10 Terms You Need To Know Before Purchasing a Web Hosting Plan

When you go to purchase a web hosting plan there are certain terms you will need to be familiar with. This will allow you to choose the plan that is right for you and the one that best meets both your needs and budget. Here are 10 terms to know before purchasing a plan.

Active Server Pages

Active Server Pages (ASP) are web pages that include content that is database driven. A VB Script code is used create these types of pages. Once they have been created they are produced using the website’s server rather than an Internet browser. The ASP code is read by the server, which then translates it in HTML, the language used to create websites. You will want to purchase a hosting plan that uses ASP in order to help ensure the quality of your website.

Common Gateway Interface

The Common Gateway Interface (CGI) is a program that takes web server data and shows it in an email or website. Information is transferred from the server to the script and HTML pages are able to communicate with the programming applications being used. These are the scripts that allow Internet users to interact with a particular website. CGI scripts are often used to create aspects of a site such as its guest book, page counter and any forms on the site. While many servers have built in CGI scripts only, others will allow you or your webmaster to create your own CGI scripts. While you will be hard pressed to find a web hosting company that does not offer CGI you will want to be sure that what they do offer will meet your needs. CGI is a crucial thing to have if you want or need to create your own scripts.

Cascading Style Sheets

Cascading style sheets (CSS) are crucial to making a website more functional. Pages created using HTML can easily be manipulated through the use of CSS. Though no browser currently supports CSS completely all of them support it to some extent. Your web hosting company should make the use of CSS possible.

Open Database Connectivity

It is necessary for a website’s applications to communicate with a database. A web hosting company that offers open database connectivity will allows your website to access its database whenever a user logs onto the site. The more databases your website needs the more ODC you will need. For a large company website ODC is crucial.

Virtual Server

Many web hosting companies offer virtual server hosting. This is when numerous users share the same resources. It allows them to offer you hosting service at a cheaper price than if you had a dedicated server. If you are looking to have a personal site hosted, a virtual server is likely your cheapest and best option.

Data Transfer/Bandwidth

The term data transfer refers to the uploading of content to your website, such as text, pictures, audio and video files. Most web hosting companies put a cap on how much data transfer you can use per month, depending on the package you purchase from the company. For example, a company that offers 1GB per month in data transfers will give you roughly 40,000 page views per month. If your page views exceed that amount in one month you would likely have to pay for the overage. So if you are looking to have a business website hosted you will need to make sure your hosting company offers more than 1GB a month in data transfer if that is what you need.

Graphical User Interface

A graphical user interface (GUI) allows a website to communicate with an Internet user’s computer through graphic symbols. There are other types of interfaces that are more advanced, but GUI is your best bet if you are not very experienced in technology. This is the easiest interface for most users. Though most web hosting companies offer GUI, you may want to check with yours before you purchase a plan, if you are going to need it.


The majority of web hosting plans offer you subdomains. This is ideal for any website that has multiple sections. Each section is given a name that is very easy to remember. If you are running a very large website subdomains are used to point visitors to a different server depending on which section they choose to view. This prevents any one server from becoming overloaded and causing a website to load slowly.

FrontPage Server Extensions

A FrontPage Server Extension is a collection of both scripts and programs meant to support FrontPage offerings as well as to increase a web server’s functions. Many UNIX and Windows web servers use Front Page Extensions. This is a feature that enhances your website, so make sure your hosting company offers it before making your purchase.

Internet Server Application Programming Interface

An Internet Server Application Programming Interface (ISAPI) is one that is used strictly to write web server extensions. It is the standard program interface used by Microsoft. The ISAPI can either be used in conjunction with, or instead of, CGI. The biggest advantage of ISAPI compared to CGI is that ISAPI employs function calls with a dynamic link library (DLL.) It allows for communication via extensions components rather than via environment variables, which is what CGI uses. Using DLL makes it unnecessary to start new platform processes, which reduces the running time needed by the server.

These are a few of the terms you will want to familiarize yourself with before purchasing a web hosting plan. To learn more about web hosting in general, webhostinggeeks.com is your best choice. You can learn more from reviews posted by other people looking for the same services. Web Hosting Geeks is the only service of its kind that boasts 10,000 user reviews. They can help you choose between thousands of hosting providers listed on their site.