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Beginner's Area

Here you will learn what a web site is, and how it works.

You can think of the internet as a giant book. Each website can be thought of as a chapter in that book. Each 'page' in a website, or just 'site', is a page in that chapter. Website pages are actually just text files.

Web pages are different from the pages in a book, because they can do other things, besides just displaying information. They can accept input, process it in various ways, and finally, by clicking on 'links' (most of the time they are blue and underlined), instantly travel to other pages throughout the internet.

You can find a beginner's guide to computers and the internet here:

Simple Guide to Computers and the Internet.

The first thing you need when you create a website is a unique 'domain' name. A domain is basically just a name, like 'lighthouselane.com'. This name is the name of your 'chapter' in the big internet book. On the internet, each name starts with http://www., and ends with an extension, such as .com, .net, .info, .tv, etc.The Rolls Royce of extensions, however, is still .com. This website, for example is http://www.LighthouseLane.com. And this page is http://www.LighthouseLane.com/beginner.htm. If you look up at the address bar in your browser, you will see this. When referring to a domain, the http://www. part is usually left off. So this domain is simply LighthouseLane.com.

In the beginning of the web, Network Solutions was the only company in charge of registering and maintaining website domain names. Now there are many companies that perform that function, and the price of registering has fallen dramatically. It used to be $35/year, and now you can find it as cheap as $8.95/year or so.

When choosing a name for your website, you need to find out if the name is available (hasn't already been registered by someone else). The best place to find out is at 000.Domains.com, because you can enter many domains at one time to check availability. When you find your name, a good place to register it is at 1and1.com, or GoDaddy.com. Another site..will give you suggestions for a name when you input certain words that you want in the name.

Once you have a name, you are ready to create your site. First you need a 'home' for it, and that's where we come in. We are a 'hosting' company, and we will 'host' your site on 'servers'. A server is just a computer that happens to be connected to the internet. The company that registered your domain has a 'domain record' that contains directions to the server where your website lives. When people want to go to your site, they are directed (using the domain record) to our server. Your site will consist of a main 'page', and optionally, other pages. These pages are simple text files that have 'html code', and are interpreted by your browser (Netscape, Mozilla, Firefox, Internet Explorer, etc) and converted to what you see on your screen. The pages have names with either a .htm or .html extension. For instance this page is named beginner.htm.

You first need to create these 'pages'. To create these pages, you can use our online site builder (Site Studio), which will generate a very professional looking site, and is very easy to use. You can also use other programs like FrontPage, or Dreamweaver. You could also simply use a text editor to build your pages, but then you would need to learn html, which is the language/format that web pages are written in. Html stands for HyperText Markup Language, and is the modern equivalent of the markup language used to format a document when it is sent to a printing company. Html is pretty easy to learn, and a simple website is not that hard to create. This page is a pretty simple webpage, and if you want to see the actual html text file that generates it, go up above, click on view, and pick 'Page Source', or 'Source'.

After you have created your web pages, you need to put them on our server. This is done by 'uploading', or 'publishing'. Upload and publish are the same thing. Once they are uploaded/published, the whole world can look at them. There are various ways to upload/publish. Frontpage and Dreamweaver, have a built in function that you can use to upload. Uploading is done by something called 'FTP'. FTP stands for 'file transfer protocol', and is the method used to transfer files from one computer to another. There are many standalone FTP programs, such as CuteFTP for instance. If you use the site builder on our system (Site Studio), you just need to click on 'Publish', and the pages you are building will be transferred to your site area.

 

 

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