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The A-Z List of Web Hosting Terms & What They Mean to You

Published on 6/10/2010 by

Getting started with a website can be an exciting and confusing time. There are so many new things to see and experiment with and learn that it can be overwhelming. Here’s our A-Z list of web hosting terms to help you make sense of it all.

Apache: An open source web server program trusted by many hosts because of its security features.

Bandwidth: Data that is transmitted to or from a server. The higher the bandwidth available to you, the more traffic your site can handle.

CGI: (Common Gateway Interface) is a type of script that processes data from your website users. Contact forms, for example, are often CGI based.

Dedicated Server: Computer hardware used to host a website. Sites with large amounts of traffic need to be hosted on their own dedicated server to be able to handle the load of visitors.

Email hosting: A type of web hosting that manages your personalized email accounts. Gmail, for example, is an email web host.

FTP: (File Transfer Protocol) is the method used to transfer files from one computer to another.

Gigabyte: 1024 megabytes.

Homepage: The main page for your website and where people end up when they type your domain name into their browser.

IP Address: A unique number that identifies various devices on the Internet. The computer you’re using right now has a unique IP address. You can find out what it is here.

Java Script: A programming language that can be embedded into HTML pages to create a variety of effects like scrolling text or pop up advertising.

Kilobyte: 1024 bytes.

Linux: An open source operating system used by many web hosts. Linux provides superior reliability and security.

Managed Backup: Is a service provided by some web hosts. When a host offers managed backups, that means they routinely backup your website and data and store it for you on a separate hard drive or tape drive for safe keeping.

Nameserver: Is a record that points your domain to the server on which your website files are stored.

Operating Systems: The software that is used to manage computers. Linux, Windows and OS X are all examples of operating systems.

PHP: A scripting language that can be embedded into html that is less resource intensive than other languages. WordPress, the popular blog software, is written partially in PHP.

Query: A search process. When you type a question into Google, you are performing a query.

RAID: (Redundant Array of Independent Disks) A reliable method of data backup in which information is stored across multiple servers.

SSL: An encrypted protocol that allows for safe, secure connections when processing payments or personal data. When you shop online, you do so over an SSL connection.

TCP/IP: A set of communication protocols that connect hosts on the Internet.

Unique IP Address: An IP address assigned solely to your website domain.

VPS: (Virtual Private Server) is a server that is shared with multiple users, but operated as if it were a dedicated server. VPS users manage their own software upgrades and maintenance.

Web Hosting: A service that allows users to buy a piece of space on a computer hard drive to store and serve files to the Internet.

XML: (Extensible Markup Language) A language that has a set of rules to structure information in a textual data format and encode documents electronically.

Zip: A popular form of compression that reduces the size of files for faster transport across the Internet. Zip files also take less room to store.

Now that you have the basic terms down, you’re ready to find a web host!