Before you start thinking about building a website it’s a good idea to get an understanding of how it works. So, how does a website work? Let me show you.
You decide you want to find out about something. You know the internet is the best source of information. So you load up your computer and open your internet browser like google, yahoo or bing. You then type in what you want to find out. These are referred to as Keywords.
Keywords and Rankings
The words you typed in the search engine are what they call keywords. The search engines then use these Keywords to start looking for websites that have the words or phrases in. This is how the search engines find what websites have the relevant information for you. They look to find the keywords in titles, content and the sites URLs.
It then places these in a list based on what it thinks is the most relevant, called rankings. The ones that rank the highest are determined through a complex system. They look to find the keywords in titles, content and the sites URL. It also checks if the site can be trusted and they determine this through varies algorithms. One of the things it will look for is quality content like word count, too low and it will be ignored. Too many and it could also be left out. It also looks for comments and replies to see if the site will look after their customer.
Every website author’s goal is to get as high up the ranks as possible because the higher their site is in the rankings the more like they will get visitors. The more visitors the more revenue.
Websites are written in what we call HTML, Hypertext Markup Language, its the coding used to put your site together. It the computer language that describes the layout and content of the page. The search engine then uses this code to now how to render the page. Fortunately, it’s a lot easier than it used to be now as there is software easily available now that does a lot of this for you. You used to have to write the HTML coding for everything from the background to menus and page layout. It would give you a headache if you saw the code needed. Sites like WordPress are excellent as they do a lot of this for you all you have to think about is finding the right keywords and filling the content. WordPress also lets you still use HTML in your content to allow you to do further enhancements like font size, colour and adding links for images and other web pages.
Examples of putting a link into a page are:
So if you have a phrase you want to turn into a link, like – Please click this link.
You use the code <a href” “> and after the phrase Please click the link you would put </a>
You then add the site you want to direct them to in between the ” “
So that it looks like this: <a href=”www.grahamhodsdon.com“>Please click this link</a>
Click here for examples of useful HTML codes for Websites
Servers are where all this information is kept, they are large computers with massive hard drives. It’s their job to respond to the search engines request for the information and send it to the internet. Anyone in the world can view these files. In order to put your website on the internet, you need to find a hosting site.
Hosting Your Website
Hosting sites own servers and you pretty much rent space off them. Some do really good packages. I will be reviewing some hosting sites later. You can’t have a site with a hosting package. The Hosting sites require you to use their servers so if you already have a site with a hosting company but aren’t happy with them you have to move your site to the next hosting server. To do this you have to change your name servers to the new hosting site and this helps them to transfer you over to theirs. This can sometimes to up to a week or two to move fully.
Once you have an idea for a website and found a hosting provider you will need a Domain name. You can buy your domain name directly from your hosting provider, this makes it’s quicker as it will be linked straight to their server or you can buy from any other domain name seller. You can then transfer it over to your hosting company.
Domain names can have different domains and there are quite a lot now. Once you pick one you like they are unique to your site and no one else can own the exact domain name but what they can do is own the other ‘.net’, ‘.org’ or any other dot version of the website. Depending on how serious you are you might want to buy each version up so no one else can copy your site. The most commonly used domain is ‘.com’ as it is thought more of a brand image when you see a .com at the end. When you see .org it tends to be some sort of organisation, .net is more of a network site and so on. I’m sure you get the idea. So you can have anything that’s available, depending what you site is about you can choose.
There are loads of suppliers out there for Domain names and Hosting providers. As I start reviewing them I will begin to add some of my recommendations.
Hi, I’m Graham, I’m the Founder and creator of grahamhodsdon.com. If you found this post on ‘how does a website work’ useful or would like to share your thoughts below on ideas I could add to this post please leave a comment below.