In the internet age, hosting has become a term you'll likely come across if you're considering establishing a website or web application.

Don't worry, though - we're here to help unlock those complicated terms and lingo.

Let's get started!

.htaccess: A configuration file used on web servers, can be used also to set rules for your domain.

Addon Domain: An additional domain hosted in the same account.

Backup: Saving copies of data.

Bandwidth: The capacity of data transfer, determining the speed and quality of user experience on a server.

cPanel: Linux-based web hosting control panel, with an easy user interface that allows you to manage your domain and added features like email, uploading your site, and more.

CDN (Content Delivery Network): A CDN stores copies of your website on multiple servers around the world, providing quicker access to web pages, images, videos, and other content.

Cloud Hosting: A modern hosting solution emphasising scalability and reliability.

CMS (Content Management System): Platforms like WordPress, and Drupal.

Data Centers: Facilities servers, providing the necessary infrastructure for websites and other online services to function.

DDoS Attack: Overloading a server with external communications requests.

Dedicated Hosting: A premium choice for those needing exclusive server resources, more space, and higher security.

Disk Space: Amount of data storage space provided on your hosting package, a simple example can be signing up for a Linux Silver Home package with Storage space of 1,000 MB (1GB).

Domain Name: It's your unique identity on the internet, like your business address in the real world, examples can be ‘’.

The Domain Name System (DNS): is a service that translates domain names into IP addresses, allowing users to access websites and other online resources.

E-commerce: Buying and selling products online.

Email Hosting: This service is dedicated to managing emails, and creating, and deleting any emails under your domain name.

Firewall: Protects a network from external threats.

FTP (File Transfer Protocol): Method to transfer website files, but creating a secure connection and allowing you to drop files on a designated location like public_html or FTP folder on a server.

Git: Version control system for tracking changes.

IP Address: Unique address for devices on the internet.

Load Balancer: Distributes traffic across multiple servers.

Linux: Open-source operating system used on many servers, purely recommended option when you are not familiar with a hosting service.

Managed Hosting: Service-based hosting where technical aspects are handled by the Afrihost, from your backups, managing your server, and more.

MySQL: Relational database management system, but basically being able to store your website or client information in a table or tables.

Name Servers: These are an absolutely essential component for directing internet traffic to the correct server and website across the internet.

Operating System: The base software running the server.

Parked Domain: A domain reservation without any email or web hosting service. The only thing you worry about would be paying your annual renewal fee.

PHP: Stands for "Hypertext Preprocessor" and is a programming language designed for the web.

Reseller Hosting: Enables clients to become hosting providers themselves, such as in the case of Afrihost which allows clients to host multiple domains on one server.

Root Access: The highest level of server access, providing full control.

Server: The backbone of web hosting, where all data and content are stored.

Shared Hosting: An economical choice based on sharing server resources among several clients.

SSH (Secure Shell): Encrypted protocol to access web servers.

SSL Certificate: A security essential, ensuring data exchanged between the server and users remains confidential.

Subdomain: Subset of a primary domain, like '’ or even ‘'.

TLD (Top-Level Domain): Last part of a domain, e.g.,, .africa, .biz, online, .com, .net.

Traffic: The flow of visitors is fundamental for understanding site popularity and load.

Uptime: A measure of reliability, indicating how often your site is up and running.

Unlimited Hosting: A marketing term suggesting vast resources where you would not be capped, from storage, server resources, and more.

VPS Hosting: A balanced blend of shared and dedicated hosting in one.

Virtual Private Server (VPS): A dedicated segment of a server, offering both privacy and shared resources.

Web Hosting: this fundamental service enables your website to be accessible online so that your clients can easily access it from the Internet.

Web Server: The software handling user requests and serving web pages.

Website Builder: Tools to develop a website without coding, simple drag-and-drop features like our Afrihost SiteBuilder.

Wildcard SSL: This in simple terms would be an SSL covering a domain and all its subdomains like we had above ‘’.

WordPress: Popular CMS for website creation, allows one to be above to create beautiful websites or even online stores.

WHOIS: Provides information on domain name registrants, who is hosting, and when a particular domain will expire.

We'd love to hear from you on any hosting terms you may have stumbled upon and weren't quite sure of their meaning. Leave a comment below or on our social media platforms.


Article by
Tshepiso M

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