This article is intended for the first-time website owner; perfect for the noob to get her/his toes wet and a pleasant refresher for the seasoned developer.
What is a website?
A website is a collection of related material that contains text, images, and may also include video, audio or other media.
A website can be as simple as a few static pages or as complex as several web applications running simultaneously, and everything in between. See Kinds of websites section below for details.
What is a domain name?
The dictionary defines domain name as:
A series of alphanumeric strings separated by periods, such as www.mediatemple.net, serving as an address for a computer network connection and identifying the owner of the address. The last three letters in a domain name indicate what type of organization owns the address: for instance, .com stands for commercial, .edu for educational, and .org for nonprofit.
Basically, a domain is any combination of letters and numbers; for example, mediatemple.net. This is also called a root domain.
What is a subdomain?
A subdomain is a domain that is part of a root domain. For example, mediatemple.net is the root domain and kb.mediatemple.net is a subdomain.
How do I register a domain name?
For detailed instructions on how to register a new domain name, please see this KnowledgeBase article:
How do I register a new domain name?
What is web hosting?
Web hosting is the service that provides public access to your website.
What is FTP?
FTP is an acronym for File Transfer Protocol. This is one of the most common ways to upload and download files from your server. For detailed information, please see:
Using FTP and SFTP
Kinds of websites
A static website is one that is comprised of flat files such as images, HTML, CSS (Cascading Style Sheet). This is the simplest form a website can take.
A dynamic website is created at the moment the visitor enters the website. The website is generated by a web application or code.
Below are a few examples of dynamically driven websites.
A blog, short for weblog, is a commonly used term for a Content Management System or CMS. WordPress is a popular blogging application. Many others are available.
An ecommerce site is a website that sells goods or services. This often entails using a shopping cart application or custom code.
A web application used to re-sell a service. For example, http://mediatemple.net/affiliate/.
A site to discuss a topic or related topics. This is also powered by a web application. Common applications are: Invision Power Board, phpBB, and vBulletin.
A collaborative website in which users contribute to the body of knowledge. For example: http://wikipedia.org/.
A complex website is one that uses two or more web applications. A few common examples:
A blog with a forum:
A blog with a shopping cart:
A blog with a shopping cart and a wiki:
An affiliate site with a wiki:
An affiliate site with a forum and a wiki: