Now that you are considering creating a website, it is important to understand what is involved in the process.
There are many wonderful websites on the Internet. What makes a website stand out among the millions already available is its content.
The website itself is only one part of the process and is the last step in this process. Before you can have a website on the Internet, there are other pieces that need to be in place.
The following components are required to be in place before a website can be made available to the public on the Internet.
Each of these components are described below.
- Domain Name The domain name is the Internet address of your website. It is how people will find and access your website. You can think of an Internet address as being similar to your home address. The Internet address allows people to find your website on the Internet just as your home address allows people to find your home in the real world. Domain names must be purchased from a Domain Registrar. There is an annual fee that must be paid to reserve each domain name. This annual fee varies widely from registrar to registrar. Many registrars allow the reservation of a domain name for more than one year at a time. The yearly fee is often discounted when reserving a domain name for more than one year. The registration fee also varies depending on the top level domain to which the name will apply. It is possible to register the same domain in multiple top level domains (i.e., www.yourdomain.com, www.yourdomain.net, www.yourdomain.org). Once a domain name is registered, no one else can register the same name. Domain name registrars will check the domain name that is being registered. If the name is already registered, then you will NOT be allowed to register it again. These same registrars will often present a list showing in which top level domain the name is available. They will also make suggestions of other possible names that are available. There are a couple of parts in a Domain Name.
- Top Level Domain This is the last section of the domain name. For example, in www.google.com, com is the top level domain. There many top level domains available. The available Top Level Domains include:
- Your Domain This is the primary part of the domain name. This is what uniquely identifies your website. The domain you choose should be easy to remember and typically represents the company, organization, person, product, or service that is presented on the website.
- Example of domains (in red):
There are many other top level domains available, with more being added every year.
- Web Host A web host is a company that provides space on web servers (computers with fast disk access speeds) to people with domain names. Owners of domain names select a web host and chooses from the list of available web hosting plans. Each web hosting plan provides a specific set of features and resources (disk space, data transfer volume, e-mail accounts, etc.) for a monthly fee. The monthly fee is often discounted when registering for 6 months, 12 months, 24 months, or longer. The web host associates your domain name with primary and secondary name servers from their computer room. This is how your domain name is tied to an IP Address. Within a few hours after this association is created your website can be found by the public. The delay is the time that it takes for the Domain Name Servers (DNS) to be updated with the new information.
- Internet Service Provider (ISP) An Internet service provider (ISP) is a company that makes it possible for people to connect to the Internet from their home or office. Common ISPs include a local telephone company, a local cable company, or one of the national ISPs like AOL, Earthlink, or Netzero. The connection to the Internet from a home can be a dial-up line, a Digital Subscriber Line (DSL), or a cable line. The dial-up is slow, DSL connections are must faster than dial-up, and cable connections are as fast or, more often, faster than DSL. There is a monthly fee for the service provided by an ISP. The monthly fee for faster connections is typlically higher than the dial-up monthly fee.