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Web Hosting Terms - Terminology Index

Terms in Order of Appearance on Comparison Pages

Offer Section:

Regular Price - The regular web host listing price.

Discount Price - The current discounted price. This price may include coupons, special offers, rebates, or may be a direct discount found on the web host's main page.

Disk Space - This indicates the amount of hard drive space that will be available to you on the hosts server to hold your web site files. Normally, because HTML files are small, a web site (unless it has extensive graphics or database functionality) will be small, as low as 1 or 2 MB in most cases. You will normally need less than 1GB of total space for any given website.

Bandwidth - This indicates the transfer of data from the website to your website visitors. Typically, you will want 10x bandwidth to disk space used. If your site is 1GB in size, you will want at least 10GB of bandwidth.

Setup Fee - What the web host charges to setup your web hosting account.


Features Section:

Total Domains Hosted - The total amount of domains (www.this-is-a-domain.com) the web host will allow you to host under their smallest plan. Typically, web hosts will have expansion plans available that offer unlimited domains to be hosted.

Subdomains Hosted - Generally known as a "Domain within a Domain", subdomains are web addresses built upon an existing domain name. Example,
http://subdomain.simplehostingplans.com/ would be a subdomain. This feature will show you the total amount of subdomains a web hosts allows under their smallest plan.

Free Domains - How many free domains will you get when you sign up under the web hosting company. Typically, hosts either offer a free domain for the life of the account or no free domain at all.

MySQL Databases - MySQL is a simple, yet powerful Open Source Software relational database management system that uses SQL. Here, we display the total MySQL Databases this web host allows on their smallest plan.

PostgreSQL DBs - PostgreSQL is a free software object-relational database management system (ORDBMS), released under a BSD-style license. Here, we display the total PostgreSQL Databases this web host allows on their smallest plan.

Website Builder - This host offers or does not offer a free website building platform for customers to build their websites with.

Free Site Templates - A set of pre-designed formats for text and graphics on which new webpages and websites can be based.

Nightly Backups - This host does or does not offer free nightly backups of your website data. Either way, do not rely on your host for this feature, be sure to backup your data at least weekly.

Google Adwords PPC - PPC stands for Pay Per Click. This is an amount in dollars that you will receive from Google when you sign up for your web host plan. These are free advertising credits that you will receive to advertise your website.

Yahoo PPC Credits - Same as the above only with Yahoo Search Marketing instead of Google Adwords.


Control Panel Features

Control Panel - A control panel is the back end to your web hosting account. It allows you to control several features of your account including the setup of email, new domains, sub domains, and much more. An example of a control panel is cPanel.

Operating System - The operating system is programmed to act as an interface between the user of a computer and the computer devices. Linux is the most common operating system for web hosting but Windows hosting is on the rise.

Fantastico - An integrated application that allows web hosting clients to automatically install popular scripts.

Raw Log Access - These are logs that record everything that occurs on your website. Data typically includes IP addresses, webpages visited, referrers, browser versions, and much more.

Offers Statistics - Does the web host offer a method to review these raw logs in a neat and orderly way? We look for typical log analyzing software such as AWstats, Analog, Webalizer, or Urchin.


Resources Section

SSH Access - Secure Shell is a command line interface used to securely access a remote computer.

Frontpage Extensions - A series of scripts that can be employed by FrontPage users to add dynamic functions to a Web site.

Dreamweaver Support - Web host allows for the basic FTP uploading commands of DreamWeaver web development software.

Ruby On Rails - A web application framework released in 2004 that aims to increase the speed and ease of web development. Often shortened to Rails, or RoR, it is an open source project written in the Ruby language.

PHP Access - The PHP Hypertext Preprocessor is a programming language that allows web developers to create dynamic content that interacts with databases.

CGI Access - A Common Gateway Interface program is a program that translates data from a web server and then displays that data on a web page or in an email. Web forms will often use CGI scripts to send information to the server and vice versa.

ASP Access - ASP.NET is a set of web application development technologies marketed by Microsoft. Programmers can use it to build dynamic web sites, web applications and XML web services. It is part of Microsoft's .NET platform and is the successor to Microsoft's Active Server Pages (ASP) technology.

Cron Access - A system level command found in Unix based operating systems (example: Mac OS X, Linux) used to schedule commands to run at specific times.

cURL Access - cURL is a command line tool for transferring files with URL syntax, supporting FTP, FTPS, HTTP, HTTPS, Telnet, and others.

GD Library - GD is an open source code library for the dynamic creation of images by programmers. GD is written in C, and "wrappers" are available for Perl, PHP and other languages. GD creates PNG, JPEG and GIF images, among other formats.

Image Magick - A software suite to create, edit, and compose bitmap images. It can read, convert and write images in a variety of formats (over 100) including DPX, EXR, GIF, JPEG, JPEG-2000, PDF, PhotoCD, PNG, Postscript, SVG, and TIFF. Use ImageMagick to translate, flip, mirror, rotate, scale, shear and transform images, adjust image colors, apply various special effects, or draw text, lines, polygons, ellipses and Bézier curves.

Zend - Zend Technologies provides web developers and enterprises using PHP, integrated software solutions for developing, protecting and scaling their PHP applications providing a foundation that allows companies to efficiently and effectively develop PHP based web applications.

IonCube - ionCube was founded in 2002, and introduced tools to protect software written using the PHP programming language from being viewed, changed, and run on unlicensed computers.

Cold Fusion - A programming language based on standard HTML that is used to write dynamic webpages. ColdFusion enables you to incorporate live data into dynamically created web pages.

SSI Enabled - A server-side include is information that a web server can include in a web page when it is sent to the user. Commonly used SSI on a website include the date on which the page was last updated, common navigation elements (headers and section navigation) and common page content (footers).

Javascript - A client-side scripting language that allows dynamic behavior to be specified within HTML documents. Most browsers support java however some browsers are disabled for JavaScript use.

Flash Allowed - Animation software used to develop interactive graphics for Web sites as well as desktop presentations and games (Windows and Mac) by the company Adobe. Flash on the Web is displayed by a browser plug-in.

Audio Streaming - The process of providing audio content on a web site. This takes up a large amount of bandwidth, especially if you get a lot of visitors at your site. Some hosts do not allow audio or video streaming because of this.

Video Streaming - The process of providing video data or content via a web page.

Shopping Carts - Software used to create an online "storefront," or E-Commerce Web site. It acts as a virtual shopping cart, keeping track of the items visitors have ordered and allowing them to add or remove items. When a visitor decides to "check out" (purchase the items online) the software sends all order information to the merchant.

SSL Cert Available - Secure Sockets Layer is a protocol for transmitting private documents via the Internet. SSL works by using a private key to encrypt data that's transferred over the SSL connection. Many web sites use this to obtain confidential user information, such as credit card numbers.

Allows Adult Sites - The web host allows material that is sexually explicit in nature.


Support Section

Phone Sales Support - Offers toll or toll free phone sales support to answer your questions before ordering.

Toll Free Sales Support - Offers toll free phone sales support.

Phone Tech Support - Offers toll or toll free technical support by phone.

Toll Free Tech Support - Offers toll free technical support by phone.

Live Chat Support - Live chat is frequently employed by web hosts for customer support. This type of service works on their website directly with typically instant responses from a support agent.

Email Support - Offers email sales and technical support. We will answer yes under this section if we find their offer direct email addresses to use or if they have a ticket based answering system in place.

Community Forum - Offers a community for support with common web hosting problems. A web forum is a collection of knowledgeable and new users who talk in a web-based discussion group.

Knowledge Base - Web host offers a centralized repository for web hosting related information.

Blog Updates - Offers a section on their site with site / server updates, announcements, and other related information.

Server Uptime Stats - The web host offers a publicly accessible page on their website that lists recent server outages, outage messages, and other details such as network uptime, server uptime, etc.


Hosting Email Features

Email Accounts - The amount of email accounts you can have on the web host's smallest plan.

Mailing Lists - A discussion group that occurs via mass email distributions. Mailing lists are usually maintained by individuals utilizing list server software. Here we list how many mailing lists they offer (if any).

Spam Fighting - Offers unsolicited email fighting tools to prevent bulk spam messages from appearing in your email account.

Pop3 Email Access - Post Office Protocol 3. A protocol that provides a simple, standardized way for users to access mailboxes and download messages to their computers.

Webmail Access - A web-based email access such as hotmail, gmail, yahoo, etc. This is a method for you to access your emails via the internet without requiring software.


Guarantees Section

Uptime Guarantee - An assurance that a hosting company's uptime will meet an agreed-upon percentage.

Money Back Guarantee - A guarantee policy that offers your money back within a specified amount of days.


Upgrades Section

Has Reseller Plans - The web host offers reseller plans.

Has VPS Hosting - The web host offers virtual private servers.

Has Dedicated Servers - The web host offers dedicated servers.
 
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