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What's the difference between Web-Hosting Servers, Website Files, and Domain Names

Web-Hosting Servers

The internet has so much content that it'd take tens of thousands of years to see it all. This information has to be physically stored somewhere, just like your music and photos need are stored on your personal computer at home. So, where is the internet stored

Today, almost all of the internet's content is stored on special computers called servers. These computers don't have monitors, or keyboards, or anything that you might see on a typical desktop computer. These computers are specifically designed to allow a lot of different people to access a ton of information all at the same time. Effectively, these servers are designed to host the world wide web.

Hence, the term 'Web-Hosting Server'.

Because it's really expensive and difficult to purchase and manage your own server, iPage rents out space on its servers for you to use. All we need from you are your website files. Continue reading to learn more.

Website Files

What is a website file A website file is like any other file stored on your home computer (such as a music or picture file), except that it's stored on a web-hosting server where other people can see it.

When you're building a website, you're using files to do it. Hence the term 'Website Files'. Some example website files are:

  • index.html
  • style.css
  • logo.jpg

While we won't dig too deeply into Website Builders (like WordPress), it's important to mention that these Website Builders help make it quick and easy to organize your website's files into an actual website.

Once you get a website, getting people to find it can be a whole different matter. That's where a Domain Name comes in. To learn more, read into the next section.

Domain Names

Think of some of your favorite websites. How do you get to them Most people will type in the name of the website (like 'google.com') into their internet browser. Instead of typing in the name of the website, try typing in one of these numbers instead:

  • 31.13.70.17
  • 74.125.26.103
  • 98.139.180.149

You'll notice that 31.13.70.17 produces the same result as if you were typing in 'google.com'. That's because '31.13.70.17' is a numerical code used by the internet to determine where Google's web hosting server is. This numerical code is refered to as an IP Address, and can kind of be considered a 'phone number' for the web-hosting server.

Because its not reasonable to use IP Addresses to find websites, the Domain Name System (DNS for short) was developed. This system allows us to pick a memorable word or phrase and assign it to represent a web-hosting server.

This means that 'google.com' is the Domain Name used to find the 31.13.70.17 server, where Google's website files are stored.

Domain Names and the Domain Name System make the internet a much easier place to navigate.

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