Kinetic Servers Hosting Glossary/ Lexicon

Web hosting is an intimidating area if you’re “not a computer person” or a “geek”. We’ve tried to make some sense of it all with this ginormous glossary of terms which you may not be familiar with.

There are cookies when you are thru and a short quiz…

Of course if you’ve still got any questions about any of what we can offer, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

 

Apache

Apache is the web server software we use for all of our clients. It is open source, stable, fast, and flexible. It’s pretty much the standard for web serving on the Internet and has lots and lots of features available to it. There is a Windows version, but we run ours on CentOS 5 64 bit. You can learn all about it at apache.org!

Auto-Responders

Every Kinetic Servers plan comes with unlimited email auto-responders. You have the option to turn on an automatic response email for every email address you host with us. If you have one turned on, every time somebody sends an email to that address they’ll immediately get a reply email with whatever message you choose. This is useful for automatic distribution of documents, “I’m on vacation” notices, customer support email addresses, and the like. You can add, remove, or change auto-responders at any time through your cPanel. You can make your auto-response email be plain text or HTML-encoded too!

Backups

On every Kinetic Servers plan we keep extensive back-ups of your data. Periodically our disk filers take what is known as a “snapshot” of the entire file system as it stands at that time. If you accidentally delete a file you need, contact support, and we’ll try and recover the most recent version of it we can! We recommend you always keep your OWN copy of your entire web site at a remote location as well, but we’ll do our best to make sure that’s never needed. Our filers are completely RAIDed and hot-swappable so if any disk fails no data is lost, and we can replace the disk without any interruption of service! There is no additional cost for these backup features

cPanel

The pride and joy of Kinetic Servers, our web panel is where you go to access and control every aspect of your account with us! It is completely industry standard, and as such is very flexible.

Custom DNS

We allow all of our customers full control over their entire DNS settings via an area of our cPanel. This allows them to do things like make sub-domains or email be handled by their own office servers or whatever they’d like! It’s pretty advanced stuff and makes it very easy to break your hosting with us, so please only touch it if you really know what you’re doing in regards to DNS already!

Custom Errors

On all Kinetic Servers plans you can customize your 404 (file not found) error page, as well as your 500 (internal server error), 403 (forbidden), and 401 (failed authorization) error pages. All you have to do login to your cPanel and create the files in the editor provided!

Custom MX Record

Typically Kinetic Servers handles all email services for any domain hosted with us. However, sometimes a user wants to handle their own email administration or give the responsibilities to a third party while keeping the domain’s web site hosted at Kinetic Servers. In these cases, all that needs to be done is to change the “MX” DNS record to be whoever is handling email. Any Kinetic Servers plan allows for this, directly from our web panel, through a simple form. As soon as you change your MX record away from us, keep in mind your email addresses, auto-responders, and web-based email with us won’t work anymore!

CentOS 5 Linux

CentOS 5 is the distribution of the Linux operating system we use on all of our servers. It is the “open source” distribution, run by a volunteer organization rather than a company. We have found it to have the best software packaging solution and highest stability of all Linux distributions and we love it to death! We also have a few OpenBSD machines running as firewalls. We have no Windows NT/2000 servers of any kind. We find them to be too insecure, unstable, inflexible, and expensive for our needs as a premiere hosting provider!

Disk Storage

All hosting plans each come with a set amount of dis space determined by the different package This amount of disk storage space allocated to all your website hosting needs. The sum of the file sizes of all your web sites, all your email, and all your databases on a plan constitutes your total disk storage for that plan. You can also keep an eye on your current disk usage if you are intrested via your cPanel.

DNS

DNS stands for “Domain Name Service” and is one of the core underlying protocols of the entire Internet! It’s what translates nice human-rememberable names like KineticServers.com into computer-understandable IP addresses like 192.168.2.25! When you get your domain hosted at a web host, they maintain your DNS so that your site is available on the entire Internet. One thing you have to make sure though is that you have told your domain registrar that your domain is being hosted by your web host. To tell your registrar that your domain is hosted by Kinetic Servers, you need to tell them you want to use these specific DNS servers:

NS3.KineticServers.Com NS4.KineticServers.Com

Domain Forwarding

Domain Forwarding is a service we offer for any domains whose DNS is pointing to us. We can put up a default “coming soon” page at your web site, redirect visitors to a different URL, or copy another site hosted with us (“mirroring” the content) – your choice!

Domain Hosting

A domain name is something like KineticServers.com or harvard.edu or amazon.co.uk or show.biz. Domain hosting is what we do at Kinetic Servers! In order to have a web site that is accessible on the Internet at all times, there are two separate things you need to do. First, you need to register your domain, and second, you’ve got to have it hosted somewhere! You can register your domain one place and host it somewhere else, though most web hosts offer domain registration as well (we do, in fact every plan of ours includes one free domain registration for the life of the hosting!). Without hosting, your domain is yours but you can’t use it for email or displaying a web site on the Internet. Without registration, you can configure all your hosting and email preferences through our cPanel but it won’t ACTUALLY work on the Internet!

Domain Registration

You are required to register your domain name via a domain registrar before it works on the Internet. Because of the world-wide nature of the Internet, of course only ONE person can own any given domain name at the same time. That’s why you need to register yours before you start using it… and it has to be a domain name nobody else has already registered! Although you don’t have to register your domain at the same place you use for hosting, it generally makes the whole process a lot simpler. You can transfer your domain registration between hosts at no charge… you are the owner of your domain name… not Kinetic Servers!

Email Addresses

Every Kinetic Servers plan comes with unlimited email addresses @yourdomain.com! These addresses are configured through our cPanel and can be set to go straight to a Kinetic Servers mailbox or forward to another email address. One email address (also known as an email “alias”) can be set to forward to any number of other addresses and mailboxes! You can also set an email address to just discard any mail sent to it (optionally bouncing back a failure message to the sender). Finally, you can set up a “catch-all” email address at your domain which will handle all mail sent to any address @yourdomain.com that you haven’t specifically set up. Having your own domain means you can really get creative with your use of email addresses

FTP

FTP – File Transfer Protocol – is something you’re going to have to use to get your web site live on the web! It is a way to copy files from your home computer up to your directory on our web server. To connect, you’ll need to know your server username and password. The name of the server you connect to is just ftp.yourdomain.com. When you’ve connected, you should see a directory on our server named public_html. You should copy your web site into that directory… not the directory you start out in! If you have multiple domains with us all under the same server username, you’ll see multiple directories when you first connect with your FTP program. Whenever you upload new data to your web site, the changes show up immediately on your live site (you may have to reload the page in your browser of course). You get unlimited FTP updates whenever you’d like (24/7/365) with all of our plans, and FTP uploads don’t count towards your bandwidth usage! By the way, you should name the main page of your site “index.html”… that’s the one our server looks for when somebody goes to a URL (e.g. http://www.kineticservers.com/) without specifying a filename (http://www.kineticservers.com/premium-hosting/
).

Google Gmail

Did you know you and all your users can choose to use Google’s Gmail for email on domains hosted with Kinetic Servers?

  • Access your mail through Gmail’s web interface, but at http://mail.yourdomain.com/
  • True POP3/IMAP/SMTP access!
  • Over 6GB of storage per address (and growing)!
  • Unlimited message forwarding, labeling, and search!
  • Awesome performance, reliability, and spam filtering!
  • Use a custom logo!
  • FREE!

And you still use Kinetic Servers for everything besides email! Of course, you can always just use us for all your email needs.

Htaccess

You can use .htaccess files on all Kinetic Servers plans. .htaccess files are text files that you put in a directory of your web site to tell our web server (apache) that you’d like to handle request to that directory in a special way. There’s lots you can do with a .htaccess file, but some of the most common uses are to password-protection, blocking access from a specific ip range or referring url, and redirecting requests to another URL. There’s almost nothing you can’t do with a simple .htaccess file, and there are lots of tutorials all over the web about how to use them!

IMAP

IMAP is one of three ways you can access email in your mailboxes hosted with us (the other two being POP3 and web-based email). Most email clients in existence today support the IMAP protocol, which basically reads your email directly from the server rather than downloading it to your local computer first (like POP3 does). This is good for keeping your mail organized on a centralized server (good if you access your email from different computers). This is bad if you don’t like to keep your Internet connection active while you read all your email. This is also bad if you are worried about your disk space, since all your old email saved on our servers will count towards your total.

Log Files

Every time somebody visits your web site, our server takes a log of it in either your access.log file or your error.log file (for times when people get errors like 404, etc... These logs are available for you to download at any time via FTP in the directory logs/yourdomain.com/http/ on our server. We rotate the logs every night so that access.log and error.log only contain today’s logs, while error.log.0 and access.log.0 contain yesterdays (the last FULL day of logging available). After two days, we delete the log files. However, you can specify that we save log files for as long as 31 days from our web panel. Normally, your log files do not count towards your disk usage total. If you tell us to save any extra logs though, those will count towards your total. To save you some disk space, we compress these files via “gzip”. You can uncompress them from the shell by running “gunzip filename.gz” on them, or on your home computer with a program like winzip. You can only delete log files more than two days old from the server. We need the logs for the first few days to generate your site statistics!

Mail Filtering

Keep your inbox organized! Our web panel allows you to quickly and easily filter incoming email into different folders as well as forward to other email addresses, add tags, or even delete them… based on whatever triggers you’d like (text in the subject, body, sender, etc..)!

Mailboxes

All Kinetic Servers plans come with some number of mailboxes. These are different from email addresses in that they are WHERE mail sent to email addresses goes on the server. When you check a mailbox with your email client you have to enter your mailbox username (either the same as your server username or else something like m2345678) and password. You will also have to enter your mail server name which is just mail.yourdomain.com. Multiple email addresses can deliver email to the same mailbox, and one email address can deliver email to multiple mailboxes. It all depends on how you configured it from our web panel! You can connect to Kinetic Servers mailboxes to check your email using IMAP, POP3, or web-based email. You can add, delete, and configure your mailboxes from our web panel.

MySQL

All Kinetic Servers plans come with an unlimited number of MySQL databases. MySQL is an open-source SQL (Structured Query Language) database that is fast and fairly reliable. We make backups of all customer databases on a daily basis, but you should of course make your own as well if the information is at all critical! Your databases’ disk usage count towards your total plan disk limits. You can even access your MySQL databases hosted with us remotely, by opening up certain IP addresses via our web panel! You get an unlimited number of databases, and no set limits on usage. We do measure your usage in a unit we made up called “conueries”, to help us keep track of MySQL server loads.

PHP

PHP is a programming language that was designed for making interactive web sites, especially ones that interact with a MySQL database in the back-end. It generally runs even faster than perl and some say is easier to learn, too! It is similar to ASP from the Windows world, except it is open source. PHP version 5 is included free in every Kinetic Servers plan. To make sure your php script gets run from the web as a script you should name it with a .php, .php5, or .phtml extension.

POP3

POP3 is one of three ways you can access email in your mailboxes hosted with us (the other two being IMAP and web-based email). All email clients in existence today support the POP3 protocol, which downloads your mail from our server and copies it to your local hard drive. You can usually specify in your email client if you’d like a copy of the email to be kept on the mail server or not (or even to delete old mail only after a certain number of days). POP3 is nice if you don’t want to stay connected to the Internet while reading and responding to your email: you can just connect, download the messages, disconnect, read and reply to your messages, re-connect, send the messages, and then disconnect! One problem with POP3 is if you decide to delete your old email from the server you won’t have any old mail available to you when you try and check it via a different computer (or using the IMAP protocol or web-based email). On the other hand, this saves disk space on your plan

FFMpeg and Video

All Kinetic Servers plans include support for ffmpeg

Site Statistics

Every night we analyze the log files for all sites hosted with us and create a number of HTML reports of the site accesses represented by them. These reports are in a password-protected area at http://www.yourdomain.com/stats/. The username and password to access these stats is completely separate from all other username and passwords you have… however by default we set it to be the same as your server username’s. You can manage access to your stats from our web panel at any time. The statistics analysis program we currently use is a popular open-source one named Analog. You can also download your raw log files and run whatever statistics program you’d like on them!

SMTP

To send email from your email client, you need to specify an “SMTP” (outgoing mail) server. Almost always, your ISP provides you one can use, something like mail.earthlink.net. Some ISPs, however, do not allow you to send mail using their SMTP server from a domain other than theirs! You’re probably going to want to do that though, so we also provide an SMTP server to all our customers. It is simply mail.yourdomain.com, and as long as you have a single mailbox set up with us, it should work for you. We actually use “authenticated” SMTP, so that only Kinetic Servers clients may use our SMTP server (which is why you have to have a mailbox set up for it to work!). Make sure you check off the appropriate box in your mail client for this (something like “my server requires authentication”). Unfortunately, some ISPs block SMTP requests to any SMTP server other than theirs! If your ISP does this, and also doesn’t allow sending emails with a From field outside of their domain, simply direct your email client to use port 587 for outgoing email!

Spam Filtering

Now just one click is all that stands between you and unsolicited commercial email. Our spam filter (powered by SpamAssassin) flags incoming e-mail messages that have a high-probability of being junk e-mail as spam. While not completely perfect, (and no spam filter ever truly is,) SpamAssassin can do wonders for cleaning up your inbox!

SSI

All Kinetic Servers plans allow access to SSI (Server Side Includes). SSI is kind of like a poor man’s CGI that allows you to parse outside data right into an otherwise normal HTML file. You can put things like the current time, last time this file was updated, or another file right into your HTML file without having to really write any code. In order for SSI commands to be interpreted by our server, you have to name the file with a .shtml extension!

SSL

SSL (Secure Socket Layer) allows the server to establish a secure connection with the client’s browser for encrypted transmission of sensitive data (e.g. credit card information). You can either get a certificate from us for $150/year, or bring your own from any certificate signing authority if you already have one. SSL requires a Unique IP! To set up SSL on your account, you just go to the “Manage Domains” area of our web panel!

Sub-Domain

Every domain fully hosted with Kinetic Servers comes with unlimited sub-domains as well! A sub-domain works just like a regular domain in terms of being able to have its own web content and email addresses… the only difference is it takes the form of www.subdomain.yourdomain.com. You can add and configure sub-domains from our cPanel.

Technical Support

We offer the same unparalleled technical support free to all our customers, no matter what your plan! You can contact support at any time day or night, every day of the year via our contact form or thru ourl ive suppor From there you can also access your full support history including all account-related emails ever sent to you! We do offer phone support. However, our customers generally agree they’d rather send an email and have their solution within a few hours than wait on hold for hours just to talk to somebody on the phone who doesn’t even understand their problem! We have some of the happiest customers in the industry, mainly due to our very high quality support team!

Transfer Bandwidth

Every time somebody visits your web site, or downloads a file from it, they use a little bit of transfer bandwidth in the process. Each Kinetic Servers plan comes with a different amount of included bandwidth per month, as well as a cost for any extra transfer over that. Generally it makes sense to upgrade to the next plan as soon as you go over your current plan’s allotment. Our bandwidth allocations are very generous and are rarely ever even close to being reached by any of our clients! Bandwidth transfer does not count FTP updates or email bandwidth, but it does count anonymous FTP downloads. We keep our network very unsaturated so you always enjoy the fastest possible connect times to your web sites!

Unique IP

Typically a number of web sites share the same IP address (a string of numbers like 212.142.24.53 used to identify a computer on the Internet). If you want to have an SSL certificate or anonymous FTP, however, you’ll need your own unique IP. You can request that one be allocated to you from our web panel. One caveat, although we guarantee that your IP will be unique (nobody else will share the IP) we do not guarantee that it will be static (it always stays the same). The reason for this is sometimes our network topography needs to change and the only way to do this is via the shuffling of some IPs. So really you shouldn’t ever publicly broadcast your unique IP as an address outside people should use for some reason! That’s what DNS is for!

Web-based Email

A new feature that we’ve added to every Kinetic Servers plan is the ability to access your Kinetic Servers mailboxes via a web interface (similar to what is offered by aol, hotmail and yahoo)! To access it, just visit http://yourdomain.com/webmail with any web browser and log in with your email address (not mailbox username!) and password. This web-mail system actually works via IMAP… which means it can only see saved emails you left on the server and didn’t download to your home computer with POP3! There are a bunch of cool features such as a spell-checker, attachment support, and multiple language support.