Web Hosting Definitions

Web Hosting Terminology

When you are looking for a web hosting service for the first time there are certain basic website hosting terminology's that you really need to understand, as they refer to features and services that are included in your hosting plan.

With out any knowledge of these terms you are going in blind and you will not understand what you are getting or missing out on when you are purchasing a hosting package.

You need to understand the different types of hosting services and what they provide, we explain in detail web hosting services and also how to select the best host for your website, one of the most important terms you need to know is bandwidth and disk space, below we have explained just a few terms that you really need to know before purchasing a hosting plan.

Bandwidth Describes how much data is transferred within your account, most accounts will have a bandwidth limit while some higher hosting accounts will have no limits on the bandwidth.

Data transfer takes place whenever some one visits your site or you upload or download data from your websites front end or from the administrator side, bandwidth will become a concern when you have a large amount of traffic as on an E Commerce site or you run a large online forum with thousands of users online at one time.

Diskspace is the amount of storage that is available on your account, most of the hosting providers allow ample disk space with there hosting plans, disk space will usually only be a concern when you are selling down loadable media like online video or live streaming.

And you are storing this media on your hosting account, SSD drives are the fastest available at this time and the space allocated can range from 10GB for shared plans up to 2TB or more with a premium dedicated server.  

Domain Name Server your domain name is like a phone number for your website on the internet, it is your online identification for your website and determines how you are found among hundreds of thousands of other website users online.

When you buy a domain name from say Siteground the domain name is pointing already to the Siteground server, when you buy a domain name from a third party register and host your site elsewhere you have to repoint the domain name to your hosts server in order to work all domain names are held in a central registry and updated continually, for information on domain names. 

Gigabyte and Terabyte these two terms usually refer to your bandwidth and storage capacity on your hosting account, one Gigabyte is one thousand megabytes and there are there one thousand bytes to one megabyte.

A byte is made up of eight bits, ones or zeros in computer language, 10101010 in any order, one Terabyte is made up of one thousand Gigabytes, one thousand Terabytes is one Petabyte these figures are only determined within the hosting environment and the main servers, there is no hosting provider offering a Petabyte of storage or bandwidth.  

Mananaged Hosting there are two ways you can purchase your hosting account managed or unmanaged, a managed server like shared hosting your provider takes care of updates, software and maintenance of the server.

With umamaged hosting accounts like some VPS accounts and some dedicated accounts you need to perform these tasks yourself, the unmanaged account will be significantly cheaper than a fully managed account as you need to maintain the server your self

SSL Certificate This term refers to Secure Socket Layer an encryption used on your server to protect vital information and is a must for eCommerce websites or any website where customers information or credit card information is used.

There are three levels to an SSL Certificate depending on the security required, your SSL certificate can be purchased from your hosting provider or they may offer a free domain validated certificate with your hosting plan the SSL Certificate will be installed by the provider.

CPanal This is an important piece of software provided with your managed hosting account like shared hosting the control panal is where you manage your website, here you can perform backups, setup your email accounts, install Joomla or Wordpress content management systems.

Access your websites files and perform a host of other operations from. a cPanal may not be available with an unmanaged hosting account like some dedicated servers you will need to provide one yourself and install on your server.

Uptime Guarantee When searching for a hosting provider the uptime that the hosting provider can achieve and guarantee is very important particularly for a business website, this refers to the uninterrupted time that the server is online and is measured as a percentage.

Most providers can achieve a 99% uptime which is a favorable target, some hosting providers can guarantee a 100% uptime and usually this will be with a cloud hosting account as cloud hosting involves servers in different locations working as one when a server goes down the other cloud servers take over so in theory you should never have any down time with the cloud.

Database The database is where your websites important files are located when you load a website to your server you create a database and a username, the database stores this information on tables within the database in colums and rows so they can be easily accessed managed and updated when required.

A database needs to be regularly backed up at intervals and should your website go down you can restore your website from the database easily with out a data base backup you would need to build the website from scratch.  

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