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What is a Website?

When starting a new web development project, clients often ask, “ What is a website exactly?”  Well a website can be described in many different ways but in my  experience, it’s easier to understand any non-ecommerce website as an residential property and any ecommerce website as a commercial property. This article will focus on  the main parts of a non-ecommerce website and compare these concepts to the various sections of a residential property.

What is a website (infographic)
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Website Address

Every residence needs an address that is normally located along some sort of roadway. On the internet highway, your domain name is your website address, technically known as a Uniform Resource Locator (URL), which is located along this particular highway. When traveling the world wide web (www) internet users can be viewed as passengers who travel within a vehicle called a web browser.

www construction website building concept

A website browser is a software application such as Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome used to access information across the web. Just like a windshield, a URL address bar of an internet browser allows users to access your website directly, but they can also use a software system known as a search engine such as Google, Yahoo, or Bing. Search engines act much like a GPS satellite that searches for the most useful information to the users as they travel across the web. Check out my blog article on the Top 3 Search Engines that you can use for FREE business listings because even if you don't have a website, you can still promote your local business across the web.

Website Backend

Imagine traveling along the internet highway and you see a physical lot that the house sits on. In the world wide web, this physical lot is the server. Your website host is where your domain name of your website is parked much like the land lot of a house. The server is a physical location of all the files and folders maintained by your hosting provider like Godaddy or InMotion. Similar to the idea of renting land to build a house, you pay the hosting provider to store the files your website.The server is part of the website backend of the website, which relates to anything the user does not see on the front end of the website.

group of technicians with website database

The website backend is a lot like the wiring, plumbing, cable and anything that takes place behind the scenes. The backend of a website usually consists of an application, all of the stored data, the server, and a database. PHP, Ruby, Python, Java,C++, and .Net are examples of server-side languages that can be used to build the application with tools such as MySQL, Oracle, and SQL Server used to locate, save, or modify data and send it to the website user in the form of front-end code.  A backend web developer and/or a content management system like Wordpress, Joomla, MotoCMS, etc., can be pictured as the basement of a house because they maintains the technology of the back end components that allows the front end the of the website to exist.

Front end web design

The front end of a website is like the interior and exterior of the house. Like the front entry of your home the homepage of a website sets the tone for the users when they first visit at your  website. Every home is organized into clearly defined rooms for a certain purpose. The kitchen is used to prepare meals, the bedrooms are used to sleep in, the living room is used for relaxing, and so one but you get the idea. Similarly, each page of a website has a specific purpose. Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) is the structure used to define the purpose of the web pages like the structure of a house.


To take it a step further, in every room of a house, there is  usually furniture and electrical appliances. For a website, these things are the HTML elements, which are the building blocks used to tag or label the page content such as the "header", “footer”, “body”,  "paragraph", "table", and so on.  Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) describes how the HTML elements are displayed and JavaScript describes how the web pages behave. For most professional websites today, Frameworks like Bootstrap, Foundation, Backbone, AngularJS, and EmberJS are standard which guarantees content that can fit to any device any device, as well as libraries such as jQuery and LESS, that package code into a form that is more useful by saving time in website development and the website's performance.

What makes a good website?

When it comes to buying a website or hiring a web developer to create one, just like buying a house, you want it to have a nice front end web design along with all the must have features. At the same time, it's just as important to have your website backend to function well like the piping and wiring of a house. 

www against a blue background

It makes no difference how beautiful your furniture, and flooring are if there’s a leaky roof when it's raining. That’s why it’s critical to guarantee that your house, like a website has a good structure. Do you know the how the structure of your website holds up? Request a free site analysis at any time from us at any time to see where your website stands.