31 Jul

Common website hosting terminology, Part 3

A lot of terms related to web hosting and website setup sound like gibberish. That is why we at GeeXSE found it important to run this series of common hosting terminologies to help you understand some of the things that may come up in the course of e-commerce website management.

We’ve already featured two articles that form part of the three-part series on hosting terminologies. If you missed the previous articles, you can read the first article here and the second piece here.

Here is the last leg of our definition series. You may encounter these terms sometime during your experience in maintaining an e-commerce website, from the initial stages of installation to the management of your online store as it grows.

Megabyte (MB) is, simply put, a million bytes. However, to be more technical about it, one megabyte is equal to 1,024 kilobytes or 1,048,576 bytes. In terms of the smallest unit of digital data, 1 megabyte is equal to 8,388,608 bits.

Primary DNS or Primary Domain Name Server is the set of servers provided by the web hosting provider for the client’s use. Primary DNS is denoted by IP addresses in the form of “ns1.dnsname.com”, to which the domain name must be pointed in order to “resolve” to a virtual location.

RAID, or redundant array of independent disks, is a technology that involves virtual data storage in the form of multiple disk drives. Its main purpose is for data redundancy to make sure that website performance is not hampered by server errors.

Reverse Proxy is a kind of proxy server that gets resources in place of a client from a server but returns only the resources to its nearby clients as provided by the server. The client making the request connects to the proxy without awareness of the network.

Secure Server (SSL) or Secure Socket Layer is defined as a standard security protocol to connect a web server and a browser through an encrypted process. The link encryption ensures privacy and security of data transferred between the server and the client.

Shell Account is a type of Unix hosting account on a remote server where the user or customer can update the website using the command line via Telnet.

SMTP or Simple Mail Transfer Protocol is defined as an electronic mail Internet standard. SMTP is used by e-mail servers for message transmission.

TCP or Transmission Control Protocol is a primary Internet protocol (IP), hence its frequent merge as TCP/IP. This particular protocol processes a reliable delivery of octets across programs in computer networks.

TLD or top-level domain is the highest domain level in the Domain Name System (DNS), and is stored in the name space root zone.

URL (Uniform Resource Locator) is the standard address assigned to any Internet resource that forms part of the World Wide Web. A standard URL usually starts with “http://” and includes a domain name and a specific Internet resource.

Virtual Private Server (VPS) is any virtual machine that contains its own operating system (OS). This server may be offered by a web hosting company to its customers, who will then gain access to the OS and install programs to their liking.

Web Server is a computer or machine that runs a website. It can deliver web pages and data to any client software, most notably browsers.

Web Site is defined as a group of interconnected web pages accessible through the World Wide Web.

XML or Extensible Markup Language is denoted by rules governing document encoding that is readable by humans and machines. The language design is aligned towards simple, generalized, and useful data over the Internet.


This concludes our series on common web hosting definitions. If you have questions or some other terms that you need to understand further, drop us a note in the comments section below.

 [Photo courtesy of Chris Dlugosz on Flickr]
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