How Does a Website Work?
If you are now starting your first online project and you are overwhelmed with loads of questions related to the operation of your future website, this is the right article for you! You remember that we promised to answer these questions as well, don't you? You will get convinced that when it comes to websites, there is no room for worry and nothing is as complicated as it seems at first glance. And we we'll prove it to you! 🙂 Are you ready for a short introductory IT overview? Ready, steady, go!
Welcome to your website's home!
After you enter the domain (your website's name) in the browser, it connects to the server where your website's files are located. Before getting to that server your query goes through a long process which we have already described in more details (you can recall what a DNS is and how it works). We already arrived on the server and can have a closer look at your website.
In the beginning was the Code!
There are hundreds, even thousands lines of code which are standing behind every website's beautiful and neat design. This code is written in languages which actually show to your browser what is on the website.
HTML (HyperText Markup Language) is a basic markup language on the web. It is called a markup language, because it uses "tags" to mark what the content is and how this content should be displayed on the website. However, HTML alone is not enough for building a good-looking and functional website. If using HTML only, your website will look as a plain text document. It will have neither any colors, nor fonts. This is where CSS comes to rescue!
CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) takes care of the content's appearance. CSS renders the text font, size and color, size and color of different boxes, and the elements ordering on the webpage itself. It completes what the HTML code has done and gives a finished look of the design, but the website is still static and quite boring.
The rest of the languages as PHP, Perl, Python, Ruby on Rails and others are processed on the server. Because of them your website visitors can perform all kind of activities (registering, placing orders, posting comments or statuses, etc.)
How does this happen?
We will give you a simple example with the most common language – PHP.
When there are many visitors on your website, they generate numerous queries which initiate PHP and SQL processes. An ordinary computer cannot process so much information in such a short time. So, if you wish to have a good-looking and well-functioning website which users like, you should host it on a server. Server space is offered by the hosting service.
Can I build a website on my own?
Writing a code that performs similar functions, is quite a difficult task and not everyone can handle it. The good news is that there are platforms (content management systems) through which you can build a website easily and quickly. These platforms are also based on programming languages, but the code is already written. You only need to have an idea, to add content, and with just a few clicks you will have an up and running website. We will tell you more about them in the following articles.