More Internet Basics
Internet Basics related to websites.
Continued from Internet Basics
HTTP - Hypertext Transfer Protocol
HTTP is a basic communication protocol (language) used to transfer information across the internet. It determines how information is formatted and transmitted over the internet.
More Information: WWW FAQS: What is HTTP?
DNS - Domain Name Server
A domain name server is a computer on the internet that translates the human version of a domain name (www.yourdomainname.com) to a IP address then returns the IP address to the computer that requested the information.
Within the network of the internet there is one central domain name server that keeps track of all the domain names and the paths to those domain names. Within the path are directions to your web hosting company which then directs the request to your website.
A web server is a computer continually connected to the internet with software that uses HTTP. The web server can host a number of web sites or it can be dedicated to hold only one web site.
When you enter a web address in the address bar of the browser and hit Enter or Go the browser sends a request to the web server. The web server sends a response - the page you requested.
Secure Server - Secure Web Server
Secure servers (also known as secure web servers) use a technology called Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) to encrypt information while transfering the information between the web browser and the server. These type of servers should be used when collecting sensitive information like credit card information from website visitors.
A page on a secure server will show a little lock in the browser window and the url in the address bar of the browser will begin with https://
Web Host - Web Hosting
A web hosting company is a company that provides web server space and web services for websites. The web hosting company can provide shared hosting (the more economical and most common type) or dedicated hosting (dedicated server for the website and more expensive).
Paid Web Hosting
The cost of web hosting can vary on the services and features the website requires. The more features, traffic and space required, the more web hosting will cost.
Paid web hosting gives a more professional appearance to a business or other professional web site.
Free Web Hosting
There are free web hosting programs available. These are not actually free, they come at a price of you providing free advertising for others. Free web hosting usually insert advertising for themselves or other advertisers within your web pages. e.g.
If you look at the address in the example you will see advertising inserted by GeoCities down the side.
Free web hosting addresses usually are a sub folder of their main domain. e.g. http://www.geocities.com/s_emerson_2002/. This type of web hosting is fine for a personal site where your visitors will be friends and family. It not suitable for a business or other type of professional web site. It maybe difficult to get the web site listed in the search engines as there are so many sites hosted at free web hosting the search engines can't list them all.
FTP - File Transfer Protocol
FTP is a protocol for transfering files between two computers.
As a web site owner you would use FTP to upload (transfer) the website files from a computer to the web server. This is a feature that you should look for when comparing web hosting packages. Some web hosts only allow web based transfers. If FTP is allowed with the hosting package this will save on time and bandwidth.
FTP can also be used to make files available to site visitors for download. The visitor could log on anonymously or it can be set up that a user name and password is required to use this feature.