A Website Hosting Glossary
Website hosting is a highly technical enterprise. Here at Oakley Studio we use WordPress as the “framework” for all new client websites. WordPress is a very affordable way to get a new web site up and running quickly.
Anyone with some basic coaching and training can take ownership of their own WordPress website with little need for ongoing webmaster intervention. WordPress is essentially a container for all the web pages you create. WordPress provides the means to organize information so it is easy to “navigate” and find. WordPress allows you to choose from thousands of designs to select the perfect layout for presenting all the content of your own website, and to customize that design for your specific purposes.
To that end we present a Glossary of Terms so our clients are familiar with WordPress and understand most of the technical lanuage commonly used to describe and explain website hosting. Being familiar with this “lingo” and what these terms mean will facilitate effective communication with your webmaster.
Glossary of Terms
A web page is a single page, like a page in a book or magazine. It usually contains text and may also be accompanied by images (pictures: photos or illustrations, diagrams, charts & graphs etc.) or videos. Web pages also may contain clickable links to other pages.
WEB PAGE CONTENT
The mix of text + images + video + links in a web page is collectively referred to as web page content. When you are viewing a web page, you are looking at it content. You are reading the content of a web page. (Also sometimes referred to as “browsing,” “surfing,” or “scanning.”) On your own website, you create the content, by writing, or adding photos, or linking to other pages within your own website or to pages on any other website on the world wide web.
A website consists of a group or collection of related web pages. Some web sites have just a few pages, and some have many hundreds or thousands of pages. Each web page in a site has it’s own unique address, or URL.
Web pages are viewed in a web browser. A web browser is like a window through which you view web pages. There are a handful of brand-name web browsers, such as Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, Google Chrome, Opera, and others. Each web browser may have some slightly different features, but they all are designed to display web pages. Web browsers are applications that are used on a desktop computer, laptop computer, tablet, or smart phone. All these devices come with some kind of web browser for displaying web pages.
This is an acronym for Uniform Resource Locator. These are the links that connect one web page to another. Every web page has a unique address — it’s URL — which allows it to be located on the World Wide Web. Every image on a web page also has it’s own unique URL. Every audio or video file has it’s own unique URL. Your web browser uses these addresses to locate web pages and display all the media on those pages.
WORLD WIDE WEB
All the web pages in all the web sites all over the world are collectively known as the World Wide Web. Any page of any web site can link to any other web page anywhere in the world. Links, also called hypertext links, are connections from one web page to another web page anywhere on the World Wide Web.
Websites are stored on a web server. A web server is a specialized type of computer, with an always-on high-speed connection to the internet. When you click a link in your web browser, you are sending a request to
WEB SITE HOSTING
Web sites reside on a server. They are said to be “hosted,” on a server. A web server is a specialized computer configured to do one primary task — serve web pages. A web server is serving web pages to anybody who asks for them. People requesting web pages are VISITORS.
When you “visit” a web site, it simply means you are requesting a page from that web site, The page resides on a server somewhere out there on the vast global internet, but you can type an address in your web browser and the request is sent out, finds its way to the proper server, and a web page is delivered (“displayed”) in your web browser. Nearly instantly.
Continue on to explain where the web site resides — on a SERVER — that is always connected to the INTERNET. Each web page has a unique ADDRESS (URL) No two pages have the same address. Web page addresses are based on DOMAIN NAMES. A domain name specifies the address of a web site. No two web sites have the same domain name; every web site has a unique name.
Servers all have unique IP ADDRESSES. DNS matches up domain names with IP addresses. When someone requests a web page, the domain name is translated to an IP address, and the request is sent to that address — a specific server. It is then the server computer’s responsibility to look at the rest of the URL, identify the specific web page that is being requested (from all the pages in a web site) and send that page back to the visitor who has requested it. This all happens very fast, almost instantly but can sometimes take a few seconds, but generally no more than that.
A web server typically hosts many sites, and the server is able to identify which pages from which web sites associated with lots of different domain names that are being requested, and it’s job is to send those pages to the requesting browsers as quick as possible.