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Web Hosting and Website Builder Glossary

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Web Hosting and Website Builder Glossary is composed of common terms and definitions used in Web Hosting and Website Building

Web hosting and website builders have terms and definitions that can be a bit confusing especially when you are a beginner looking at pricing plan tables when shopping around for a new web host or website builder tool. Here is a glossary of terms and definitions used in web hosting and website building.

1. Types of Web Hosting

Dedicated Hosting

In VPS Hosting and Shared Hosting, you have to share server resources with hundreds of other customers. Dedicated Hosting gives you a server of your own to play with that you don’t have to share with anyone else. You control everything about the server yourselves. The main reason companies opt for a dedicated server is to host their data privately on a server they don’t have to share with anyone else to minimize security risks.

Also known as Dedicated Server Hosting.

This term relates to types of Web Hosting

Email Hosting 

Email Hosting allows you to create email accounts on your own domain name. The most popular example of email hosting is Gmail for business. A lot of web hosting companies offer free email hosting on shared plans.

This term relates to Web Hosting

Green Hosting

Green hosting is environment-conscious web hosting that aims to reduce carbon emissions. The most popular example is GreenGeeks. All their servers run on clean energy.

This term relates to types of Web Hosting

Linux Hosting

Linux Hosting is a web hosting service where the server runs on a Linux operating system such as Ubuntu. Linux hosting is the most popular cheap web hosting option and if you have ever tried shared hosting, your website was probably hosted on a shared web host.

This term relates to Web Hosting

Minecraft Hosting

Minecraft is one of the most popular games on the internet. If you want to play it with other people, you need a server. Minecraft server hosting provides you with a multiplayer server where you can play with your friends.

This term relates to types of Web Hosting

Managed Hosting

Managed Hosting is web hosting where the web hosting company takes care of the behind-the-scenes maintenance and optimizations. It is a premium service that allows you to focus on building and growing your business without having to worry about maintaining servers. It is available for almost all types of web hosting including WordPress, VPS, and Dedicated.

This term relates to types of Web Hosting

Managed WordPress Hosting

Managed WordPress Hosting is a premium hosting service for WordPress sites. If you run a WordPress site, this is the best hosting option for you. Your web host will take care of all the server-side maintenance, software updates, and server security. Popular managed WordPress hosts include WP Engine, Kinsta, and Cloudways.

This term relates to types of Web Hosting

Podcast Hosting

A podcast hosting platform stores and distributes a podcast's audio files, for users to stream or download. Think of a podcast host as the middle man between the podcast creator and the listeners.

This term relates to types of Web Hosting

Reseller Hosting

Reseller Hosting allows you to start your own web hosting business. You can decide how much resources you offer on every plan and how much you charge. This hosting is usually used by agencies who want to host all their clients themselves while charging a commission on the hosting fees.

This term relates to types of Web Hosting

Shared Hosting

Affordable web hosting for small businesses or anyone who is just starting out. It is great for hobby and starter sites. It is also the cheapest of all types of web hosting available. In shared hosting, your website shares server resources with hundreds of other customers’ websites that are on the same server. Shared hosting packs less power than its counterparts but requires almost zero knowledge of web development. Popular shared web hosts include Bluehost, DreamHost, HostGator, and SiteGround.

The term relates to types of Web Hosting

VPS Hosting

Web hosting companies divide their servers into multiple smaller servers using a technology called virtualization. They then sell these smaller virtual servers as Virtual Private Servers (or VPS). A VPS is a logical next step in scaling your online business. If you want more control over your server and better performance, you need to host your website on a VPS.

A VPS may be a little more expensive than Shared Hosting but it can offer a huge boost in speed to your website. On a shared hosting plan, your website has to share resources with hundreds of other websites on the same server. On a VPS (like Scala Hosting), on the other hand, your website gets a small share of the server that isn’t shared with any other customer.

This term refers to types of Web Hosting

WordPress Hosting

Web hosting that is optimized for sites built on the WordPress CMS. It costs a little more than Shared Hosting but is one of the easiest ways to start a WordPress site.

The term relates to types of Web Hosting

Windows Hosting

Windows Hosting means a server that runs on Microsoft IIS server software, which is required for websites built on ASP.net. If you don’t already know what Windows Hosting is, most likely you will never need it for your business.

This term relates to Web Hosting

2. Important Web Hosting Terms

Bandwidth

Bandwidth is the amount of data that is allowed back and forth from your website’s server. Every time someone visits your website, their browser downloads your website’s pages. Every download costs towards your hosting’s bandwidth.

This term relates to all types of web hosting services.

cPanel

cPanel is a tool that allows you to manage your website and its contents. Most shared web hosting services offer cPanel for free. cPanel offers many applications such as a file manager, PHPMyAdmin, database creator, etc. to make it easy for anyone to manage a website without any programming knowledge.

This term relates to web hosting

Content Delivery Network

A Content Delivery Network (or CDN) caches your website’s content on servers that are distributed around the world. It delivers your website’s content from a server closest to your visitor reducing your site’s loading time.

This term relates to websites

CPU Cores

Running any software on a computer requires doing thousands of complex calculations every second. These calculations are handled by your computer’s Processor (also known as CPU). In general, the more cores a CPU has, the faster its performance will be. If your server has a lot of CPU cores and your website’s code is optimized to take advantage of this, your server will be able to handle thousands of visitors without lagging.

This Term relates to all types of web hosting services

Dedicated IP Address

On a shared web hosting server, the server’s IP address is shared between hundreds of websites on that server. A dedicated IP address is one that is dedicated only to your account/website and isn’t used by other websites.

This term relates to all types of web hosting

Downtime

Downtime is the time during which your website or application is offline or unavailable.

This term relates to Web Hosting

FTP

FTP or File Transfer Protocol allows you to transfer files between your computer and your website’s server.

This term relates to Servers.

IP Address

Every computer (including servers) connected to the internet has an IP address. Computers connect and communicate with each other using each others’ IP addresses.

This term relates to Web Hosting and Servers

Malware

Malware is a virus that aims to harm your computer and steal your data.

This term relates to Antivirus and Web Hosting

Number of Visitors

Some web hosting companies offer unlimited bandwidth and storage but limit the number of people who can visit your website in a month. Usually, this is a soft limit, meaning your web host won’t disable your website right away if you exceed it. Most web hosts will issue a warning or upgrade your account if your website regularly gets more visitors than allowed. Some web hosts have no such limits on the number of visitors. This is usually seen in the case of Shared Hosting.

This term relates to all types of web hosting services.

RAM

RAM is where a computer stores temporary data it is currently using. In hosting lingo, this refers to the amount of system RAM your website’s server gets. In general, the more RAM your server has, the more visitors it can handle.

This term relates to all types of web hosting services.

Storage

Storage dictates how much data you can store on your website’s server. This includes the data stored in your website’s database, images, videos, HTML, CSS, code, etc. A lot of shared hosting providers offer unlimited storage but limit the per file size to keep it fair.

This term relates to all types of web hosting services.

Site Backups

Most web hosts offer regular automatic backups for your website. Some web hosts offer this service for free with every plan, while others might charge a small fee for it.

This term relates to Web Hosting

SFTP

SFTP is the secure version of FTP. It is slower but more secure.

This term relates to Web Servers

SSH

SSH is a network protocol that allows you to connect to a server securely and control it from a remote computer. SSH is how you control a VPS and a Dedicated server.

This term relates to Web Servers

Uptime

Uptime is the percentage of time your website is online. It’s the opposite of downtime.

This term relates to Web Hosting

Web Server

A web server is just a computer that is connected to the internet and runs website server software such as Apache. A server is required to build a website. It is what hosts (or contains) all your website’s files and sends them to the browser of your visitors

This term relates to Servers

WHMCS

WHMCS is software that allows you to sell web hosting to your own customers. It helps you automate and manage your web hosting business.

This term relates to Reseller Hosting

.htaccess

A .htaccess file allows you to make changes to your website server’s configuration.

This term relates to Web Servers and Apache

3. Web Technologies

Apache

Apache is the most popular web server software that is used by most websites on the internet. It is open-source and available for free.

This term relates to Web Hosting and Servers

CMS

A Content Management System (CMS) is a tool that lets you create and manage content on your website without having to edit the underlying code.

This term relates to Website Builders

CSS

CSS (or Cascading Style Sheets) is what defines the look and layout of your website. It defines what every element on your website should look like. It can be used to customize the size, font, color, background, and other display attributes of every element on your website.

This term relates to Websites

Drag and Drop Builder

A drag and drop builder helps you design your website or build a landing page visually without having to touch a single line of code. It makes adding new features (such as share buttons) to your website as easy as clicking, dragging it to on to the position you want it, and dropping.

This term relates to Website Builders

Ghost

Ghost is a free, open-source CMS. It is a complete publishing platform that lets you build an audience and monetize it. Unlike WordPress which runs on PHP and MySQL, which runs on Node.js and MongoDB. It was founded by John O’Nolan, who was one of the earliest contributors to WordPress.

This term relates to Content Management Software

HTTP

HTTP (or Hypertext Transfer Protocol) is the technology that the internet runs on. It allows a browser and server to communicate with each other. It is the protocol over which a web server sends HTML to your browser.

This term relates to Servers

HTTPS

HTTPS is the secure version of HTTP. It creates a sort of a tunnel between the browser and the server where the data sent back and forth cannot be intercepted by a hacker. HTTP is vulnerable to hacking attempts and data leaks. That’s why most browsers are now pushing for HTTPS and display a “Website Not Secure” message when you visit a website that still uses HTTP.

This term relates to Servers

HTTP Methods

An HTTP method is used to describe the nature of an HTTP request. The most commonly used HTTP methods are GET and POST, which are used for receiving and sending data respectively.

This term relates to Servers

HTML

HTML (or HyperText Markup Language) is a markup language that defines how web content is structured. It tells the browser the order things are to be displayed. It is the most basic building block of the web.

This term relates to Websites and Servers

JavaScript

JavaScript is used to make websites interactive. HTML and CSS by themselves can only control how a webpage looks.

This term relates to Websites

MySQL

MySQL is an open-source database management software that is used by most websites on the internet. It is required to build any kind of website that requires storing data such as eCommerce sites.

This term relates to Web Hosting

SSL

An SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate allows a webserver to encrypt the data being sent to and received from the browser to prevent hackers from intercepting the connection. You need an SSL certificate installed on your web server if you want to use HTTPS. SSL certificates are now required by most browsers. Most web hosting companies offer a free SSL certificate with their hosting services.

This term relates to Servers, Online Security, and Web Hosting

Squarespace

Squarespace is a drag-and-drop website builder platform. It takes care of everything technical behind the scenes so you can focus on growing your business.

This term relates to Website Builders and Content Management Software

Website Builder

A website builder is an online tool that lets users create a website, online store, or start a blog, using pre-made templates, without having to design it or write code themselves. Popular website builders include Wix, Squarespace, Zyro, and Shopify.

This term relates to Website Builders

WordPress

WordPress is a free, open-source CMS that is used by most websites on the internet. It allows you to create new pages and posts on your website without having to write any code.

This term relates to Content Management Software

Webflow

Webflow is the most advanced drag-and-drop website builder platform. It can be used to create any kind of website including an online store. It is used by thousands of businesses and enterprise companies around the world.

This term relates to Website Builders and Content Management Software

WYSIWYG

WYSIWYG is short for What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get. This term is used for content editors and website builders that let you see in real-time what the end result of your editing will be. Website builders such as Squarespace and Webflow are good examples.

This term relates to Website Builders

WordPress Page Builder

A WordPress page builder is a plugin that allows you to design and build pages visually. Elementor and Divi are good examples of such plugins. It lets you design your pages visually with a drag and drop editor.

This term relates to WordPress and Website Builders

4. Domain Names

Country Code Top Level Domain (ccTLD) Name

Country Code Top Level Domains (ccTLD) are domain extensions that are associated with a specific country. For example, .us is a domain name for the United States. Other examples include, .co.uk, .in, and .eu.

This term relates to Domains

Domain Name

A domain name is what you type in your browser to visit a website. For example, Facebook.com or Google.com. A domain simply points to the IP address of your website’s server so that your users don’t have to type the IP address of your website every time they want to visit it.

This term relates to Web Hosting

DNS

When you type facebook.com, your browser doesn’t know the computer/server you are trying to connect to. Domain Name System is what translates domain names to their associated IP Addresses and makes it possible for your computers to find other computers (or servers) on the internet.

This term relates to Domains and Web Hosting

Domain Registrar

If you want to buy a new domain name for your website, you buy one from a domain registrar such as GoDaddy. They register your domain name and let you control its DNS records.

This term relates to Domains and Web Hosting

Domain Privacy

Every domain name is required to have publicly available contact information of the owner. This information is publicly listed in the WHOIS directory. To help you protect your privacy and prevent spam, domain registrars offer a domain privacy service that hides your contact information and displays contact info for a forwarding service instead.

This term relates to Domains

Domain Parking

A parked domain is usually a domain name that is reserved by the owner for later use and might display a coming soon message. Most registrars offer a free domain parking service where they display a coming soon page on your domain name.

This term relates to Domains

Expired Domain

A domain has to be renewed regularly and can only be registered for 10 years max at any given time. If the domain name isn’t renewed, it becomes an expired domain.

This term relates to Domains

ICANN

ICANN (or Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) is responsible for coordinating IP addresses and domain names on the internet. All domain registrars register your domain from ICANN. ICANN charges a small fee every time you buy a new domain name.

This term relates to Domains

Subdomain

A subdomain allows you to create multiple websites on the same domain name. In admin.my-website.com, admin is the subdomain. This allows you to separate the different sections of your website.

This term relates to Domains and Web Hosting

Top-Level Domain (TLD) Name

A Top-Level Domain is the extension of a domain name such as .com, .net, .org, etc. It is usually referred to as a domain extension.

This term relates to Domains

5. Email Hosting Terms

IMAP

IMAP (or Internet Message Access Protocol) is an open protocol that defines how email can be accessed over the internet. IMAP makes a copy of emails you receive on the server and synchronizes them between all the devices you use.

This term relates to Email Hosting

MX Records

An MX Record is a DNS record that specifies the IP address of the mail server that is allowed to receive your emails.

This term relates to Email Hosting

POP3

POP3 is a protocol similar to IMAP but it only downloads emails to one computer and then deletes the original from the email server.

This term relates to Email Hosting

SMTP

SMTP (or Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) is how email servers connect with each other and send and receive emails.

This term relates to Email Hosting.

Webmail

Webmail is any web application that allows you to log in and check your email. This term is usually associated with Web Hosting. Most web hosting providers that offer email hosting provide a free web interface where you can manage your email and accounts.
This term relates to Email Hosting.

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