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So, you're ready for a website....

Small Business Website Basics

   These days, many small businesses (and home businesses) are desiring to utilize the Internet as a further means of getting information to prospective customers and clients, and perhaps to attract new ones. DaleCo, S.P. has prepared this document to assist you in understanding a little bit about the process of "making it happen" when it comes to having your own site.

The Server
   One of the advantages of the Internet is its 24-hour-a-day availability. The term "server" has more than one meaning, but generally refers to a computer that has a 'full-time' connection to the Internet, and a known Internet address ("IP address") by which it can be reached with a web browser. Security of the materials stored on the "server" and the reliability of the Internet connection are also generally of concern to persons interested in welcoming the world to their "virtual door."

Domain Names
   Several years ago, someone decided that just 'surfing' to a site with a IP address (like "http://123.456.789.012") was quite boring, and they invented the Domain Name System. (Well, it was kinda like that....) Basically, the way this works is as follows: you type "www.yahoo.com" into your browser, and then:

*your browser checks your computer to see if it knows Yahoo's! address
   and if it doesn't....
*your computer checks with its "gateway server" to see if it knows Yahoo's! address
   and if it doesn't....
*the gateway computer checks with it's "gateway server" or another name server....etc.
   Sooner or later, the machine gets a reply from some computer that knows www.yahoo.com's address, and your browser contacts the number and receives information to display to you....how does the address information get out? Yahoo! runs a "DNS server" which advertises to any computer on the Internet that www.yahoo.com is at, its current internet address*.

   This is a rather simplified explanation, but it serves to emphasize the need of having both a "domain name" for users to remember and a "name server" to announce the address of the name to computers around the world. There is a centralized registry for domain name 'resolution,' but there are now several companies who are allowed to register your domain name with the centralized registry. The fees for their services range from about $10 to $70 annually. The latest registrations we have done for "dot com" have been around $15. Name servers are also available for a fee from many, many companies.

The Site
   Web sites are technically just computer files that tell a "surfer's" browser what to do. Web pages are often defined as "static" or "dynamic." A static web page, generally, consists of formatted text and images, which may be either photographs or specialized graphics. A web page with other attributes might be called "dynamic." A basic definition of a "dynamic web site" might be "a web page or pages that respond to user input from the end-user." There are two basic methods of creating dynamic pages---client-side scripting and server-side scripting. An example of client-side scripting might be a 'rollover' picture (as you move your mouse over a link, a photo on the web page changes). An example of server-side scripting would be submitting information to a site, (such as Yahoo! that we mentioned earlier) and the server registering you as a new user or adding your name to a list of users interested in raising Dalmatians.....

Our Services
   DaleCo, S.P. can offer the full range of needed services for your website project. Our servers enjoy full-time internet access with a great uptime record and run one of the fastest, most stable server operating systems in the world; we run our own DNS servers to propagate your domain name information to the world; we can create web pages with static HTML coding, or use JavaScript for client-side scripting and PHP for web pages that interact with the site server. Our rates are based on the customer's current and previous relationship to our company, the intended use of the website, the amount of work needed to accomplish project goals, and other factors. All in all, we believe that you'll be satisfied by our ability to make your project work for you. Feel free to contact us by phone or the Internet, and let's make the Internet start working for you.

*note that this is just an example!!