Web Hosting Glossary – Terms You Should Know

Questions about Web Hosting? We have answers.

Though we like to keep things as clear and jargon-free as possible around here, there’s no way around using certain terms in the web hosting world. So chances are you’ve bumped into at least a few of these. If you’re still scratching your head, skim through these web hosting terms and we’ll try to demystify them for you. (Also in an effort to keep things simple and manageable, we’ll start with just A – H in our web hosting glossary this week.)

  • 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 200500 GB of disk space.
  • Domain Email: An email address that uses your own domain name (such as tom@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 ecommerce plans 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.

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