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What are Some Common Terms I Should be Familiar With?

Some of the common terms you will come across that you should understand are:

  • Bandwidth –  Bandwidth is the amount of data that can be transferred over the network in a fixed amount of time.
  • On the Net, it is usually expressed in bits per second (bps) or in higher units like Mbps (millions of bits per second).  28.8 modem can deliver 28,800 bps, a T1 line is about 1.5 Mbps.

  • Disk Space – This indicates the amount of disk space that will be available to you on the hosts server to hold your web site files. Normally because HTML files are small, a web site (unless it has extensive graphics or database functionality) will be small, as low as 1 or 2 MB in most cases.

  • Inodes – Data structures that contain information about files in Unix file systems that are created when a file system is created. Each file has an inode and is identified by an inode number (i-number) in the file system where it resides. Inodes provide important information on files such as user and group ownership, access mode (read, write, execute permissions) and type.
 There are a set number of inodes, which indicates the maximum number of files the system can hold. 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.

  • VPS – VPS stands for Virtual Private Server. The key word there – virtual. This type of hosting let’s you have the functionality of a dedicated server, but in reality, VPS is actually a kind of shared hosting. Your “virtual server” will be included, along with others, on one physical machine.

  • Dedicated Server – A more expensive type 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. Control Panel – 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. (cPanel is one example)

  • Cloud Hosting – Cloud web hosting is hosting that uses the resources of several clustered servers. Basically, this means that your website uses the virtual resources of several servers to accommodate all the aspects of hosting your site. The load is balanced, security is taken care of and hardware resources are available virtually so they can be used when needed. The cluster of servers is the cloud.

  • 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 web site will be up all the time except for about 8 seconds each day. Over the course of a year, in this example, the hosting company is claiming that your site will only be unavailable (couldn’t surf to it) for 48 hours.

  • 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.
  • MySQL – Is a system used to create databases on web servers.
  • PHP – PHP is an free, open-source server-side scripting language.  PHP code can be embedded in HTML. It is integral for installation of popular blogging platforms like WordPress
  • Domain Name – Domain name is an easy-to-remember address that can be translated by DNS into server’s IP address. This is your website address. FTP – File Transfer Protocol is the Internet protocol defining how to download and upload files between a client and an FTP server. IP Address – Internet Protocol Address.  A unique number identifying all devices connected to the Internet. 
  • SSL – Secure Sockets Layer.  Protocol developed by Netscape to provide encryption for commercial transactions data that should be protected while traveling over the Internet, like credit card numbers.  SSL uses https protocol.  Before using SSL in commerce, you’ll also need to get is a certificate from a Certificate Authority. These definitions were courtesy of the following websites:
Sliplink Network Hosting & Domain Registrations

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