Our byitSized introduction to web design - Understanding website design terminology
|Post-date: Thursday, 1st July, 2010 | kevin bedward
Let's begin by assuming you don't already know what a Web Page is. If you do, then feel free to move to the HTML BASICS section of this page. Otherwise heres my crash course in helping you understand what web pages and websites are all about.
If you have spent any amount of time using a computer, you will already know that the files you save on your computer have extensions following the name you gave it. For instance, if you wrote a letter using Microsoft Word, and saved it with the name"MyCV", then MS WORD would probably add the extension .doc or .docx at the end of it. So your file name woud then be MyCV.doc. Ever saved a song on your computer? - my guess is you then already are familiar with the extension .Mp3 right?
These letter extensions are very important to computers / software. They are used to identify the type of file, that the file is. Make sense?!..okay.
With a file extension, a software like WORD can recognise a file as being one of its own and open, or rather, display it on screen for you to see the contents of the file...the words, pictures etc that are contained in the document. Well likewise, websites start life by being created as files by someone using a computer. The software being used to create these files, needs to give the files their own file extensions so that other software, like Internet explorer, Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome, called Browsers, can open or display the website. A Browser can recognise files that have either the extension .htm or .html and knows that the contents of the file are to be displayed as a Web Page. The letters HTML by-the-way, stand for HyperText Mark-up Language.
want to just get going?
Now to help with understanding some HTML BASICS and creating a simple website page.
In HTML BASICS, we look in more detail at the HTML code itself but with an assumption that you are not on this site to learn how to make websites but rather to learn a thing or two about how they are made. It is important then to understand that HTML is a language which is written as instructions to your web browser, telling it how to interpret and display the information as a web page. The Web Browser in turn, then reads the HTML code in the same way you would read a book - from left to right/top to bottom. (i know that not everyone reads in that order...but hey). Let's move on. Now you don't actually need any specialist software to write HTML code, any plain text editor will do. Let's keep things simple and create a website page using the familiar Notepad program.
Open Notepad and re-type (for the practice) the code shown below. Choose to Save it and Name it index.html and ensure that the "Save as Type" below the file name, shows all files,(*.) Save it on your desktop so that it is easier to locate it. Now that it's saved, simply right click on the icon for the file called index.html and open it with your web browser.
*the words written in red
can be changed to what you want. Notice the "forward slashes" ?. That is there to tell the browser to close the tag. The code begins with the type of file or document being declared. In this case, html
written between lesser and greater than symbols. And at the bottom of the document, the forward slash before the letters html
tells the web browser to close or end the html tag. So you see then that the tags used in this web page example, are opened...then closed, used as a pair, which you will learn is usually the case in html. Whatever is then written in between a pair of tags, is what the web browser will interpret or display. The first Tag tells the browser to start doing something; the corresponding closing tag, tells the browser to stop doing it. So for instance, in the example to the left, the browser is told when to start the title
of the website page, and when the title ends. Make sense?..good.
You can learn HTML just by reading in your own time then writing and developing your ability by creating your own website. Whatever you build will be viewed on your own computer thanks to whatever web browser you use to view stuff on the internet. But your computer is not where your web page will live when you are ready to make your website available online for everyone to see.
There are different ways to get your website hosted; certain internet service providers (ISPs) will give you a limited amount of free web space. There are also thousands of hosting services that will provide you web space for a fee, depending on how much space you need and how much traffic \ bandwith (or how many people will be looking at your page) it will see.
For our purposes you can try: free web hosting from the likes of Geocities.com or FreeWebs.com. They offer free online space in exchange for running advertising on the pages you create which isn't all-together a bad thing, since advertising is how many people make money online.
Later, if you plan to do anything serious with your website, you'll need to get a professional web host to provide you with space you can run your own advertising and services on or choose to not if you wish.
Article Post-date: Friday, 30th July,2010 - kevin bedward
The saved files that together make a completed Website, are then stored on a computer called a WEB SERVER. You won't go far wrong if you imagine that this computers job is to "offer", or serve you a website for you to look over, since typically that is the sole function of that particular computer; it's usually powerful enough to handle thousands of site visitors at a time or networked with many other similar computers to form a server farm.
A WEB BROWSER is already very familiar to most. If I mention that Internet Explorer is one example of a Web browser, you probably know all you need to know, on a basic level, of what a web browser is and its purpose. It's a program, a computer software, that allows access to internet content by reading and interpreting HTML code - presenting it then to you in a more user friendly format; as a website.
To find something we need to know where it is located, or at least knowing where to look makes finding it easier. Likewise then the resources/content/websites that we search for, have a unique identifier. World Wide Web pages are assigned a URL - which stands for Uniform Resource Locator. The URL of a Web site or page is made up of four basic parts: The transfer method (usually http), the Web site domain name, the directory where the Web page is located on the server, and the Web page filename.
And now some information on Getting your website Hosted online and available on the World Wide Web.
Having a website available on the internet involves a technical term called Web Hosting. The term refers to the collection of the pages making up the website, stored or housed on a computer dedicated to that task. It's commonly called a Web Server which on one level explains alot since the pages are being served to you, via the World Wide Web, for your viewing. An agreed amount of space will be allocated on the web server for the housing or storage of the website. Typicallly anything from 100MB to 1GB, or more, depending on how big your website is of course.
If you choose to have your business website hosted with us it would cost you only £3.50 per month. Our servers are located across the UK and Europe. We have onsite technical support at hand to ensure a reliable service.
How about a byitSize review...
Web information is stored in documents called Web pages and this collection of all the pages makes up a website. Web pages are files stored on computers called Web Servers. Computers reading the web pages are called Web clients. Web clients view the pages with a program called Web browsers. Popular browers are? - yup: Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google chrome and so on... there are more than a few. A Browser displays the page by reading the instructions. The most common display instructions are call HTML tags.