A Domain Name is a human-readable address for your little area of the Internet. An example of a domain name is foresitesoftware.com. Every domain name must be different, and to make sure they are, domain names are registered with an accredited registrar. This registration needs to be renewed periodically. This process is generally known as "Registering a domain."
When you register, you are asked to provide the Internet addresses of two or more DNS servers. DNS stands for "Domain Name Server", and these are special computers that hold the details of the domain you registered -- details like where your website is, or what server will handle e-mail for this domain.
When someone looks for your website in a browser, one of these DNS servers gives your browser the Internet address that is assigned to your website -- the address of the computer that actually has the information being sought. This computer is called a "host" computer, because it "hosts" your website, e-mail, or whatever.
The Internet host is simply the computer that has your website on it. It could be one computer, or more than one computer, as would be the case where e-mail or a database is set up on a different server computer than the website.
It could be your own server, but most often small businesses don't have a high-speed Internet service or an in-house server that would be adaquate for handling a high volume of Internet traffic. Also, websites in particular are targets for security attacks, so most companies opt to put their websites on a server that is maintained by a hosting company.
Hosting companies have high-bandwith Internet connections, redundant backups, and security features designed to deliver web content without interruption. So, when you use a hosting provider, you are renting space on a high-quality server that has a better connection to the Internet then you have.
When someone finds your host computer using a web browser, the host computer displays your website. A website is simply collection of files that are available to the public. Most often these files are simple text files, but they contain special instructions called "markup" that your browser reads and displays in some special way. These files are often called HTML documents. (HTML stands for "Hyper-Text Markup Language")
HTML allows an author to make text appear bold or in italics simply by enclosing the words in special tags, like this:
HTML also allows a web designer to place graphics, sound, video, and other elements in a web page.
Perhaps the most useful of all are hyperlinks -- clickable shortcuts that take you to related information. Use this hyperlink to see how Foresite Software can create a website for you.
Foresite Software LLC • S2756A County T, Baraboo, WI 53913 • (608) 393-1019