Several components make up a website, including the domain, server with internet connectivity, and files. It seems very complicated at first, but it isn’t that difficult to understand. Many web hosts offer very user-friendly applications that make the process of putting it all together fairly simple. Let’s look at the components:
The domain is what you type in a browser to reach the website. The early days, domains only ended in .com, .net, or .org. Since then many other extensions have been added, like .info, .us, .me, .co and so on. The availability of these extensions means it’s a bit easier to get the domain you want. A domain is registered with a registrar and the owner edits the Domain Name Settings (DNS) to direct visitors who land on the domain to a particular place on a particular server.
The server is a computer with certain programming languages installed that responds to requests from the internet to view files. The server must be connected to the internet at all times and have the languages installed that correspond to the computer language the website files are written in.
For instance, WordPress is written in PHP therefore it must be housed on a server that has PHP installed. Most WordPress websites are hosted on a shared hosting plan, which means multiple websites from multiple owners share space on a single server. No one visiting these websites ever sees what other websites are hosted on the same server. This is because of the domain points specifically to the intended website on the server, and nowhere else. It would be pretty expensive to set up your server in your home or office.
So most people use a hosting service providers, where they can host their website on the provider’s servers. It’s also pretty expensive to have your very own dedicated server with a web host. Cheap WordPress hosting is possible because many websites are hosted on one machine.
Think of the server as your house – it’s where your stuff lives. The domain was the address, and now we’ve navigated to that address and ended up at your house. Clear as mud?
The files are what make your website what it is. These files that make up your web pages are written in a computer language, which may be simple HTML or something more advanced that makes them display what you want and how you want in the browser. Years ago, these files were individually written, very simple and quite a challenge for non-technical folks. Fortunately, there are great programs out there now that automate all of this techie stuff so even those who are brand new to building a website can create just what they want, without a harsh learning curve. WordPress is a great example. WordPress allows just about anyone to create an awesome website with lots of bells and whistles and without any technical background.
Think of the files as you and your staff – what’s in your house. Putting … Read More...