The Basics of a website

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Updated On: September 2, 2021 0 Comments

Most of us know how to access websites.

In fact, if you’re watching this video, chances are you’re watching this video from a Website like UsableWP or Udemy.

To be on the same page to access a Website, all we have to do is to type a domain name in the browser and voila, the browser will take care of the rest.

But how many of us know the different components of a Website and how they fit together?

When you’re trying to create a Website all by yourself, you should know how all pieces fit together.

The two pillars of a website: Web Hosting and Domain Name

For the world to see your website, we need to purchase at least two things, Web hosting and a domain name.

This lecture is all about the role of a Web hosting service and a domain name.

So let’s start with some basic questions and their answers.

So, what is a website?

A website is nothing but a collection of related Web pages and media files.

A web page is a file too.

It is an HTML file.

A Web browser understands these webpage files and renders them with a neat layout.

Come on, let me prove this.

This is the homepage of my website usablewp.com.

And, we can inspect the file behind this Web page using any modern browser.

All you have to do is right-click and then click on inspect element.

Now, see all this code?

This code is the content of my home page file.

So we can also call a website a collection of files.

Next question.

If we create a Website, how can people on the Internet access it?

If people are accessing a website and since a website is nothing but a collection of files, it must be stored somewhere, right?

I’m going to cut to the chase.

Your Web site must be stored on a device and that device is nothing but a computer.

It is just like our personal computer.

But with some special software installed on it.

And we call this special computer a Web server.

Now, don’t panic by hearing the word Web server.

We call it a Web server because it is serving the Web pages and files of our Web site when someone is asking for them.

Our website files are just files at the end of the day.

So they must be stored on a computer too.

Anyway, so how do we purchase a Web server to store our website files?

The answer is no.

We cannot purchase a web server.

We have to rent it.

We have to rent it from a Web hosting company.

The whole purpose of a Web hosting company is to rent you this Web server.

And after you rent a web server, you can store your site files on their server and people on the Internet can access your Web site. That’s how it works.

Now, you might ask:

Why do we rent this Web server from a Web hosting company?

Can’t we use our own computer for hosting our website and call it a Web server?

Yes, we can definitely do that by installing some special software.

We can turn our personal computer into a Web server, and people on the Internet can access it easily.

But there is a catch.

A website hosting company is good at two things.

For people to access your Website, a Web server must be always connected to the Internet.

And a Web server provided by the Web hosting company is always connected to the Internet no matter what.

This is not the case with personal computers, right?

My Internet service provider disconnects the Internet at least two times a week.

And only God knows how many times the Internet wires can get destroyed during the rainy season.

Second, a Web hosting company always keeps evolving with the latest technology to Keep our websites fast and secure.

They keep updating the computer software by regularly fixing the security issues.

Imagine we have to perform this ourselves. We have to be a nerd and literally spend a lot of time every month pulling out our hair.

Now, most of us could be earning more than fifty dollars per hour by doing our day job.

And, all we have to do is spend less than twenty dollars per month if we want to rent a Web server from a Web hosting company.

And on top of that, we’ll get a customer support team to solve our problems for us.

So do we really have to go to lengths to run our own web server for hosting our website?

The answer is obviously no.

I explained all this up to bring up one important point.

That is, it is important to choose a good Web hosting company.

Not all Web hosting companies are created equal and not all of them provide good customer support.

So it’s important to choose a good Web hosting company.

Anyway, to recap, a Web site is nothing but a collection of files stored on a publicly accessible computer called a Web server.

And we are paying a Web hosting company to rent this Web server.

Now we are only halfway through.

Introduction to IP Address

Let’s just say we purchased a Web hosting service and created our website pages in it.

How do people on the Internet can access them?

How do people on the Internet can access our website pages?

Simple.

Every computer will have a unique name, and we call this unique name an IP address and it looks like this!

A web server is nothing but a computer, right?

So when we purchased the Web server from the hosting company, they will provide us with this IP address for our Web server.

So people on the Internet can access our Website using this IP address.

But as you already know, we humans are good at memorizing names instead of numbers.

As heavy users of Websites for getting a job done, Most of us might have to visit at least 10 different websites every day, right?

So imagine trying to remember the IP address of those 10 websites inside your head.

Unless you are a human computer, it is impossible to remember them, right?

So some smart people on the Internet invented something called a domain name.

What we can do is we can link a domain name to the IP address of our Web server.

And when we do that, people can just type the domain name to access our Website.

That’s all.

Simple enough, right?

And a web hosting company also allows us to purchase a domain name just like a Web server.

You cannot purchase a domain name permanently.

You have to renew it every year.

All right.

Congratulations, You have just mastered the basics of a website.

And trust me, 90 per cent of the website owners on the Internet don’t know this basic understanding.

This lesson will help you take better care of your website.

Now, I’m going to repeat some of these points in the next lesson, too.

But in the next lesson, I’m going to explain how websites work in a simplified way using the analogy of a house.

So I’ll see you in the next lesson.

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