Hosting Glossary of terms


Widely used and powerful open source web server software. Apache is one of the most popular web servers on the internet. It usually runs on Unix operating systems such as Linux or BSD, but can also run on Windows.


The computer program that allows you to surf the internet and displays internet pages. Commonly used browsers include Google Chrome, Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, and Opera.


For a simple website, you can create the HTML pages yourself and put them on the server. A Content Management System makes it easier to maintain websites without technical knowledge. For example, the design is often separated from the content, so you only have to focus on the latter. Well-known CMSs include: WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal.

Control Panel

A user-friendly web application that helps you manage your hosting environment (your account, website, and email). Popular control panels include Plesk and cPanel. You can, for example, add email addresses, make backups, manage databases, or add a photo gallery to your website.


Your website runs on a server. These are almost always located in a specialized data center, where things like maintenance, security, cooling, power supply, and especially internet connections are well arranged. There are dozens of data centers in the Netherlands, each with servers from multiple hosting providers.

DNS (Domain Name System)

Computers connected to the internet communicate with each other via unique IP addresses such as Those numbers are not easy to maintain. The Domain Name System therefore regulates the link between domain names and IP addresses. A DNS server translates the domain name you type in the browser (such as into an IP address.

DNS zone

A DNS zone contains the DNS records that can refer to an IP address or another name. Different types of DNS records refer to different 'targets' (such as a website or email service).

Different record types include:

  • A record: 'Address record', the most common and simplest type of DNS record. This converts a domain name to an IP address (an IPv4 address).
  • AAAA record: The younger version of the A record. This also converts a domain name to an IP address (but in this case in the younger IPv6).
  • SPF record: 'Sender Policy Framework', a protocol aimed at reducing spam.
  • CNAME record: 'Canonical Name Record', this record indicates that a name is an alias for another name.
  • MX record: 'Mail Exchange record', this is the system that indicates, among other things, to which specific IP address emails should be sent.
  • NS record: 'Nameserver Record', this record is used to demonstrate which nameservers are 'Authorative' (or 'the boss') over the content of the DNS zone for this domain. In other words: The DNS zonefile is on nameservers; this record indicates which nameserver has the correct zonefile.
  • TXT record: 'Text Record', is used to include a text field in a DNS zone. This can be used, for example, for verification purposes, such as to prove ownership of a domain at registration.
  • DMARC record: 'Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance', a dmarc record is a policy in a TXT record, which indicates that you use SPF and/or DKIM for your outgoing emails. In addition, dmarc contains important instructions for the recipient about what to do if the email fails the SPF or DKIM test.
  • PTR record: 'Pointer record', this record converts an IP address to a hostname. So basically the opposite of what an A record does. SRV record: 'Service record', this links a domain name to a server that provides a specific service.
  • SOA record: 'Start of Authority' is a crucial DNS record. When it is not set correctly, the domain name does not work. This record lists several values that are crucial for proper functioning.


A domain is a name in the Domain Name System (DNS), the naming system that allows computers such as web servers, mail servers, and certain services and applications to be identified.

A domain name has a long number as its address: the so-called IP address. Because such a number is not always easy to remember, domain names were invented. The Domain Name System (DNS) translates the IP address into a domain name.

A domain name consists of a TLD (Top-Level Domain) and an SLD (Second-Level Domain).

TLD is the extension part of a domain name, for example, 'nl' in the domain name TLDs are in turn divided into country-specific extensions (such as .nl or .be) and general extensions (such as .com and .net).

SLD is the name part of a domain name, for example, 'cloud86' in the domain name

Domain name

A domain name is a unique name on the internet. You can use domain names for websites, but you can also request a domain name for a personal email address. However, having just a domain name does not give you a website. You could compare it to a house: you need a domain name and web hosting, where you could say that the domain name is the address and the web hosting is the house, which you can also furnish to your liking.


The File Transfer Protocol makes it possible to send files to another computer. You can use it to place files on the server space of your website. Many browsers offer basic functionality for FTP (ftp:// instead of http:// in the address bar), but an FTP program like WinSCP is more convenient. A username and password are required for standard FTP use. Anonymous FTP is a special variant that allows visitors to upload and download files without a username and password.


Sizes for the amount of disk space, memory space, or data traffic. The smallest unit corresponds to one character.

The difference is always just over a factor of a thousand: 1 letter = 1 byte 1024 bytes = 1 Kilobyte (KB) 1024 Kilobytes = 1 Megabyte (MB) 1024 Megabytes = 1 Gigabyte (GB)

One byte consists of 8 bits, each of which can have the value 0 or 1. Thus, a byte can represent 256 different characters.


The amount of memory on the server partly determines the speed of your website. Part of the memory is filled by the operating system (platform), the web server, and any applications or services. What remains is available to display popular website pages faster for all websites on the server. Virtual Private Server requires more memory because the operating system and web server are loaded separately for each website.


The front or home page ('home') of a website. The file name of that first page is usually index.htm, index.html, or default.htm. That is the page that is displayed when the visitor only types the domain name. If that page does not exist, the website is not displayed.

Hosting Provider

A hosting provider, such as Cloud86, is a company that offers other businesses, organizations, and individual users the ability to publish a website online. The data is stored by the hosting provider on servers connected to the internet. This allows the site to be accessed by others.


HyperText Transfer Protocol is a protocol for transmitting web pages over the Internet. It is the standard protocol for browsers, so you don't need to type 'http://' in the address bar. HTTPS (HTTP Secure) is a special variant in which encryption ensures that the connection between the server and the browser cannot be eavesdropped. This is especially important for websites with transactions, such as online stores.


Every time a file is created or uploaded, an inode is created on the server. When a file system is created, a data structure is created that contains information about that specific file. Each file has an "i-number" and is identified by an inode number in the file system in which it is located. It is good to know that Cloud86 does not impose inode limits.

Inodes are used to store server file information - such as file user and group ownership, access mode (read, write, execute permissions), and file types. For most file types, the number of available inodes is fixed when the file system is created.

Internet Service Provider (ISP)

The company that provides internet access for you, also called an Access Provider. This is not the same as your hosting provider, who provides a place for your website and assumes you already have access to the internet.

IP address

Every computer connected to the internet has an Internet Protocol address: four blocks of numbers between 0 and 255 separated by dots, for example, The IP address is a unique identification for computers and servers on the internet, similar to the combination of street, house number, and postcode. The computers that manage internet traffic use the IP address to determine what should be sent to which computer.


A general name for an open-source operating system available in different variants ('distributions'). Linux is based on the older Unix, is the most widely used operating system for internet servers and is often used in conjunction with the web server Apache.


MySQL is a freely accessible SQL relational database management system developed and supported by Oracle.


The recursive acronym 'PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor' stands for an open-source scripting language. You can use it to create dynamic web pages. PHP is free and available for everyone to use. There are huge numbers of ready-to-use PHP scripts available on the internet. Complete content management systems have been written in PHP, such as Joomla and Drupal. It is often used in conjunction with MySQL databases. For example, PHPMyAdmin is a tool, written in PHP, for managing a MySQL database.


Someone who is looking for information on the internet uses search engines such as Google or Yahoo. To lead visitors to your website, it is important to rank high in the search results of search engines. You do this with search engine marketing. This branch of sport is usually divided into SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and SEA (Search Engine Advertising). On the one hand, you can optimize your own website for search engines (or have it optimized), and on the other hand, you can buy search engine ads, for example, via Google AdWords or Yahoo Search Marketing.


Secure Sockets Layer is the most commonly used method for secure electronic transactions on the internet, such as payments via credit cards. The https protocol uses public key cryptography to securely generate and exchange the key for a specific session. The SSL functions in a web server cannot be used without a server certificate that has been purchased and configured for the website. Transport Layer Security (TLS) is the successor to SSL.


SQL is an acronym for Structured Query Language. It is a specific programming language designed for specific databases. It is the foundation of your website and one of its most important aspects. The data in SQL is organized into tables to keep it organized. SQL can be used for various applications, such as storing specific data. This can include people registering on your website. They can register, and their data will then be stored in the SQL database. The next time that person logs in, all their data will be retained.

In this database, data can also be edited and deleted. It is essential that an SQL database is well-secured since it can contain sensitive data that should not fall into the hands of others.


The Uniform Resource Locator is the name of a complete address to a page, file, or program on the Internet. A URL can consist of a protocol (such as http or ftp), domain name, and optionally, a path name and a file name. This way, a URL can not only refer to the homepage of a website ( but also directly to a program or image.


A program that allows you to check the name of the person or company to which a domain is registered. Many websites offer this service. In practice, WHOIS is also often used to check if a domain name is still available or not.


A very user-friendly open-source CMS, based on PHP and MySQL, which focuses mainly on blogs. WordPress is easy to install, manage, and offers many features for forums and online publishing of articles. Cloud86 offers several hosting packages optimized for WordPress.