Q: What is a domain name and how can I get one?

A: A domain name is an easy to remember address for a website. The actual address of your website is an IP address, which is just a series of numbers and is difficult to remember. When you enter a URL in the browser, the browser sends a request to the IP address associated with the domain name. Each top level domain name (TLD), for example, .com or .net is managed by an organization called a registry. In order to start a website, you have to buy the domain name from the respective registry. Registries don’t sell domain names directly to end users. To buy a domain name, you have to buy it from an authorized registrar like IONOS. The registrar will register a domain name for you.

Q: What is domain privacy?

A: While registering a domain name, you have to give your real name, address and contact details to the registrar. This establishes the ownership of the domain. Registrars have to update this information in the Whois database, which is publicly available. If you wish to hide your contact details, you must opt for a private registration. A domain privacy service replaces the information related to your domain in the Whois database with its own general contact information. You can thus protect your personal details without compromising your ownership of the domain. Availability of domain privacy depends on the policy of the registry and is not available for all TLDs.

Q: What is a web hosting service?

A: Web hosting service stores the files that make up your website and serves content to your visitors. The hosting service provides the IP address of your website. The availability, speed and reliability of your website depends upon the quality of the web host.

Q: What is a DNS server?

A: A DNS server is a public computer that browser contacts to find the IP address of a domain name. When you enter a URL in your browser, the browser contacts a DNS server, which gives the IP address of the web host on which the website is located. The browser then contacts this IP address for the content. In web hosting terms, a DNS server is just an address book. To move your website from one host to another, you have to change the entry of the website on all DNS servers. This can be easily done using the domain control panel provided by your domain registrar.

Q: What is the difference between static and dynamic website?

A: A static website offers only fixed content that is stored on the server’s file system. To create a static website, you don’t have to install any software on a web server. Each piece of content, for example, an HTML file, is available using a URL. A dynamic site generates content in real time from a software application running on the server. Dynamic sites offer more functionality and are easier to update and manage than static websites. To create a dynamic website, you have to install software like WordPress or Zen Cart, depending on the type of website you need.

Q: What is the difference between Windows and Linux web hosting?

A: The type of web hosting is defined by the operating system that the server runs. The types of scripting languages and databases available to you can vary depending on the server OS. Make sure that the software you intend to install on the server is supported by the hosting service you buy. Windows hosting packages cost more than equivalent Linux packages due to the cost of the OS and software.

Q: What is data transfer limit, bandwidth and traffic limit?

A: All these terms have the same meaning. The bandwidth, which is usually expressed in GB per month, is the maximum data that can be transferred to and from your hosting account in a particular period. Data transfer takes place when content is served to visitors. Visitors send information or upload files to your website, files are uploaded or downloaded from your hosting account and when email is sent or retrieved.

Q: How many databases and how much database space is needed for my site?

A: This depends on how many applications you need on your website. Usually, each script instance requires one database. However, some applications like WordPress allow a database to be shared among multiple instances. The database size required depends upon the web application and the amount of data stored. For example, a WordPress blog with about 500 posts and about 10 comments per post will need less than 3 MB of database space.

Q: What is a site builder?

A: A site builder is a browser based application that allows you easily to create and publish web pages without installing any additional software on the server and without any technical knowledge. Other commonly used features of personal and small business websites, for example, guestbook, contact form and image gallery, are also usually available. To help you build a professional website without any web design skills, site builders usually offer a large selection of predesigned website templates to start from.

Q: What is a web hosting control panel?

A: Control panel is a web-based interface that allows you to view and control all aspects of your web hosting account. You can, for example, add or remove domains or subdomains, create or delete databases, add or remove FTP users, create email accounts, take backups, etc.

Q: What is a script installer?

A: A script installer allows you quickly to install popular scripts in just a few clicks from the control panel. Fantastico and Softaculous are two popular script installers. Many web hosts also offer their own custom script installers.

Q: What is SSH?

A: SSH or secure shell access is a facility that allows you to access your web hosting account using the command line or software interface. This should be used only by advanced users who have the required knowledge.

Q: What is an SSL certificate?

A: An SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate provides security to data while it is being transmitted between your website and the user’s browser. This is necessary only if you want to secure the login page or accept sensitive information on your website. If you are using an external payment gateway like PayPal, an SSL is not needed for accepting payments securely.

Q: What is a static IP?

A: A static IP is an IP address that is dedicated to your hosting account and is not shared by other customers. A static IP is necessary for installing an SSL certificate or for accessing your website by just entering its IP address in the browser.

Q: What is a RAID storage?

A: RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks) is a storage system in which the data stored is spread over more than one physical hard disk. There are various levels of RAID technology and depending on the level used, it can make data access faster or provide fault tolerance.