Understanding Web Hosting Terms
For a new webmaster, business owner, or website owner, it can be quite confusing trying to determine what everything means. Do you know what bandwidth means? Do you understand how disk space works? Do you know what a domain is? There are many different terms that are used in the web hosting world, it is important that you understand exactly what everything means before you choose a web hosting provider.
What is Bandwidth?
Bandwidth is defined as how much data is being passed through the connection in a specific period of time. Typically, this is measured by the second in either megabits or bits. However, to someone who is new to the world of hosting, this will not make one bit of sense. So, let’s make it a little simpler. For the most part, hosts define bandwidth in gigabytes, however, some are still in the megabyte range.
To understand one byte, think of the letters on the keyboard. One letter is considered one byte. So, in kilobytes (KB) it takes one thousand bytes to make a kilobyte. It takes one thousand kilobytes to make a megabyte, and one thousand megabytes to make a gigabyte.
So, in terms of bandwidth, it means that every bit of data, such as text, graphics, images, sound files, etc, takes up bandwidth. Each time someone accesses these files, some of the bandwidth is used. How much is used depends on what you have on your website.
Text files take up less space than images do. The bandwidth is typically measured for a month. Then restarts for the next month, cleaning the slate. If you have a massive amount of hits and your website happens to run over on bandwidth, one of two things will happen. Either the site will shut down until the bandwidth resets or your hosting provider will charge you for going over.
What is disk space?
Many people confuse disk space and bandwidth with each other. They are quite different. Disk space is the maximum amount of space you are allowed to use within your website. This will typically be measured in Gigabytes or Megabytes depending on the hosting provider. The measurements are the same, 1,000 kilobytes to make a megabyte and 1,000 megabytes to make a gigabyte. You can generally track your usage through the hosts control panel.
What are domains?
Domain names is how your website is identified. It is essentially the website address, such as www.mywebsite.com [http://www.mywebsite.com/] Most web hosting providers offer domain names as part of their package or as an addition.
There you have it, now you understand the basic terms and definitions. Though this is not an extensive list by any means, it is enough to help you get started in understanding your web hosting.