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Web Hosting Terms Explained For Newbies

Across the world, an increasing number of people are drawn to the idea of owning websites or blogs to generate online income. Many have heard success stories of individuals who, at career crossroads, ventured into the online realm and found financial success.

These entrepreneurs now enjoy substantial monthly earnings, often with minimal effort. The prospect of earning a substantial income without a demanding boss or the need to leave home is immensely appealing, driving many to explore this opportunity.

One such example is Michelle Schroeder-Gardner, who started her blog, Making Sense of Cents, in 2011 to help people get out of debt and build wealth. She now earns over $1 million per year from her blog through advertising, affiliate marketing, and selling her own products and services.

Michelle’s story is just one example of the many people who have found success by starting a blog. With hard work and dedication, it is possible to build a successful blog that can generate a significant income.

However, web hosting terms can be a bit confusing, especially when you are shopping around for a new web host. Sometimes, definitions can be overly technical. To dispel some of this confusion, consider using this handy web hosting glossary/

Understanding these terms will help you make informed decisions as you embark on your online journey.”

Type of Hosting

type of web hosting

There are several types of hosting plans available for different types of needs. Each web hosting plan has a different set of rules and restrictions, so it is necessary to read them before choosing them. Types of hosting include:

  • Shared Hosting – One of the most affordable and widely used ones, it comes with great features and 99% uptime in the hosting world. The shared hosting system’s resources are shared between all accounts, but the main cons lie in security and speed; it lacks both but is good for small websites that host blogs or static websites.
  • Dedicated hosting – Just by the name, you can guess it’s a dedicated plan for those who achieve high amounts of traffic, a hosting arrangement in which a single web host controls the whole server. One account has access to all available resources.
  • VPS Hosting – Virtual Private Server, a less expensive plan than dedicated hosting but has more flexibility and features than shared hosting. VPS pros lie in partitions, with each section acting like its own server, which is great for speed and security.
  • Linux Server – A server running Linux, the most common free and open-source operating system for web servers

There are other types of servers, mostly not known to all people, and all of them have different uses. Some of them are Reseller hosting, Windows Server, WooCommerce hosting, Enterprise hosting, and more.

The plans and types depend on the business that owns them; they choose what they call the server.

Now that you know about types of servers, let’s move on to ‘factors .

Factors to Consider Before Choosing the Type of Hosting 

Opting for the right plan involves understanding various crucial aspects that cater to your website’s needs. Let’s delve into these components for a comprehensive overview:

  • Add-on Domain – An add-on domain signifies a separate website integrated into your account, sharing the resources available within your selected plan.
  • Bandwidth Bandwidth pertains to the volume of data transferred through your account. Each time a visitor engages with your site, an email is sent or received, files are uploaded or downloaded, and bandwidth is consumed.
  • Dedicated IP –  A dedicated IP address is exclusively assigned to your website. It’s particularly essential if you intend to utilize SSL for secure payment processing on your site.
  • Disk Space Disk space designates the allocated storage capacity on the server reserved for storing files, web pages, emails, and more related to your website.
  • Parked Domain – A parked domain is an additional domain that redirects to your existing account. Many individuals acquire both .com and .net versions of their domain, and if either is used, the same content is displayed.
  • SSL (Secure Socket Layer) SSL is a vital encryption method commonly employed in Ecommerce sites to ensure secure credit card transactions. A secure page is indicated by “https://” in the address bar, reassuring users of their data’s safety.
  • Uptime Uptime signifies the duration during which the server operates without interruptions, ensuring uninterrupted accessibility to your website. It is typically presented as a percentage, with a higher uptime percentage (99% and above) being preferable to maintain continuous site availability.

Now let’s move on to the most important of Web hosting terms, ‘

Terms to understand before choosing the type of hosting 

1. Email Terms (In simpler terms)

Spam – Unwanted bulk emails, usually sent in an attempt to sell products or services. Many hosts offer automatic spam control.

Webmail – An Internet-based method for sending and receiving emails, eliminating the need for separate email software.

Mailing List – A feature that enables sending emails to a group of people simultaneously, frequently utilized by businesses for client news updates.

POP3 – An email protocol for retrieving emails from the server.

Auto Responder – An automated method for sending an email as a response to a received one, often employed for ‘away’ messages, like during vacations when response times may be delayed.

Catch All – An email address designated to receive any emails sent to your account without a specific assigned email address.

IMAP – Internet Message Access Protocol, a method for retrieving emails that leave a copy on the server until permanently deleted. Convenient for individuals using multiple computers and email clients, such as at work and home.

SMTP – An email protocol for sending emails. Many web hosts allow the use of their servers for sending emails, although some ISPs require their own servers when using their service instead of your web host.

2. Domain

It is important to have your own website with your own domain if you are after a sustainable income in the long run. While it is possible to make money using free blog and website creation platforms, the potential of earning so much more rests in self-owned domains.

The domain is practically online real estate. This is the address where you can build your business. You own it, so you have the prerogative to do anything you want with it.

The usual choice is to create a full-fledged website. 

Another option is to make it into a single sales page where you will sell a product (pretty much like an infomercial where there’s an introduction, product description, customer reviews, price breakdowns, and, of course, several price slashes).

3. Web Hosting

The domain will only become your online business lot if a web host supports it. Web hosting is what provides space for your website on the Internet. See, when you type a URL on your browser, the computer will send a request to your server asking for the website data. The information it gets is then displayed on the monitor.

The web hosting service will house its customers’ web pages in powerful computers, which in turn hook into very fast networks that guarantee server connection 24/7. With a web hosting service, you can be sure that your website will be live 24/7 and can be viewed by anyone, anytime, from anywhere across the globe.

When you buy a domain, it should always come with a web hosting service. There are individual domainers who only sell domains, so you’ll need to look for a web hosting company after.

Now, aside from domain and web hosting, there are more terms and names used in the industry that anyone wishing to be successful should know and understand.

4. Name servers

A name server, in essence, comprises a set of information that a computer receives when it seeks out the web hosting server housing a website’s data. The structure of a name server closely resembles that of a URL, and they consistently appear in pairs for each website. These pairs consist of one primary name server and a corresponding backup. In the unfortunate event of data corruption within the primary name server, the backup name server swiftly steps in to ensure the website’s continuous accessibility.

Name servers predominantly consist of two key components. The first component is the A-Record, which serves as the data that directs users to a website’s specific location. The second component is the MX-Record, employed to pinpoint the web hosting location of the website’s email service.

A noteworthy detail to keep in mind is that every domain registered with a web hosting company is endowed with an official email account. It’s entirely feasible for the domain owner to select one web hosting service for their website and another for their email services. In such cases, the owner must distinctly specify these services, corresponding to the A-Record and MX-Record, respectively. However, if the owner opts to consolidate both website and email hosting under a single web hosting service, only one name server will be in play.

5. DNS Propagation

Now, here is another term that any website owner will encounter. DNS propagation refers to the length of time it will take for changes in the name servers to spread all over the Internet. Contrary to what most people believe, changes in this score will take time before everyone can feel it. Notice how sometimes one visitor will report seeing a website differently from how you see it? It means one of you needs to catch up to the changes implemented in the name servers.

These names and terms will probably not interest most newbies. They do sound too technical, don’t they? Make no mistake, though, when your website and online business takes off, soon you’ll have to deal with these technical, back-end issues. You’d best be informed about what they are as early as now.

Final Say

Understanding these web hosting terms is essential for anyone new to the world of website ownership. By grasping the terminology and concepts, you’ll be better equipped to make informed decisions about your web hosting needs and ensure a smooth online journey for your visitors. Whether you’re launching a personal blog or an e-commerce empire, knowledge is the key to success in the digital industry.


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FAQ on Web Hosting Terms

What is the difference between shared hosting and VPS hosting?

Shared hosting involves multiple websites sharing server resources, while VPS hosting provides dedicated virtualized resources for improved performance and control.

Do I need to purchase a domain name separately from web hosting?

Yes, you typically register a domain name separately, but many hosting providers offer domain registration services for convenience.

How can I ensure my website has good uptime?

Choose a reputable hosting provider with a strong uptime guarantee, implement regular backups, and monitor your website’s performance.

Why is SSL important for my website, even if I’m not selling products online?

SSL encrypts data transmitted between your website and visitors, enhancing security and trust. Search engines also favor SSL-enabled sites, potentially boosting your SEO ranking.

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