Website Hosting Glossary: 60+ General Terms you need to know!

Hey! Today I am going to cover most of the various terms used in website hosting. I had created this website hosting glossary because there are so many people heard those terms but never know about it.

But first!

Do we need to know, what is website hosting? Because there are some users who heard about website hosting but they don’t know what exactly website hosting is?

So, let’s start…

A website hosting is a service that places your website on a computer which is connected to the internet.

This then gives people who surf the internet a way to access your website.

The computer that the web hosting company uses is typically just like the computer you have at home, the only difference being that it is set up to serve up websites and is therefore called a “server“.

There are so many different companies provided website hosting service like Bluehost, Hostgator, Siteground, InMotion, iPage, etc.

Maybe above information will help you to clear your thoughts about website hosting.

Then we have to come to the point.

I am covered most of the point but if I miss something then please let me know in comment section.

I am sorry but this guide is too big so please stick with me…

#1. Adult Web Hosting

Some hosting companies block access to websites that contain adult content. Some hosting companies will not host websites that contain such adult content. If you plan to launch a website that contains adult content, this is a feature that should be considered.

#2. Alias

Alias is a term which used to name that points to another name. Aliases are used to make the original name easier to remember or to protect the site’s identity.

#3. Applet

An Applet is an embedded program on a website. Applets are usually written in the coding language called Java. They are normally used for creating a virtual object that may move or interact with the website. An Applet is like a small piece of executable code that needs a full application to run it.


#4. ASP (Active Server Pages)

Active Server Pages allow web developers to make their sites dynamic with database driven content. The code is mainly written in VB Script, and it is produced by the server of the website instead of the browser of your website visitors. The server reads the ASP code and then translates it to HTML.

Active Server Pages (ASP)

#5. Audio Streaming

It is a process of providing audio content on a website. This takes up a large amount of bandwidth, especially if you get a lot of visitors at your site. Some hosts do not allow audio or video streaming because of this.

Audio Streaming

#6. Auto Responder

An automated program that acknowledges receipt of an e-mail message, and then sends back a previously prepared email to the sender, letting them know it was received. Once you configure your auto responder, it sends an e-mail with no further action required on your part, making your website interactive around the clock. Most hosting companies let you set this up through their control panel.

#7. Availability (Uptime)

Refers to the amount of time within a 24 hour period a system is active or available for servicing requests. For example, if a hosting company says it is available 99.9% of the time, they are claiming that your website will up all the time except for about 8 seconds each day. For example, there are so many hosting service providers who claim they provide 99.9% of uptime. Recently I had posted a detailed article regarding Hostgator and Bluehost hosting uptime. In this result, I had found that Hostgator has 99.9% of hosting uptime.


#8. Backbone

It is a high-speed line or series of connections that forms a major pathway within a network. The term is relative as a backbone in a small network will likely be much smaller than many non-backbone lines in a large network. In general, the better the backbone of the hosting company, the better the availability of the websites that run on their computers.

#9. Backups

Web hosts back up data on their servers. Many host packages offer backups every 24 hours. This is supposed to prevent the loss of data should something happen to the server. If you think you may need to restore old data in case of a disaster, it may make sense to choose a hosting company that performs regular backups.


#10. Browser

This is the client software that displays (interprets) the HTML code it receives from the server. All browsers work slightly different and one may not display the pages correctly if the code was developed exclusively for another browser. Today there are 5 main browsers which are used in worldwide called Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, Microsoft edge or Internet Explorer and Opera Browser.


#11. C+/++

C+ and C++ are programming languages. Some hosting companies provide access to C+ and C++ class libraries if your website contains these types of program modules. Once your website has been constructed, you will know whether access to C+ or C++ will be required.

C++ Features

#12. CGI (Common Gateway Interface)

A CGI is a program that translates data from a web server and then displays that data on a web page or in an email. CGI involves the transfer of data between a server and a CGI program (called a script). This allows HTML pages to interact with other programming applications. These scripts make web pages interactive. Page counters, forms, guest books, random text/images and other features can be driven by CGI scripts. Some servers have pre-installed/pre-defined CGI scripts, meaning that the scripts are already installed on the server for you to use on your site. Some servers permit user-defined or custom CGI scripts, which means the site owner creates his/her own CGI script and runs this custom made a script on the website. Not all servers allow user-defined (custom) scripts for security reasons. Almost all hosting companies offer CGI today. If you think you will need forms on your website, CGI could be a key requirement.

Common Gateway Interface

#13. Chat Server / Software

Some hosting companies allow you to develop a chat room or other type of chat service for your visitors. Be sure to check with the web host company about the details of the chat services offered. Some servers permit you to configure the service, and others pre-configure everything for you while others do not allow chat rooms at all.

Chat Server

#14. ClickThrough

This term is used to describe the ratio of clicks to impressions on an advertisement, usually a banner ad. If a banner has been shown 100 times and 2 people click on it, it will have a 2% click through ratio.

Click through rate

#15. ColdFusion

This is an application which simplifies database queries by allowing for a simpler programming language to handle functions between the user’s browser, the server, and the database. After you have developed your website, you will know whether ColdFusion is a requirement. If you have not used ColdFusion to develop your site, you should ignore this feature.

#16. Co-Location

Co-location means housing a web server that you own in the facilities of a hosting provider. This option is perfect if you want to own your own server, but do not want the hassle or security risk of maintaining that server.

Colocation Hosting

#17. Control Panel

Control panel is an online package of tools permitting easy site management and editing. Almost all hosting companies provide this option today. It is a very important feature to have. By having your own control panel, you can maintain basic information about your site, mail boxes, etc. without having to send emails to the hosting company or call them on the phone.

Hostgator Cpanel

A cookie is nothing but the message given to a Web browser by a Web server. The browser stores the message in a text file called cookie.txt. The message is then sent back to the server each time the browser requests a page from the server. The main purpose of cookies is to identify users and possibly prepare customized Web pages for them. When you enter a Web site using cookies, you may be asked to fill out a form providing such information as your name and interests. This information is packaged into a cookie and sent to your Web browser which stores it for later use. The next time you go to the same Web site, your browser will send the cookie to the Web server. The server can use this information to present you with custom Web pages. So, for example, instead of seeing just a generic welcome page you might see a welcome page with your name on it.

#19. Credit Card Billing

What is a merchant account? Why do I need one? A merchant account gives a business the ability to accept credit cards as payment for the company’s goods and services. It provides your customers with an extremely popular payment option, beyond cash and checks. This is usually done via a 3rd party provider.

Credit Card Billing

#20. CSS (Cascading Style Sheets)

It is a website language which is used to add more functionality to simple HTML pages. CSS language used to describes how HTML elements are to be displayed on screen or in other media. CSS saves a lot of work.

Cascading Stylesheets

#21. Database Support

If your website will leverage a database to store information, database support by the hosting company will be required. After you have developed your website, you will know which database will be required. Some commonly used database programs are SQL Server, MySQL, Access, and Oracle. Databases can be difficult to configure properly. Before you sign up with a web host, first inquire if the host can support your database needs.

#22. Data Transfer

This is the amount of data that is transferred from an account as visitors view the pages of the website. If you have a website with lots of video, audio, and images that gets many visitors per day, you would have to make sure that you choose a host that will allow large amounts of data to be transferred. If you choose a host that only allows 200 MB of data transfer per month, and your site transferred 500 MB per month, then the host may stop half of your visitors from viewing your site and you could lose potential customers. Your best bet is to try to find a host that offers unlimited data transfer or at least a Gig of transfer. A gig is more than enough for most websites. As a general rule, 500MB of data transfer is equivalent to 20,000 page views.

Date Transfer

#23. Dedicated Server

This is one of the most expensive types of account in which the web hosting company provides you with an entire hosting setup including your own server hardware that only you can use. This usually means a much faster loading time for your site because the entire computer is “dedicated” to running the server software. This is different from most other hosting accounts in which your website will share space on a server with many other websites, called a virtual server. A dedicated server makes sense for websites that require higher availability and higher data transfer rates.

Dedicated Server

#24. Disk space

This indicates the amount of disk space that will be available to you on the host’s server to hold your website files. Normally because HTML files are small, a website (unless it has extensive graphics or database functionality) will be small, as low as 1 or 2 MB in most cases. When you do a search on and select disk space as a factor in the search you are indicating a minimum level that you want a plan to offer. As an example, the site, not including the database (i.e. the web pages and graphics only) is about 3MB.Use windows explorer to check the total MB of your site while it is still on your development machine. Then perhaps double your sites current size so that you have room to grow. When you check the total MB of your site doesn’t forget to include the total MB of your graphics files.

A good rule of thumb is to assume approx. 50 KB per page (1 MB = 1000 KB, 1 GB = 1000 MB). 50 KB per page is on the high side so it’s a conservative estimate for the average size of a webpage.

[table id=1 /]

Often hosting companies will charge an extra fee if disk space exceeds the plan limits. If you think this could happen then either go with a higher MB limit from the start or check with the hosting provider to understand their policies on Disk Space. Remember, the addition of a database can significantly increase your requirements for disk space.

#25. Domain Parking

Many hosting companies give you the option to ‘park’ your domain name without actually having your website up and running. This is a nice option if you want to acquire a domain name for your website well ahead of having the website itself designed and constructed. The following image is the example of a parked domain by Sudo.

Domain Parking

#26. Domain Name

It is nothing but the unique name that identifies an internet site. Domain Names always have 2 or more parts, separated by dots. The part on the left is the most specific, and the part on the right is the most general ( Technically, the domain name is a name that identifies an IP address. To most of us, it simply means Because the Internet is based on IP addresses, not domain names, web servers depend on a Domain Name System (DNS) to translate domain names into IP addresses. Simply stated, domain names allow people to find your website by name rather than by its numerical (IP) address.

What is Domain Name

#27. Domain Name Registration

Often a hosting company will offer to register your domain name at the time you sign up for a hosting plan. This normally incurs an additional charge but may be cheaper and more convenient than using a separate domain name registration service. We recommend that you go ahead and register your domain name as soon as possible; especially if you think it will take some time to develop the site itself. Click here for a list of domain name registration companies.

#28. DNS (Domain Name System)

A model for tracking other machines (that contain websites) and their numeric IP addresses. Translates domain names (for example, into a numerical IP address such as When a computer is referred to by name, a domain name server puts that name into the numeric IP address assigned to that computer. So when you buy a domain, say, it does not become accessible until it gets assigned an IP address from a hosting company. Once the IP address is assigned, a cross-reference record (DNS record) is created that points your domain name to the numeric IP address.

How DNS works

#29. Email POP Account

POP (Post Office Protocol) is an actual email account on your web host’s e-mail server. Think of each POP account as a unique email address ([email protected], [email protected], etc.) Before you choose a specific hosting plan, you should know exactly how many email accounts are required to meet your specific needs.

#30. Microsoft FrontPage

FrontPage is an HTML editor made by Microsoft. It is commonly used to create websites.

#31. FrontPage Extensions

FrontPage extensions can be thought of as “mini programs” that allow features of a website created with MS Frontpage to operate smoothly. It is possible to use MS Frontpage to create a website and host that site on a server that doesn’t offer FP extensions, however, some of the powerful features of the program cannot be used on these websites. After you design your website, you will know whether FrontPage extensions will be a requirement.

#32. FTP (File Transfer Protocol)

A way of transferring files (uploading and downloading) across the Internet. Most websites are uploaded to the Internet by means of an FTP program. This is how the website you create on your computer at home is transferred (uploaded) to the Internet. Some software, such as Microsoft Front Page, does not require the use of an FTP program but the use of most any other HTML editor requires the use of an FTP Program. There is a free FTP program called FileZilla. There are many Internet sites that have established publicly accessible repositories of material that can be obtained using FTP, by logging in using the account name anonymous, thus these sites are called anonymous FTP servers.

FTP (File transfer protocol)

#33. Host Name Server

When you hear the term “host” in the Internet world, it is referring to an Internet company that has the required servers and software to connect domain names to (IP) Internet Protocol numbers so that your site can be viewed by the public when they type your domain in their browser window. Basically, this is where you house your site, and you usually have to pay a monthly or annual fee for this service. The purpose of is to help you find the Host that is right for you!!

#34. Host Country

Specifies which country the hosting company resides. The internet is a very complex web of server computers connected through telecommunications devices. In general, it is best to host your website in a location closest to the users that access it. For example, if you plan to deploy a website that will attract mostly German visitors, it may make sense to choose a hosting company located in Germany.

#35. Host Platform

This is the platform of the hosting provider’s servers. Hosting companies will typically have a hosting platform based upon Windows 2000 (Win2K), Windows NT or Linux. If you have a basic website that does not make use of server-side applications such as a database then you do not need to worry which platform is used.

#36. HTML (Hypertext Markup Language)

HTML stands for Hypertext Markup Language. This is the code that web pages are written in and the browser interprets to turn into the web page you view on the screen.

HTML (Hypertext Markup Language)

#37. HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol)

The protocol for transferring hypertext files across the Internet. Requires an HTTP client program on one end, and an HTTP server program on the other end. HTTP is the most important protocol used in the World Wide Web (WWW). You see it every time you type a website in your browser http://…

http Process

#38. IP Address

A unique number used to specify hosts and networks. Internet Protocol (IP) numbers are used for identifying machines that are connected to the Internet. They are sometimes called a dotted quad and are unique numbers consisting of 4 parts separated by dots, They would look something like this Every machine that is on the Internet has a unique IP number – if a machine does not have an IP number, it is not really on the Internet. Most machines also have one or more Domain Names that are easier for people to remember.

IP address

#39. ISP (Internet Service Provider)

A company or institution that provides access to the Internet in some form, usually for money. They will usually allow users to dial up through a modem, DSL, or cable connection to view the information on the Internet Access is via SLIP, PPP, or TCP/IP. Picking your ISP is an important decision but has more to do with how you access the Internet rather than which host you choose.

#40. Javascript

A scripting language which enables web designers to add dynamic, interactive elements to a website.


#41. Java Servlet

A servlet is an application or a script that is written in Java and executed on a server, as opposed to on a client. It is anus to CGI, although servlets are more than simply CGI scripts written in Java.

#42. Mailing List Software

A mailing list is a discussion group based on the e-mail system. You may want to set one up – they’re very useful promotional tools. Even if you don’t want to host a discussion group, you can use a mailing list program to distribute a newsletter. Many companies have mailing-list software available for their clients to use — if so, ask whether there’s an additional cost, how many mailing lists you are allowed to have, and how many members per list

#43. ODBC (Open Database Connectivity)

Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) is a generic way for applications to speak to a database. ODBC acts as an interpreter between an application (say a ColdFusion or ASP application) and a database (like Microsoft Access). By using ODBC, a connector can be created that will allow a web application that you create to read data from and insert data into an Access database that you’ve created. An ODBC source is a directory entry that specifies database information. This ODBC source (or DSN Source) allows your site to point to the correct database located on the web server. It is possible to connect to a DB without ODBC, but it is a safe bet to assume you need 1 ODBC connection per individual database you will have.

ODBC (Open Database Connectivity)

#44. Perl (Practical Extraction and Report Language)

Perl is an interpreted language optimized for scanning arbitrary text files, extracting information from those text files, and printing reports based on that information. It’s also a good language for many system management tasks.

#45. PHP

PHP is another scripting language. Like ASP, its commands are embedded within the HTML of a web page. The commands are executed on the web server, making it browser independent. The web browser only sees the resulting HTML output of the PHP code.


#46. POP (Post Office Protocol)

This is a method of retrieving email from an e-mail server. Most e-mail applications (sometimes called an e-mail client) use the POP protocol, although some can use the newer IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol). There are two versions of POP. The first, called POP2, became a standard in the mid-80 and requires SMTP to send messages. The newer version, POP3, can be used with or without SMTP. The newest and most widely used version of POP email is POP3 email. You will see the term POP3 in most of the web hosting plans available today.

POP (Post Office Protocol)

#47. Price

The monthly amount that you will have to pay a hosting company to provide the hosting services requested. Paying monthly is normally perfectly acceptable, but discounts may be available by paying quarterly or annually. will always list plans in order of price, lowest to highest. If you enter a price as part of the search then any plans costing more than what you enter will not be found.

#48. Plans

Many hosting providers allow you to be a reseller of hosting space earning a commission off of each sale. If you intend to be a provider of hosting services, you should investigate this option as you decide where to host your website. Many hosting companies offer discounts (in addition to revenue opportunities) to companies that wish to remarket their web hosting services. I prefer Hostgator because they provide excellent services at reasonable price range. Here are the hosting plans details:

hostgator shared hosting plans

#49. Root Server

A machine that has the software and data needed to locate name servers that contain authoritative data for the top-level domains.

Root server

#50. Setup Free

Some hosting companies charge a one-time setup fee to setup your hosting account. It is worth to also take this into account when looking at the monthly fee. If you select the ‘No Setup Fee’ checkbox in the search then any plans that involve a setup fee will not be found.

#51. Server

A computer, or software package, that provides a specific kind of service to client software running on other computers. The term can refer to a particular piece of software, such as a WWW or HTTP server, or to the machine on which the software is running. A single server machine could have several different server software packages running on it, thus providing many different servers to clients on the network. More specifically, a server is a computer that manages and shares network resources.


#52. Shell Account

Something experienced computer users often request. Permits you to edit your files online in real-time, rather than making changes to your site offline and then uploading the changes. Unless you intend to manage the web server your site runs on, a shell account should not be needed.

#53. SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol)

The main protocol used to send electronic mail on the Internet. Most Internet email is sent and received using SMTP. SMTP consists of a set of rules for how a program sending mail and a program receiving mail should interact.

SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol)

#54. SSI (Server Side Includes)

Commands that can be included in web pages that are processed by the web server when a user requests a file. The command takes the form. A common use for SSI commands is to insert a universal menu into all of the pages of the website so that the menu only has to be changed once and inserted with SSI instead of changing the menu on every page.

#55. SSL (Secure Socket Layer)

A protocol designed by Netscape Communications to enable encrypted, authenticated communications across the Internet. It is used mostly (but not exclusively) in communications between web browsers and web servers. URL’s that begin with “https” indicate that an SSL connection will be used. SSL provides 3 important things: Privacy, Authentication, and Integrity. In an SSL connection, each side of the connection must have a Security Certificate, which each side’s software sends to the other. Each side then encrypts what it sends using information from both its own and the other side’s Certificate, ensuring that only the intended recipient can decrypt it, and that the other side can be sure the data came from the place it claims to have come from, and that the message has not been tampered with.

SSL (Secure Socket Layer)

#56. Shopping Cart Software

A software program which acts as a “virtual storefront”. Such software typically allows a website user to create and manage a virtual shopping cart to which items can be added or removed. Once a customer is ready to “check out”, this same Shopping Cart Software typically includes interfaces to allow customers to pay with their credit card directly on the site. Shopping Cart Software is critical for those websites that intend to sell products and services directly over the Internet without human intervention.

#57. Statistics

Many hosting companies run software on their web servers that collect usage information about your website and compile it in a user-friendly, easy-to-read format for you to analyze trends about your website. Having access to statistics is critical if you need to know how many visitors are coming to your site, which web pages receive the most attention, and how much time people actually spend browsing your site.

#58. Support

Telephone or e-mail technical support provided to a web hosting company’s customers. When there’s a problem with your site or your e-mail, you want to be able to get an answer promptly by email or on the phone. Some hosting companies offer email-only support, telephone support, or a combination of both. Some hosting companies provide 24hr 7 days a week support (24/7). This is important if your site is an e-commerce site with a lot of daily visitors.

#59. TCIP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol)

This is a set of communications protocols to connect hosts on the Internet.

TCIP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol)

#60. Unix

A computer operating system designed to be used by many people at the same time (it is multi-user) and has TCP/IP built-in. It is the most common operating system for servers on the Internet.

#61. Uniform Resource Location

The standard way to give the address of any resource on the Internet that is part of the World Wide Web (WWW). is an example URL.

#62. Unique IP Address

In many hosting plans, you share an IP address and you will be able to view your site through your domain name only. Obtaining a unique IP address (see IP Address) provides a one-to-one relationship between your domain name ( and an IP address.

#63. Video Streaming

It is nothing but the process of providing video data or content via a web page.

#64. Virtual Server

It is a web server which shares its resources with multiple users. It’s another way of saying that multiple websites share the resources of one server. If you do not need your own web server (i.e. your own server class computer), you will use a virtual server to host your website.

Virtual Server


I hope your most of the doubts will be cleared after reading this guide.

What do you think of this guide?

I am trying to cover all of the web hosting related terms in this guide but I know I missed few of the points.

So please let me know your thoughts on this guide by leaving your comments below right now.


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  1. Bablofil June 17, 2017 at 3:03 pm

    Thanks, great article.

  2. Statvoo July 24, 2017 at 9:25 pm

    Great site you’ve got here.. It’s difficult to find high quality writing like yours nowadays.
    I truly appreciate peopoe like you! Take care!!

  3. Josh July 25, 2017 at 8:46 am

    Wow, amazing weblog structure! How lengthy have you been blogging for?

    you make blogging glance easy. The overall look of your site is wonderful, let alone the content!

  4. Les August 20, 2017 at 6:45 am

    It’s actually a nice and helpful piece of information.
    I am happy that you simply shared this helpful invo
    with us. Please stay us informed like this.
    Thank you for sharing.

    1. Siddharth Kamble September 8, 2017 at 2:12 pm

      Thanks, Les… I will try to share such informative post

  5. Shehroz August 25, 2017 at 12:36 am

    Amazing article, I got everything related to hosting here 🙂

  6. Rajinder Singh September 13, 2017 at 11:33 am

    Hi Siddharth,

    Thanks for a marvelous posting! I really enjoyed reading it, you may be a great author.

    I will be sure to bookmark your blog and definitely will come back from now on. I want to encourage you to continue your great job.

    Many thanks for sharing an informative post with us.

    – Rajinder

    1. Siddharth Kamble September 13, 2017 at 9:54 pm

      Thanks Rajinder for your comment and I am not as much great. Just i was done detailed research about this topic before writing the article


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