When you are new to web hosting, understanding the varied jargon used by web hosting companies is going to be a daunting process. Most of these web-hosting companies do not care to explain the terminologies for the newbies and the result is complete confusion.

Here we provide you 20 Web hosting jargon every website owner should know:

Domain Name Server CNAME A Record Cpanel
Content Delivery Network(CDN) SSL Certificate Sitemap Top Level Domain (TLD)
Whois Zone Files Bounce Rate Content Management System (CMS)
Sub Domain Propagation Time RAID SAN
Virtual Private Network (VPN) Solid State Drives (SSD) WordPress .htaccess

1. Domain Name Server: 

Internet is made up of IP addresses. It would have been really difficult for us to access a website if we were supposed to use the IP address instead of www.xyz.com. It is Domain Name Server that has replaced IP addresses and has saved us humans from the technical issues. Domain names are alphabetic and we can memorize them easily. Domain Name Server is an Internet service that changes domain names into IP addresses and takes us to the requested site when we try to access it using URLs like www.xyz.com.

2. CNAME: 

Canonical name is a record that can be accessed via different names. For example, if you have file saved on your website, which can be accessed through file.example.com but you want to access it through file.mine.com then you will have to make use of CNAME record and point file.mine.com to file.example.com.

3. A Record: 

The ‘A’ stands for address; this address is used by Internet users or webmasters for finding the computer connected to a particular website or micro blogging site. For example, www.example.com is a URL, which is pointing to a specific IP address, say 72.32.231.8; here ‘example’ is A Record that is pointing to the website.

4. Cpanel: 

Cpanel stands for Control Panel of a website and it is very similar to the control panel on your computer. It lets you manage and administer the activities related to your web hosting account. You can upload files, pictures and codes to your website by logging into Cpanel.

5. Content Delivery Network(CDN): 

It is a network of distributed servers. For example, every time you try to access a website from US, this network will provide you with the requisite access from the server nearest to you. This system uses geographical location of users for handling access requests. This type of distributed network increases the speed of accessing your website.

6. SSL Certificate: 

SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer, when you install this certificate on your web hosting you are making sure that every connection is established is to the user’s computer only and that no other computer is “eavesdropping” on you. This tool uses encryption, cryptography and padlock for keeping the data transferred over Internet safe and secure. Never use your credit card on a site that has no SSL Certificate installed.

7. Sitemap: 

This is for search engines and not for your audience. Sitemap is basically a map that guides search engines through the most important pages on your site. A search engine depends upon these maps for indexing varied pages of your site. Make sure you have one for your website and you have submitted it to Search Engines (Google, etc.) to index your website.

8. Top Level Domain (TLD): 

The last segment of a domain is referred to as Top level Domain. For example, ‘.com’ is the TLD of www.xyz.com. Some of the common TLDs are .org, .in, .au, .com, .uk etc.

9. Whois: 

This one page holds all details related to a particular domain. This page will tell you about the enterprise that owns the domain. You can also find out the IP address of a domain using this Whois protocol. Owner of a domain can always pay to hide these details for security purposes.

10. Zone Files: 

These are the simplest and the most important files related to a DNS. Zone Files are editable text files, which contains every detail related to a Domain Name Server. One can edit this file using text editors like EMAC and VIM.

11. Bounce Rate: 

Bounce rate is nothing but the ratio of users who navigate away from your website after viewing just one page. Search engines do take bounce rate very seriously. If your bounce rate is high (>70%), it usually means that the users are not finding the content of your site interesting / relevant. So, the earlier you tame this animal, the better. Good Content = Lower Bounce Rate = Higher Search Engine rankings = More $$$$

12. Content Management System (CMS): 

CMS is a computer website thru which you can manage the entire content of your website. The beauty about this system is you don’t need to ask your Devs to update your website. You can do it on your own. Popular CMS currently in the market include WordPress and Joomla.

13. Sub Domain: 

www.xyz.com is a domain while www.blog.xyz.com is a sub domain. Companies generally use sub domains for hosting their blogs. Establishing a sub domain hosted blog is one of the best ways of increasing incoming links.

14. Propagation Time:

It is the amount of time taken by DNS for updating the new files on servers situated at different geographical locations. So, whenever you update your DNS settings, your hosting company will usually say that it will take around 24-48 hours for the changes to take effect. These “24-48 hours” is nothing but the propagation time.

15. RAID:

It stands for Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks. This is memory virtualization concept used for increasing the speed and data redundancy. Various physical disks are combined together improving data performance.

16. SAN: 

Storage Area Network is a high-speed network. All the physical disks are directly connected with server through SAN, which ultimately increases the speed of data access.

17. Virtual Private Network (VPN): 

Virtual Private Network is a vital technology that helps enterprises establish a secure connection on the Internet. Every reputed institution like MNCs, Government Agencies and Educational Establishment makes use of these. Here is an example: www.xyzschool.com/vpn. This VPN network technology enables registered users to access the site securely.

18. Solid State Drives (SSD): 

Solid State Drives are alternatives for HDD. SSDs are much faster as they do not have any movable parts. That would mean your website would be accessed much faster when compared with website on a Non SSD drives. Many companies are now offering SSD Hosting. Dreamhost is one of them. So, if you have a choice of SSD vs. No SSD hosting, you should definitely go for SSD Hosting.

19. WordPress:

WordPress is a CMS system which helps you manage the entire website without the need of any developer. With tons of plugins available for free, you can add all sorts of features/functionalities pretty much on your own. And did I mention WordPress is free? 😉

20. .htaccess: 

Every time a .htaccess file is added to a directory the website is loaded using Apache Web Servers. These files and protocols are used when errors like 404 occurs.

So, that’s all about Web Hosting Jargon that you, as a Site Owner should know.

Now that you are aware, it’s time to do the necessary changes to your web hosting. Incorporate changes that will help your website become fast, secure and reliable. Make use of virtual memory concepts for increasing the speed and do not forget to acquire a SSL certificate for a safer browsing experience.

It is time for you to be in complete control of your website. Go ahead and make your site the best in the world!

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Chris Wagner

Chris Wagner has 7 years of experience as Network Administrator. His areas of interest includes Servers, Network Management and Cloud Computing.