Although web hosting is just about hosting your website, there are many web hosting terms that one might be unfamiliar with.
Having complete knowledge about all the aspects related to web hosting will give you a better understanding about what you are getting with your web hosting package.
Web hosting is a technology driven industry and you might come across various web hosting terms for the first time.
Below are web hosting glossary that might be of importance for understanding the industry better:
Web Hosting Glossary
Addon Domain: Addon domain is an additional domain that can be added through your control panel. The functionalities like hosting a website, creating email addresses, forwarders etc. can be performed on the addon domain just like your main domain.
Apache Web Server : The Apache web server delivers the web content to the users generally through their web browsers. Apache is a free and open source web server and it is maintained by an open community of Apache developers. Apache is feature-rich and a stable web server that is widely used by web hosting service providers.
b2evolution : b2evolution is a multi-user, multi-lingual and multi-blog publishing platform. This is an open source blogging platform that is created in PHP and backed by the MySQL database. It is one of the most efficient blog management platforms.
Bandwidth : Bandwidth is the measure of the data that can be transferred at a given point of time. Data transfer of your website occurs when visitors come to your website and are involved in actions like browsing, file downloading, file uploading etc.
Blog : A blog is a website that is constantly updated by an individual or a group of people / bloggers. One or more authors can publish articles, images, videos and other content in a blog.
Bounce Rate : Bounce rate of the website determines the volume of visitors to your website who leave your website in a short span of time or after viewing just one page on the website. A high bounce rate means that people are not finding what they are looking for on your website and they are not interested in browsing your website. A high bounce rate is an alarming sign for the website to make improvements for holding the visitor attention.
Browser : A browser or a web browser is a client application that decodes the HTML from a web server and displays it as an easily readable web page. The commonly used web browsers include Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer and Apple Safari.
Catch-All Email : Catch-All is a mailbox on the domain that catches all the emails that are addressed to the domain. The catch-all mailbox catches the emails that do not exist in the mail server. If you have configured the catch-all address, then you won’t lose the emails due to misspelling.
Cloud Hosting : Cloud hosting is a cluster of servers that stores the data virtually in the cloud. Cloud hosting has the ability to scale the resources up or down in real time depending on the requirements of your website / application. The owner of the cloud server can access the data from anywhere at any time. Cloud servers are perfect for meeting the requirements of extensive software development and business production requirements along with ensuring affordability.
Cloudlet : A cloudlet is a mobility-enhanced and a small-scale cloud datacenter located at the edge of the internet. The main task of a cloudlet is to support the interactive and resource-intensive mobile applications by providing the mobile devices with powerful computing resources along with ensuring low latency. A cloudlet is a state of art technology that extends today’s cloud computing infrastructure. In MilesWeb’s cloud hosting, 1 Cloudlet = 128 MB RAM + 400 MHz CPU .
Country Code TLD : Country code TLD signifies country code top level domain. This is the two letter code that identifies the websites and content specific to a country. For instance for India the country code TLD is ‘.in’ for USA, the country code TLD ‘.us’ can be used and ‘.uk’ for United Kingdom.
Control Panel : The control panel is provided by the web hosting companies to manage your web hosting account and your website. A control panel is a web based interface that enables the customers to manage their hosting services through a single interface. A control panel allows you to add email addresses, park domains, install applications, upload files, manage databases etc.
CMS : CMS stands for Content Management System. A content management system is a system that runs in the backend and manages the content. You can easily post content to your website through a CMS and make it look appealing to your website visitors. You can also add a new theme to your website through a CMS and you can keep adding new content at any time. Some popular examples of CMSs include WordPress, Joomla, Drupal etc.
CPU : CPU stands for Central Processing Unit. It is the central processor of the computer where all the calculations are done.
cPanel : cPanel is a control panel that is offered with the Linux based web hosting services. This control panel is user friendly and it provides with a graphical interface and automation tools for simplifying website management.
cPanel Hosting : cPanel hosting is the web hosting service that works with the cPanel control panel. cPanel is provided for the Linux web hosting services. cPanel is a user-friendly control panel and it facilitates effective website management. With cPanel, you can easily manage the website files, databases, create email accounts, manage domains and sub-domains and do much more.
Database : A database is a system of storing information. Various types of data is organized and stored in a database and it can be easily accessed, managed and updated. In a database the data is stored in columns, rows and tables thus making it easy to find the relevant information.
Datacenter : A datacenter is a facility that houses the web hosting servers. It is a physical infrastructure that is used for housing computers, servers, networking systems and other components for the company’s IT infrastructure. The web hosting datacenters are based in several locations and you can choose to house your servers in the location near you.
DDOS Attack : DDOS attack stands for Denial Of Service Attack. In this attack various compromised systems that are infected with a Trojan are used for targeting a single system thus causing a denial of service attack. This is a cyber attack that aims at making a computer or network resources unavailable.
Dedicated Hosting : In dedicated hosting, you rent a complete server. The user gets complete control over the server and all the server resources can be used by that single user.
Dedicated IP : Dedicated IP is the IP that is exclusively allotted to a website. It is a unique IP that is devoted to a single hosting account. A dedicated IP address is required if you wish to install an SSL certificate on your website or you can also use it for email service.
Disk Space : Disk space is the amount of storage space that is available in your hosting plan. You will need sufficient disk space to store the website html pages, databases, files, emails, images etc.
DKIM : DKIM stands for DomainKeys Identified Mail. This is a process of verifying if the incoming email messages are actually coming from the mentioned sender. This process also verifies if the email message has been modified during transit. When the DKIM system is enabled, the sender digitally puts his/her signature on the message through a private key. The recipient retrieves the sender’s public key through DNS and verifies the signature on the email message.
Domain Name : Domain name is the name of your website through which people can find you online. You can register your desired domain name and your website will be known by that domain name. For example if your business name is MilesWeb, then you can register a domain name like – www.milesweb.com.
Domain Aliases : This is a domain name that point to some other domain. Through domain aliases, users can access the same website with many different web addresses. Many organizations create domain aliases by registering many similar domain name that resemble with their main domain name and point them to the same website.
Domain Parking : Domain parking is the process of registration of the domain name, this domain is not associated with any services like emails or website. At times, domain parking is done in order to reserve the domain for future use.
Domain Privacy : Domain privacy is a security service provided by various domain name registrars. If you own a domain, you can purchase domain privacy from the domain registrar. When you purchase the domain privacy option, the domain registrar will replace your information in the WHOIS records with other information and a forwarding service in order to maintain your privacy.
Domain Registrar : Domain registrar is the entity that registers your domain name. When you purchase a domain name, you will have to follow the process of registering your domain name in order to link it with your IP address. The main domain registrar is the entity that has the access to register domain names along with your desired domain name extensions like .com, .co.in, .net etc.
DNS : DNS stands for Domain Name Server. This process translates the internet domain names and host names to IP address. DNS is equivalent to the internet’s phone book. The DNS maintains a database of domain names and translates them into Internet Protocol (IP) address. The DNS process is necessary because it is easy for people to remember the domain names but the computers and machines remember the domain names as IP addresses.
Drupal : Drupal is a free and open source content management system based on PHP. It needs to be customized and then you can publish content to your website along with media files. Drupal is easy to use and it can be used by individuals or groups. Drupal incorporates a content management platform along with a development framework.
Ecommerce Hosting : Ecommerce hosting is the hosting platform for running an online store. Ecommerce hosting enables you to set up your online store within a short span of time. Ecommerce hosting includes optimized web servers for managing the online store and ecommerce installation and migration.
Email Hosting : Email hosting is the process of creating secure business email IDs for your organization. Email hosting is backed by a hosting platform that manages email servers. In simple words if you own a domain name and you want your email address to be with that domain name, then you have to sign up for an email hosting service.
Email Auto Responder : The auto responder sends automated email responses through a specific email address. You can create the draft for the auto response emails before setting them up. The auto responder emails are generally used in order to notify people if you are on a vacation or in for any situation when you are unable to reply to the emails.
Error Pages : An error page is a warning page to let your website visitors know that there is an error on the web page that they are trying to access. The error pages are also displayed when there is a server related error. The error pages include 500 internal server error (usually displayed when a server or database is down) or a 404 page not found error (displayed when the requested web page does not exist).
Fantastico : Fantastico is a script library through which you can automatically install the required web applications like WordPress, Joomla, Drupal for your website. Fantastico scripts can be accessed and installed through the website control panel – cPanel.
File Permission : File permissions are the access levels set for certain users or groups. File permissions might include complete access to a file, access to file editing or read-only permission etc.
Forum : A forum is an online community or an online bulletin board. You can usually add a forum to your website through your control panel and you can customize it according to your requirements.
FTP : FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol. FTP is utilized for transferring files between computers on a network. FTP can be used for exchanging files between computer accounts, transferring files between an account and a desktop computer.
Google : Google is one of the most popular search engines that can be used for searching for anything on the internet.
Google Analytics : Google analytics is a web analytics platform offered by Google. It tracks the website traffic and provides necessary reports about website traffic scenario. It is the most widely used web analytics service on the internet. Google analytics services include free and paid services.
Google Webmaster Tool : Google webmaster tool is also known as the Google search console. Google webmaster tool is a free service by Google for the webmasters for checking indexing status of the website links and for optimizing the visibility of the website.
Green Hosting : Green hosting is an Eco-friendly hosting service that incorporates the green technologies for providing hosting services. Green hosting comprises of environment friendly materials and it works towards reducing emissions and optimizes the use of resources.
Guestbook : If you would like your customers to leave comments and reviews on your website, then you can add a specific web page for that known as a guestbook. A guestbook is a web page that collects information like customer name and reviews.
HackAlert Monitoring : HackAlert is a monitoring service that analyses your website on a daily basis. This service notifies you in case your website is hacked or if there is any malicious code on your website.
High Availability : High availability of a system is its ability to ensure the agreed level of uptime that Is usually higher than the normal period. High availability also signifies the systems that can operate continuously for a long period of time without any failure.
Horizontal Scaling : Horizontal scaling means scaling by adding additional machines to your existing resources or adding additional nodes to the system. For example, scaling from one web server to two or three. Horizontal scaling is to scale wider in order to cope with the website traffic requirements.
.htaccess : .htaccess stands for hypertext access. .htaccess is a configuration file that works with the Apache based web servers. Through .htaccess one can set parameters for a file like setting permissions, blocking some websites or determine if people can link to your pages. .htaccess can also be used for improving your website’s functionality and improving SEO.
HTML : HTML stands for HyperText Markup Language. This is the standard language that is used for creating website pages. The web browser receives original HTML through a web server and displays a readable page.
HTTP : HTTP stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol. This protocol is used for transferring hypermedia files like text, images, videos etc. through the internet. It is the base of the world wide web (WWW) and it comprises of interconnected hypertext files.
ICANN : ICANN stands for Internet Corporation For Assigned Names And Numbers. This organization brings together the unique identification factors assigned for all computers worldwide so that each computer can communicate with the others. This collaboration enables the internet to perform its functions. ICANN also administers the distribution of internet naming resources and it undertakes certain responsibilities related to the DNS management.
IP Address : ‘IP’ stands for Internet Protocol. An IP address is a unique string of numbers and dots that identifies an individual computer connected to the internet. The IP address identifies every computer that uses the internet protocol for communicating over a network.
IMAP : IMAP stands for Internet Message Access Protocol, this is an email retrieval process. A copy of the original email is permanently stored inside the server till it is deleted at the server. This process is preferred by the people who work with multiple computers and email clients for email tracking whenever required.
Java Applets : Java Applets are the programs created with the Java programming language and they can be included in the HTML page in the same way as the images are included. If you are using a Java-enabled browser in order to view a web page that includes a Java Applet, the code of that applet is transferred to your system and it is executed by the Java virtual machine.
Joomla : Joomla is an open source content management platform for creating websites or blogs. Joomla is a CMS that connects your website to MySQL, MySQLi or PostgreSQL databases for managing the content.
Linux Server : A Linux server is a server that is powered by the Linux operating system. Linux is an open source operating system and it is preferred by many webmasters.
Live Chat Support : A live chat support is a customer service feature through which you can chat with the customer service representatives of the web hosting company at specified time or round the clock. You can discuss your website related issues through live chat support.
Load Balancer : A load balancer is a system that distributes the network resources or application traffic across the servers. Load balancers are utilized for increasing the capacity and reliability of the applications. The incoming network traffic is perfectly distributed by the load balancer across a group of backend servers or server pool.
Managed Hosting : Managed hosting is a web hosting platform where the web hosting company manages the processes like software upgrades, configuration changes, system administration tasks etc. In this type of hosting, the web hosting company provides support and assistance to the clients in terms of their web hosting package. Managed hosting is ideal for the webmasters who are not comfortable managing their web hosting account.
Malware : Malware is a harmful software that aims at damaging or disabling your website, computer or network.
Mailing List : Mailing list is the list of email addresses stored together. You can send common emails to the email addresses in your mailing list at one go.
Money Back Guarantee : This is a guarantee provided by the web hosting company which means that in case you are not satisfied with the web hosting services, the web hosting company will return your payment. However, a money back guarantee is subjected to the terms and conditions issued by the web hosting company.
MySQL : MySQL is an open source database that can be operated with various applications that you install on your website. Through MySQL you can store information in an encrypted form and retrieve it whenever required.
MX Record : MX record stands for Mail Exchange Record. This record signifies the mail server that is entitled to receive the email messages for a domain. MX record is stored within the DNS system.
Office 365 : Office 365 is developed by Microsoft and it is a subscription platform that provides access to the Microsoft Office applications along with offering other productivity services over the internet. Office 365 offers productivity software and other related services to the subscribers. With Office 365, users can use the Microsoft Office apps on Windows and MacOS. It also provides Microsoft’s cloud storage space service OneDrive and grants 60 Skype minutes for a month.
On Page Optimization : On page optimization is the practice of optimizing the individual website pages in order to gain a higher search engine ranking, for better search engine visibility and for gaining more targeted and genuine traffic. On page optimization covers both, the website content and the HTML source code of the website pages.
Operating System : Operating System or OS is the platform that supports your website functions. The choice of operating system is based on some specific features. In web hosting one can choose from Linux and Windows operating system for the web hosting package.
osCommerce : osCommerce is an ecommerce and online store management platform. osCommerce can be installed on any type of web server that operates on PHP and MySQL and it is easy to use. osCommerce is open source and free and it is available under General Public License.
Overselling : Like the name suggests, overselling is selling more services than the web hosting company can actually deliver. This means selling web hosting space to the customer. Overselling is not ethical as it may slow down the customer website due to inadequate resources.
Perl : Perl stands for Practical Extraction Reporting Language. This is the most popular programming language used by the web developers. Perl is known to have the best text manipulation capacities and it is best suited for web development purposes.
PHP : PHP is an open source scripting language for creating dynamic content. PHP functions by embedding the code directly into the HTML of the website page.
phpMyAdmin : phpMyAdmin is an open source platform created in the PHP language that handles the administration of MySQL over the internet. phpMyAdmin can execute various tasks like creating databases, modifying or deleting databases, fields, tables or rows, executing SQL queries and it also manages users and user permissions.
Plesk : Plesk is an efficient control panel that is offered for both Windows and Linux hosting services. Plesk enables you to easily manage your web hosting account including applications, files, emails etc.
POP : POP stands for Post Office Protocol. This process is used for retrieving the messages from an email server and authenticating them. You can also use a client email application with POP like Thunderbird, Microsoft Outlook etc. in order to view your email messages.
RAID : RAID stands for Redundant Array Of Independent Disks. RAID is the process of storing the same data at different places on multiple hard disks. This process safeguards your website data on many locations so that the data can be retrieved in case of failure. It I s important to note that redundancy is not ensured by all the RAID levels.
Raw Log Files : The raw log files are complete and detailed server logs about a particular account. These logs are mostly important for debugging or for processing third party programs or services.
Reseller Hosting : Reseller hosting is the type of hosting where the user (reseller) can resell hosting space to his/her clients. The reseller can provide every client with their own control panel. The reseller purchases the web hosting company’s services and sells them to customers for earning a profit.
Server : A server is a system where your website resides. A server is usually owned by the web hosting company. The server delivers your website content on the world wide web.
Search Engine Optimization : Search engine optimization is the process of optimizing the website pages for getting more traffic through organic search. It is the technique of working on the right keywords for your website and improving the search engine rank of the website.
SFTP : SFTP stands for Secure File Transfer Protocol. This is a network protocol that enables data transfer through a single connection using a secured shell protocol. SFTP is a separate file transfer protocol that is executed with SSH and works over a secure connection.
Shared Hosting : Shared hosting is a type of hosting where multiple websites are hosted on one server. It is an affordable form of hosting. Every shared hosting customer has a limit over the server resources like disk space, bandwidth etc. according to the shared hosting package.
Sitelock Basic : Sitelock ensures complete website security. It performs monthly malware scans, guards your website against hacking attacks and identifies thefts. Sitelock provides website trust seals and does daily security scanning of website pages.
Sitemap : A sitemap displays the list of all the pages of the website that are accessible to the crawlers and to the visitors.
Sitemap Generation : Sitemap generation is a service that makes sure that all the crawling search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing etc. are informed of your website content along with your website links.
Site Access Reports : Site Access Reports are the graphical reports that transform the raw access logs into manageable and readable reports. Through these reports the webmasters can easily understand the website traffic trends and make better decisions for the website.
SLA : SLA stands for Service Level Agreement. This is the agreement made with the web hosting company or with other organizations. The web hosting company or the other organization you are in contract with lays out the terms and conditions of the agreement. Usually SLA comprises of rules for duration of service, scope, web hosting guidelines, terms about services provided etc.
SMTP : SMTP stands for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol. This is an internet based standard for sending and receiving emails.
SME : SME stands for Small-To-Medium Enterprises. SME signifies startups, new businesses and mid size organizations.
Softaculous : Softaculous is an auto installer that is used for installing various scripts and applications. Softaculous works with control panels like cPanel, Plesk, Webuzo, DirectAdmin etc. Softaculous is a commercial script library and you will find numerous scripts that can be used for the functioning of your website.
Spam : These are the bulk emails or messages sent to you without being asked for and from illegitimate sources. Usually these messages are sent to sell something. If you purchase a web hosting account and start spamming, then you can get yourself banned and lose your web hosting package.
Spam Filter : Spam filter is an email filter that is used for identifying the spam emails. A spam filter utilizes many advanced and statistical analysis methods on the email headers and the main content of the email in order to spot the spam emails.
SSH : SSH stands for Secure Sockets Shell, this is a protocol that provides the administrators a secure way of accessing a remote computer. It is a secure method of file transfer.
SSL : SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. SSL is an encryption that enables people to make secure transactions online. If you own an ecommerce website, you will need an SSL in order to accept payments online in a secure way. If a website is secured with SSL, the website address will start with ‘HTTPS’. Google recommends having an SSL installed on your website and it also helps in improving the search engine ranking of the website.
Server Side Includes : Server Side Includes is also known as SSI, this platform enables the web developers to add HTML comments to the pages that can deliver many benefits to the website. This comprises of header / footer includes or the implementation of a dynamic server side script.
Sub-Domain : A sub-domain is a website domain that is a part of the primary main domain. A sub-domain can have its own unique content. For instance, your website blog can be hosted on a sub-domain of your website and if your website name is mywebsite.com, your blog sub-domain can be blog.mywebsite.com.
TLD : TLD stands for Top Level Domain. TLD is the last segment of a domain name that follows after the dot ‘.’. For example in the website URL – www.mywebsitename.com, ‘.com’ is the TLD. TLDs are of two types – generic TLDs like .com, .net etc. and country specific TLDs like .uk, .usa, .co.in etc.
Trial Period : Some web hosting companies offer a free trial period where you can avail the web hosting package and services for free for a certain period of time. If you like the web hosting services you can purchase the web hosting package or you can opt out after the trial period. Web hosting companies have terms and conditions laid out for the trial period.
Traffic Distributer : A traffic distributer enables the faster processing of requests and manages simultaneous threads without any failure. With the help of a traffic distributer you can ensure perfect management of the workloads.
Unlimited Hosting : The term ‘Unlimited’ hosting states that the web hosting package provides unlimited resources like disk space, bandwidth etc. However, there are terms and conditions to unlimited hosting packages. Unlimited hosting plans are recommended for small and medium size companies.
Uptime : Uptime is the amount of time when a server is up and running without any interruptions. You must look for a web hosting service that provides an uptime of at least 99.95%. Uptime of your website means that if your website is up and the visitors can access it and use it perfectly.
Vertical Scaling : Through vertical scaling one can increase the capacity of the existing virtual server by adding additional resources. For instance, you can add processing power to a server for making it fast.
Virtual Datacenter : A virtual datacenter is basically a pool of cloud infrastructure resources that are specifically designed for enterprise business requirements. The resources provided in a virtual datacenter incorporate memory, network, connectivity, bandwidth, storage, backup solutions etc.
VPS Hosting : A virtual private server is a physical server that is virtually partitioned. Every virtual private server has dedicated resources. VPS server is equivalent to a dedicated server and is available at an affordable cost. VPS hosting is Linux based and Windows based, you can also opt for managed or un-managed VPS hosting services.
Webmail : Webmail is the direct access to your emails. You can login to your webmail through your control panel and you can check the emails without the need of any third party software.
Website Backup : Website backup is the process of backing up your website data in order to safeguard the data and maintain a copy of the data in case of system failure, cyber attack or any other disaster. Some web hosting companies offer website backup services as a part of the web hosting package.
Website Migration : Website migration is the process of transferring a website from one web hosting company to the other. This move comprises of the migration of all the important website files to the new web host. It is important to schedule website migration at an appropriate time so that your visitors or customers are not affected.
Web Hosting : Web hosting is a platform on which your website is hosted and made live so that it can be viewed and accessed on the world wide web. The website owner can buy the hosting space according to his/her website requirements. Along with the web hosting package, the web hosting company also provides support and customer care services for the smooth functioning of the customer’s websites.
Web Traffic : Web traffic is basically the number of visitors coming to your website, it also signifies the volume of data sent and received by the visitors coming to your website. Web traffic does not comprise of the traffic through bots. Web traffic to a website is determined by the visitors coming to a website and the number of pages they visit.
Windows Server : A Windows server is a server powered by the Windows operating system. Usually, webmasters opt for Windows based hosting if they would like to use certain Windows features or run ASP.NET, MSSQL based apps.
Windows Hosting : The Windows hosting platform is based on the Windows operating system. This hosting service offers Windows specific technologies like ASP, .Net, MSSQL, FrontPage, Visual Basic etc. Windows hosting provides the Plesk control panel for managing the website functions.
WordPress : WordPress is one of the most popularly used free blogging and website building platform and a content management system. WordPress is based on PHP and MySQL. WordPress incorporates a huge number of plugins, extensions and themes to customize the website. You can also run various addons and utilities on WordPress.
Zen Cart : Zen cart is a PHP based online store management platform that utilizes the MySQL database and HTML components. Zen Cart supports various languages and currencies for managing the online store effectively.
Zimbra : The Zimbra Collaboration Suite (ZCS) is a collaboration software suite that comprises of an email server and a web client. Zimbra is an open source email platform that offers email services, calendaring and enterprise applications. Zimbra connects the end users to share information and perform activities in their private cloud.