Understanding web hosting terms

When you’re looking into finding the right web host for your needs, or even if you’ve had a web host for years, sometimes there may be a few web hosting terms that you need a better understanding of. Of course, you’ve probably heard these words and phrases before and know most of them. However, this list of web hosting terms will ensure you understand exactly what you need to do, have fixed, or removed.


When your website renders a 404 error, it means the website can’t find the specific page. This could be the result of a visitor typing in an incorrect URL or a URL that doesn’t point to an existing page, or that there’s a broken link on your site. Ideally, you don’t want a visitor to every land on a 404 page. However, it’s an excellent opportunity to inform and entertain by customising the display message to reflect your brand’s personality.


Accessibility refers to ensuring your website works well for people with disabilities in addition to your general audience. It prevents visitors to your site from feeling left out and possibly increases your site’s bounce rate. Standard practices include adding image descriptions that voice programmes can read to describe it to a visually impaired user and subtitles with video content to allow hearing-challenged individuals to follow along.


This generally refers to making a copy of your website and is ideally done before making any significant changes to your website. A backup ensures you always have a version of your website to fall back should a simple error cause a critical technical issue.


Bandwidth refers to how much data is transferred when people visit your website and can be a consideration when choosing the right web hosting package for you.


Caching refers to temporarily storing your website’s data in a specific location so repeat the site loads faster for repeat visitors. This can improve your site’s loading speed for a better user experience.


A content management system or CMS is software that makes it easier to manage the files that comprise your website.


cPanel or control panel is the main dashboard to manage your web hosting account. From here, you can organise files, manage security, and install website software.

Dedicated server

When you choose web hosting on a dedicated server, you have an entire web server all to yourself. This ensures you don’t need to share space, performance, and security with other sites and the potential risks associated with shared hosting.


DNS or domain name system translates domain names into IP addresses that allow people to access websites easily.

Domain name

A domain name is the easy-to-remember internet address that directs browsers to reach your site.


This is the acronym for file transfer protocol, the technology necessary to transfer files from one computer or server to another.


HTML or hypertext markup language is the most common programming language used to build websites.


HTTPS helps to identify when a website can promise a secure connection because it has an SSL certification.

IP address

This internet protocol address is the address of a website or device on the web the machines direct users to.


PHP is a type of scripting language your web designer can use and embed within HTML.


When you move your website to a new domain, a redirect is how you point a URL to a new page to avoid 404 pages.


When web designers talk about responsive web design, they want to ensure your website displays correctly on all devices and screen sizes. Since more people access sites on their smartphones, menus, content, and images must be shown as effectively as on your website on a standard screen size.


SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer and is a security technology that encrypts data transferred between a browser and a web server.


A subdomain is a different section of a website under the main domain. However, it is set apart by a word in front of the domain name that indicates the dedicated interactions a user can have on that particular page.


This refers to the percentage of time a web server is running effectively without issues. While all web servers need maintenance, most web hosting companies will guarantee up to 99.9%.

Web host

Your web host is the company that offers your web hosting services. They have the necessary infrastructure, space, technology, and expertise to manage your website for you.

Website builder

A website builder is a form of software that makes creating a website easy for people who don’t know any coding languages.

Contact Hosting24 for details

When it comes to web hosting terms, there is a lot of jargon out there. However, this guide will help you understand the most common words and phrases used in discussion with your web host. For any web hosting assistance, get in touch with Hosting24 today.

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