Web Hosting Glossary – All Web Hosting Terms

Web hosting glossary: We answer your questions about Web Hosting.

Last week, we posted the first part of our web hosting glossary .

This week, we’ll add on to that glossary list, so you can bookmark this one post rather than 2 separate lists of web hosting terminology. Let us know if there are other web hosting terms that you’d like us to add to the web hosting glossary.

  • Availability: Also called “uptime,” web hosting availability is the expected or guaranteed percentage of time that your web site will be online, available for your customers/visitors to view and interact with. EarthLink Business Web Hosting plans include a 99.99% website uptime guarantee.
  • Bandwidth: Also called “web traffic,” “data transfer,” or “web transfer,” web hosting bandwidth is how much data can be sent from your web site to visitors’ computers (which occurs when they visit your web pages). There is typically a limit to the bandwidth included with your web hosting account’s monthly price. For example, EarthLink Web Hosting’s DIY web hosting plans come with 2,000 GB  –5,000 GB per month of bandwidth (in non-technical terms…that’s a lot).
  • Cloud Hosting: Also called “cloud server hosting,” cloud hosting is a service that offers remote computer servers (often virtual servers) for a company’s IT and computing needs. Often seen as outsourcing IT services or replacing in-house computing hardware with remote computing services, cloud hosting is becoming more popular as a way to reduce IT costs and increase a company’s flexibility and speed. EarthLink Cloud offers fully managed or self-managed cloud hosting services.
  • Colocation: Colocation means keeping a web server that you own in the facilities of a web hosting or colocation service provider who maintains the server for you in their data centers. EarthLink Business offers data center colocation. EarthLink Cloud also offers several colocation plans.
  • Dedicated Hosting: Dedicated web hosting means you pay for the use of an entire server that is dedicated 100% to you and not shared by other customers. Customers often choose dedicated hosting when their website is very large or they need increased levels of control, performance, or security. EarthLink Cloud offers dedicated server hosting.
  • Disk Space: Also called “website storage,” this is the amount of space – typically measured in megabytes (MB) or gigabytes (GB) – that your website takes up on a web hosting server. The more pages your website has, and the more graphic- and video-intensive it is, the more disk space you will need. Most web hosting plans include a maximum amount of space with their monthly price. EarthLink’s DIY Web Hosting plans include from 200 – 500 GB of disk space.
  • Domain Email: An email address that uses your own domain name (such astom@mycompany.com) instead of an email service provider’s (such as tom@gmail.com). EarthLink web hosting plans come with a free domain name and 100 – 1,000 domain email addresses. We also offer domain email as a stand-alone service.
  • Domain Registration: This is the official process of claiming a domain name that is not already registered by someone else. You must register your domain name with a domain name registrar, typically for a period of 1 or more years. A free domain name and registration for 1 year is included with our Web Hosting services.
  • Ecommerce: Internet-based transactions, the buying and selling of products from a website, are called ecommerce. A website may be a business website without being an ecommerce website if it promotes the business without allowing visitors to purchase products from the website. An ecommerce-enabled website will typically have an online “shopping cart” that can be used to make purchases. Web hosting providers such as EarthLink typically offer basic web hosting and ecommerceplans as separate options.
  • Email Marketing Tools: Tools that make it simple to create, send, and track the success of email marketing campaigns and newsletters to inform and engage your customers and prospects. EarthLink Web Hosting plans include email marketing tools.
  • Error Pages: Error pages automatically inform people trying to reach your web pages that there has been a problem. For example, a 404 error means there is no webpage at the URL the visitor entered in his or her browser. Instead of generic and unhelpful error pages, many web hosting companies such as EarthLink allow customers to set up custom error pages that offer your visitors a better user experience and consistent website branding.
  • FTP: Acronym for File Transfer Protocol, a way to transfer files on the Internet. Often, website files are uploaded using an FTP program by someone who has an FTP account with access to your website. EarthLink Web Hosting plans come with unlimited FTP accounts. They also offer a template-based website builder that does not require FTP to upload pages.
  • HTML: Acronym for Hypertext Markup Language. This is the code that web page are created with. This code tells your web browser what to display when you visit a website.
  • IMAP: Acronym for Internet Message Access Protocol. Along with POP3, it is one of the methods for retrieving email messages. With IMAP, a copy of your message is saved on the mail server until deleted (rather than downloaded/read). This makes IMAP convenient for people who use their email from multiple computers. EarthLink Web Hosting offers both IMAP and POP3 email to customers.
  • IMAPS: The secure, SSL version of IMAP email (see above). EarthLink Web Hosting also offers IMAPS email access.
  • IP: Internet Protocol. This is the main communications protocol of the Internet. It is responsible for addressing hosts and routing packets (how information is sent over the Internet) from source to destination.
  • IP Address: This “address” is actually number. It is a unique number that is used to identify every device that’s connecting to the Internet. IP addresses have typically been groups of numbers up to 255 that are separated in four parts by periods, such as 172.16.254.1; the newer Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6) has a more complex address system.
  • ISP: ISP stands for Internet service provider. An Internet service provider is a company, like EarthLink, that provides customers with one or more kinds of Internet access, such as dial-up, DSL, cable Internet, or satellite Internet (EarthLink is an ISP that offers all those forms of access). Many Internet service providers, like EarthLink, are also web hosting providers as well, meaning they host the web sites of their customers on their servers.
  • Joomla: A popular open source content management system for publishing web pages and managing online content. It is typically recommended for intermediate to advanced web developers, not beginners. EarthLink Web hosting offers a simple Joomla installer to web hosting customers so they can manage their websites with Joomla.
  • Megabyte (MB): In computing, a unit of size. Some web hosting features (such as disk space or bandwidth) are measured in megabytes. 1MB is equal to 1,024 KB (kilobytes). 1GB is equal to 1,024MB.
  • Mobile Website: A website that is specifically optimized for people surfing the web on smartphones and tablets. A mobile website is often a much more streamlined and simple version of a website. Most of EarthLink’s web hosting plans offer customers a mobile website with special features designed for mobile visitors in addition to their main website.
  • MySQL: A database system often used for website files. EarthLink Web Hosting includes 25 MySQL databases with our most basic Website Plus web hosting plan.
  • POP3: POP is an acronym for Post Office Protocol. Along with IMAP (see above), POP is one of the two most common protocols for retrieving email. POP3 is the most recent version of the POP standard. POP email is typically set up to download email messages to the user’s computer and delete them from the server (as opposed to IMAP, which leaves a copy on the server). EarthLink Web Hosting offers both IMAP and POP3 email to customers.
  • POP3S. The secure, SSL version of POP3 email (see above). EarthLink Web Hosting also offers secure POP3 email access.
  • SEO: Acronym for search engine optimization. SEO is a general term for all the strategies you use to get your website to be listed as high as possible on the search results page of the major search engines such as Google and Bing. All EarthLink Web Hosting plans include EasySiteOptimizer, an advanced SEO tool that can help you optimize websites so they get found in search engine results. Select plans also include directory submissions and other SEO tools.
  • Shopping Cart: On the Web, a shopping cart is software that allows site visitors to select items for sale and order them online. Ecommerce hosting plans, such as those provided by EarthLink, will typically provide shopping cart software to their hosting customers. EarthLink eCommerce hosting customers can easily set up online stores and sell their products (including to mobile customers) with the included shopping cart software.
  • Social Media Marketing: This is the practice of using social network sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and others to promote a business website. This is done to generate awareness, traffic, buzz, followers, leads, and sales. It can also help with SEO (see above) since search engines now account for social media activity in their rankings. All EarthLink Web Hosting plans include social media marketing tools to help you optimize this online marketing channel.
  • Spam: Unsolicited, or junk email. Spam is usually sent in bulk to try to sell products or services. It is also sent to spread viruses or phishing scams. EarthLink Web Hosting email services include powerful anti-spam tools to help eliminate junk email that wastes your time and increases your security risk.
  • SSL Certificate: An SSL Certificate allows for secure, encrypted connections between a webserver and a web browser. It is an important for security of online credit card transactions and other sensitive data transactions. An SSL certificate gives online customers the confidence that any information they submit on your website is secure.  SSL certification increases the credibility of an ecommerce website and is a necessary security credential for any online store or other websites that use online transactions. EarthLink ecommerce hosting plans come with free SSL certificates.
  • Web Analytics: Web Analytics lets you learn about the traffic coming to your website. Analytics can tell you how many daily visitors you are getting, how visitors found your website (search engine, external link, typing URL directly), what browsers they are using, and other relevant statistics. EarthLink Web hosting includes free web analytics to help you maximize the value of your website.
  • Website Templates: Templates are one of the easiest ways to build a website. You choose a template for the type of website you like and then fill in the details that are specific to your own website. EarthLink’s regular Web Hosting plans all include an easy-to-use Website Builder that includes scores of attractive and professional website templates.
  • WordPress blog: WordPress is the #1 blogging software in the world. WordPress makes it simple to build and maintain a blog for business or personal use. EarthLink Web Hosting customers have easy access to a WordPress Installer that is designed to work seamlessly with their web hosting accounts.

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