Joomla Hosting Terms and Definitions


Common Hosting Terms:

  • Support

    is an important part of the hosting experience. This usually refers to the information provided to a customer when they are faced with a problem that needs resolution. Common types of support are phone, chat, email, forum and support ticket. Static information is usually available in wiki's, documentation, troubleshooting, and knowledgebase's.
  • Security

    is a huge concern for those using web hosts. You are never 100% sure that your site can not be hacked. For that matter, there is no 100% way you know that the server you are hosted on will not go down due to an attack of some kind. Encryption, site backup, server permissions and other precautions can be taken. Research into the hosting company you choose will help you make the best decision.
  • Control panels

There are several types of control panels out their. These are the 3 most popular.

    • cPanel

      is the best supported and widely used control panels. It has an easy to use interface and lots of applications available for it. Companies that use cPanel: HostGator & BlueHost

    • Plesk

      Plesk is run by some of the smaller hosting companies. It is not used by the popular hosting companies and has some drawbacks.

    • Custom Control Panel

      Custom control panels can go in either direction, great or terrible. Often times the custom control panel is necessary to provide unique features but can lose user-friendliness.

  • Install Scripts:

    • Fantastico

      is what is known as a one-click installer. This application has a set of prepackaged install scripts for platforms like Joomla, Magento, WordPress, and many more. Usually having over 50 or so choices.

    • Softaculous

      is just like fantastico. It is a one-click installer application. It houses many different scripts for installing software like Joomla, Magento, WordPress and many more.

  • Disk Space

    is the same as your having space on a personal computer. It is where data is stored on a server. Your Joomla site will need around 30MBs of space to be fully installed.
  • Data Transfer

    is usually referred to as Bandwidth. It is the measurement of how many bytes are transferred from one place to another over the Internet. With hosting, the higher the better, but most companies offer unlimited plans. Although if your site gets a lot of traffic, it will be best to get a plan that supports a large hits in simultaneous traffic.

Hosting Server Operating Systems:

There are two server operating systems.

  • Linux (or a Unix Varition) which runs Apache
  • Windows which runs IIS (Internet Information Server).

You want to host you site on Linux / Apache unless you have some specific technical requirements. Joomla was built on Linux / Apache and that is where it runs best.

  • Linux

    is a Unix based operating system that is run using the Linux kernal. This operating system is free and open source operating system that is subject to the licensing as commercial and non-commercial under the GNI GPL.

    *Note that Linux is a very stable operating systems and gets much more use at the server level.

  • Windows Server

    is a Microsoft product that competes with Linux and other server OS's. It's less widely used by popular hosting companies, is more expensive and harder to manage.

Web Server Software

  • Apache (Apache HTTP Server)

     is one of the most necessary software systems to run on your server. This installs on to a Linux server. It is mainly useful in extending core functionality to support languages like Perl, Python, Tcl, and PHP.
  • IIS (Microsoft's Web Server for Windows)

    does essentially the same thing Apache does but for Windows Servers. Having extensions and products that can be added on to it, the software costs much more to manage than Apache.

Server Languages

  • PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor)

    is a scripting language that allows you to send code to the server side to be interpreted, sent back and displayed as static or dynamic page. It is a very flexible tool and is used commonly in Joomla to store information in databases that will later be called. It is so fluid that it can be embedded into HTML without causing interference.
  • MySQL (Structured Query Language)

    is said "My S-Q-L" but is affectionately referred to as "My Sequal". MySQL is a Relational Database Management System which runs a server that can provide users access to multiple databases. You can acces and configure MySQL using phpMyAdmin.

Joomla Security Settings

A couple of settings built into Joomla can be configured for better security like PHP has register_globals and allow_url_fopen turned or switched off. It is also best to make sure your hosting provider gets the latest software updates and patches on their server. Delays in fixes can leave holes in security. Check out this Joomla as a service hosting company, CloudAccess

Server Performance

Especially with shared servers, load policies may be implemented to keep servers from getting hit with too much traffic at once. Average processors can handle about 200 websites. Ask the hosting provider before you sign onto your plan.

Server Terminology

  • mod_rewrite

    A Apache module that allows URLs to be re-written which is very useful for Search Engine Friendly (SEF) URLs.

  • suPHP

    This tool allows you to run php scripts under the administrator username. Allowing one to bypass permissions and saves a lot of headaches.

  • mod_security

    is an Apache module that keeps out hackers and spammers. It acts like a firewall to keep your site safe.

  • .htaccess

    is used for all sorts of helpful things. It is a part of every modern website and Joomla comes with a htaccess.txt that is renamed to .htaccess. This file is more complicated to understand. It is a file that Apache can read and uses to change URL structures and block parts of the site from viewers, for example. It can do a lot more, but it takes a better understanding of Apache to use it.

About The Author

David writes for several websites. Specializing in Joomla, he develops websites like this one in order to provide help to those who need it. He enjoys taking concepts not everyone understands and breaking them down so that it is easy for everyone. On the weekends he can be found having beers with friends, watching soccer and enjoying the outdoors.