When you’re taking the first steps to hosting a website, it can be confusing enough without all the words, phrases and terminology that gets bandied about. FTP access? Bandwidth? cPanel? What does it all mean?
Don’t worry, our web hosting glossary talks you through all the terms you may find on your journey to setting up a website, and exactly what they mean.
In web hosting, the term ‘bandwidth’ basically describes how much data can be transferred at any one time. The more bandwidth you have, the quicker your website will load each and every time. You want everybody who visits your site to do so quickly and easily, without any downtime. The less bandwidth you have, the quicker you’ll use up your allocated amount, the slower your website will be at loading, and the fewer people can visit it. In this case, more really is better.
cPanel is a popular user interface employed by most of the major hosting companies to make managing our websites simpler. It’s usually the first thing you’ll see when you log on, and from here you can access everything from your website’s files to tools and features like site statistics, WordPress installation and more.
Though there’s a little more to it than this, you can think of your domain name as your website address. For example cheapwebhostingadvice.co.uk or Amazon.com.
If your hosting server is your site’s home, your domain name is its address, it’s how you’ll direct people to your site.
FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol, and is used to transfer files one place to another. It is used often to upload websites from our computer’s hard drive to our web hosting.
Using FTP isn’t half as complicated as you might think. Your hosting company will give you an FTP address for your website, and allow you to create a username and password for that address. Using a piece of software known as an FTP client (Filezilla works well, and is free to download), you then use these details to access the server where your website will sit, and simply drag and drop your files from your computer to that server.
This is the most popular form of cheap web hosting. It basically means that when you register, you are given your own section of a big server that you ultimately share with lots of other websites.
Nobody can access your part of the server, nor can you access anybody else’s, but it does mean that if another site with which your sharing suddenly experiences a huge spike in traffic or goes overboard with large files, it could affect the load time of your site.
Compare this to dedicated hosting which, as the name suggests, means you get your own server dedicated solely to your website.
- READ MORE: Different types of web hosting packages
You’ll see the words ‘uptime’ and ‘downtime’ mentioned quite a bit in web hosting reviews. As you might imagine, they refer to the amount of time your website is up online or down and offline. This all depends on the reliability of your hosting provider’s servers. The more up time they have, the more your visitors will be able to access your site.
A content management system which allows you to create websites and blogs, and to edit, update and add new content.
- READ MORE: 3 Reasons to run a WordPress hosted website