Finding a Web Host for Your Small Business: 9 Common Web Hosting Technologies Demystified

World Wide Web - Finding a Web Host for Your Small Business: 9 Common Web Hosting Technologies Demystified

Find a web host can be confusing

So you’ve decided to take your business online. You’ve got a website ready, but where do you put it? You need a web host, a place where your website is stored so that people on the internet can view it. The problem is finding the right one.

Web hosting technology can be a confusing world. What do all these buzzwords, abbreviations, and acronyms mean anyway? Why should I care what a VPS is or whether I can use SQL? Choosing an appropriate web host can be daunting when you don’t understand the terminology people are using. Luckily, you can arm yourself with information. Making the best choice means being informed. Whether you are learning about global trade, international business planning, or incorporation, the business that knows more, gets more.
As a small business owner, you don’t want to spend time trying to figure out the lingo of web hosting. You want to spend your time where it’s put to best use–running your business, developing strategies, and finding solutions to thriving in a difficult economic climate. I’ve put together a short primer to help you navigate the wild world of web hosting.Let’s look at some of the most common web hosting technologies. This short list is based on the W3School’s tutorial on web hosting technologies.

Common Web Tech

If you’ve shopped around a bit for web hosts, you’ve likely heard some of the following acronyms and terms about scripting technologies. These all have the same end goals–making your website more interactive:
  • CGI – These scripts execute on your server to produce dynamic and interactive pages on your website. Many web hosts offer CGI capability. Examples of CGI include guestbooks, page counters, and forums. CGI is commonly on Linux or Unix based servers.
  • ASP – ASP stands for Active Server Pages, which is a script technology from Microsoft that produces dynamic web pages. ASP is coded into your HTML page and the code is executed by your server. ASP technology is compatible with VB Script and JavaScript–two common web development coding languages. An example use is to return results to a user from a database based on what they searched for.
  • PHP – PHP is the popular free alternative to ASP and other server-side scripting languages. Similar to ASP, it can be embedded into HTML pages. PHP is often used with Apache web servers for many types of databases such as MySQL, Oracle, Sybase, etc. It can be used in the same way as ASP by sending instructions to your server to do something.
  • JSP – Another server-side scripting language that lets you make dynamic web pages by using Java code in your HTML pages. This technology is developed by Sun Microsystems. Because JSP utilizes Java, it can be run on any server type.
  • Cold Fusion – This is a scripting language developed by Adobe with the same purpose as the other technologies. It is helps serve dynamic web applications.
  • Chili!Soft ASP – This software essentially facilitates running ASP, a Windows specific technology, on other platforms such as UNIX.

Some other common web hosting related terms that you will likely come across are:

  • Frontpage – A web site design tool developed by Microsoft with WYSIWYG functionality. WYSIWYG stands for What You See Is What You Get. It allows people without a lot of knowledge in web development and coding languages to create web sites. However, many web developers feel the code the software generates is messy, slow, and not up to standards. There are also FrontPage server extensions gives FrontPage websites additional capabilities. This product has since been superseded by Microsoft Expression Web.
  • Dreamweaver – Adobe’s WYSIWYG website design tool that has a high degree of functionality. The product supports CSS, JavaScript, ASP.NET, ColdFusion, JavaServer Pages, and PHP. However, Dreamweaver still suffers the same criticism as Frontpage where the code it generates is subpar and inelegant.
  • Secure server – Secure servers have the ability to send encrypted data, essential for e-commerce and other secure communications.
This list isn’t intended to be an endpoint in studying these web hosting technologies. You should always conduct appropriate due diligence to stay informed.
Check out the W3School’s website. They have many excellent tutorials that can arm you with all the knowledge you need to start and run a business online.Are there other terms that you would like to know about? Is there anything important that wasn’t included? How many of these web hosting technologies do see mentioned on web hosts’ pages? Leave your feedback in the comments below.

This article originally appeared in a shorter format on one of my other blogs.
2 Responses to “Finding a Web Host for Your Small Business: 9 Common Web Hosting Technologies Demystified”
  1. sridhar says:

    brilliant article,Very interesting. we both share same interest. I too love acronyms and mnemonics. I recently coined CRAFT mnemonic to build employee morale. Change, Reward, Achievements, Friends, Thoughts.

  2. well thats pretty basic. but good for newbies.

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