontPage extensions should be installed for your account. You may request that FrontPage extensions be installed for your account when you place your order, or you may do so at a later date by requesting an upgrade. There is an extra fee. Make sure you want them! They take up space and cause problems if you want to remove them.

FTP (File Transfer Protocol)
A method used to “upload” your web site files to your virtual server. You have unlimited access to your account files around the clock, to set up and maintain your web site. You need an FTP client, a software tool like cuteFTP or wsFTP, widely available free or cheap. See “File Manager.”

Anonymous FTP
Capability to set up a public area for remote access to your server. Requires a Static IP.

Merchant Account
A bank account established by a merchant to receive the proceeds of credit card purchases. By establishing a merchant account, the merchant bank agrees to pay the merchant for valid credit card purchases in exchange for the right to collect on the debt owed by the consumer. Using a merchant account online typically requires a shopping cart, and a payment gateway with a virtual terminal, an SSL certificate, and a Static IP address. Third-party payment processors (PayPal, iBill, CCNow, etc) provide all or some of those services, essentially allowing you to use their merchant accounts for a fee.

A popular Open Source SQL database, mySQL is a free database management system. The SQL part of MySQL stands for “Structured Query Language”. Our control panel includes an easy-to-use tool for creating databases, users, and permissions.

Perl is a widely-used scripting language used to develop interactive web pages. Gryphyn Media servers have an exensive list of installed PERL modules and paths, and we will install many others at your request, if they are suitable for shared servers. You will be able to check the list for your particular server from your account control panel, and you may create custom CGI-BINs in any subdirectory, if needed. For more information, visit the official PERL website. See also “CGI”

Sometimes called fast-CGI, PHP is aother sripting language, popular among Linux users and open source programmers for CGI and database integration programing. “LAMP” programming refers to work using the Linux, Apache, mySQL, PHP platform.

POP3 Email Accounts
These are your email accounts (For example, [email protected]) on our server that can be accessed directly to retrieve your mail using such programs as Eudora, Outlook Express, and Netscape Mail. Each POP3 account has its own password to ensure privacy. These addresses may also be checked with webmail. Clients are able to create as many POP3 accounts as they desire, but keep in mind that email left on the server counts toward your staorage quota… remember to regularly check each account.

Shopping Cart
Keeps track of what your customers have ordered on-line as they add and remove items from their virtual “shopping cart.” When the customer is ready to check out, the program tallies the order for your customer to review. If the customer decides to submit the order, the program will email the order information to the email address of your choice and a “receipt” to your customer. A shopping cart needs a separate secure payment processing solution to allow the use of credit cards.

SSI (Server Side Includes)
Allows you to embed references to other files that are called to a webpage as it is dynamically generated. Domains are set up to automatically parse files with the extensions .shtml or .shtm

SSL (Secure Socket Layer)
The secure transactions feature uses Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption technology to provide for site authentication and peer to peer secure communication. This feature allows you to safely transmit and receive sensitive information such as credit card numbers or passwords. Most commonly used for credit card transactions. (You won’t need this is using PayPal.) It requires a static IP address, for which there is a monthly fee. We will install your private SSL certificate. We offer a free shared SSL certificate.

SMTP Mail Server
Outgoing email service from your domain. Your ISP (Internet access provider) may require you to use teir SMTP server to send email. We can help you set up your email client so that email uses your domain name.

Static IP
For a monthly fee, you can be assigned a static IP address. This allows you to use SSL and anonymous FTP. If you are not going to use your own SSL certificate or allow anonymous FTP, do not buy a static IP… it’s a waste of your money and our IP block resources. It does not make your site more secure.

The ability to pick up your email from the Web, without downloading it to an email program like Outlook. Convenient for people who travel or use more than one computer. We offer NeoMail™ and Horde™ and Squirrel Mail™