Intro to the Internet
If you want to create a website, but aren’t sure where to start, you’ve come to the right place. This site is intended for people who are likely unfamiliar with how the web works. Some advanced ideas may be mentioned, but my goal is to keep things as simple as possible.
If a topic starts getting too complicated or I can’t quite explain it right I may use a hyperlink (or link) to another website to help you continue learning. Because that’s what the internet is at its core: a collection of interconnected resources that help you reach your goals.
I’m building this website to show you that you can build your own amazing site easily, quickly and without knowing how to program – so that you can focus on your passion.
What articles on this site are right for me?
- Before you do anything else, read why I’m building this website to see if it’s right for you.
- If you’re new to how the internet works, read articles in the Web section.
- If you are ready to buy a domain name and start a website, read about cPanel and articles in the Easy Websites section.
- To learn more about WordPress and the types of websites you can build with it, check out the WordPress section.
- If you already have a website and want to learn how to promote it, the Make Money section will cover those topics.
- This section is under development so I recommend you review these websites:
A website is an investment in time and effort.
There are thousands of places online to create a free website. For a simple blog, these are perfect for the job. But if you’re investing in yourself, your brand, you should own your website… not rent it.
You get what you pay for. Right?
If you’ve priced out having a professional website built, sticker shock might not even cover what you’ve experienced. Thousands of dollars for web design, logos, hosting, coding, customizations… the list goes on. If you have the budget, the investment may be worth it. But if you don’t have a lot of money, this site is for you.
My goal is to show that you can create a beautiful, functional website with your own dot com for less than you probably spend on groceries.
Work in Progress
Please note that this website is in constant development but is updated often.
Email spam is a hideous thing. This site does not use SSL, so I won’t ask for your email address. Instead, subscribe to the categories that interest you via RSS below.
Use this Chrome extension (or add-on) to get updates to sites that provide RSS feeds.
Or watch the video below to learn how to subscribe to RSS feeds in Outlook.
What is the Internet?
I mentioned goals above because I think it’s important to understand why the Internet exists and why it keeps getting better. Although many of us believe the Internet was “created” in the 90’s, it actually started as a series of research projects back in the late 1960’s. By the end of 1969 4 computers were connected together via ARPANET in what would become the foundation of the Internet we know today.
Very shortly after, researchers found the need to communicate complex ideas (like crazy math equations) about the Internet itself to each other quickly and email was created to meet that need. The idea of discovering what people need and then building something to meet that need is why the Internet quickly evolved from a way to share simple text documents to being able to watch your favorite TV shows on your smartphone.
Though the Internet has gotten much faster, prettier and larger, the basic idea of connecting people to what they want and need is still the at the heart of everything the Internet touches.
What is a Website?
The main goal of this website is to show you how to create your own. Like the Internet itself, websites have become more diverse, more useful and more complex. Years ago you needed to have a better understanding of the technology that powered a website in order to create one.
I’ll get into the inner workings of a website later but the basic idea of a website is pretty simple. Assuming that you use or have used a computer, you’re probably familiar with creating new files and moving them around your computer into different folders.
For example, if you save a picture or create a Microsoft Word document, a new file is created on your computer’s hard drive. You can move that file around your computer to new folders, like your desktop or documents.
When you visit a website, it’s like looking at files in a folder on someone else’s computer. This other computer is typically called a server. If you look at the address bar of your browser it even looks similar to what you would see on the folder address bar of your computer:
What is a Browser?
Web browsers are applications or programs that most use to look at websites. Browsers are more commonly known by their names: Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome, just to name a few. Chances are you’re using one of those to look at me right now. While each browser is somewhat unique, most look about the same.
The image above calls out 3 things you can expect to see when looking at a web page in a browser.
- URL: This is the fancy way of saying “web address” and it is the entire series of letters, numbers, slashes and symbols that appear in the address bar. To get technical, URL stands for uniform resource locator. Learn more about URLs here.
- Domain Name: I mentioned above how visiting a website is liking viewing the files on someone else’s computer using a browser. The Internet uses a numbering system, like a telephone number, for every computer that is connected to the Net.
This number is known as the computer (or devices) Internet Protocol (IP) address. For example, the IP address of me (the website) is 126.96.36.199. Now imagine trying to memorize all of your favorite websites by number. Naaah. The Domain Name connects IP address numbers with easy-to-remember names, like Google and Amazon. For fun, try looking up the IP address of your computer or of your favorite site.
- Page Title: The title of a web page generally appears in the tab of your browser and if you’re anything like Chris, you’ll have multiple tabs open at once. Even short titles like the one of this page are usually too long to be seen completely in tabs. If you leave your mouse over the tab for a few seconds and the full title will appear.
Another place you’ll see page titles is in search results. In Google, for instance, the link you click on in search results is actually the page title of the URL.