The Wonderful Web

Would you like a website for your business but don’t know how to get started? Read on for a basic web primer.

Web Basics For Dummies

First, what is the web? The WEB (or INTERNET) is a network of computers spanning the world. You access the web through a BROWSER, a software program that allows you to see pages on the web. Examples of browsers include Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, Opera, and Netscape Navigator. A browser is a free piece of software that typically comes installed on your computer. You can have multiple browsers should you choose.

Browsers allow you to view WEBSITES which are collections of files owned by companies or individuals that are stored in a certain part of the web and accessed by their own domain names. A DOMAIN NAME is a unique name you choose to identify your site. Examples include verizon.net and netflix.com. Tip: yournamehere@gmail.com is NOT a domain name but an email address. The domain name in this instance is gmail.com. Domain names must be purchased through an authorized registrar. See www.internic.com, the central organization for domain name registration, for more information on how this system works.

A URL (Uniform Resource Locator) is essentially your web address and is made up of parts including the protocol, a method of transferring files (for example, http://); the host, which is your domain name, (for example, www.cats.com); and the path to a particular file or folder (for example, siamese). Put together, the URL for this example is http://www.cats.com/siamese. HTTP stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol, a method used to transfer information via the Internet.

Once you have a domain name, you need to find a WEB HOSTING SERVER. Numerous companies offer this service. Your files are stored on a computer directly connected to the Internet that responds to requests from a user to view a website. Tip: your home computer is not a server. You can find a server by searching online or asking a design company.

Now that you have a handle on web basics, you are ready to start thinking about how to design your site! Start by reading Web Design Basics.

If all this talk of HTML, URL, HTTP, domain names, and hosting services has you crossing your eyes and rubbing your head, don’t despair! There are many design companies out there to help you through the complicated world of building a website. Too expensive? Read What To Do When You Can’t Afford A Web Designer.

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