If you are learning web hosting or a beginner in the industry, you might find it difficult to understand many terms associated with it. Since web hosting is a technology-driven industry, you need to be familiar with the meaning and definition of each term/technical-word to do things right.
Here is a complete glossary of all necessary web hosting terminology that all professionals in the industries of website design and development, blogging, and digital marketing need to know.
While it’s about hosting your website or blog or purchasing a web hosting plan, this glossary can help you in making things easy and making the right decision.
I’ve divided this glossary into five sections so that you can easily find the terms and their meaning in a group following your skill level or for a specific requirement.
In this dictionary of web hosting, I’ve not arranged the technical words in alphabetical order. I’ve ordered all the terms in their relation to each other. It will help you in learning web hosting with ease.
Common Web Hosting Terms
Hosting refers to the process of housing a website in a server. If you host your website in a server, all the files therein will be stored in the server for public access. Any internet user can access your website from the server through a web browser.
A server is a highly powerful computer that only stores or hosts websites and web applications for public access.
Although a server is generally not different from a PC, it has the following special features:
- A server has RAM, ROM, and processor that are more powerful than a normal PC.
- A server almost never goes offline. The owner of the server keeps it switched on for 24X7.
- Servers are, generally, owned by web hosting companies.
Server Space or Disk Space
Server space refers to the hard disk space on a server that is allocated to you in a hosting plan. Server space to you is decided by the plan you choose and the amount you are willing to pay. It can also be defined as the amount of space allocated to you on the server to store files, pages, emails, etc.
The server space is also alternatively known as disk space.
Bandwidth refers to the amount of data from your website that the users of your site can access at a certain time.
Hosting plans and packages either come with limitations of bandwidth or unlimited bandwidth. During subscribing to a hosting plan, you need to be ensured with the bandwidth that comes with the plan. Lower bandwidth can down your website if there will be a lot of users simultaneously.
The uptime of a website refers to the amount of time the site is live and accessible. It is also the amount of time the server is uninterrupted.
A web host or web hosting company is the business that keeps, manages, and maintains web servers in data centers.
A data center is a place where web servers are kept. Web hosting companies manage such data centers. Managing a data center requires adequate technical staff, cooling systems, and managerial capacity.
A browser or internet browser is an online application/service through which you access websites or web content. Google Chrom, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Edge are examples of internet browsers.
A domain or domain name is the name of your website through which internet users can find it, and your website can be known in that name. For example, the domain name of BusinessKrafts is businesskrafts.com. Anyone can find our website by typing the domain name on a browser.
You can register a domain name of your choice from a domain registrar by paying the registration fees.
Each domain name is unique like a phone number. If someone has already taken your chosen domain name, you have to opt for the available alternative.
To have a website, you need to have a domain name for your site.
Domain Name Registrar
A domain name registrar is a company that is authorized to sell/register domains for the use of end-users like those who want to have websites. For example, Godaddy, BlueHost, BigRock, etc. are domain name registrars.
It’s a process of obtaining a domain name for your website from a domain registrar by paying the registration fees for a certain term. Before the term expires, you need to renew the registration so that you can use the domain name continuously for your website.
Top-Level Domain (TLD)
A TLD is a suffix at the end of a domain. For example, .com is the TLD of businesskrafts.com. Most popular TLDs are – .com, .org, and .net.
Country Code TLD
A Country Code TLD (CC-TLD) is a domain name suffix that represent the name of a country. For example, .in in a domain name represents India and .us represents USA.
Second Level Domain (SLD)
In a domain name, a second level domain (SLD) is the part of domain before a dot [.] before the top level domain. For example, businesskrafts is the SLD in the domain name businesskrafts.com. In businesskrafts.co.in, .co is the SLD.
Domain Name Extension
A domain name extension is the last part of a domain that comes after a dot (.). For example, .com is the domain name extension of the domain businesskrafts.com.
A subdomain is a suffix extension of a domain that allows you to set multiple websites using a domain name. For example, blog.businesskrafts.com can be a subdomain of businesskrafts.com.
You can add multiple subdomains to your domain, if you want.
An add-on domain is a separate domain in your web hosting account. Like the primary domain, you can assign a website or email account to an add-on domain
A parked domain is a domain that is registered but not assigned to a service like a website or an email hosting.
Content Management System (CMS)
A CMS is a software that helps you building and managing your website with ease. For example, WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, etc. are popular CMSs.
WordPress is the most popular CMS software that is used to create websites, blogs and e-commerce stores. Mostly, bloggers prefer WordPress as it is highly customizable, easy to use, and free and open source.
A blog or weblog is a website or a portion of website that can be considered as an online journal. Blogging is mostly about writing on the internet. We get most of the informations on the internet through blogs.
Terms Related to Web Hosting Plans
A web hosting plan is a pre-defined package of server space, bandwidth, hosting features, and add-on at a certain price. Before subscribing a hosting plan, you should be confirmed about the features and pricing. Low-cost plans, generally, comes with limited features and functionalities.
A shared hosting plan is that in which a number of websites use a single server. It’s the basic type of hosting and costs low. Shared hosting has many disadvantages like the bad neighbor effect. That means, a bad website can negatively affect the performance of other websites in a shared hosting environment.
VPS stands for virtual private server. A VPS hosting is a advanced form of shared hosting, where each hosted website has separate virtual space. Due to virtually divided spaces, in a VPS environment, each websites enjoy their independence from each other.
A cloud hosting plan is the most advanced form of shared hosting that leverage cloud technology for better performance and minimizing down time. In a cloud hosting environment, if a server gets down, the websites hosted in that server automatically get transferred to another server in the cloud system. Most of the cloud plans come with combination of VPS hosting, and that is known as cloud-VPS hosting.
A dedicated hosting plan is where you get the entire resources of a server to yourself. Since the entire server is dedicated to your website, it’s highly expensive. Dedicated hosting is recommended to large business websites that can bear the server rent and maintenance cost. Small and medium websites don’t require a dedicated hosting plan.
Managed hosting is a type of web hosting service where the service provider take care of the maintenance, uptime, backup, security etc. of a website. Managed hosting allow you to host and manage your website easily without much technical knowledge.
Reseller hosting is a web hosting selling plan where individuals and businesses can resell server spaces at their own price and own brand name. Most of the reseller packages are white label hosting; that mean you can sell the hosting plans in your own brand name.
Linux server is a web server that uses Linux operating system, a free and open source OS. Hosting on Linux server is called Linux hosting
A Windows server is that uses a Windows operating system. Unlike Linux OS, Windows OSes are commercial and can be available on paying. Windows hostings are more expensive than Linux hosting.
A hosted website is one that is already hosted in a server and built on a website builder such as Wix or Squarespace.
Unlike the hosted website plans, in a self hosting environment, you need to purchase a hosting plan to host your website.
Advanced Web Hosting Terms
Domain Migration is the process of moving your domain to a new registrar. Generally, you can migrate a domain from one registrar to another after one year of registration.
Similar to domain migration, a website migration refers to the process of moving your website to a new web host.
DNS stands for Domain Name Server. A DNS keeps various records assigned to a domain name including IP address, NS records, MX records, etc.
Web Hosting Control Panel
A web hosting control panel consists of several tools to enable you to interact with your server using a graphical interface. In fact, the control panel of a web hosting account is the central hub to manage and maintain the services you subscribe.
FTP stands File Transfer Protocol that enables you to interact with your server’s files and transfer them to your local computer and vice-versa. You can do this using a file transfer client, such as FileZilla.
SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer. SSL certificates protect the information of your website users. It also informs your users through a lock icon and https suffix in the address bar of web browsers that their data is well protected.
HTTP stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol. t is an application-layer protocol for transmitting hypertext files like the HTML. Basically HTTP communicates between the web browsers and web servers
HTTPS is the hypertext transfer protocol that is secured with an SSL certificate.
.htaccess (hypertext access) files allow setting parameters for websites hosted on the Apache web server.
FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol, which is a means of transferring files between a client and a server. FTP is mostly used as a standard network protocol for web hosting services.
SSH or Secure Shell is an advanced means of file transfer that uses secure connections in transferring files between the client and the server.
Dedicated IP is an IP address that is used solely by a website. It is required to secure a website through SSL.
My SQL is an open-source database system that is often included in hosting packages. Most commonly it is used for website data management.
Language support refers to the types of programming languages that will work with your web hosting. Most web hosts support PHP and Perl at the minimum.
IMAP stands for Internet Message Access Protocol. This protocol helps in receiving emails over the internet. Through, IMAP, each mail is saved in the server till permanently deleted.
POP3 stands for Post Office Protocol version 3. This protocol is used to receive email from the server. If you receive emails through POP3, once it is downloaded to your computer, it’ll be permanently deleted from the server.
SMTP stands for simple mail transfer protocol. It is a communication protocol that allows applications to send emails over the internet. Your email application connects to your mail server via SMTP and sends the messages.
Spam or Mail Spam
Mail spam refers to the unsolicited bulk mail that is used to promote or sell services or products. Your email host may provide services to automatically detect spam.
Webmail is a process of sending and receiving email without any separate email software.