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What is a web site and how does it work?

A web site is a series of connected web pages comprising text and pictures very much like a magazine. You can jump from page to page using buttons or navigation bars. Unlike with a magazine, you can also have moving pictures too! Like the newspapers in the Harry Potter films.

People looking at your web site can communicate with you from the web site itself, or by their email, or telephone and through the web pages themselves… for instance by buying something. Like people do from Amazon.

There are many web sites that gather retailers together to give them a channel to a market. A bit like a virtual shopping mall. You may have heard of eBay. eBay is nothing more than a giant virtual shopping mall or market with thousands of vendors.

Like magazines, web sites are designed and assembled by an editor and published. They are called web designers and that is what I do. Your web designer keeps a copy of your web site on their computer and a back up facility. They can easily change the content and upload a new version to the internet no matter how small or large the change and as often as you like.

Web sites are published by the web designer and then he/she uploads them to a space on a big secure computer called a web server. There are thousands of web servers, all connected, all over the world. This is called the World Wide Web or the Internet, shortened to “the web” or “www” or “the net”.  In effect a web site is “hosted” on a web server. Money is paid to the company owning the server for hosting a web site every year or so: usually through the web designer, who will quote you for this. Its quite cheap when compared to media advertising.  

The web designer can, at the customers request, access the web server using his or her computer and change/update the customer’s web site whenever the the customer asks them to. Of course the web designer has to have the correct security passwords. Security regarding access to the web server and the customer’s web site is very strict.

A web site can be reasonably static in its content. Or it can be updated very easily, very often. A bit like a newspaper. Indeed, most newspapers are “on-line” now as well as being printed. Saving paper. And paper boys and girls! What’s more the reader can access back issues!

Most web sites are written in a language called “hypertext mark up language” Shortened to HTML. You can instantly forget this, but your chosen web designer depends on it. He/She uses this together with their creativeness to make the web site more appealing and more visible on “the web.” It is this creativeness that you pay for when you have a web site designed. The technical stuff is secondary. Web sites have “keywords” embedded in them for the search engines such as Google use to answer search queries such as “find me a decorator nearby”.

In a nutshell … that’s it!

See the next page for my comments regarding web hosting sites offering web design services. Or alternatively click the button below.

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