Beginners Guide To Defining Web Hosting Terminology

Web Server
Web Server

Setting up the actual framework of your own website can be tough. There are literally thousands of terms to understand for hosting, promoting, structuring and maintaining a site, and that’s before you’ve decided on the exact content.

One of the most important tasks will be choosing the host that you use to present your site, and there are a huge number of new terms to learn when considering this. Here are a few of the most common web hosting terminologies.


The physical platform that holds the information from your site, and then delivers that information to other computers and probably browsers when a person visits it. As an example, your website and everything contained within it (files, data etc.) will exist on servers that then be presented to another computer when someone accesses your website.

Shared hosting

When a single web server hosts several different websites, which each share resources such as bandwidth, memory and CPU time. This is generally the cheapest server option, but comes with some disadvantages.

VPS (Virtual Private Server)

A shared hosting account but one that is split into a series of partitions which each act as individual servers. Overall resources can be allocated depending on usage, as opposed to allocating each client a specific, limited server space. VPS is cheaper than a dedicated hosting plan and offers more flexibility.


SSD (Solid state drive) refers to the actual physical device that contains information. There are no moving parts, which means that SSDs are generally quieter and more resistant to wear than hard disk drives (HDD), which rely on an electromagnetic disk or similar. Buying a purchase plan remotely such as utilising VPS SSD, will mean that the drive will not really be of concern. As a client, you will have the choice of RAM, disk space, bandwidth and more. Rather than choosing a single or dedicated VPS server, you may instead choose cloud hosting (see below).

Dedicated hosting

When a single web server hosts a single website, which therefore has access to all resources available from that server. There is no competition for bandwidth, CPU time, and RAM space with other websites. Dedicated hosting provides much more flexibility for the client and more space for larger sites.

Reseller hosting

A specific service where someone might rent server space, which they then rent on to a third party at a profit. For example, a web developer might purchase an allotted bandwidth space, and then design a website for a third party. The developer will pay the host, but charge the client for designing and maintaining the site, without having to concern themselves with looking after security and privacy. Many web hosting companies actively encourage reseller hosting as a business opportunity, with the reseller taking up space to then be allocated for multiple clients.

Cloud hosting

Another type of virtual hosting, but this time relying on a network of linked physical web servers that could be in multiple locations. The flexibility of such a system allows clients to upgrade their hosting plan quickly and efficiently when needed. Cloud systems are regarded as reliable since information and space is distributed across multiple servers, rather than just one. Cloud hosting can be public or private – Interoute defines the two here.

TK Maran

Maran is the admin of He is a programmer by profession, but sometimes he also write for us.

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1 Response

  1. optimum says:

    very good info!!!