Glossary of Web Hosting Terminology

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Disk Space:
The amount of storage space on the account for web pages, images, audio, video, email etc. The average web page is about 100K in size, so 1GB (1,000 MB) of storage can hold approximately 10,000 complete web pages.
Monthly Traffic:
The amount of network throughput your account includes for each service month. This is the amount of uploading and downloading of html, images, media, and email from your account. On average a normal web page is about 100K so 1GB of traffic would on average support about 10,000 complete page views including images.
Type of Server:
A server computer, sometimes called an enterprise server, is a computer system that provides essential services across a network, to private users inside a large organization or to public users in the internet.
Hardware RAID:
An umbrella term for computer data storage schemes that can divide and replicate data among multiple hard disk drives.
This will be a consideration for programmers looking for specific features. A Unix/Linux based account will deliver many advanced features at a lower cost than a Windows server. Brainwrap-hosted accounts utilize a RedHat Linux server, the most popular Linux distribution, with excellent vendor support for hardware support and security updates. Accounts using this operating system benefit from excellent performance, reliability, and low cost overhead. These servers run Apache, the world's most popular web server used by more web sites worldwide than any other software in the world. Highly configurable and very stable.
Site Access Reports:
Graphical reports which turn raw access logs into manageable data, so webmasters can visually understand traffic trends related to their website.  Google Analytics or Clicky are both good options for detailed traffic reports, so you can see who is accessing your site and from where.

Raw Log Files:

Detailed server logs which detail access to the account with full details. These can grow very large very quickly and are mostly valuable for debugging or remote processing by thirst party logs report programs/services. All hosting accounts include log reporting software so the value of raw logs is quite specific.
FTP Access:
File Transfer Protocol is the industry standard for moving files to and from servers. Using a client application like WS_FTP, CuteFTP, Transmit,or Fetch you can easily upload the html, images etc which make up your site.
CPanel Control Panel:
Web based control panel which includes easy management of email addresses, log files, password protected folders, accessing server side backups and restoring files, viewing statistics with detailed graphs, managing users and passwords, setting up anti-spam measures, and much more.
Web Users:
Personal sub-websites for individuals who do not need their own domain names. This service is popular with educational institutions that host non-commercial personal pages of their students and staff. These sub-websites--which have their own individual FTP access--usually have web addresses like However, they can also be set up as using the Subdomain option below.
Subdomains are additional domain names that enable you to logically organize your site structure and/or host additional Web sites or parts of a Web site on the same server without the need to pay for registration of additional domain names.

For example, if your main website is, and the "staff" section is normally located at, you could set up a subdomain for this section at

Domain Aliases:
A domain name that points to another domain. Domain aliases enable users to access the same Web site through a number of different addresses. For example, many companies register several similar domain names (such as common misspellings of their domain name) and then use domain aliases to have all of the domain names point to the same site.
POP3 Mail conections:
Email boxes which save email on the server which can be downloaded using our own Webmail, or you own favorite email software, like Outlook, Eudora, Entourage or Thunderbird. This kind of mailbox has the added ability of anti-spam systems which cannot be added to forwarding-only addresses (such as aliases).  POP3 mailbox connections are a good choice for people who work mostly from their laptop or desktop personal computer and need the ability to work offline.  We often recommend going with a POP3 mailbox setup for the desktop and IMAP for mobile devices.
IMAP Mail connections:

Email boxes which remain on the server and can be accessed through a variety of device including webmail, or you own favorite email software, like Outlook, Entourage or Thunderbird. This kind of mailbox has the added ability of anti-spam systems which cannot be added to forwarding-only addresses (such as aliases).  IMAP is often a good choice for mobile devices such as smartphones and tables, or for people who need to access their mail through a variety of devices on a regular basis.

Catch-All Account:
With an email catch-all any mail addressed to a non-existant address at your domain will go to this address. This is a great feature to help ensure clients trying to email you and possibly making a typo still get to you.
Web-Based E-Mail:
A free web-based email service which allows you to access your mailbox from anywhere worldwide. A great way to check email from remote locations without setting up an email client.
E-Mail Aliases:
The easiest way to setup email at your domain, and have it forward to an existing address. A great way to offer the professional image of email at your domain without the technical overhead of another email account to check.
Allows the ability to have an instant reply message sent back when and email is sent to you. Clients appreciate confirmation their email was received, and you can include addition information in the email such as phone numbers, urls, etc. Commonly used for "out of office" messages.
Spam Filter:
An extensible email filter which is used to identify spam. Using its rule base, it uses a wide range of advanced heuristic and statistical analysis tests on mail headers and body text to identify spam, also known as unsolicited bulk email.
Mail Groups:
A mail group is a list of several email accounts that are grouped together under one email address, enabling sending one message to multiple recipients at once.
Java Applets:
Programs written in the Java programming language that can be included in an HTML page, much in the same way an image is included. When you use a Java technology-enabled browser to view a page that contains an applet, the applet's code is transferred to the visitors system and executed by the browser's Java Virtual Machine.
Directory Password:
These allow you to restrict access to folders on your site. Commonly used for private areas on a site like members-only, or staff specific content.
A Web server configuration file that contains commands known by the server that tell the server how to behave in certain instances. Some of the most common uses of an htaccess file include the capability to restrict access to certain files or directories on the Internet through password protection.
Refers to the ability to run scripts developed in various programming languages to allow your account to have dynamic content such as shopping carts, email forms, and much more!
Practical Extraction Resource Language.  With a format similar to C++, PERL is often used for specialty web applications.

Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) is the standard language for creating web pages and web applications.

A widely-used general-purpose scripting language that is especially suited for Web development and can be embedded into HTML. It is one of the easiest languages to learn.  PHP and HTML are the most common web development tools used.

XML (extensible markup language) is designed to transfer data, as opposed to displaying it like HTML, and is often used for financial applications.

MySQL Database:
One of the most popular and highly suggested database engines available online today. This database engine combines great features, performance, and reliability! 
An open source tool written in PHP intended to handle the administration of MySQL over the World Wide Web. It can perform various tasks such as creating, modifying or deleting databases, tables, fields or rows; executing SQL statements; or managing users and permissions.
Apache ASP:
Apache ASP provides an Active Server Pages port to the Apache Web Server with Perl scripting only, and enables developing of dynamic web applications with session management and embedded Perl code.
Server Side Includes:
Commonly referred to as SSI; allows web developers to add simply html comments to their pages which can add a number of benefits to a site, includes efficient hear/footer includes or the execution of a dynamic server side script.
Content Management Systems (CMS's) such as Wordpress and Drupal allow users to update the content on their sites without having to have any development done.  Brainwrap Web Design only provides content management systems for their clients.  Most websites developed today use some form of CMS, such as Wordpress or Drupal.  
Shared SSL Certificate:
An entry level way to get secure connections on your site for sensitive information like credit cards. Shared SSL does not require you to purchase a certificate from a signing agency.
Automatic Backup:
The Plesk control panel provides a feature for automatic backup creation; this can be scheduled to automatically backup your entire website at a given time interval.
Search Engine Optimization:
The process of improving the volume or quality of traffic to a web site from search engines via "natural" or unpaid search results as opposed to Search Engine Marketing (SEM) which deals with paid inclusion.    Search engines regularly change their search methods to eliminate artificial page content that is solely designed to increase listings (such as metatags).  The best way to improve your search engine rankings is to update your site content regularly (at least weekly).
Search Engine Marketing: Search Engine marketing refers to paid inclusion at the top of lists, such as a google ad, or targeted paid ads on specific websites such as Facebook.  It can be a very powerful tool for some businesses.