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Understanding Web Speak: Common Web Hosting Terminology Explained
Like any industry, web hosting providers have a common language that the rest of us don’t speak. Terms like “bandwidth” and “IP address” are part of the basic lingo for those in the web industry. Understanding these basic terms is important for small business owners so they can make educated decisions about their web hosting options. Below are the most common hosting terms you need to know in order to engage in “web speak.”
Bandwidth / Data Transfer – This is generally the maximum amount of data transfer offered for your hosting account. Data transfer includes the communication between your visitor’s browser and the server where your website files are stored. Each time a visitor accesses a page on your website, requests are made to the server for images, the web page itself, special scripts and any files that are needed to compile your web page. This information is then transferred to the visitor’s browser. The more visitors you have, the more bandwidth, or data transfer, you will need to accommodate web page requests.
Data Backup – Your hosting service provider should make copies periodically of your data (website files) and store them in a secure place. This data backup can be used to restore your website to its previous state if there is a data loss event, such as a virus attack or accidentally deleted files.
Disk Space – This is the amount of space you are allotted on the web server to store web pages, image files, flash or multimedia files and other resources that are needed for your website to display, and for you to access email. The amount of disk space you have typically depends on the type of hosting account you select.
SLA (Service Level Agreement) – This is a formal agreement by your hosting service provider that outlines the expectations for uptime, availability, performance and the reliability of your hosting service.
Web Server Terminology
CPU (Central Processing Unit) – This is the part of the hosting server that processes the requests for data transfer to your visitor’s browser. It also interprets instructions or operations, and processes any data needed to display your web pages. The more robust the CPU, the faster your web pages will display for a visitor.
Memory / RAM – Memory, or RAM, relates to the web server’s ability to transfer data and support the timely access of this data by your website visitors. The higher the memory resources, the more data the server can deliver to your visitor’s browser quickly. The amount of memory your website is allotted depends on the type of web hosting plan you choose.
IP Address (Internet Protocol Address) – An IP address is a number that identifies a specific computer on a network or the Internet. When your website is hosted on a shared server, it shares an IP address with other sites on that server. At some point, you may need a dedicated IP address that is used only by your website – for example, if you add e-commerce to your site, a dedicated IP address is required for security.
Types of Web Hosting Plans
Shared Hosting – When you have a shared hosting plan, your website exists on the same server as other websites. The server’s disk space, CPU, memory, bandwidth and other resources are shared each website.
Virtual Private Server (VPS) – A Virtual Private Server, or VPS, is the next level up from shared hosting. On a VPS plan, your website still shares a hardware platform (web server) with other websites. However, web server software is dedicated to each site, which creates “virtually” private resources (CPU, memory, disk space and bandwidth) for each website.
Managed Private Server – This option provides a dedicated hardware and software platform for your website. It provides increased security for data captured on your website, and offers a higher level of performance than a VPS solution.
Dedicated Server – A dedicated server is the most robust and secure hosting option. Here, the web server is reserved for your website, or multiple websites you maintain. With this option, you must have a high degree of technical knowledge since you are given full control over the web server software and associated applications.
Article Source: WEBSITES.COm