wires going into different plugs to demonstrate web hosting

The world of web hosting is full of words and terms that the average person might not hear on a regular basis. As a very technical field of study itself, there is a lot of jargon that can be confusing to follow without having to look up each individual word.

For today’s article, we want to make it so that you don’t have to go through the process of individually searching for web hosting terms. We’ve compiled a list of need-to-know words to save you time and get a deeper insight into the web hosting world.


Bandwidth is the amount of information that can be transferred between your visitors and your website. Typically measured in gigabytes (GB) per month.

Email Hosting

An add-on service provided by most web hosting companies. Sometimes this is done in-house, and sometimes it is outsourced to other specialized providers. Hosting companies may limit the amount of email accounts, size of the mailbox, and number of aliases allowed in a plan, so be sure to ask.


A server holds your website’s files, codes, and data and makes it possible to be shared with people all over the world. Depending on your website and the type of plan you have, you may have your own server, or you could share it with other websites.


SSL stands for “secure sockets layer” and aids in the process of exchanging data securely on the internet. It is especially important if you have a website on which people will be entering their credit card information to make purchases. Today, most SSL certificates are actually TSL (transport security layer).

Domain Name

A domain name is a human-friendly address to your location on the internet. It’s what appears in your browser within the search bar and often begins with either http:// or https://.


DNS stands for “domain name system.” DNS translates the more human-friendly domain name we just discussed into the more computer-friendly series of numbers that make up an IP (internet protocol) address.


WordPress is the content management system that Vervology uses to create and build custom websites for ourselves and clients. It’s a favorable system due to the magnitude of projects that can be done on it, as well as its usability.


If you happen across a 404 page, it means that the server was able to connect to a website, but couldn’t find the content that you requested.


There are many types of malware in existence, but they all exist to do harm to a user’s computer or website, or even steal their personal information. Some common examples of malware include viruses, ransomware, and spyware.

The best way to avoid malware is to perform regular scans to your computer or website. Try to avoid any links and websites that seem suspicious. If you do click on something you suspect to be malicious by accident, be sure to change your password immediately and let an IT professional know.

Shared Hosting

Shared hosting is a cost-conscious category of web hosting services in which your website is hosted on a server with up to hundreds of other websites, with resources shared between them all. This is often a more affordable option, although it could affect your site’s speed and load time, depending on the server and other websites. This category of hosting is usually configured by a control panel, and direct server access is usually not allowed.


VPS stands for “virtual private server,” and is a web hosting service that allows you to rent a container of only 20 to 30 other websites, as compared to the hundreds that could be on a shared hosting server.

This type of plan is typically best suited for large companies and websites who can afford an experienced server administrator to work for them. These plans typically provide direct server access. Though the access is limited, more advanced operations can be performed.

Dedicated Server

A dedicated server is a web hosting service in which your website and all of its information is hosted on its own private server. Again, this probably isn’t the most appropriate option for the average small business, but could become necessary if you find yourself out-growing your current hosting service.


A reseller is when someone with a hosting plan has the ability to sell their space and resources on the servers to a third party company, who can then resell it to someone else. The company will then pay the reseller to cover the cost of hosting.

Cloud Computing

Cloud computing allows for the on-demand availability of storage, data, networking, software, and more.

There are numerous advantages to using a cloud hosting provider, including the ability to scale resources up or down on-demand, the ability to snapshot systems for instant backups and easier recovery, and potentially allowing for greater flexibility in terms of capabilities that can be delivered.


If you’re unhappy with your site’s current performance, it’s probably time for an update. Just like with the personal computing world, regular website software updates are necessary for security and performance reasons.

If you’re on a managed hosting plan, whoever does your hosting will mostly perform the updates for you. If you’re on a semi-managed plan, you may be responsible for some of those updates.


cPanel is an industry standard website control panel that is extremely popular in the shared hosting world. This software allows you to easily create new subdomains, new email addresses, manage databases, and more. It’s something that you would receive from your hosting provider as part of your plan or package.


A managed hosting plan is when all of the duties of keeping the server running and updated are completed by on-site system administrators. On the other hand, unmanaged hosting plans are when a company hosts the site, but offers no other or very few additional services. Updates must be completed by the user.

In Summary

Web hosting and all of its terminology can be complicated without some background knowledge. Hopefully, this glossary will help you feel more comfortable as you navigate the space.

If you’re looking for web hosting solutions, Vervology is here to help. We can host your site and handle all of the up-keep and maintenance for you. Get in touch to learn more.

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