NHS Designs
Web Design
Planning

How the Web Works

Introduction

computersThe main thing we're dealing with is the Internet, this huge network of connected computers. Since all these computers are connected to one another, all over the world, it's easy for information to be passed from place to place. That's how email works - and chat rooms and newsgroups and all that. People all around the world are using their computers to connect to other computers and exchange data.

The World Wide Web is the fancy-pants part of the Internet. With email, you usually just have plain old black-and-white text, but the Web has colors and pictures and sounds and movies. What makes all this action possible is your Web browser - such as Firefox or Microsoft Internet Explorer or whichever one you're using to read this. The browser is able to read a certain kind of code and translate it into a Web page.

That code is called HTML (which stands for hypertext markup language), and it's the main thing you'll need to learn to make your own Web site. HTML sounds scary, and it scared me when I was first getting started, but it's not too tricky to learn.

Getting Your Site Online

What HTML does is describe to the browser what your Web page should look like. The code says, "All right, pal, put this picture at the top of the page and put this text underneath it and PLEASE DO NOT FORGET to make the background blue" - yadda yadda. So you have to figure out what you want your page to look like, and then put that description into words that the browser can understand, namely HTML.

Once you have your HTML file (or files - you'll need one for every page on your site) written, you'll need to get it onto a computer that anyone on the Internet can connect to. So you have to have access to a server and a way to FTP (file transfer protocol) your files to that server. I'm not really sure what that means, either, but if you take a look at this lesson you can get the scoop.

That's about all there is to it. You make some HTML files on your computer and send them to a computer that's connected to the Internet. Then everyone can take a look at your stuff with their Web browsers - worldwide embarrassment for your brother! At last!

Next: Getting Started

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