Most likely, any person who ever dealt with a website knows a bit about how that works and the fact that a server is needed for that site to actually be available on the Internet.
To put it short and clear, in order to establish a presence online, have a website in other words, you’ll need a few things. First of all you’ll need a domain name, then you will also need to host it somewhere and of course, once you have that ready, you’ll have to start building it. So let’s take a closer look at all the above below.
You can search online for extremely detailed definitions of a domain name, but shortly said, a domain name is an identifier of a online address. What is an online address? Well, that’s what an IP stands for – Intenet Protocol address. Every site you access on the Internet (even adult websites) is basically an IP corresponding to a webserver, actually a computer connected to the Internet, somewhere in this world. An IP address is something like this: 123.456.789.000!
Does it look nice? Well, numbers are nice
most of the time but think about remembering these number strings for every
website you’d like to visit. Wouldn’t that be a real struggle? So that’s where domain
names come into play. Basically, a domain name is a nice name for those hard to
remember strings of numbers mentioned above.
To conclude, we would be safe saying that every domain name on the Internet points to an IP address which is the actual address of a website (the location of the physical files a website consists of).
Web hosting is actually the service that allows a website to be reachable on the world wide web. It consists of all the infrastructure and the technologies needed for a website to be viewed on the Internet. Websites are hosted/stored on special computers that are called servers. When an Internet user wants to visit/view a website what he does is type it’s name in his web browser. His computer gets connected to the server where the website is hosted and the site’s pages are delivered to his computer through the browser.
When we talk about web hosting we also refer to other popular application on the Internet, such as email or FTP (File Transfer Protocol). Email is widely used for communication while FTP allows one to easily upload files to a specific location/server on the Internet.
So running a website, excluding the actual software and knowledge to put it live, firstly requires having a domain name and a web hosting service at your disposal. But let’s dig a little further into what’s needed to actually have your website up and running on the Internet.
To recapitulate, every website will need a location for its files. And we agreed already that the location will be a special computer somewhere in this world, connected to the Internet, storing the files and having the capabilities to respond the requests and deliver the requested files.
What we should all be aware of is that most website on the Internet are backed up by servers using Linux or Unix. Very few website at this moment run on servers using some versions of Windows. Linux is extremely popular for servers mostly because it is an open-source software which offers solid secondary software and technologies needed to make website show up on the Internet.
Especially high traffic websites with millions of users every day will need to be extremely secure, fast and reliable. And Linux due to it’s capabilities, stability and reliability is highly valued by system administrators.
When we talk about high traffic websites we think, of course, first of all about live streaming website such as YouTube, Netflix, HBO or adult entertainment websites such as porn tubes or sites delivering sex cam videos or adult video chat services. Those are website with millions and millions of users everyday so you can figure out the amount of data they have to handle and the risks they have to face.
Let’s get back to putting online your website as soon as you’ve purchased your favorite domain name and a web hosting package. Nowadays, pretty much every website online is dynamic, meaning it’s content is usually manage and served by some special software called Content Management Software (CSM). Luckily, there are lots and lots of CMS options that you can use and even better, most of them are free, such as WordPress, Joomla or Drupal.
As most of these CMS’s are written in PHP, the most popular web programming language which is also open source software, Linux is in advantage again as most Linux distros for being deployed on servers come with PHP included.
As soon as you’ve chosen your desired CMS to run your website with, you’ll need a layout for it and that implies some web design skills and not so often coding skills as modern CMC’s come with user-friendly interfaces that you can use to do pretty much anything you want and need.
Then you’d also need some basic graphic design skills and abilities to work with specific software such as the popular PhotoShop or the open source equivalent called GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program). These skills are mostly needed for creating logos and other graphic elements you might want to put on your website to make it as appealing as possible.
Furthermore, if you’re a nerd and would like to experiment more with servers and Linux, at some point you might even gain the knowledge to host your website yourself using a free Linux distribution and a computer connected to the Internet right from your bedroom.