About this blog – website creation
Read the section below before you begin.
It’s pretty hard to write a blog covering all aspects of website creation, as there are so many different ways of creating a website.
The do it yourself website creation category on this blog is orientated toward commonly available technologies, which are:
- cPanel’s hosting platform and hosting accounts (this is the”platform” used to host the site)
- WordPress (this is the content management system used to create your site)
- Google’s Chrome browser (what’s used to see your site, and access the WordPress admin area)
These guides are also orientated to manually doing things such as installing WordPress (rather that using a one click installer). This is to give you a much better understanding of how WordPress works, and it will also put you in a position where you’ll be able to fix things if they go wrong.
I’ll be adding more website creation methods over time, such as Weebly which is a simpler website creation method compared to WordPress (although it can be a bit more restrictive due to this).
There, that wasn’t too bad was it? You can stop reading now and move on to the next article if you like.
This blog is a bit “ready”. There’s more to website creation than meets the eye, and I think it’s important to help you gain an understanding of what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, and what’s going on underneath. The more you understand about how things to do with your site work, the easier you’ll find things, and you’ll be more likely to be able to fix things if anything goes wrong.
Although doing things in what might seem like the hard way does involve more initial effort, that initial effort is an investment in what you’re likely to have to do in the future. Website creation isn’t just about making a website, it’s about keeping that website running, and keeping it running well.
There will be a quick guide, at some point.
If you’re interested in how things work, feel free to have a read of the below.
Further reading (if you’re interested):
All websites have common factors that make them a website.
You access a web page (part of a site) via a web browser. Google Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, and Apple’s Safari are all browsers. They’re the program on your computer that you use to look at web pages.
Try it yourself. Visit a web page, right click on it, then click on “view page source”. What you see is the page source code. This is what your browser turns in to a human readable page. It doesn’t make much sense if you’re not used to looking at that kind of thing, does it? Don’t worry, you’re not going to have to write that yourself. Well, you could if you wanted to, but this blog is orientated to you getting a site running, rather than teaching you how to code.
What lies beneath
What I’ve mentioned above sounds simple doesn’t it? You visit a website or access a web page in your browser and the browser shows you the page. For that to happen, there’s quite a lot going on that’s not immediately obvious.
You can’t access a web page if you’re not connected to the internet can you?
What else do we need? Let’s start at the beginning. Don’t worry if some of the terminology isn’t familiar these will be explained in later articles.
You type the address of a site in your browser’s address bar and press return, but here’s what happens (in a summarised human version).
- The domain in the site’s address is looked up.
- The nameservers held against the domain are discovered.
- The nameservers serve DNS records which tell your computer the address of the server where the site is held.
- Your computer sends the request to the server where your site is held.
- The request for the site reaches the server where your site is held.
- The web server running on the server establishes the file/folder/directory location in which your site is held (this is called a “document root” or “web root”). This is part of your hosting account.
- The site code (in the context of wordpress this is PHP) executes, interacts with the site’s database (if there is one) and the two generate page output.
- The page output is sent back to the web server.
- The web server sends the page output back to your computer.
- The browser on the computer receives the page output, renders it, then displays the web page.
This probably all sounds a bit epic, and possible unrelated to the website creation side of things. You don’t need to worry about a lot of this though, a lot of this is all done for you. The company that provide your internet connection, the people who you bought your domain from, and the people who host your site keep a lot of this going and maintain what’s needed to keep it going.
TOP TIP: Keep things simple for yourself by buying your domain and hosting from the same company.
I work for a web hosting provider. We provide domain registrations, DNS management and hosting accounts. Other than the internet connection, your computer and your browser, we’re involved with most of the process involved above, and we spend our days keeping that all working… and writing blogs, but don’t tell my boss.