An Explanation of Common Web-related Acronyms

Within the web hosting world there are dozens of acronyms you will run across working on your website or talking with web designers. The following list of acronyms is by far not complete but will give you a stronger understanding of web hosting and the words used to describe it.

  • HTML – HyperText Markup Language is the main language used to create web hosting pages today.
  • SMTP – Simple Mail Transport Protocol is the internet standard for ending email transmissions between mail servers.
  • FTP – File Transport Protocol is the standard network protocol used to transfer files from one hosting to server a local machine or separate hosting server. 
  • URL – Uniform Resource Locator is the specific character string that references a specific online resource or website. Most commonly this is referred as a web address.
  • POP3 – Post Office Protocol (version 3) is an application-layer internet standard protocol used by local e-mail clients to retrieve e-mail clients to retrieve e-mail from a online server. Using POP3 the email is downloaded from the server and stored on the local machine. 
  • XML – Extensible Markup Language is a markup language that defines a set of rules for encoding content in a format that is both human-readable and machine-readable.
  • CMS – Content Management System is a program used to publish, edit and modify content on a given websites. CMS is often used to run websites containing blogs, news and shopping sites.
  • IMAP – Internet Message Access Protocol is a application based on the server that us used to access e-mail on a remote mail server. When you use IMAP server settings the emails are not downloaded from the server but left until they are manually deleted.
  • ASP – Active Server Pages is a server-side script created by Microsoft to create dynamically generated web pages. ASP is currently supported on all versions of IIS.
  • PHP – Hypertext Pre-Processor is a server-side scripting language designed for the development of websites and can also be used as a general-purpose programming language. 
  • SSL – Secure Socket Layer is a cryptographic protocol that was designed to provide communication security over the internet. 
  • CSS – Cascading Style Sheets is a style sheet language used to describe the overall look and format of a site that has been written in a markup language.
  • CGI – Common Gateway Interface a standard method used by websites to generate dynamic content on a web page and/or web application. When CGI is implemented on a web server it provides an interface between the server and the programs used to generate web content.
  • SQL – Structured Query Language is a special-purpose programming language completely designed to manage data held in a relational database management system. 

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