An introduction to domain names, web servers, and website hosting
What is the World Wide Web?
- The Web is a network of computers all over the world
- All the computers in the Web can communicate with each other
- All the computers use a communication protocol called HTTP
How does the WWW work?
- Web information is stored in documents called web pages
- Web pages are files stored on computers called web servers
- Computers reading the web pages are called web clients
- Web clients view the pages with a program called a web browser
- Popular browsers are Google Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer
What is the function of server software / programs?
Server software is created to ‘serve’ web pages and web sites. Basically, the server computer has a bunch of web sites loaded on it and it just waits for people (via web browsers) to request or ask for a particular page. When the browser requests a page the server sends it out.
How does Register your domain name?
If you ever wondered what the heck registering a domain was all about … you probably figured it out by now! But just in case – registering a domain name gets you an official address for your web site on the World Wide Web. With this ‘official’ address, the rest of the web can find you.
Like your home address is unique in the real world, there also can’t be any duplicate addresses on the Internet, otherwise no one would know where to go! In other words, domain names are unique addresses on the web.
Why does registering a domain name cost money?
If you want to have your own unique address on the web, your own domain name, it will cost a few bucks for each year you want to ‘own’ the name. The cost of registering a domain name ranges from less than $10 USD to about $30 USD per year. You can register a domain from 1 to 10 years.
The reason for the cost is that the central ‘address book’ of all the world’s domain names needs to be updated – somebody’s got to pay for that! You may have noticed that I just snuck in a little extra piece of information: the giant ‘web address book’ of domains.
That leads us to our last bit of nerd information: when you type in a website’s domain name or click on a link that takes you to that domain name, your browser starts asking servers where that particular domain name is sitting (on the web) and the servers are then able to tell the browser where to go by referring to the giant address book I mentioned above.
This is the first 5 steps that you should know about servers & hosting
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