Beginners Guide To Hosting

Chris .

If you are new to web hosting, the terminology can be quite difficult to wrap your head around. Words like “SSL” or “Cloud” can sound rather confusing, especially if hosting is new to you.

Just like all things in life, anything can be learned if someone takes their time to explain it to you in a way that makes sense. The purpose of this post is to clear up what these words mean in layman’s terms so you can easily get to grips with hosting.


Hosting Translations


Refers to a company who provides your web hosting services.

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Cloud hosting

When data is in the Cloud, it is stored in several places, rather than just on one server. This allows for a more reliable / scalable service because other computers in the cloud can step in if a single piece of hardware goes down.

Dedicated server

A dedicated server for your website. This is suitable if you have a large site which attracts a high number of visitors or transactions.

VPS (Virtual Private Server) Hosting

Like a dedicated server, but it is within a shared hosting facility. You will have a dedicated area within the shared server.

IP Address (Internet Protocol Address)

A unique number used to identify all of the individual devices connected to the Internet.


Bandwidth is the amount of data that can be transferred over your server network in a fixed amount of time.

Domain name

A domain is the name of your site. Before you can run a website, you need a domain. Most businesses will use their business name as the domain name, for instance our domain name is


A subdomain is referred to as a third level domain. A subdomain sits within the main domain allowing you to create a new site within a domain. For example, would be a sub domain of

DNS (Domain Name System)

Internet service that directs domains names into corresponding IP addresses. The DNS is in essence the phone book for the Internet.


TLD is an acronym for top-level domain, and is the part of the domain name located at the right of the dot (“.”). The most common TLDs are .com and .org.

Control panel

The control panel is part of a user interface which allows users to view and manipulate basic system settings and controls. Examples of control panels are Plesk and cPanel.

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer)

SSL encrypts data that should be protected while transferring over the internet, such as credit card numbers, by using https protocol and a padlock symbol.

FTP (File Transfer Protocol)

FTP is a standard network protocol used to transfer files from one computer to another over the Internet.


PHP is an open source web scripting / programming language that is used to create interactive web pages.

Final Thoughts

So you might not be hosting wizard just yet, but these terms should help you to utilise different features in your hosting package in order to boost your website’s potential.

Nimbus Hosting
1 Centrus, Mead Lane Hertford Hertfordshire SG13 7GX GB 0203 005 9181 [email protected]