Web hosting can be at bit overwhelming at times, so we’ve compiled a short glossary of the terms which regularly confuse our customers.

If there are any words you feel we’ve missed, please leave them in the comment field and we’ll add them to the glossary.

A Record – An A record is part of the zone file. It is used to point Internet traffic to an IP address. For example, you can use an “A record” to designate abc.yourdomain.com to send traffic to your web site at IP address You can also designate xyz.yourdomain.com to go to a separate IP address.

ASP (Active Server Pages) – ASP is Microsoft’s server-side scripting technology.  An Active Server Page has an .asp extension. ASP mixes HTML and scripting code that can be written in VBScript or Jscript

Bandwidth – Bandwidth is the amount of data that can be transferred over your server network in a fixed amount of time. With hosting, it is usually expressed over a monthly period

Browser – Computer program that allows users to view the World Wide Web and displays the content of the webpages. Examples are Firefox, Netscape, and Internet Explorer.

CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) – A CSS file contains a set of design styles to be used on multiple website pages. Using an external CSS file allows for easy formatting changes without the need to make changes on every page.

CGI (Common Gateway Interface) – CGI is a standard for interfacing web servers with an executable application.  A CGI program can be written in Perl or C/C++ and it is often stored in a special directory like /cgi-bin.  CGI is often used to process data from HTML forms.

CNAME (Canonical Name) – CNAME is a record in a DNS database that indicates the true host name of any computer that its aliases are associated with. A computer hosting a Web site must have an IP address in order to be connected to the World Wide Web. The DNS resolves the computer’s domain name to its IP address, but sometimes more than one domain name resolves to the same IP address. This is where the CNAME is useful. A machine can have an unlimited number of CNAME aliases, but a separate CNAME record must be in the database for each alias.

DNS (Domain Name System) – Internet service that directs domains names (see below) into corresponding IP addresses. The DNS database is distributed and replicated among many DNS servers, so when you change your domain’s IP address, the changes take a while to change on all DNS servers.

Domain name – A Domain name is an easy to remember address that can be translated by DNS (see above) into server’s IP address. Domain’s suffix indicates which TLD (Top Level Domain) it belongs to, for example .com, .gov, .org, .net, etc.

DPA (Data Protection Act) – The Data Protection Act gives you the right to know what information is held about you. It sets out rules to make sure that this information is handled properly. Read more information about the DPA here

FTP (File Transfer Protocol) – An interface used to download and upload files between your computer and your web hosting area.

Host – Refers to a company who provides web hosting services.

IP Address (Internet Protocol Address) - A unique number used to identify all of the individual devices connected to the Internet. This number is usually shown in groups of numbers from 0 to 255, separated by periods, for example

LOL – Laughing Out Loud

MySQL - One of the most popular database systems.

MX Records – An MX (mail exchange) record is an entry in your DNS file which selects a mail server to handle your domain email. This means that when someone sends an email to you@yourdomain.com the email will be delivered to the mail server specified in the MX record for yourdomain.com.

Perl - Open source CGI scripting programming language. Perl is one of the most popular web programming languages, due to its powerful text-manipulation facilities.

PHP – PHP is a free, open-source server-side scripting language. PHP code can be embedded in HTML.  PHP files usually have extensions like .php.

Propagation - The process of updating the DNS to DNS servers. This process usually concerns those who have just updated/bought/transferred a domain and can take up to 72 hours.

Pending Delete – This is the final stage before the domain is released back on to the domain market, this only occurs after quarantine.

Quarantine -This is the period after the redemption period of a domain name (see below). During this period, the domain is no longer available to the original owner to re-register, but is not yet available to the general public to purchase yet.

Redemption – The redemption period is a domain registry period that occurs when a domain name is deleted after having expired. Rather than deleting your domain, the existing registry keeps a hold on the domain name. During this redemption period, the original owner of the domain can retrieve the domain from deletion by contacting their registrar (in your case, this is likely to be 123-reg).

Registrar - this is who you have bought, or technically registered, your domain with. And hopefully this is 123-reg!

Spam – Spam emails are sent to a big list unsolicited, usually selling something you have no interest in!

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) - SSL encrypts data that should be protected while transferring over the internet, such as credit card numbers, by using https protocol.

TLD (Top Level Domain) - This is the domain name extension, such as .com, .org or .gov.

URL (Uniform Resource Locator) – URL is the web address you type in your web browser to reach a website. The domain name you choose makes up your URL along with your TLD.

Whois – An internet service that allows obtainment of information about domain name owners.

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