• Web Hosting Terms

Common Web Hosting Terms

Web Hosting has its own technical terms and abbreviations. These terms jumble your mind when you are shopping for a new hosting provider and they keep on talking about hosting jargons. So before you go to shop for a new web host , lets’s learn the common web hosting terms and their definitions.


An open source web server developed by a loosely knit group of programmers. These web servers have the ability to host one or more HTTP based websites. Apache played a key role in the initial growth of WWW. Their features include the ability to support multiple programming languages, server side scripting and database support and it is free.


Alias is an additional domain name than can point to the IP of the other domain name. For example: If you have two domain names and you have set up the alias of yourdomain.com to yourdomain.net , then if anyone browse yourdomain.com will go to yourdomain.net


ASP(Active Server Pages) is a powerful development tool used to create dynamic and interactive web pages and web server applications.You can run ASP Pages and applications in nay type of browser.

Auto Responder

Autoresponder is an email utility that automatically answers the prewritten replies to specific email addresses.


Bandwidth is used as a synonym for data transfer rate. Actually Bandwidth is a amount of data transferred between your website and server. Higher is the Bandwidth your website , Larger is the traffic it can handle at any time. Let’s have an example : The size of any water pipe is Bandwidth and amount of water transferring from it is your data transfer rate.


A Browser is an application used to view and access the websites. It is actually a way to display the webpages, images, videos and HTML content on the World Wide Web. Common web browsers include Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, Internet Explorer etc.


Backup is the process of copying or archiving your data files and databases as a precaution so it can be used to restore the files in case of any emergency.


CGI is an acronym used for Common Gateway Interface. It is specification written in languages like Perl , Visual Basic, C etc to transferring the information between WWW and CGI Program which can return and accept the data that conforms to CGI Application.


CGI-bin is the directory where the CGI Scripts are stored. Any files you place in it will be treated as programs (expect HTML pages or images), and will be “run” by the server instead of displayed normally.


C++ is a middle level and object oriented programming language. It can runs on a variety of platforms, such as Windows, Mac OS, and on some versions of UNIX also. It is considered as best language by programmer to code large scale applications because of the flexibility and power of this language.

Control Panel

It is an interface panel used by the hosting companies to manage their websites.Control panels provide control over various aspects of server and website through graphical interface and automation tools.Most popular control panel is: cPanel,Plesk Panel


A cookie is also known as HTTP cookie, Internet cookie, browser cookie or web cookie.  When a small piece of the information is sent to a web server by a web browser , browser then creates a text file. When every time user send that same information the browser sends the same information to web server.


A crawler is also knows search engine spider and its an Internet bot used to browse the WWW and index the websites. Google web crawler is knows as GoogleBot.


CSS is an acronym used for Cascading Style Sheets. It is a styling language which adds look and formatting to HTML pages.

Data Center

This is where the physical servers are actually stored. This is the building where all of your files are stored on a block of memory in a case. In essence, it’s the warehouse where your server is treated like a piece of cargo locked into a crate.

Domain Name

A Domain name is a unique name that identifies the website.Whenever you visit a website the domain name appears in the address bar of browser. The domain name is like a contact in your phone book. Some Examples of internet domain names are:google.com , yahoo.co.in, facebook.com etc

Domain Privacy

When you enable Privacy Protection on a domain name, we replace all your publicly visible contact details with alternate contact information so that when a WHOIS query is performed on the domain, an alternate mailing address, email address and phone number are displayed.


DNS(Domain Name System) translates the domain names into ip address. Lets take an example , domain name is alphabetic like www.yourdomain.com and when you type your domain in browser , DNS servers translates to their physical ip address where the website is located.

Dedicated Hosting

Dedicated hosting is the internet hosting service which user leases its own entire server and will not shared with anyone. Example : If you are owing a bungalow then you are the owner of all space and no one will share it.

Disk Space

The amount of disk space is your storage space allotted to you  to store your files ,pages, emails on your web server.The more the space you will take more the databases and files you can store in your hosting account. It is measured in bytes.


Database is an organised assembly of information which is used to store data on your own server. Static websites does,’t need databases.Only dynamic websites uses databases for their applications.


The Distributed Denial of Service(DDos) takes place when number of computers flood a target system and makes its online service unavailable then that targeted website performance suffers.

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A Firewall is a system designed that helps screen out hackers, viruses, and worms that try to reach your computer over the Internet. Firewalls can be piece of hardware or software program, or a combination of both.


The File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is a standard network protocol used to transfer computer files from one host to another host over a TCP-based network, such as the Internet. FTP is built on a client-server architecture and uses separate control and data connections between the client and the server

Here is a list of popular FTP clients: Smart FTP, File Zilla, Cute FTP, and core FTP.


HTML stands for Hypertext Markup Language used to describe and create web documents or web pages. Web Browsers can read HTML files and then present the visible wen pages.


The Hypertext Transfer Protocol(HTTP) is an application protocol which is responsible to transfer the HTML files over the internet. If you will type the website name in web browser it send the HTTP request to the web server and fetches the web pages over Internet.


A host is a computer with a Web server that serves the pages for one or more Web sites. A host can also be the company that provides that service, which is known as hosting.


.htaccess is a special configuration apache file which tells how our website functions and controls the permissions of the files. It is a protected file which is not accessible to browser.


ICANN is an acronym for the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, a global multi-stakeholder organization that was created and empowered through actions by the U.S. government. It coordinates the Internet DNS, IP addresses and autonomous system numbers, which involves a continued management of these evolving systems and the protocols that underly them.


Short for Intrusion Detection System, it recognizes all types of hostile network traffic and computer usage that can’t be detected by a conventional firewall.


Internet Message Access Protocol is short for IMAP is an application layer internet protocol that allows an email client to access the email on remote server. It let you to download messages from mail servers onto your computer so you can open your mail with a program like Microsoft Outlook or Thunderbird, even when you aren’t connected to the Internet.  It keeps the copy of your message on the server until the messages are not deleted.

IP Address

Internet Protocol Address (IP Address) is an identifier assigned to your computer or laptop on  a TCP/IP Network. It is used to find the location of the user.


Internet Service Provider(ISP) is an organisation or provider that provides access to the internet. We can connect to the ISP via Modem, cable, DSL etc


JavaScript is the programming language of HTML and the Web. It is high level, dynamic, untyped, and interpreted programming language.


LAMP is an acronym used for Linux, Apache, MySQL & PHP. LAMP signifies combination of Software & Server technologies which are Open Source and hence making Linux Web Hosting more economical and stable

Linux Server

Linux Server uses UNIX or Linux as operating system and it is open source hence make linux servers inexpensive.

Name Server

A server responsible for translating domain names and IP addresses. Like If a domain is your address on the Web, name servers are the phone-books.


POP stands for Post Office Protocol is an application layer protocol used by local email clients to send and receive the emails.It doesn’t keep the copy of the email messages on remote server


The term RAID was defined as redundant array of inexpensive disks, but now it usually refers to a redundant array of independent disks. RAID storage uses multiple disks in order to provide fault tolerance, to improve overall performance, and to increase storage capacity in a system.

Reseller Hosting

Reseller Hosting also uses the shared hosting environment and can be bought for both Linux & Windows platform.With this Hosting type you can start your own web hosting company and create your own clients under your name.If you are a Business Geek and having a great entrepreneurial skills, Reseller Hosting is the best option for you.

Shared Hosting

On the shared hosting many users utilizes common resources on single server which keeps the cost very low. Shared Hosting is a very convenient option for the beginners who are planning a launch a Small Website or a Blog.


Simple Mail Transfer Protocol is short for SMTP. It is an internet standard communication protocol used for mail servers to transfer email over the internet. SMTP by default uses port number 25


Structured Query Language (SQL)  is a standard language used for managing and accessing the database. Servers that can handle SQL are known as SQL servers.


Short for Search Engine Optimisation is SEO. and it is the process which helps to increase your website rank in search engine. The better is your SEO (other criterias aside), the more visibility your website will have in the search engines, and the more traffic you will get!


“Spam” is a common term for unsolicited bulk (junk) e-mail messages. There are various methods and techniques for trying to reduce the amount of spam in user inboxes, but currently none of them is 100% effective at blocking all spam and permitting all legitimate messages.


SPF (Sender Policy Framework) helps prevent spammers from forging messages that impersonate users from another domain. SPF uses DNS records that specify the mail servers and IP addresses on a domain that are authorized to send e-mail messages. SPF is often used in conjunction with DKIM.


Secure Socket Layer (SSL) provides the secure connection between browser and website. SSL actually encrypt your private or sensitive information like your bank passwords etc and then pass over the internet. Websites who are using the secure connection of SSL their URL looks like: https:www.yourdomain.com and possibly an green address bar with padlock.


Secure Shell (SSH) is an application layer network protocol that allows remote and secure control of the operating system.


Uniform Resource Locator (URL) is unique address for the file that is accessible on the internet. Example: www.yourdomain.com is the url.


The amount of time the server is in continuity and your website is accessible. It is shown as a percentage. You want a high uptime (99% and above) so as not to interrupt access to your website.

 Virtual Server

A virtual server shares the hardware and software resources with other operating systems. Actually its a virtual machine that runs on physical server with other machines. It is shared by multiple Web site owners so that each owner can use and administer it and have complete control of the server.


Webmail is a way to view and send the email messages via your web browser and stored it an internal server mail box. There is no need of installing and configuring the separate email software

Window Server

A window server is a brand name having a series of server operating systems released by Microsoft. Windows Servers operating systems come with a licensing fee so they are expensive too.


WordPress is a popular open source blogging platform that is free and highly customizable.  It is very likely to be provided by web hosts as a one click installation.


Extensible Markup Language (XML) is a markup language designed to store and transport data. It is both human and machine readable.



About the Author:

Anuradha Chawla
Anuradha is a Digital Marketing virtuoso with exceptional blog writing, SEO and SMM skills. With over 5 years of marketing experience, She has got the expertise and the creativity to work with you to achieve your business goals across a gamut of digital marketing disciplines.

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