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The basic terms of webhosting

Basics of Webhosting

Looking around webhosting companies can sometimes be a little confusing, like all industries we tend to create our own little list of insider terms and phrases which scare people away. Well, I thought the best way to kick off our blog is by explaining what these terms mean in a straightforward, succinct easy on the eyes kinda way ;-).

So if you’ve decided you want to learn how to host a website but haven’t done it before bare with us the language isn’t there just to make us feel smarter but to make common used terms and words shorter and quicker to communicate.

Basic definitions used in webhosting

Ah, the basic of basics, we’re starting at the beginning and listing some of the more common terms and what they mean.

Web Hosting

Web Hosting or just ‘hosting’ is the service that allows you to display pages of your website on the World Wide Web or internet and to send/ receive email using your domain name.

Domain Name

Your domain is the name used for the location to your website on the internet. UK domains tend to end in or, other commonly used endings are .com, .net or .org (although commonly used these are technically US domain names)


FTP or File Transfer Protocol is a connection between two computers that allow you to move files between them.


Technically speaking (so sorry) a server is a computer program that provides services to users and other programs, but it is also the common name for the purpose built computers used to house website files, data, email or web server files.

IP Address

An IP address is a series of 5 sets of numbers separated by a full stop. The number is the absolute location of a server or your web hosting space on the internet. It is akin to a home address and postcode. A domain name (e.g. would point or ‘map onto’ to an IP address where the website files are stored. This then allows you to change your IP address without having to inform everyone every time you did so in a similar way to the post office’s address forwarding system.


The term bandwidth, sometimes referred to as data transfer within webhosting is used to describe the amount of data transferred to or from the website or server within a month. Web hosting companies will usually quote a monthly bandwidth limit for a website, e.g. 50 gigabytes per month, which if exceeded will result in your site being charged extra or even shut off if your limit is exceeded that month.


A blade server is a self contained, high density computer server designed to share power, cooling, and other essential server components for added efficiency, space utilisation and lower overall power consumption. Blade servers thus tend to be a far greener and more energy efficient form of hosting, whilst being as powerful or sometimes more powerful than web servers.

Shared Hosting

A shared web hosting service is a web hosting service where many websites are located on a single web server that is connected onto the internet. Each website inhabits its own ‘partition’ or portion of the server separated from all the other websites. This is the most cost effective form of web hosting as many people are able to share the overall cost of hosting and maintaining the server(s).

VPS Hosting

Virtual Private Severs also referred to as VPS hosting environments function in a similar way to shared hosting in enabling the partition of high specification machines into ‘virtual’ servers sharing the servers resources. Unlike shared hosting very little is shared among VPSs besides the overall system resources meaning you have full root access, and are able to install custom script and your own software applications without being affected by the other users or websites. Click to learn more about the difference between VPS hosting and Shared hosting.

Dedicated Hosting

A dedicated hosting service is one where you are leasing a server dedicated only to you. This is the ultimate and most expensive form of hosting as you are able to fully utilise the resources of the server as you see fit.

Hopefully you have found this to be of use, we will continue to add to this from time to time to answer any other questions.


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