Glossary of Web Hosting Terms

Quota

This is the amount of storage on our server allocated to your website. If you only want a small website, then Starter package might be for you, however if you have loads of pages, images, videos and the like, you might be better off with a Business or Enterprise package.

Bandwidth

This is the amount of traffic your website can receive per month. Each time a person visits your site they download content from the server, and this is all adds up to your bandwidth allocation. If you get lots of visitors accessing your site, and especially if they access high volume content such as video, then you might need the more generous allocations of Business or Enterprise. If you think your site won’t get a huge number of visitors, perhaps the Starter package is for you. Remember, you can always change your package later on if you need to.

FTP Accounts

FTP is like Windows Explorer for your website. It enbables you to access the files that make up your site through a folder structure (as opposed to HTTP, which is how you normally view websites through your browser). Multiple FTP accounts can be useful if you want to give some people access to certain files on your website without giving them access to everything. For example, if you wanted to give subscribers access to an archive of newsletters, you could store them in a folder in a separate FTP account with a different password to your overall site FTP account.

Email Accounts

When you sign up for hosting and choose a domain name for your website, you can also set up a number of email accounts, for example: info@your-website-name.com, or john@your-website-name.com.

Email Lists

As part of your hosting account you can set up multiple mail lists for sending bulk emails. For example, if you have a database of subscriber email addresses, you can add them to a mail list for sending out newsletters.

Domain Name

Your domain name is the address of your website (eg www.your-website-name.com). The important thing to know is that domain names are independent of the websites they point to. While websites are hosted by companies such this one, domain names are managed by companies called domain registrars. Think of domain names as entires in a huge network of address books – when someone enters a domain name into their web browser, their browser looks up the name in these address books and finds the location of the website that it is pointed at. When you sign up for hosting with any company, you will be asked to either provide an existing domain name or sign up for a new one (don’t worry, you can do this through our website as part of signing up for hosting with us.) Domain registration isn’t very expensive – about $15 a year (click here for a full price list).

Parked Domains

Parked Domains are additional domain names that can be linked to your site. For example, you might want to have several variations of your main domain name to make it easier for people to find you (eg www.ywn.com as well as www.your-website-name.com). When someone enters your parked domain into their web browser they will automatically be redirected to the primary domain name.

Sub-domains

Sub-domains are simply domains that are part of a larger domain. For example, if you wanted to set up an online shop in addition to your main website, you could put the shop under a subdomain called http://shop.your-website-name.com. When you go to order any hosting services from us, you can see that we have setup our hosting shop under a sub domain called https://accounts.thewebhostingmachine.com.

Addon Domains

Addon domains are a way of creating what appears to the public to be completely separate websites using the one hosting account. In addition to your main website (eg, www.your-website-name.com) you can create an entire new website within a folder of your account and use the addon domain function to direct a different domain name (eg www.your-other-website-name.com) to that website.

Databases

If your web site needs to update large quantities of information via the web, you will need a database to store your information. There are many different database systems available for web hosting. The most common are MySQL, SQL Server, Oracle, and MS Access.

If you intend to create a website based on a Content Management System (CMS) such as WordPress, Drupal, Joomla etc. then your hosting package will require provision for at least one database.

cPanel

cPanel is the “backend” of your web hosting account. It is a program that you can access over the web to manage all aspects of your website account, including creating backups of your site, accessing your webmail accounts (and setting up mail forwards and redirects), and accessing all the files that make up your website (as well as uploading new files). It’s a very useful tool, but don’t worry if it all sounds a bit daunting – we have a knowledge base that you can access any time that can help you navigate many of cPanel’s functions.

Server

In essence, a server is simply a type of computer that performs tasks for other computers – hence the name! There are lots of different types of servers (for example mail servers or file servers) but the type we are most interested in is web servers – these are special computers that have the specific function of storing websites and making them available for people to access via the internet.