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|The Internet, as big as it is, is just a network system which enables computers
to send information back and forth to each other. The World Wide Web (www) is a major part of the
A Web Site consists of one or more pages that relate together and contain all the information you want to make available to your visitors via the Internet.
Getting your site up and running involves three major steps. 1) Registering a domain name, 2) Creating the web pages and, 3) Hosting the site.
A Web Site is made up of any number of Web Pages. The first page your visitors see when they get to your site is called the Home Page. The Home Page should be brief and to the point. In this fast-paced world, people make decisions quickly, so the Home Page should help a visitor decide quickly if this is the information or business he is looking for. Then, from the Home Page, links can take him to other pages with more detailed information.
Creating a Web Page is the process of putting together all the text, graphics, logos, forms, animations, video, and links that will appear on the screen, along with any (optional) background music that will play when a net surfer visits your site. A web page is what appears on the screen in a complete download (even if you must scroll down to see all of it). Text, such as this text, can be entered the usual way, using the keyboard or it can be copied from another computer file, a word processor document for example, or it might be scanned in from a printed page. Graphics, which include photographs, images, drawings, and logos, can be scanned from photographs or downloaded from a digital camera. These also can be copied from other computer files or created from scratch by our own graphic artist. Animations can be created various ways, today it's common to make them with Macromedia Flash or SwishMax. (For example, notice the words Sacranet.com under the globe as the page loads.) Animations are effective when used sparingly. Links are what people click on to go to other pages on your site, or even to other sites. Text as well as graphics can be set up as links. You may also have a link to your e-mail address so users can send you e-mail messages from your web page. However, this does increase the possibility of 'robots' acquiring your e-mail address for sending spam so Sacranet recommends using a Contact Form for visitors to fill out. Video is quickly gaining a prominent place on the web, and, with the rapid increase of broadband by web surfers, can deliver a powerful message to your visitors. Music, which is optional, can be added to play in the background of a web page (although it is not generally recommended). However, we support streaming audio, whereby a visitor can click to listen to music. Pages (windows) can be made to pop-up over other windows, but this technique has been overdone by advertisers and tends to annoy website visitors. Many surfers now use pop-up blockers, so this also is not recommended. And we try to make good use of CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), a simple mechanism for adding style, simplifying major changes and increasing the efficiency of your web site.
To Host the site simply means to load the pages onto a host computer that is capable of sending them to net surfers. Companies that specialize in hosting have direct, high-speed connections to the Internet. While it might be technically possible to use your home or office computer to do it, this would be very slow and unreliable; and most Internet Service Providers (ISPs) do not permit it. Sacranet works with hosts that deliver your pages quickly and that promise 99.9% uptime.
A Domain Name identifies your site and is what a net surfer types into his browser to go to a particular web site. For example, sacranet.com is a domain name. However usually you would click on a link with a 'friendly' name, which is then translated into a domain name by your computer. For example, when you click on a 'friendly' name, such as Proscapes Landscape & Design the browser is told to go to http://www.proscapesdesigns.com. You can register and use any domain name as long as it's not already taken. At Sacranet our charge is $20 per year to register and set up your domain name (and $15.50 per year for renewing). The end part, .com, pronounced dot-com, is the name's extension (well, technically it's called a TLD or Top Level Domain). Com means commercial, identifying a commercial site. Also there is .biz, meaning business. This is a newer addition, hoping to alleviate the lack of available .com names. There are others such as .org (a non-profit organization), .gov (a government site) .edu (an educational institution), and .net (a network, such as an Internet service provider). The rules on qualifying to use .org, .com or .net are fairly loose (for example, many sites today use the .com extension even though they are not commercial).
Additional name extensions have been approved by ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, the governing body of the Internet). Some of the new domains include: .aero, .coop, .eu, .info, .me, .mobi, .name, .pro, and .travel. Only time will tell how these are embraced by the web community. And after a time of debate the .xxx extension, for sites that contain pornography, was approved in June of 2010.
Currently Sacranet can register .com .net .org .info .biz .tv .us .name .mobi .ws and .me. The rules on qualifying for some of these are a little stricter, and the cost varies. For example, .biz is for use by a business only, and .tv costs $60 per year (the .tv domain was assigned as a country code top-level domain (ccTLD) to represent the country of Tuvalu, a Pacific Island nation, however the .tv domain is now available to the general public). Television stations and networks have been making use of this.
Incidentally, what was the first domain name ever registered? (Answer Below)
The first domain name ever registered was symbolics.com on March 15, 1985. (source, Network Solutions)