Web Hosting & Web Development for Beginners
by William Ly
Ifyou’ve ever browsed the World Wide Web and wondered how you could stakeyour claim on the Internet, like the millions of others that have done soalready, then web hosting can provide you with the services to do just that.The Internet is a great way of sharing information and it is possible for youto take a portion of the web and make it your own. This article introduces theterm “web hosting” and provides some useful tips for webdevelopment once you’ve obtained some web space.
What is theWorld Wide Web?
The “World Wide Web” is the network of computers from all over theworld that communicate with each other using the HTTP protocol, a language thatallows the transmission of web documents. Be careful as this term is notsynonymous with the “Internet” because it is defined as a networkof networks, where the computers communicate with protocols other than HTTP.The web is what you see on your Internet browser, the web pages complete withgraphics, sound and other information. All this has got to come from somewhere,and this is where web hosting comes in.
The information that you see from your web browser is contained in web pages.These web pages are kept on computers called web servers. Web hosting is aboutthe storage of the web pages so that people can access them. It is possible tohost your own websites yourself but the reasons stopping most people doing thisis that there are issues to consider with having the right hardware andsoftware to successfully host your web pages. Your web pages will take acertain amount of space, users will need to download each page to view them andyour Internet connection needs to be fast to offer good performance to yourviewers. Using specialised companies that offer web hosting capabilities ontheir web servers will take most of these worries away from you but you willneed to choose wisely and weigh up the costs and your needs. In addition tohaving access to a web server, you will also need to register a domain name(for a cost) that uniquely identifies your website.
What WebHosting Can Do For You
The most basic service that web hosting offers is that it exposes your webpages for others to see. The other services are: email capabilities that allowfor email to be received and sent from your server; database capabilities thatallow for large amounts of information to be updated and accessed on the web;and dynamic content which allows for users to interact with the web pagesyou’ve made.
Poorly designed websites will most likely turn away users and harm thecredibility of the information it contains. Thought should be put in on the wayit looks and the way you intend your users to interact with the content. It isalso recommended for more complex websites, a structured development processshould be followed. Here is a guide to the logical steps of web development:
· Requirements Analysis: What is the purpose of the website? Whatcontent should it contain?
· Design: How should the pages be linked? What structure shouldthey take? How should the pages interact with the user?
· Implementation: This step is the actual coding of the websites inaccordance to the previous websites.
· Testing: Does the website do what it should?
· Maintenance: Is the information on the website up-to-date?
Some usefulhints for web development below are taken from software quality aspects butthey apply to the development of websites as well. They are described in termsof web development:
Reliability:Is the website reliable? Do faults allow for the system to continue running?
Robustness: How does the website respond to incorrect input?
Performance: How fast does the web page respond to user’s actions? Is itefficient in processing requests and inputs?
Usability: Is the website easy to navigate and understand?
Maintainability: Is the website easy to change? Can new functionality be added?
Portability: What software requirements does the website require? Will thislimit the amount of potential users?
Understandability: How well do you understand the website you’vedeveloped?
Whendesigning your website, keep these quality aspects in mind as they will helpyou develop pages worth visiting. How to choose the way to host your website ishalf of the problem, the other half is to create a website that people wouldwant to visit and come back to. Knowledge of producing a good design can helpyou get the most out of your creations.