Websites Described

My father is in the real estate business and so when I had to explain websites to him, I had to relate it to what he knew. Many providers of internet service package it all together in different ways, so it’s important to know what all the pieces are.

Internet

This is the road system or network on which all traffic runs, whether it be email, web requests, instant messaging, etc. All kinds of vehicles travel on roads, but you need to have one to travel on it, such as a bike or car. This is similar to having the right software, such as an email program (i.e., Outlook) or web browser (i.e., Internet Explorer or Firefox).

Domain name

This is your address, like 123 Main Street. It’s only a name, no matter where it is or who your provider is. It belongs to you even if you change providers, much like you port your mobile phone number to another company.

Email

This is probably the easiest one to describe. It works just like the regular mail, also referred to as snail mail. You can put pictures, documents and more in an email, but be careful of the file size. Usually, 5 MB is about the limit. Anything more than that, you might want to look at posting them somewhere, like a file share.

Internet Service Provider (ISP)

This is the service to your location. This might be over a wired connection, like cable or DSL. The internet connecting to your house (for example) is like the street connecting to your driveway.

Hosting

A company that provides web hosting can be different than your Internet Service Provider (ISP). They used to commonly be one and the same, but now, most people use them independently. If your internet service goes down at your house, that doesn’t necessarily mean that your website has gone down. The website is kept on the hosting company’s servers. Their connection to the internet is usually more reliable and faster than the one to your home. They host many sites, so they need more space. The hosting company is like your cottage (if you’re lucky enough to have one). It’s remote and self-contained.

I hope this clears a few things up. It’s been a while, but I hope to write at least once a week. I have a tonne of ideas, but now just need to dedicate some time. Enjoy and happy surfing!

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