When it comes to looking for a good web host, you will probably spend a lot of time looking at the websites of different hosting companies, and checking out the type of hosting packages that they offer. Most of the time, they will have a number of different web hosting packages, each with different costs and features.
Once you have narrowed your list of potential hosting companies down to about 3-5, you should then start comparing their hosting packages and pick which one is best for you. Most web hosting websites will list the various specs and features of their hosting packages, and you may find yourself wondering what half of it means.
Fear not, as we have produced a quick glossary for you of the most common features and terms that are frequently used when describing hosting packages.
This is essentially the amount of disc space that a hosting package has. This can be anything from 1GB to unlimited space. Over the past few years, more and more hosts are offering unlimited storage space, especially with their shared hosting accounts, whereas years ago, it was a lot more limited. Some types of hosting, such as cloud or VPS based will most likely have a limit on the web space being offered.
Bandwidth / Data Transfer
This is the amount of data that can be transferred from the server to visitors of your site. Again, you’ll find that most web hosts now offer unlimited data transfer. There are still some that work with the “number of visits” per month, but these are few and far between these days, with most opting to offer unlimited bandwidth.
This is where the server for the hosting is physically located. Sometimes it will be in a different location from where the hosting company is based. You’ll find that there are many web hosts in Europe whose servers are actually located in the US. The location of your server is important and can help with improving the page speed of your website.
A lot of people prefer to have the server based in the same country as the audience of their website. You can find lots of helpful information on the Fortunelords.com website, which has guides about the best hosting providers in specific locations around the world.
This is the number of different domain names that you can add to your hosting account. Most basic hosting packages will limit this to between 1-3 domains. That means you could potentially host up to three different websites with that hosting package. If you are planning on making a number of websites, you might want to opt for a package that has a higher number of add-on domains, or unlimited, which is the case with a lot of hosting companies.
These are not to be confused with add-on domains. A subdomain is a subsection of a single domain, such as subdomain.domain.com. This means that you can create a number of different websites operating as a sub-domain, rather than with their own domain.
This is how free blogging platforms such as WordPress.com work, whereby you can create a free sub-domain with them, if you don’t want to use an actual paid-for domain name.
Nameservers are what you will point your domain name to in order to connect them to the server. These usually look something like ns1.domain.com and ns.2domain.com.
By allowing personal nameservers, it means that you can create them with your own domain name, rather than using the generic ones being provided by the hosting company.
Free SSL Certificate
Many hosts will offer you a free SSL certificate with their hosting packages. This means that you can have your website running securely under the https protocol. Google and other search engines have said that they prefer websites that run securely, so having an SSL certificate for your website is vital.
This is one of the most important aspects of a web host, and it’s important to know what the situation is with backups. You never know when something might go wrong, so it is vital that you have a backup of your website.
Some hosts will automatically create daily backups, while others may do weekly ones. In addition to the backup your host makes, it is also a good idea to make your own, just in case something goes wrong with the server, and the host’s backups are lost or corrupted. This is a rare thing to happen, but it’s better to be safe rather than sorry.
You will generally want to find a web host that offers a generous amount of storage space and data transfer, as well as one that provides you with good customer support. If you are a beginner when it comes to hosting a website, you might need frequent support, so make sure that the host you choose has 24/7 support and is willing to help you.
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