A website is something that everyone is familiar with. But many often wonder, “How does a website work”. We enter in the www-dot-something-or-other, click the tiny blue letters, Google the stuff, and then you’re looking at cat images. Isn’t that how a website works?

Despite the fact that practically everyone uses the internet on a daily basis, it can still be a mystery to many of us. And with so much jargon flying around, it’s sometimes difficult to tell which way is up.

As a result, setting together a business website can feel like a daunting, only-for-insiders project.

What is a website, anyway?

You have a genetic code as a living person. All of the genetic markers that make you… are found in your DNA.

This code defines all of the characteristics that distinguish you. Your eye color, whether you have straight or curly hair, and your height are all factors to consider. When your body creates cells, a replicating molecule reads your DNA. The cells adhere to the blueprint that has been put forth for them.

That’s how a website functions. A website is made up of code as well. HTML code is a programming language that allows a web developer to create a web page layout. Learn More Here

Where is a website stored? What is web hosting?

Every piece of information must be saved somewhere.

Because web-based programs account for so much of our digital lives, it’s tempting to imagine that information exists “on the internet.” The problem is that the internet isn’t a physical location. The internet is a technology that allows computers to communicate with one another.

This means that if the information isn’t saved on your computer, it’s saved on another machine.

As a result, your Facebook images aren’t isolated from the rest of the world. That information is stored on an actual computer in one of Facebook’s facilities, waiting to be accessed by you or your grandmother.

Similarly, a website does not exist “on the internet.” The HTML code for that website is saved on a computer somewhere, waiting to be accessed by a computer with an internet browser.

So, if you’re making a website, where do you put all that coded data? Do you have a computer?

Technically, if the site was tiny enough, you could. However, you’d need to keep your computer turned on all the time and have a highly stable internet connection. It would be too expensive. It’s also dangerous. The site would be extremely sluggish. And if enough people tried to access it at the same time, your site… or your computer… would most likely crash.

How is a website accessed? How do domain names work?

So, there is a webpage. It can be found on a host’s server as HTML code. I’d like to go to that website. I have a machine that has a web browser installed.

That browser will decode that HTML code and turn it into a gleaming web page with text, photos, and buttons for me to click.

However, my browser must first locate it.

You must know where my residence is in order to send a mail to it. That’s why I’ve got a mailing address. The address can be written on the letter, and the mail carrier will know just where to send it. That letter will include a return address, so I can respond if necessary.

Similarly, your website requires an address. A registered designation from which users can obtain information in order to read the HTML code stored on your servers.

Domains have a role in this.

Domains are something you see all the time.  A domain is a one-of-a-kind address that you pay to register in order for your visitors to discover you.

A common blunder made by website newbies is conflating domain name registration with hosting services. Part of this stems from the misperception we just discussed about how information lives on the internet: the notion that information is just out there, floating around “the web.”

The common misconception is that since you paid for your domain name, you must have purchased that portion of the internet and can thus store whatever you want on it.

But keep in mind that information is stored on computers. You didn’t actually acquire any computer space for your website if you only registered a domain without purchasing a hosting service. You didn’t purchase the home; you only booked the mailbox.

A person can access your website if you host it on a server and register a domain name. Your domain is entered into the browser, which sends a request to your server. The HTML code on the server can then be accessed and translated into a web page that they can interact with.

How a website works
How a website works

How can I make a website for my business?

That brings us to the practical question: how do you get started if you need to develop a business website?

There are a few things to think about.

  • First, there’s technical knowledge. Do you or anyone on your team know how to code in HTML? How confident are you in your ability to learn new programs?
  • Second, there’s the matter of time. How much time and effort can you dedicate to maintaining and updating your company’s website?
  • The third point to consider is the budget. There are website alternatives to suit every budget, but it’s critical to get that question answered before you begin the process so you know exactly what possibilities are available.

Once you’ve had a chance to think on those factors, it’s time to look at your options:

Make Your Own Website and Host It

You can always do it yourself if you have the resources to hire an on-staff web developer and install and manage the appropriate servers. This could take a long time and a lot of money. Most small businesses will not explore this option, but if your firm is large enough, it may make sense to design and operate your website in-house.

Invest in a Developer

You can engage a professional developer to build you a website on a contract basis. This is a terrific technique to ensure that you build a quality site without taking up too much of your important time if you employ a professional developer. However, keep in mind that this is usually a short-term connection. They may not be available to assist you with site maintenance once the site has been developed and the check has cleared. If you take this path, you’ll almost certainly need to invest on hosting, domain registration, and maintenance services.

Services for building websites on your own

Wix, Squarespace, and even Google Business are all less expensive options than hiring a developer. Setting things up doesn’t require any coding skills, which is a huge plus. Furthermore, these services commonly include hosting and domain registration, with the option to combine all three for a monthly recurring price.

Time is one thing that this might cost a company. Websites may be complicated even with relatively simple tools that do the HTML for you. While putting up a cheap-looking web page may not take much time or effort, creating a decent, professional site requires hours of work and a lot of debugging.

Rely on the pro’s

Reach out to us to learn more. If you already have a website, contact us for a free audit to learn how we can optimize it to drive real, measurable traffic to your business. If you’re starting from scratch, we’d love to hear all about you and your business. Let’s build an online strategy together that will help you draw new online customers.

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