Learning Website Design – Session 6 – The components

March 6th, 2010 admin Location: Raleigh, NC, Topic: Web Design | Digital Media

[private]So let’s say that you have finally designed your website and are getting ready to share it with the whole world. You might be asking yourself well, how do I do just that?

First of all, you are going to need a domain name. The domain is the name that is associated to a particular address where your website is going to be found. Even though it is a bit confusing, you should think about it as you think about real estate. The domain name would be the address of your house. But think of it as if you were allowed to take the address with you once you move. So for example if you lived in 21 JumpStreet, California, and you moved to Alaska, you could technically take that address with you. Now your address would be 21 JumpStreet, Alaska.

So the domain name only gives you the right to use a particular name. In the site google.com, the domain name is Google. The second part of that name (.com, .net, .info, etc) is called the top level domain (tld).

Domain names are rented by domain registrars, like Godaddy and eNom, to the people that want them in a first-come first-serve basis. In other words, contrary to popular belief, the domain is not now yours. If you stop paying for it, it becomes public domain again.

Domain names are rented on a yearly basis, and you can decide to rent your domain up to 9 years in certain domain registrars.

I recommend purchasing your domains with Godaddy. The reason being that Godaddy is inexpensive and reliable. Their interface is awful, but you won’t invest lots of time in it.

The Hosting

Once you have an address, you need to find public space to place your website. Hosting is simply space in a server that is connected publicly to the Internet. Continuing with our real estate analogy, hosting would be the actual lot of land where you are going to put your house.

Now, you can buy a lot to put a house, or to park cars or to build an airport or for whatever you want. The same applies to hosting. Most people use hosting for their website, however you can also host applications, galleries and more.

Hosting comes in many sizes and flavors. The most popular kind of hosting for people or businesses just starting out is called shared hosting. It’s called shared hosting, because it is utilized by many clients in the same space. The hard disk is shared by many accounts and the Domain Name Server (DNS) is the one that determines what portion of that disk corresponds to each domain. There are other options to shared hosting. For example Virtual Private Servers or Private Servers. Finally, you could have your own server and manage it yourself.

In my opinion, if you are just starting and you are a Merkados™ client, obviously I recommend Merkados™ hosting. We are affordable and at the same time extremely reliable. But obviously you can go with plenty of providers out there. Just make sure you find a reputable one – a bad hosting company can be a nightmare.

The website

In our real estate analogy, the final component would be the actual houses that you will build in your new lot of land. That corresponds to the website itself. You can have a website made out of many html files or you can have a website driven by a database. A database driven site means that you really hold all the content of the site in a database(in a file with certain characteristics), instead of holding the content in the actual pages.

Websites are made out of files written in hypertext markup language (html). As we talked in previous sessions, the different browsers, like IE8 or Firefox, read the html and then render the code in a human-friendly version.

Final remarks

One of the most important things to understand is that you can at any time change one of the three components without changing the others. So for example you could decide to change your domain name, but keep your current hosting and website. Or you could change your website, but keep your hosting and domain name.

Most people when making a change of website, sometimes make also a change of domain and change of hosting and I advice against it. The reason for just starting from scratch is your search engine value. If you have accumulated link popularity through time, you don’t want to start from scratch again, right?

So make a conscious effort to either make the necessary preparations to transfer your link popularity or to change each of the components in separate stages. That will help you preserve your rankings and visibility in search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing.

That is it guys, until next time.

Alex Centeno MBA.

Director @ Merkados.com[/private]

About the Author

Alex Centeno MBA., is an international creative director and digital media strategist. Currently residing minutes away from the Research Triangle Park (RTP) - North Carolina, and with over 10 years of interactive marketing training and experience, Alex leads Merkados' international clients to maximizing their online business strategies. One of Alex's biggest strengths is his world-class capacity to effectively combine interactive marketing, digital media design and web development.

You may find further information about Alex Centeno MBA. at: and Twitter.

Sobre el Autor

Alex Centeno MBA., Es un director creativo y estratega de medios digitales reconocido internacionalmente. En la actualidad reside a tan solo minutos del Research Triangle Park (RTP) - Carolina del Norte, y con más de 10 años de entrenamiento y experiencia en marketing interactivo, Alex lidera a los clientes internacionales de Merkados™ para maximizar sus estrategias de negocios en línea. Una de las mayores fortalezas de Alex es su capacidad global de combinar de manera efectiva, mercadeo interactivo, diseño de medios digitales y desarrollo web.

Para más información sobre Alex Centeno MBA. puede visitar: y Twitter.