Top 25 Web Hosting Terms
You Need To Know

For the novice, web hosting terms can be a confusing new language to learn.  Now you no longer have to smile and nod – we’ve broken it down for you in easy to digest snippets!

Bandwidth is the amount of data that can be transferred at one time.  The less bandwidth you have, the slower your site will load, since it can’t support a large amount of data at once. A transfer happens when you send data over a computer channel or bus.  If Bandwidth is the size of the pipe, Transfer is the amount of water you can have.  Transfer refers to a transmission within the computer system, whereas “transmit” refers to transmissions outside the computer over a network.

Cloud Hosting
Cloud Hosting is a hosting service that allows multiple machines to act as one system, as opposed to one machine only, as seen in shared or dedicated hosting.  Cloud hosting benefits include:  increased reliability and the ability to add RAM and other extra resources seamlessly.

CMS (Content Management System)
A CMS is a software that is used to create, edit and publish content for a website.   Popular CMS systems include: WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Blogger and other site builder tools.

ColdFusion is an application that is designed to integrate a database with a webpage.  Using ColdFusion, a user could enter a zip code on a store’s website and the server would query a database for information on all the stores in that area and present the results in HTML form.

CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets.  It’s a language used by Web developers to define a uniform look across several pages of a website.  CSS can be used to control the display of a page or site (its layout, fonts, colors, and more) without having to change its structure or contents. The flexibility offered by CSS makes it easy to change the look of an entire site with just a few changes.

Dedicated Server
A dedicated server is a type of account in which HostMySite provides you with an entire hosting setup including your own server hardware that only you can use.  These types of servers aren’t shared by anyone and give organizations total control. A dedicated server makes sense for web sites that require higher availability and higher data transfer rates.

Disk space
Disk Space is your allocated amount of space on a hosting server.   If you have a shared hosting account, you have a set amount of disk space within the shared server.  For dedicated hosting, you are only limited by the size of your installed hard drives.

E-Commerce is short for electronic-commerce.  It refers to the buying and selling of goods and services over the internet.

FTP, or File Transfer Protocol, is the standard method of transferring files over the Internet from one computer to another.   You would most often use FTP to download a file from a server using the Internet, or upload a file to a server.

HTML, or HyperText Markup Language, is the programming language used to define and structure web pages. Web browsers render HTML into what you see on your computer screen. CSS and Javascript provide enhancements to HTML. You can write HTML directly by using a text editor, or you can produce HTML indirectly by using a Web building tool such as Adobe Dreamweaver.

HTTP, or HyperText Transfer Protocol, is the method of transferring information for the part of the Internet that is called the World Wide Web. That includes Web pages and anything that can be embedded in Web pages, but excludes other transfer methods (FTP, SMTP, etc.).

IMAP is short for “Internet Message Access Protocol.”   With IMAP you are able to get your email messages from a server without having to download them to your local hard drive.   Most webmail systems are IMAP based and allow you to see both sent and received messages, no matter what computer you use to access your account.

IP Address
IP is short for “Internet Protocol” and is the basis for all higher-level protocols (e.g. FTP, HTTP, IMAP, etc.). An IP Address is a series of numbers that identify a particular computer on the Internet.  Every computer requires this address in order to connect to the internet.  IP Addresses can either be static (will never change) or dynamic (temporary).

Knowledge Base (KB)
A knowledge base is a centralized repository for information.  At HostMySite, it’s our searchable database where we keep our collection of knowledge on all the products we offer our customers.

Linux server
A Linux server runs on Linux, a free, open source operating system.  It’s designed to handle the more demanding needs of business applications such as network and system administration, database management and web services.  This is the most common type of web hosting, especially in a shared web hosting environment.

Meta tags
Meta tags are little bits of HTML code that provide information about a page but are not viewable by the user in a browser.  Meta tags include information such as who created the page, what the page is about, and keywords that help the search engine determine the page’s content.  Search engines use this information when ranking the page within search results.

MySQL is an open source database management system.  It is a reliable tool used to quickly access stored data. MySQL is commonly used for applications including data warehousing, e-commerce, web databases and logging applications.   MySQL is used on dynamic web pages – meaning the content of the page is generated from a database as the page loads.

A patch, or service patch, is an actual piece of code that is inserted into (or, patched into) an executable program.  Typically, patches are available as downloads over the internet.

Perl (Practical Extraction and Report Language)
Perl is a scripting language originally developed for text manipulation and now used for a wide range of tasks including web development and interface design.   This language is very well suited for developing prototype versions of programs.

POP stands for Post Office Protocol. It is used to retrieve email from a mail server.  Most mail servers use POP3 because it is simple and well-supported

Shared Web Hosting
Shared Web Hosting is a type of hosting service, where websites for multiple users are hosted on the same server and system resources are shared between all websites on that server.  If you don’t have your own dedicated server or VPS, this is usually how your website will be hosted.

SMTP stands for “Simple Mail Transfer Protocol” and is used for sending email online.  Most email systems use SMTP to send messages from one server to another.  The message can then be retrieved with an email client using POP or IMAP.

SSL Certificate
SSL is short for “Secure Sockets Layer.”   It’s a protocol developed for sending information securely over the internet.   SSL encrypts the data being sent so that it cannot be seen by a third party.  When visiting a website, an address that begins with “https:” indicates an SSL Certificate is being used and the connection is secure.

UNIX was developed in the 1970s and was designed to be used exclusively by programmers.   UNIX has become a leading operating system for workstations and is less popular in the personal computer market.   Examples include Linux, Xenix, Ultrix, and GNU. 

VPS (Virtual Private Server) hosting
A VPS is a server that is split into sections, with each section acting as its own server. This kind of hosting is usually less expensive than a dedicated server but has more flexibility and functionality than shared hosting.

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