The world of modern web technology is growing incredibly fast. While we have more possibilities before us than ever, we do not always make the best use of them—getting around basic terminology seems to be one of the biggest challenges.
The same thing happens when we try to understand hosting services: new words and terms can be intimidating. We have prepared a brief glossary to guide you in those first steps towards building your confidence and understanding of web hosting.
Web hosting - a complex of different services and functions that allow you to allocate a website and all related files on the web.
Shared hosting - the cheapest and the most popular type of web hosting. When purchasing a shared plan, you get a part of a server that can be used for allocating a relatively small website. Shared plans are great for startups.
VPS hosting - the golden mean. VPS hosting awards you with a bigger part of a server. In fact, this gives you better performance and smaller risk of getting your website(s) blocked because of bad server neighborhood.
Dedicated hosting - the most advanced solution. You get a whole server—or even a number of servers—for allocating your website. Dedicated servers are strictly advised if your website works with big databases or hosts a lot of media files.
Cloud Hosting - a network of servers that host the same information which can be used for increasing the performance of your websites or for adjusting servers without getting your website offline.
Server - a combination of hardware and software that is used for allocating your website on the web. Every server has a basic set of characteristics: hardware capacity, bandwidth, operating system, RAM, etc.
Datacenter - a room where your web hosting company keeps all (or a big part) of their servers. Good datacenters are secure, fire-protected, and have good ventilation.
SEO - an abbreviation of Search Engine Optimization, which is a combination of services used for raising the rank of your website in the lists of search results. SEO quality often depends on hosting, e.g. on the geographical location of your servers.
Live chat - the easiest way to contact the support agents of your web host. Most reliable hosting companies offer live chat; with live chat, you can resolve immediate problems that may arise.
Disk space - hard drives volume that can be used for allocating your website and all related files.
Bandwidth / Traffic capacity - the characteristics that define traffic speed and the amount of incoming and outgoing information that can be processed by your hosting plan.
CPU / Core - a piece of hardware that processes large amounts of information and tasks. Normally, CPU only matters when you purchase a dedicated or a cloud plan. In such cases, the more productive cores you get, the better they are.
Control panel (cPanel) - software used for managing your hosting software and hardware (if possible). A control panel lets you create a website from scratch or host an existing website with higher efficiency.
Operating system — an environment used for installing multiple developer tools that allow you to administer your hosting and its features.
RAID - a security system used for protecting the data on your hard drives by means of complicated multi-layer storage.
Server uptime - the amount of time when your server is running well and without any failures. The better the uptime rate, the more users will be able to browse your website without any problems.
vServer - a term mostly used by cloud hosts for identifying a virtual server. A vServer functions like a dedicated server due to special technologies that split a real server into a number of virtual racks.
Public cloud - a cloud that uses real servers and can share a series of web projects. Public clouds are cheaper, but cannot be finely adjusted to the needs of your web project.
Private cloud - a cloud built with servers that do not share any other web projects but yours. Private clouds are expensive, but they can be set specially to meet your personal needs.
eCommerce - a segment of web that works with online trade. E-commerce projects include eShops, online auctions, etc. Many web hosts include different services for eCommerce projects.
These are the most popular terms. Hopefully, they can make the beginning of your web hosting journey life easier and help you understand the principles of website functioning better.