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Web Hosting Glossary

Q: What is Web Hosting?

Q: Just What are Web Servers?

Q: What Does Domain Name Mean?

Q: What is Meant by Web Hosting Bandwidth?

Q: What Does the Term Web Hosting Disk Space Mean?

Q: What is Meant by Server Uptime?

Q: What IP Address Mean?

Q: What is a Subdomain?

Q: What is a DNS Server?

Q: What is a Domain Name Registrar?

Q: What is a Webmaster?

Q: What is a Parked Domain?

Q: What is a File Manager?

Q: What is Meant by File Transfer Protocol?

Q: What is a SSL Certificate?

Q: What are ASP, PHP, perl and so on?

Q:What Is Meant By MySQL, MS SQL, etc?

Q: What is a Cron Job?

Q: What is Web Hosting?

A: People and businesses that need to get their websites online often lease servers on a monthly or annual basis from web hosting companies. Web hosting providers typically offer a variety of services available to clients based on their specific needs.

Web hosting essentially provides the bridge between the Internet and an individual site owner. Web hosting providers will provide their clients with the server resources and tools they need to get their sites online and properly manage them. Websites must be attached to a web server to go online. Roughly 90 percent of all sites online are managed through web hosting provider services.

If it is your intent to launch a website, you will need to become familiar with web hosting.

Q: Just What are Web Servers?

A: Web servers are very powerful computers that store and transmit data over the Internet. Most servers are specifically designed to connect to the Internet for the purpose of hosting websites.

Web servers are one of the most important features behind the Internet. Every website is maintained, stored and operated via a web server. It is simply not feasible to get on the Internet without a web server powering the action.

There are many different types of web servers available, but all are designed to provide web hosting abilities. While maintaining a personal web server is a potentially costly venture, there are providers that offer a lease option that puts site hosting within reach of most people.

Q: What Does Domain Name Mean?

A: A domain name is the word or phrase used to direct people to a specific website through their browser. Domain names are set with a TLD, top level domain. This requires that each website have its own unique identity, or domain name.

In basic terms, a domain is nothing more than the website name. This name is followed by a TLD extension, such as .org, .com or .net. The TLD helps identify the type of website, too. A .org is an extension that means organization.

The most common TLDs are .com, .org and .net. There are other ones available, as well, such as .co.

Q: What is Meant by Web Hosting Bandwidth?

A: This is the measure of how much data can be transferred from a web server at any given time. When visitors land on a website, they download and upload information sent from that site every time a page is loaded. To accommodate large volumes of traffic, websites must work with hosting plan providers that can deliver enough bandwidth to ensure the quick loading of pages.

In most cases, bandwidth is described in a measurement of data per second. This may mean megabytes per second or even just kilobytes per second. Site owners need to pay attention to this measure because it will enable them to get a handle on how much traffic their sites can handle at once. Bandwidth can vary based on plans for hosting, but site owners should make sure theirs provides enough for average daily visits with some cushion room left over.

Q: What Does the Term Web Hosting Disk Space Mean?

A: Disk space refers to the amount of files a web server can hold. The amount of disk space available with a hosting plan can directly affect how large a website can or cannot be because the server will need to have the capacity to handle all of a site’s files. When a website runs out of bandwidth, this means it will not be able to store more files. In turn, this prevents site owners from updating their sites with new content. Since new content is essential for continued success, it is imperative that you make certain there is enough bandwidth available to accommodate your site.

Web hosting experts often recommend that site owners be certain their hosting plans provide for redundant disk space. This means leftover space that is available when it is needed.

Q: What is Meant by Server Uptime?

A: Anyone who has looked around at different web hosting plans has likely seen claims of “99.9 percent uptime.” This refers to the actual reliability of the hosting provider and its servers. The guarantee offered tells potential customers that a hosting provider is able to offer fully functional service 99.9 percent of the time.

This particular feature is extremely important in web hosting. If a web host doesn’t have reliable equipment, the end-user’s website will not function properly. It may even become unavailable for use.

On the other side of the coin is downtime. When downtime occurs, a server crash has generally happened. This means a website will not function until the server is brought back up.

Q: What IP Address Mean?

A: An Internet Protocol, or IP address, is a series of numbers that identifies a unique computer in use on the Internet. Every computer or similar data device is assigned its own unique IP address by an Internet Service Provider, or ISP. Websites are also given their own unique IP addresses that are linked to the servers they are hosted on.

IP addresses look like a string of numbers, something like this: 153.0.0.1.

IP addresses are an important part of web hosting. Some plans may provide access to several IP addresses at once, which is very beneficial for Search Engine Optimization, or SEO.

Q: What is a Subdomain?

A: A subdomain is essential an extension of a main web site or domain. This can be used as a separate site with its own configurations. Subdomains are often used to provide better organization for a website.

A subdomain name will appear before the main domain name in a URL. For example, domain.com might have a subdomain called subdomain.domain.com.

Large websites rely on subdomains to enable them to create more organized presentations with different web directories. Since subdomains can have their own FTP accounts, it makes it much easier to manage these individually. Many web hosting plans even allow for the creation of unlimited subdomains.

Subdomains can also be very useful for search engine optimization.

Q: What is a DNS Server?

A: This type of server is designed to connect on the domain name system. This is a huge network of information that is able to store server coordinates and domain names of every site on the Internet. It is the largest database in the world.

A DNS server converts IP addresses of websites into names that can be typed into a browser’s address bar. Without a DNS server, a site would have an IP address, such as 145.0.0.1 instead of mysite.com. DNS servers simply make use of the Internet friendlier.

Special networking software is used to transmit information from a server to web servers and site visitors.

Q: What is a Domain Name Registrar?

A: This is a company that has access to DNS servers that are connected to the domain name system. GoDaddy.com, for example, is a registrar that registers website names for people all over the planet.

Most registrars sell domains for prices that range up to about $10, depending on the desired extension. Dot com sites tend to cost more than dot info sites, for example.

Many registrars also offer web hosting services. Some even provide a discount for those who buy packages that contain multiple domains or hosting services. Websites can be hosted by anyone, even if the domain was purchased through a registrar that also offers web hosting services.

Q: What is a Webmaster?

A: Technically, anyone who owns a website is considered a webmaster. The term does not necessarily denote a tremendous amount of ability with website building and management.

Q: What is a Parked Domain?

A: Park domains are nothing more than websites that are not currently in use. All websites start out as parked domains until nameservers are changed and a site is placed under a hosting account. Rather than host website information, parked domains are used to advertise other companies.

There are two types of parked domains – those that are parked by default and those that are parked for a monthly fee. Webmasters have the ability to park domains at any time. There are even parking sites that will pay a monthly fee to use a parked domain.

Q: What is a File Manager?

A: This is nothing more than the tool within a control panel of a web hosting account that enables webmasters to manage all of their files on a server. The file manager enables users to view, edit and backup databases that are connected to their individual websites. When the file manager is open, webmasters have access to all of their own directories for management purposes.

The public HTML directory can also be opened from the file manager. This directory holds every file a site uses to function properly. All HTML and code editing is done within a file manager, along with other related tasks.

Q: What is Meant by File Transfer Protocol?

A: The term File Transfer Protocol, or FTP for short, refers to a method of downloading and uploading files from a web server. A FTP client is software that will interact with a web server through File Transfer protocol. This method of uploading and downloading makes it easier for site owners to update their pages and build larger websites with literally hundreds of pages. FTP enables this without the site owner having to create each page individually.

FPT clients are designed to simplify site construction and management. These clients are generally free and are very simple to use. In most case, website owners can create their own FTP accounts within their web hosting control panels. Accounts can be associated with independent directories or a main FTP account can be created to interact with the complete Public HTML folder.

Q: What is a SSL Certificate?

A: SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer. This is a web data encryption that helps prevent personal and financial information from falling into the hands of hackers. An SSL certificate will be advertised on a website to show users that this protocol for security is used on pages, such as checkouts. The seal or certificate will deter hackers while providing peace of mind to customers.

Anyone that wants to build an online business will need to obtain a SSL certificate for each website that offers items or processes sales or payments. Webmasters will find that most eCommerce web hosting plans to offer automatic SSL certifications. It may be necessary in some cases to obtain a wild card certificate.

Q: What are ASP, PHP, perl and so on?

A: These are nothing more than programming languages that are known by their acronyms. ASP stands for Active Server Pages. PHP means Hypertext Preprocessor. Perl isn’t an acronym, but it’s a language. Each language has its own benefits. It is often best to research the options and find the one that best suits personal needs.

Q:What Is Meant By MySQL, MS SQL, etc?

A: These are nothing more than database systems. Your website hosting provider will provide ones of these to help you organize the data that drives your site.

Q: What is a Cron Job?

A: This is a task that can be scheduled and added through a web hosting control panel. Since most site and sever administration tasks are repetitive, it makes sense to have them automated and scheduled.

Just look for the cron jobs section of the control panel to schedule tasks. Just about every routine web hosting task can be scheduled within a cron job interface. It’s even possible to custom select dates and times for tasks to be performed.

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