Today I want to shed some light on a few key terms you've probably encountered in your research into having a website.
In its simplest form, a website is just a collection of digital content: images, text, audio, and video sitting on what's called a server.
Think of a server as a computer hard-drive (or Google drive) on steroids. In much the same way as you store documents and images on your computer, iCloud, Google drive, or OneDrive, a website is stored in the same way.
There are 5 key components to having a website up on the Internet and making it accessible to the world:
Let's look at each of these one at a time…
Just like there's Google Docs, Microsoft Word, and similar programs that let you create a document that can include pictures, etc., there are several companies out there that let you create a website and store it on their servers. They are called your web host.
You may (or may not) have heard of these popular web hosting companies:
The website builder is just what it sounds like - it's the tool you use to design, create, and publish your website. Each of the web hosts above provide a website builder for you. And, just like creating a document in Google Docs is a different experience than creating one in Word, each of these platforms provides a different experience in creating your website.
Are you with me so far? Awesome!
Now, a website isn't any good if no one can find it. Just like your house has an address so your friends can find you, a website needs an address too! You probably already know where this is going but stick with me here…
In the early days there was just www.xxxx.com. But nowadays we have so much more.
Some examples are:
Now, these aren't real sites, but you get the gist, right? These are called web addresses. And every web address includes a very important, unique element: the domain name.
Within the web address you'll find the Domain Name. Using the list above, these are the domain names within each web address:
You can think of the domain name as the house number on your street.
Once you have your website published, it's time to make it easy for people to visit your site.
One way is to simply share your web address as text: www.mysite.com.
With this information potential clients can type the address into their browser and access your site.
Or, you can make the text clickable by creating a link. This requires a URL.
A URL is essentially your web address with a modifier at the beginning so that any document that supports HTML code will create a clickable link:
www.mysite.com isn't clickable
Now, keep in mind that many platforms, such as Facebook, recognize a basic web address when you type it in and automatically makes it link. Behind that link, is the URL.
That's it! There are some nuances within the information I've shared, but I wanted to keep it simple in order to create a clearer picture around websites and what's involved in having one on the internet.
Keep an eye out for future posts where I'll get into the details such as the web hosts themselves and the steps to having a website on the internet.
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Did you you know you don't need an elaborate website to get started?
A single-page website with key sections that help visitors see that you can help them and invites them to a free consult will get the job done.
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