What is Website? How does a Website function?
What is Website? Generously simple answer is: A Website is a FOLDER in the Hard Drive of a computer.
Sure! Listening this answer, probably numerous questions are wriggling in your head. Don’t worry; I won’t leave this post until I answer all of your questions. Simply, I am committed to satisfy your thirst for every website-related question that is essential to have a transparent understanding of what Website is.
Interesting enough! You needn’t ask me anything. Someone behind the screen is knocking me, on your behalf, just with the questions that lie deep in your heart. Just continue reading.
Contextually, The following words, phrases and terms are interrelated with Website. You’ll be getting clarified with each and every fact one by one in course of our total presentation.
- World Wide Web (WWW)
- Web Server
What is Website? What is Webpage?
QUESTION: If website is a Folder in Hard Drive; I have many folders in my PC’s Hard Drive; are they websites too?
ANSWER: Exactly not. You have a Folder in your Hard Drive. This is not reachable by other devices (PC, Laptop, Smartphone etc.) beyond your PC. So it is not a Website. To qualify your FOLDER as a Website, your PC (where your Folder resides) must be connected with a Network, so that other people connected in the same network can access your Folder (site) and interact with it.
QUESTION: Is that all? My PC is connected with 10 other computers constituting a LAN (Local Area Network) framework in my office. Each other computer can reach my Folder. Now can my Folders be called Website?
ANSWER: Absolutely not. This way, you can share files and folders in your Hard Drive with each and every other devices. But a Website is much more than that.
QUESTION: Oh, I see! Probably you’re meaning- my PC (containing Folders) must be connected with WAN (Wide Area Network) or globally spread Internet.
ANSWER: This is very important. The Folders that build up your website must be stored in a computer (Server) which is connected with WAN so that anybody or any device (Client) around the globe can reach your site. But connecting a PC with Internet does not necessarily make that PC’s folder a Website. You see, millions of people simply use Internet connection in their PC’s. But their Folders are not reachable by other clients (devices) within WAN around the world.
QUESTION: How can Folders of a PC be visible on other device connected with the same WAN?
ANSWER: In this stage of your query, the thing that enters the scenario is Server and Client. Let me explain Server-Client Model first. Since the early days of Internet, Server-Client Model is being used as the most convenient, reasonable and dependable Data Transmission technology. The theme of this model is that a computer in the Network will store and serve data which is called Server. And all other devices connected with the same Network can reach that data which is called Client. But to implement the model in practical field both the Server and Client have separate Software which we’ll discuss later. Read more about Server here.
However, in order to show your Folders as a Website, your PC must qualify as a Server (here Web Server) with definite Server software installed. And the devices that intend to reach your site must qualify with definite Client software (here Web Browser) installed.
QUESTION: How will other devices recognize my Server PC among millions of others?
ANSWER: A wise question indeed! For this each device should have an identity. So is there. Science has discovered it beforehand. Keep in mind each device has a unique ID number and that is called IP Address. You can learn more about IP Address here.
But IP Address (such as- 126.96.36.199) is a string of complex number which is unpleasant and difficult to keep in mind. So an easily-memorable and user-friendly version of IP Address has been introduced. This is called Domain Name (such as- toursandtravels.com). Read and understand Domain Name clearly here. So if you want to build up a website, you need to have a Domain Name which you can purchase from a Domain Registrar. Check out for Domain Registration process here. Noted, there is single authority (ICANN) to manage all the Domain Registrars.
QUESTION: How can a Client computer reach my site by Domain Name?
ANSWER: Your Domain Name (that represents your website) will be linked with your Server IP Address. So anybody around the world can reach your site by typing Domain Name in their Browser’s (Client software’s) address bar.
QUESTION: Suppose I have a Domain Name. Can my simple PC qualify as a Web Server. Or, can I run my website by using simple Windows PC as Web Server at home?
ANSWER: Yes, you can. Any PC can be turned into Web Server by fulfilling the Hardware and Software requirement. We’ve a handy guide in this regard. Check out the following link-
But using own PC as a Web Server is unusual, unwise and illogical. Because, it has a great limitation. If you’re serious, you can get clarified with Web Server Basic from this link.
In practice, website owners usually rely on the renowned commercial Web Server. There are many Web Server companies (like Bluehost, Dreamhost, HostGator etc.) who sell storage space from their Server. This fact is called Hosting. This Cloud Hosting service is very popular nowadays in the World Wide Web (WWW) market. You can purchase a Hosting package (Account) from them as per your need and capability to get your site hosted. See details of Domain and Hosting here.
QUESTION: Almost clear. I purchased a Domain from a Domain Registrar and a Hosting account from a Hosting Provider? How can I set everything?
ANSWER: You’ll get a Domain account (Domain C-panel) and a Hosting Account (Hosting C-panel). Entering Domain C-panel, you’ll link your Hosting account (actually a Nameserver number provided by your Host). Next you will enter Hosting C-panel and upload your Website files (actually written in Web language HTML and others) in the relevant Directory to store them in their Web Server. Your site is on the go. The rest will be done by DNS (Domain Name System/Server) that is an undivided system built up with the progress of WWW.
QUESTION: How can people visit my site?
ANSWER: Now anybody connected with World Wide Web, can reach your site through following direction-
- Enter your Domain Name (URL) in the Browser’s Address Bar requesting the site to the DNS.
- DNS will will find the relevant IP Address.
- Then DNS will send the request to the Web Server associated with the IP.
- If everything is OK, Web Server will return with the webpages (HTML files) to the requester Browser.
- Browser will translate the HTML files and display on screen in public readable form.
Factors for building up a Website
QUESTION: Now please tell me briefly, what are the total factors of building a website?
ANSWER: Yes, in this stage we’re prepared enough to bring out all the factors that are essential to make your Folders a Website. Here are those-
- Your webpages constitute a Folder which is your Website.
- Your Website’s Folder must be stored in any Server (equipped with Web Server software installed and properly configured.
- Web Server must be connected with WWW through Internet (Internet is much more than WWW)
- Your website must have an Address which might either be IP Address of your Web Server or Domain Name linked to that IP.
- Any user intends to reach your site must be connected with the same WWW.
- Users must have Client software (Web Browser) installed in their device.
Hope, I got released from the liabilities of answering the latent questions in you about how a website does function that I promised at the beginning of this tutorial.
If you have any other question, any query, cast it in Comment. If you leave your question uncommented; you’re sure to going to deprive yourself as well as me. Because a new question gives me a new particle of light of knowledge.