Many people are intimidated by the technology of the web – and especially the terminology that comes with it. This article talks about the basic concepts and terms related to websites and the technology behind them. The language may sound like “geek-speak,” but the concepts are pretty simple to grasp.
What is a website? At its core, a website is a collection of files stored on a computer. The website files are built using different programming languages, but the most common language is called Hyper Text Markup Language or HTML. The HTML language is designed to be read by a Browser, the most common browsers are Internet Explorer, Chrome, and Firefox (on PC) – and – Safari, as well as Firefox and Chrome (on the Mac). The browser reads the HTML and renders an easy-to-read web page.
In addition to HTML files, a website could also contain pictures, document files, music, movies, and so much more. The physical computer that stores all these files is called a Web Server. The Server holds these files, using Disk Space (physically stored on a Hard Drive), and provides this information to visitors. There is a physical cable that creates a connection from the Server to the Internet, and the files and requests that pass back and forth take up space in this connection. The amount of space allowed per Server is referred to a Bandwidth.
Servers, Hard Drivers, and Bandwidth are all required to Host a website. The business that provides these physical components is called a Web Host or Hosting Provider. This provider typically offers several website hosting plans for various website needs.
Part II of the Website 101 series will cover Domain Names, URLs, DNS… What are They, and How Do They Work?