Web Hosting Terms Explained

Web hosting plans usually consist of a combination of features that make it easy to manage and maintain your Web site. Features vary from Web host to Web host and plan to plan. Below you will find an explanation of some of the standard features.

Web Space

Web space (also known as disk space) is the amount of space you’re entitled to on the web hosting server. Web space is measured in megabytes and gigabytes. Images, media files and large databases require the most space.

Monthly Traffic

Monthly traffic is also called data transfer, which more accurately describes what it is. Every time the server sends a bit of your website data to a visitor’s browser or the user sends data to your server, it counts toward your monthly traffic allotment.

Hits per Month

One hit on your Web site equals one item retrieved from your server. An item can be a Web page or graphic. So, if someone visits a page on your Web site that has five images, six hits are recorded — one for each image, and one for the page.

Email Accounts

Web hosts usually offer POP3 email accounts with their plans. POP stands for post office protocol. POP opens a temporary connection to the server and retrieves any email there before closing the connection. You can check these email accounts through a client such as Microsoft Outlook, Outlook Express, Eudora, Entourage or Thunderbird. Some Web hosts also provide Web access to your account so you can check your email anywhere you have a browser and an Internet connection.


File transfer protocol (FTP) enables you to upload and download files between your computer and the server that hosts your Web site. Most Web hosting plans include an FTP tool that guides you through launching your Web site.

Traffic Analysis

Traffic reporting software tracks the number of visits to individual Web pages within a given time-frame. Most Web analytic tools let you choose monthly, weekly, daily or hourly reports. You can keep track of your most visited pages, your most active days, weeks and months and the amount of data transferred.

404 Page

When you type a URL into your browser, you may receive a 404 Not Found page instead of your intended target. This means that you’ve requested a page that does not exist, or you’ve misspelled the URL.

Web hosting plans may include a 404 page customization tool that allows you to use your own style, text, links and branding to help guide visitors to the information they need on your Web site.

Data Backup

It is important to choose a Web host that backs up your Web site and server files at least daily. Data backup is essential for you to be able to easily restore your Web site without spending the time and money to recreate it if you accidentally delete or corrupt important files.

Technical Support

Technical support representatives can help you resolve issues you encounter when trying to get your Web site launched and running. Web hosts may offer telephone or email support. Some include 24x7x365 live telephone and email technical support in their plans at no extra cost.


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