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Business // Web Hosting // Shared Hosting FAQ

Q. What is web hosting?
Web hosting refers to the process of publishing a web site so that it is available to the world on the Web.  Paid web hosting also involves getting a domain name and not having forced ads displayed on your site.
Q. What is a domain name?
A domain name is a sequence of letters and numbers which determine the address of your site.  This site's domain name is "yoafrica.com."  You need to register a domain name before your web site becomes accessible at this address.

Q. What are PHP, SQL, Java, IP, etc.?
A. Those acronyms refer to various features such as programming languages, databases, etc. that might be available with a hosting plan.  Please check out our Glossary for definitions.  To find plans that support these options, please use our Advanced Search page.

Q. What is shared (virtual) web hosting?
A. Shared (or virtual) web hosting is the most fitting way of hosting for 99% of web sites.  It means that a web hosting company will have one or more servers (computers constantly connected to the Internet that run a web server software such as Apache or IIS) that will be running multiple web sites (it will be shared).  Unless a web site is exceptionally busy or requires a lot of bandwidth, this is the least expensive way to get a real web site.  You can still have your own IP address with virtual hosting and the site won't look any different to users.  Other options are dedicated, co-location, or doing it yourself web hosting.  In those options you have the whole computer to yourself and you can do things like install your own software.
Q. Can I keep my domain name when I change a host?
Yes.  We recommend that you register your domain name with a separate registrar before getting a hosting plan (please see our Domain Name Guide).  Then, when you need to move to another host, you just need to point your domain's name servers to this new host.  If you registered your domain name with a host and now you want to move, you should find your registration records or contact this host and ask them how to control your domain name.  If you have a problem, you can usually see the name of the registrar by performing a "Whois" query on your domain name and contact them.

Q. I don't have any experience in creating a site.  Who can help me create and host my site?
A. There are companies such as Webdev for that.

Q. What is domain parking?
A. Domain parking lets you cheaply reserve a domain name for future use and display an "under construction" default page on it.  You can register a domain and not park it anywhere but then your site will simply be inaccessible until you get a web host.  Some registrar let you park your domain for free.

Q. What are the numbers listed under "bandwidth" and "web space"?
A. Web space is the amount of "stuff" you can put on your web site.  Available space is usually listed in megabytes (MB, millions of bytes).  Single letter takes up one byte.  HTML files are usually rather small (this file is about 25,000 bytes) but pictures and programs can get quite big.  Your scripts, emails and stats will also take up space on your host. Bandwidth is the amount of "stuff" that visitors to your site can download before you reach your monthly limit.  Our hosting packages do not come with a bandwidth limit.  

Q. How do I upload my site?
A. The main method of uploading files to your site's account is by using FTP.  When you sign up with a host, you will probably get an FTP account that lets you access files in your account (usually ftp.yoursitename.com, your main account name and password).  Then you can use a built-in Windows or Internet Explorer FTP client, or some other software that supports FTP such as CuteFTP, WS_FTP, or Total Commander, to transfer files from your hard drive to your account. 

Q. What is uptime?
A. Uptime is the percentage of time that a web site is working.  For example, if some host has an uptime average of 99.86%, this means that your site will be down for a total about 1 hour each month.

Please free to consult our comprehensive Knowledgebase if you have further questions.