Common Web Hosting Terms: Defined and Explained

Common Web Hosting Terms

Common Web Hosting Terms

Today I thought I’d give you an article on Common Web Hosting Terms, with definitions and explanations about some of them.  If you think about it, would a student take a class on brain surgery before he learned all that medical terminology?  No, so why would you not want to learn the language of this field?  Enjoy this Common Web Hosting Terms article!

Common Web Hosting Terms: Defined and Explained

By Jon Gregory

So you’ve decided to start a website for your small business but you’re starting to come across a few words that you’ve never seen before. Frustrated, you use a search engine to look up these new web hosting terms and now you’re here reading this article. Well, we’re glad you made it this far. That tell us that you at least know how to use a search engine!

Here are a few of the most common terms and abbreviations that you might come across when choosing a web hosting company for your small business:

Bandwidth is a measurement of how much information can be transmitted between your website and all of the other computers accessing your website on the internet. If you have a lot of people visiting your site, they’re using your bandwidth each time they visit. Some web hosts offer unlimited bandwidth which means you can have an unlimited number of people visiting and interacting with your website.

Control Panel 
The control panel is the interface that some web hosting companies setup for you to manage your website. Often you can login to your control panel to access all of the features and services that are provided by your hosting service.

A computer or program that accesses a service from a server program over the internet.

The Cloud 
This is a term used to describe virtual services that are hosted on a foreign server or computer. Data that are stored in the cloud can be accessed by multiple users from outside the cloud. The cloud is hosted by a foreign server, taking the load off of your individual computer and making it easier to install and share updates and programs for many different users. For example, it’s much easier to install updates for one shared computer that is accessed by multiple users than it is to install individual updates on a thousand different individual machines.

Crawler / Spider 
A program usually used by search engines to identify and index websites.

A database is a carefully organized set of data that is stored on a computer or server.

Data Transfer 
See definition of bandwidth. In web hosting, data transfer is the amount of information transmitted between a server and other computers that are accessing that server.

Disk Space 
Disk space is the amount of space that your website is given to store things like data, images and files. The number a web hosting company gives you for disk space is the maximum amount of data that they will allow your website to occupy on their servers.

Domain Name 
A domain name is a string of letters and numbers that point to a specific website or server on the internet. Domain names don’t necessarily have to end, they can end in a variety of letters like,,, etc.

FTP, also known as File Transfer Protocol, is the method used to upload or download files to and from your website. An FTP client is a program that you use to transfer files from your computer onto the server that hosts your website.

A gigabyte (GB) is a fairly large amount of data. Most small business websites never occupy more than a couple gigabytes of disk space on a server.

In web hosting, a host is a computer that stores and displays information over the internet, namely your website and the sites of other users and businesses. Your website “lives” on the host server.

Hosting Platform 
This is the operating system that your hosting provider has available on their servers.

IP Address 
Your IP address is basically your computer’s address on the internet. Computers use IP addresses to locate other computers over the internet.

ISP, or internet service provider, is a company that provides access to the internet.

A nameserver is a server that translates domain names into IP addresses. Nameservers are important because they enable us to remember strings of letters and words instead of numbers. It’s a lot easier to remember than it is to remember a number like

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is the process of optimizing a website or document for search engines. SEO is usually used to refer to the method of increasing the ranking of your website on search engines.

SSL, also known as a Secure Sockets Layer, is a security method used to encrypt and transmit information safely over the internet. Many e-commerce websites use SSL to ensure credit card and customer information is kept secure.

In web hosting, many companies will offer website templates for users that don’t know how to build a website. Website templates are “pre-built” websites that you can customize to make your own. They make creating a website much simpler because a lot of the programming involved is already taken care of. All you have to do is change the information to make the website your own.

Uploading is a process of transferring files from your computer to a server or computer on the internet. It’s like downloading, but exactly the opposite.

Usually expressed in a percentage, uptime is the amount of time you can expect your website to be available for other people to access. A 99% uptime means that your website will be available 99 percent of the time.

Often refers to anything done online or from a foreign hosted computer or server.

Virtual Server 
A server that shares is software, space and resources with multiple users.

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Common Web Hosting Terms

Today, I hope you picked up a little more knowledge and can better understand some of those Common Web Hosting Terms.  I’ll be looking for more “goodies” to post here in the future.  Until then, don’t forget, at Domain Hosting Place there’s always something new to be found!

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