The Applecado blog

Server Jargon Busting



When you don’t work with hosting every day, it can be confusing. I’d like to explain some of the terminology and jargon, and hopefully help some of you out.


We’re starting off easy here, your domain is the address your website will be found at; what someone types when they want your site.

We’ve had experience with a few domain registrars, they are all fairly similar as long as you have control over your name servers and DNS settings.


Each computer connected to the internet has an IP address. The Domain Name System uses software to translate the domain into a numerical address of the server your data is held on.

Name servers are a service which hosts or retains those translations.


A server is a machine, basically a dedicated or virtual computer which delivers a website’s file when requested. It may different operating systems, and internals than your average desktop computer.


We are quite enthusiastic about back-ups, if your service doesn’t offer them make sure to take them yourself. We take back-ups of our sites weekly, and make sure we keep the three most recent copies which means even if we have to write the most recent one off, we still have something to fall back on. Make sure your back-ups are kept in a different place to your website as well, in the case of a hack where the server is completely compromised your back-up will be too if you haven’t kept a copy elsewhere.


No hosting can be guaranteed to be 100% reliable. There are services, such as Uptime Robot, that will notify you if your site experiences some down-time, this can be especially useful if you reply on your website for bookings or sales.

Do you get what you pay for?

To an extent, yes!

A dedicated server is usually recommended, but quite often there are cases where that’s not necessary or cost effective, as they can be quite expensive.

However, if you’ve invested in your design, had the website built, you might even have invested in SEO or digital marketing, is it worth scrimping and going for the cheapest (or free) hosting which could be slow, insecure or unreliable?

Shared hosting can be a good compromise for some people in these cases, as long as it’s still reliable, secure and not overloaded with other sites and their traffic.