23Sep, 2017

What makes up a website?

You may have decided that you need a website but when you look into getting one, you find a confusing array of acronyms and unfamiliar terminology: CMS, DNS, TLD, WHOIS, HTML, CSS, PHP, ASP, SEO, domain name, registrar, hosting, name servers, WordPress etc..  It is easy to just say “I don’t have time to mess with this.” You are not alone!  I would love to say that it really is quite simple but it is not.  Let me go over some basic knowledge that you need to consider when you decide you need a website.

A website is actually a collection of files that contains programming designed to display in an internet browser such as Internet Explorer, Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari as well as browsers on tablets and smart phones.  These files are stored on a website server’s hard drive in an area that is assigned to that particular website.  A hosting account is an account you set up with a hosting provider that allots you a certain amount of space to store these files.  The hosting account will often also give you email account capability.  A couple of well known hosting companies that you have probably heard of are GoDaddy and  Web.com.  There are many hosting companies out there.  Many like RoserNet.com are resellers for large hosting companies.  RoserNet resells for InMotion Hosting.

Most websites are on what is called “shared hosting plans” which means that the space for the website files are shared with many other websites on one server.  Website servers are located with an IP Address such as Shared hosting accounts may be located with

As you can tell, that is not a good way to name a website.  That is why we have domain names.  A domain name is a short descriptive name for your website that people can type into a browser to access your website.  Common domain names end with .com, .org. .info as well as hundreds of others. Only one person or company can own a domain name.  Domain names are registered with domain name registrars.  Most hosting companies will register your domain name for you to make setting up a website much easier.  But they are often using an outside domain registrar to register the domain in your name.  RoserNet uses Enom for all of our domain name registrations.

The domain name points to your website files with settings at the domain registrar.  These settings can either point the domain name to an IP Address or more commonly they use the name server setting which is a server name provided by the hosting company such as “ns1.servconfig.com”.  The name server will automatically find your website file area and return that address to the browser so that your website will display in the browser.

The collection of files can be created in many different ways.  The most basic is an HTML text file.  HTML stands for Hyper Text Markup Language which was created to display text in a browser.  If you right click on a website page and select “view source” you will see the html code.  To attractively display the text on a page, there are files of CSS commands which stands for Cascading Style Sheets. When websites become more complex, they require a website scripting language such as PHP (PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor) or ASP (Microsoft Active Server Page) which will generate HTML code and incorporate databases. All of these are very complicated and difficult to learn unless you want to devote a great deal of time.

To make websites easier to develop, content management systems (CMS) were created which are programs that will generated PHP, HTML and CSS code from a single program that is much easier to work in.  The most popular CMS is WordPress but Joomla and Drupal are also quite popular.  While these make building websites much easier, it is still fairly complicated and often difficult to get your content to display just the way that you want it.

Domain/hosting/CMS websites exist such as Wix.com and SquareSpace.com that make it easier to build your own website and maintain it.  You sign up for an account with them, find an available domain name and pick a theme that you find attractive plus matches your business type.  You then enter their content management system to add your business name, location, content about your business and pictures that relate your business.  Your website is then automatically created for visitors to see.  You log back into the content management system to update images and information as well as adding more information.

As easy as these sites make it sound, it still can be time consuming and limited.  RoserNet will take care of the domain registrations, the hosting, building the website and maintaining the website freeing you to tend to your business or organization.  You will find that you will not pay much more than you would for sites that build and maintain yourself.  Check out our Website Overview page for details and plans or email us any questions to Jeff@RoserNet.com.

About The Author

Jeff Roser is the Owner/Operator of RoserNet Website Services. We design and build websites, provide website hosting as well as maintain websites whether we host them or not. I currently live with my wife Christine in Arlington, Texas and attend Trinity United Methodist Church where Christine and I are quite active.

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