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.
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."
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! addressSooner 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 126.96.36.199, 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.
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.....
*note that this is just an example!!