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Web site ingredients
Decisions, decisions, decisions. Whatever web site type you need, there is no fixed recipe for creating it. However, there are some fundamental ingredients that you must have. You can either procure the ingredients yourself or pay an Internet consultant to sort them out for you. These ingredients include a domain name, use of a domain name server, web pages, web server software, web server hardware and a web site strategy document.

Domain Name
The basics:
 The domain name is the combination of characters that follow the '@' symbol in email addresses and the 'www.' in web site addresses
 For example, the BBC web site is found at, where is the domain name.
The details:
 Web sites are viewed using web browsers; Microsoft® Internet Explorer® is currently the most popular web browser.
 A visitor's web browser finds your web site by taking the full name (usually the domain name with www. prepended) and asking another computer, called a Domain Name Server (DNS), to convert it to an Internet Protocol (IP) address; an IP address is a bit like a telephone number, and every computer on the Internet has one.
 The web browser then asks another computer, called a gateway, to fetch the web page from the computer with this IP address.
 Both the DNS and gateway are usually provided by the Internet Service Provider (ISP) that the visitor uses to access the Internet.
 Domain names are registered from Internet Registries - the names cannot be purchased, but for a fee, you can register the right to use the name for a fixed period of time.
 An Internet Registry is a company that has been designated the authority for a particular Top Level Domain (TLD).
 For, the TLD is, which is administered by a Registry called Nominet.
 Nominet does not register domain names directly to the public - they are registered from any company that has paid Nominet a membership fee.
 Domain names can be registered for less than £10 (€15) per year - if your are paying more than £20 (€30) per year, without getting any extra services, then you are paying above the market rate.

Domain Name Server (DNS)
The basics:
 This is a computer that holds a database, which contains a list of domain names and corresponding Internet Protocol (IP) addresses
 The database is a bit like a phone book - domain names are the people and IP addresses are the telephone numbers
 Web servers are identified by their IP address - the whole point of domain names is that people find these easier to remember than the IP addresses
The details:
 The DNS database is spread out in pieces across thousands of Domain Name Servers connected to the Internet
 When a web browser needs to convert a domain name to an IP address, it asks its nearest DNS - if this DNS does not know the answer it knows how to locate the DNS with the relevant bit of the database
 The DNS database entry for your domain name is usually maintained by the company with which you registered the domain name

Web pages
The basics:
 a web site is made up of one or more web pages
 web pages are text files that contain information about the page content and instructions on how a web browser should lay out the content
The details:
 web pages are written in HyperText Markup Language (HTML)
 web pages can be linked to databases, send email, change their content and more if the HTML is combined with other languages
 web pages can be created using a text file editor or What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG - wizzywig) software, which is a bit like publishing layout software - you can even use a word processor, but this usually produces bloated HTML
 you could buy WYSIWYG software and create the pages yourself or employ a web designer to create them for you - the more you want the web site to do the more likely you will need a professional designer
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