We all know and love websites. For business owners, your website may be what you rely on to inform customers about your product and services and to bring customers into your business.
Despite being very important to us however, many of us do not understand how websites work or what it takes to run a website.
Here are the 3 core building blocks of a website:
Your domain is your URL or digital address that users can type into a browser in order to access your website. When a user types this URL into a browser, it actually takes a complex process behind the scenes.
First, a request is sent to a global network of servers that form the Domain Name System (DNS). You may have heard the term DNS records. Every website has their own unique DNS records. These store information specific to your website, including your website’s name servers. All of this is managed by a hosting company, which we will cover next.
After the request reaches the Domain Name System, these servers search for the “name servers” that are associated with the domain you have typed into your browser. A name server is simply computers called a web server, managed by your hosting company.
When your hosting company receives the request initiated by a user trying to access your website, the web server will fetches your site and send this data back to the user in their browser.
Since you now know what a domain is, what is a hosting company? Often, this may be the same place that you purchased your domain. In other cases, you may have purchased your domain separate from your hosting. Some common hosting providers include GoDaddy, WPEngine, BlueHost, SiteGround, and many more!
Regardless of how it is set up, hosting is service that provides the technology needed for a website to be viewed on the internet. This is where your website is actually stores on the internet. A website needs to be “hosted” or stored on computers called servers, which we discussed above.
When you pay you hosting provide, at the most basic level, you are paying for the storage of your website as well as the ability for users to find your website through a domain. However, there is a lot more that goes into this.
Content Management Platform
This is most likely the part you may be the most familiar with as it is what is used to actually edit the content of your website. A content management platform or CMS is simply a software platform.
Most commonly, there is a Graphic User Interface (GUI) that allows interacting with a website’s database to be user friendly. While websites use HTML (the Hypertext Markup Language) and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), you do not to be a developer who can write in HTML or CSS to edit your website because of GUI.
On the CMS, the every day person can create post, edit pages, update and publish content, and design the look of your site. Using themes and plugins, business can build beautiful, impressive websites without a developer.
One of the most common CMS platforms is WordPress. Others include SquareSpace, GoDaddy, and Wix. In some cases, you may even have a custom CMS solution if your site was built by a developer.
To learn more about or to get help creating a new website, contact Adventure Ad Agency today! We are happy to help improve your existing website or start a new one for you.