Content management systems can help create and maintain your website. A CMS is a lot like the tools used to create posts or upload pictures to your social media profile, for example. A CMS does the same thing, but for your site. You don't need a CMS, but without one you'll have to code your site from the ground up. In addition to WordPress, a few other CMS tools are Joomla and WooCommerce.
A file transfer protocol is a method for transferring large files -- like videos and other data-heavy files -- from one location, like a server or computer, to another. Think of FTP as a type of delivery service. Imagine you order a television from a company and have it delivered to your home. The delivery truck that drops off the television at your home is the FTP. If you've ever used software like FileZilla, you've used an FTP. While FTP is generally vulnerable to malicious actors intercepting your data, secure file transfer protocol (SFTP) and FTP over SSL/TSL (FTPS) offer safer ways to transfer your files and data with security measures, like firewalls and data encryption. If given the option, always choose SFTP or FTPS rather than FTP when choosing a web-hosting service.
Electronic commerce (e-commerce) is buying and selling items online. If you've bought anything online like a new shirt, food or digital music, you've participated in e-commerce. Web-hosting services will usually mention e-commerce in plan descriptions to signal it includes tools to help get your online shop up and running. If you plan on opening an online store or selling items online, you should look for plans that include e-commerce tools and resources.
Content delivery networks, or content distribution networks, are groups of data centers and servers that help deliver content to people on the internet based on a visitor's physical location. Imagine you are hosting a site out of Dallas:
Without a CDN, if people from the Netherlands try to access your site, your visitors might have to wait a while for the content of your site to be delivered to them because of the distance. However, if your web-hosting service uses a CDN and has a data center in the Netherlands, your visitors from the Netherlands will access a version of your site stored in the much closer data center. This version of your site has some cached files stored in it to boost webpage load times and reduce bandwidth usage. This is good for you since some web-hosting services limit bandwidth usage, and faster load times means happier visitors.
According to a study by Digital.com, half of shoppers expect a site to load in three seconds or less, and almost a quarter of shoppers said slow load times are their main source of dissatisfaction when shopping online.
An internet protocol address is a unique address represented by a string of numbers separated by periods that helps identify a device online or connected to a localized network, according to Kaspersky. What that means is, an IP address makes it possible for your device to communicate with the internet.