We are aware of the fact that it is not clear for every person who wants to have their own website what stages of implementation will apply to their project. We will therefore look at how the creation of a website looks from the ordering party.
We’ll start with how to get started with the idea. We will explain to you who really needs a website with CMS (Content Management System), as well as what domain and hosting are and why both of these elements are needed for each website. We will try to explain all the concepts in a very simple way to help everyone understand how websites work on the Internet and what to do to own and manage your own website.
Step 1: Why a website, or the purpose of creating a website.
Everyone who decides to create websites must first answer the question, why a website? The goal will allow us to determine the direction of activities, i.e. which way we will invest in. We should specify the target of the page, i.e. recipients, as well as their potential expectations. After all, we want to reach our potential customers with our offer, which we present on the Internet mainly on websites. However, we will look at two different cases related to the purpose of the website.
Our company needs a virtual business card on the Internet, but we only want to have some information about us on the Internet (information about the offer, about the company and contact information). The offer is updated sporadically, so also the content on the site will very rarely change.
In the second case, we want to work on the image, to establish lasting relationships with users through the site, so that people begin to perceive us as specialists in the field. We have different plans for the site than just informing. On the website, we intend to run a “news” section, an article section, and the offer changes so often that we need to be able to manage it ourselves (to quickly make all changes at any time). Manage the site, add content and delete content on our own, we can on pages that have CMS, i.e. the Content Management System.
Step 2: functionality and graphic design.
In addition to the decision on whether we need a CMS (about which a little more in a moment), we still need to decide what functionalities we want to provide on created websites. It will depend largely on the industry and subject matter of the site. Even very simple company websites often have modules such as a contact form or search engine, so let’s not focus on the fact that we will not need them at all.
It is worth reviewing the competition’s websites (as well as all those on which we found functionalities that we particularly liked) to explain to the contractors, before starting work on the site, how we would like our website to work.
In addition, we also have a significant impact on the appearance of the site. It must match the industry, i.e. present our company in an appropriate way. Many people will be in contact with her for the first time on the Internet. The graphic design should be created in accordance with the expectations of the client, his ideas, as well as in line with the latest internet trends.
While designing, information about the company is used, as well as materials provided by the client (materials per page). Graphic designers submit their initial designs to the client, who specifies corrections or accepts the project. Creating websites after final acceptance can go to the next stages.
Step 3: CMS, or Content Management System.
Before making any decision about whether we want to have a CMS system, it’s worth learning a little more about what such an application is. CMS is a system that allows you to manage the page and the content presented on it, without having to have knowledge about HTML. Using CMS is similar to working with programs working in “window” systems, such as text editing programs, which most of us use every day.
Before choosing a company that has CMS in its offer, it is worth getting acquainted with how it works. A significant number of companies offer access to the demo version of the application in which you can test the offered functionality.
Step 4: domain, i.e. the website address on the Internet.
During work on the site (or even before it starts), the client will have to choose a domain for his company, unless he already has a registered address. All websites on the Web have a unique address. The choice of address belongs to the website owner. We’ll talk about how to choose web addresses for websites in a moment, but let’s explain in advance what a domain is.
A domain is the web address where the page is located. One domain directs to one page, while the same website can be accessed through different Internet addresses.
Domains consist of two parts:
name – e.g. company name or phrase characterizing the website (in the address www.abcd.pl the name is the word “abcd”);
extension – categorizes domains (the extension in the address is part by name and period).
Domain extension may specify the country of origin (e.g. .pl – Poland, .us – United States, .co.uk – United Kingdom), website category (e.g. .com – commercial, .biz – business, .info – information,. pro – professions, .edu – educational, .gov – governmental, political, .org – organizations) or region (e.g. mazury.pl).
Top-level domains (TLD – Top Level Domain, e.g. national domains – .pl, .us, etc.) and lower-level domains – subdomains, i.e. second, third and lower level domains (rarely found in the Domain Network) are distinguished among Internet addresses. below level three). For example, the second-level domain may have the .com.pl extension.
Domains cannot be used without prior registration. At the same time, it is not possible to register a domain that is owned by someone else, i.e. one that has already been bought and paid for by someone (it does not have to be used). To register an address, select the name, extension, and check availability of the pre-selected domain. We can do this through online search engines of available domains.
In order to purchase the selected address, we must contact the domain registration company (many IT companies that create websites, also deal with domain registration). After paying for it, for a certain period of time (usually a year), we will be in possession of it (with the possibility of extension for another period).
It’s good to keep the domain short, easy to remember. In the case of companies’ Internet addresses, let’s make sure that its first component (i.e. name) is the name of the company or its characteristic product or service. Each domain may contain letters, numbers and the sign “-“. Domains are not case-sensitive. Recently, it is possible to place diacritical marks in a domain.
Step 5: hosting, which is the space on the servers for the site.
Each website consists of various types of files, documents, photos, data (e.g. data from e-mail), etc. All these elements must be stored somewhere (on the hard disk) and accessible to users. In addition, it must be a place that will be available non-stop. Such services are provided by hosting companies. Hosting offers the owner of the site the server on which the hard disk is saved. However, the domain (i.e. the Internet address) directs to a specific server.
Why can’t all elements of the site be stored on a disk of a regular computer connected to the Internet? Professional hosting centers are equipped with specially designed equipment that is adapted to continuous operation. It is incomparably more efficient than the best “home” drives. In addition, the room in which the servers are located must be air-conditioned or ventilated at all times, as well as equipped with an emergency power supply, which, e.g. in the event of a power cut, will power the equipment during the failure.
The provider ensures proper disk operation and that the Internet connection to the server is fast and technically reliable. The hosting center must provide its clients with protection of accounts and customer data, i.e. protection against various types of attacks via the Internet.
On the Web you will find an offer of free hosting services. Are they as good as paid services? Unfortunately, free hosting has many limitations, namely:
advertisements placed on the page by the supplier (also those which we would not like to see on our site);
advertisements sent in the form of emails;
disk space restrictions;
no scripting language support (e.g., PHP);
no account and data protection.
We usually pay hosting in advance for a year with the option of extending the contract. In some companies, we can test the service for a set period of time (e.g. two weeks), after which we can make the final decision.
Step 6: launching websites.
After the contractor finishes creating the website, and we already have the domain and the signed contract with the hosting company, the website works on the Web. Sometimes, on more complex projects, the test page is run (on test servers) to check its functioning. Only after a general rehearsal, the website is launched at the correct Internet address.