10.23.08 —Website Creation Simplified: Brief Overview Of The Nuts And Bolts
Author Timothy Aaron Whiston
Before you start fiddling around with HTML editors, FTP clients, and Domain registrations, it's important to have at least a basic understanding of how all this works. This Website creation overview gives you an easy to understand look at what the process of building your own Website really involves.
A website is a collection of files that work together to form a unified whole. These various files, from images to HTML documents and PHP scripts, or instructional software, are organized by a Web browser and displayed appropriately on a computer monitor.
Website creation is essentially the process arranging information in a way that can be translated by Web browsing software, such as Internet Explorer, and presented to human viewers. To do this correctly you'll need to gain a basic understanding of coding languages like HTML, CSS, and possibly PHP.
The process of coding your site is literally the activity of entering numerous individual lines of alphanumeric code that tell the Web browser how to format and display your Web page. While seemingly complex at first, the truth is learning the most basic Web development code -- HTML -- is less complicated than learning to use the English alphabet.
Once you learn what the various command codes actually do, your next step is to practice organizing them in a structured manner within an HTML document. This is not unlike the process of creating a word processing document and saving it; the only difference is that instead of sentences and paragraphs you'll be entering HTML tags and attributes.
Once your files are complete, they'll need to be added to your Web host so other Internet users can access them. The Web host, or server, is a powerful computer that operates around the clock.
It is here that all the files and data that make up your Website will be stored. And you'll need to register a domain name and synchronize this domain with your host machine so people can type an easily remembered Web address into their browser and literally navigate to your Website by establishing a connection with your host server.
In addition to learning how to create and save basic HTML documents, Website creation requires some level of proficiency in transferring files between your computer and a Web server. This is called File Transfer Protocol, or FTP for short.
To do this, you'll need a software tool called an FTP client. This utility is installed on your desktop and can instantly form a connection with your Web host, allowing you to upload files to the Web or download them to your machine.
It is also recommended that you become familiar with the directory structure and hosting control panel your Web host provides. This will make it easier for you to manage your Website.
This sounds like a lot of work. But the truth is the average Internet user can become basically versed in all of this within 30 days or less if he or she puts forth an effort to learn.
It's beyond the scope of this article to delve into the specifics of any particular technique. But I hope at this point you at least have an understanding of what is involved in learning the Website Creation process.
Originally published in the October 23, 2008 Entireweb Newsletter.