Hosting Glossary

Here are the most commonly used terms when looking for web hosting:

address Same as url.  The reference you type into your browser to get to a certain web page.
adsense Ads that you are selling through Google from somebody else’s website.
adwords Purchased to run Google ads on somebody else’s website.
autoresponder Can send a response or series of responses when somebody clicks on your website link.
backlinks Links to your website from somebody else’s website.  Important for search engine ranking.
backup service The best web hosting services will backup a client’s website on a regular basis.
bandwidth A measure of traffic coming into your website, measured in megabytes or gigabytes of data.
blog Similar to a regular website, but many admin functions are run by a manager such as WordPress.
CGI A language for processing data from website forms.
cgi-bin Server directory which holds data obtained through CGI scripts.
.com Suffix that indicates a commercial website, most commonly used extension.  Example:
contract term Web hosting services may require that you remain a customer for a specified length of time, like 1 year.
control panel Helps you access various web hosting options, upload files, and install scripts.
cPanel A specific type of control panel, and the one that is most commonly used.
cron job A time-based php script, to run a job at regular intervals or on certain dates.
database Data stored on a web server in a structured format, usually stored in an SQL database.
dedicated hosting Gives you your own server, and requires that you also rent the server.
disk space Same as storage space, refers to the amount of space available for your website.
DNS Domain Name System.  You usually go through a domain name registrar to purchase your domain name.
domain extension Domain names usually end with .com, or .org, or .net – although a few other extensions are available.
domains Your hosting may be limited to 1 or 2 domains.  Unlimited domains is better, allows unlimited websites for one price.
downtime The opposite of uptime.  Time when nobody can access your website due to server problems or maintenance.
email A system for sending and receiving electronic mail messages from others.  Manage email with Outlook Express (free).
email account Your hosting will allow a certain number of email addresses:  for customer service, tech support, sales, etc.
fantastico Built in script manager.  Install something like WordPress with the click of a button.
file manager Built in FTP system for uploading and downloading files for your website.
frontpage extensions Support for files created by the FrontPage web designer software.
ftp File Transfer Protocol.  Enables easy file transfer using any third party file manager.
green hosting Refers to the use of green energy like wind power or solar power for the hosting company.
home page The main page or first page someone sees when they type in your basic domain name.
host Provides a place to store your website, and controls access to your website.
hosting transfer Transfer of your web hosting from one company to another, which is fairly simple, in most cases.
html Hyper Text Markup Language.  Refers to the code that displays your website.
http Hyper Text Transfer Protocol.  The protocol system that delivers web pages upon request.
hyperlink A word or menu item that links to another web page.
hypertext Text within an article that links to another web page.
internet backbone System of high speed fiberoptic lines that link major cities together.
IP address Internet Protocol address, a number assigned to your specific computer that identifies you to others online.
ISP Internet Service Provider, the company that provides your basic internet connection.
Login Username and password for logging into your webhost control panel, your WordPress control panel, or a website.
monthly billing Many hosting providers will bill you automatically every month, and provide month-to-month service.
nameserver code A code that tells the domain name server how to find the server where your website is physically located.
.net Second most commonly used domain extension, stands for internet.
operating system Web hosting servers may use Linux, Unix, or other operating system.  This doesn’t matter to the end user.
.org Third most commonly used domain extension, stands for organization.  Often used for non-profits.
page Each part of your website that has its own domain address.
POP email Post Office Protocol.  POP3 is a common standard for sending and receiving email.
post Each article on your website.  Posts do not necessarily appear on their own page.
programming language Special computer languages like C, Ruby on Rails, for writing special computer scripts from scratch.
redirect A simple command to point one web page and force it to go to another page.
redundant system A great web host will have backup servers to insure that your website will always be available.
reseller Someone who sells third party web hosting.  They should also provide customer service.
RSS Really Simple Syndication.  Lets you post content on your website automatically, or serve your site up to others.
script A small piece of third party website code which provides some specialized function.
SEO Search Engine Optimization.  A system of keywords and other info to help your search engine ranking.
server The computer where your website will physically reside so it can be served up to the public.
setup fee An add-on fee charged by the hosting company for creating your hosting account.
shared hosting The most common form of hosting, where more than one website can reside on one server.
shopping cart A software program which provides shopping, checkout, and payment collection services for your website.
site builder Any software which automatically builds your website.
site designer Same as site builder.
spam Unwanted, junk email.
spam protection An automatic filter that helps to screen out junk email.
SQL Structured Query Language, a programming language for managing a database system.
SSI Server Side Includes.  These are usually form scripts of some kind, to conduct a poll, etc.
SSL Secure Sockets Layer, a protocol for demonstrating that your website provides extra security protection.
static IP An IP address that never changes, provided by your Internet Service Provider (ISP).
storage Same as disk space, refers to the amount of space available for your website.
streaming Continuous delivery of audio or video content.
subdomain A subsection of your website, which has its own domain that is easy to remember.  Example:
template An add-on to your site builder which assigns layout and color codes.
traffic Refers to the number of people visiting your site, measured in megabytes or gigabytes of data.
unlimited bandwidth Theoretically, means that you can have unlimited visitors to your website, at no extra charge.
UPS Uninterruptible Power Supply, a battery backup system that helps protect against downtime.
uptime Continuous operating time, without downtime for server problems or maintenance.
URL Same as web address.  The reference you type into your browser to get to a certain web page.
VPS Virtual Private Server.  Similar to having a dedicated server, but client has a separate partition on a shared server.
webmaster Person responsible for correcting web typos and glitches.
wordpress A free software program that provides certain admin functions for managing your website.
wordpress plugin An add-on for WordPress, which provides a specific function.  Most plugins are free.
wordpress theme A template add-on for WordPress, which controls layout and color functions.
www World Wide Web.  Part of most domain names.  For example:


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