If you’ve never used a web hosting service before, you’re probably going to be a little confused when you try to pick your first provider. You’ll run into a number of terms you might not know, and without that knowledge, it can be hard to choose the right plan.
Most web hosts assume that you’re at least somewhat familiar with basic terminology for the field. The best ones offer thorough documentation to help you get started, but few people have time to read dozens of articles to play catch up. What you really need is a quick crash course to get acquainted with the basics, so you can learn everything else as you go.
In this beginner’s guide, we’ll talk about what hosting is and why you need it. Then we’ll introduce you to 20 website hosting terms you need to know. Let’s jump in!
What Website Hosting Is (And Why You Need It)
Web hosts enable you share your site with everyone else.
Website hosting is a service that involves paying someone so you can use their servers to publish your website. In most cases, you’re charged on a monthly basis, and you get access to support and other features along with your hosting.
Technically, you don’t need to use a hosting provider to set up a public website. You can use any computer that’s connected to the internet as your server. However, setting up your own server is complicated, and website hosting providers use dedicated machines that provide better performance and security.
One important thing to remember is that not all website hosting services are equal. Here’s why:
- Prices vary between providers. For example, our cheaper hosting plans start at $3.92 per month, but other hosts may charge more or less.
- Some web hosts offer better performance. The speed at which your website loads depends on two things: your visitor’s internet connection and your website hosting provider’s performance.
- Better security. These days, a lot of websites deal with sensitive user data, so you want to use a web host that takes security seriously.
There are a lot more factors that differentiate web hosts, but we’ll explore those as we dive into specific terms. On the other hand, if you’re just looking for a quick recommendation about what type of plan you should use for your first website, then consider shared hosting.
These types of plans often get a bad rap for their lack of features. However, they’re more than powerful enough for small websites, and you can always upgrade to something better as your site grows. We’ll talk more about what those upgrade options are in a minute, so keep reading!
20 Website Hosting Terms You Need to Know
To keep everything organized, we’ve broken down the terms into three sections. We’ll discuss basic hosting terms, different types of hosting plans, and then some advanced topics. We’ll also link out to articles from our archives, so you can learn more about key concepts. Let’s get started!