As hosting can have a variety components in order to make a website or application run smoothly, there can be a fair amount of technical jargon involved. This guide can be used as a general reference page, to help familiarize with when dealing with the terminology of web hosting.
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- Hosting: Service(s) needed for a website or application to be accessible on the internet.
- Hosting Provider: A company that provides hosting services (Media Temple).
- Developer: A person who builds/manages websites or applications (typically a hired individual or team within a company).
- Server Administrator: A person who builds/maintains a server (typically a hired individual or team within a company).
- IT Technician: A person who manages/fixes computer, internet, or phone hardware (typically a hired individual or team within a company).
DNS (Domain Name System): The "phone book" of the internet. Translates a domain name (mediatemple.net) into an IP address (01:12:123:1234).
- Domain name: An alpha/numeric label used to identify an IP address (mediatemple.net, google.com, apple.com, etc).
- Zone File: A text file that describes a DNS Zone. Updating your zone files is how you point a domain name and subdomains to the IP address.
- Name Server: Determines which company hosts your DNS, and where you will go to edit your zone files.
- IP address: A numeric label assigned to a device, connected to a computer network, that uses the internet for communication (01:12:123:1234).
- TLD (Top Level Domain): Highest level in the DNS system (.com, .org, .gov, .co.uk)
- Domain registration: A service used to register a domain name to a particular user, giving them ownership over that domain name.
Domain registrar: A company that manages the reservation of domain names.
- Reseller: A company that works in conjunction with a registrar to manage domain registrations (Media Temple).
- Registrant: A user whose name is listed as the "owner" of the domain registration.
- Admin (domain registration): A user whose name is listed as the "administrator" of the domain registraiton.
- WHOIS: A search result for a domain registration that includes the listed Registrant, Admin, Company, Registrar, etc.
Email Client: A program used to access your email (Apple Mail, Thunderbird, Outlook).
- Outgoing/Incoming Mail Server: An IP address or domain name used in an email client to locate your email server.
- Webmail: An email client that is web browser based.
Server: A machine used to host websites and applications. This can include databases, emails, images, videos, code, etc.
- Shared Server: A server that shares resources (CPU, Memory, etc) with multiple users.
- Dedicated Server: A server with resources (CPU, Memory, etc) dedicated to an individual user.
- CPU (Central Processing Unit): The "brain" of the computer that interprets and executes programs. For the Grid this is referred to as GPU.
- Memory: Hardware that is intended to help read data quickly.
- Disk Space: The amount of storage capacity your server has.
- Bandwidth: The capacity to transmit data over a network.
- Overage: Going over your resource allocation.
- Logs: A record of events that occur within the server (errors, access, email, etc).
- Database: A collection of data, typically organized into "tables," which can be used to run a website or applications.
Control Panel: A user interface that is used to run tasks on a server or application (similar to Windows or Mac OS).
- Grid: The title of (mt) Media Temple's shared server.
- Plesk / cPanel: Popular control panels used for (mt) Media Temple's managed dedicated severs.
- File Manager: A web browser method of accessing files over the internet. This method uses icons to view/edit your files. Not ideal for large file transfers.
FTP (File Transfer Protocol): A method of connecting to your server to transfer files over the internet. This method is often uses icons to view/edit your files.
- FTP Client: A program used to access your FTP server (FileZilla, CyberDuck, Transmit, etc).
- FTP Hostname: An IP address or domain used in an FTP client to locate your FTP server.
- SSH (Secure Shell): A method of connecting to your server to transfer files over the internet. This method is often command-line based to view/edit your files.
- SFTP (SSH File Transfer Protocol): The same as FTP with the added security of being encrypted.
- Firewall: Part of a system or network used to block unauthorized entry.
- Malware: Software used to disrupt, damage, or gain unauthorized access to a system (often referred to as trojans or viruses).
- Spam: Unsolicited or unwanted email.
- Phishing: Spam email imitating a legitimate message in an attempt to acquire personal/company information.
- Spoofing: When a false user imitates a legitimate email address, usually with the intent to spam or hack.
- Bug: An error, flaw, or failure that occurs in a system (can be temporary or permanent).
- Reboot: A restart of the server. May not outright delete data, but can interrupt processes on the server that are in progress.
- Proxy: A "gateway" that acts between a local network (computer) and a larger network (the internet). Proxy websites can be used to troubleshoot local network or cache related issues.
- Cache: Data that is stored so if called again can be served much faster. These may need to be cleared if a cache become corrupted or is showing out-of-date information.
- Traceroute: Shows the route of the gateways "hopped" between a local device (computer) and a destination (server). Used to track any network disruptions that may be occuring.
- Bad neighbor effect: A symptom of a shared server, where one or more users begins to use more resources than are allocated. These are subject to being "throttled" by administrators.
CMS (Content Management System): A software application used to create and manage digital content (typically websites or applications).
- Popular CMS: WordPress, Joomla, Drupal.
- Plugin: An additional application installed to a site or application to perform certain tasks.
- Theme: A template that determines the look of a website or application.
Programming language: A set of written instructions to instruct a computing device to perform a task. Typically to build a CMS, website, or application.
- Web browser: An application used to surf the internet (Chrome, Safari, Firefox, etc).
- Search Engine: A website used to look up information based on a search query (Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc).
- ISP (Internet Service Provider): A company that provides internet services (Verizon, Specturm, Cox, etc).