Monday, April 8, 2013

Websites & Blogs – OH MY!! Part 1: WEB Vocabulary and Basics

One of the first items on a writer’s To Do list is to set up a website and blog. Establishing a presence on the web is one way to put  your name before the public, make connections with other authors and potential publishers, and attract readers who will buy your books. Today’s post  is not meant to dis Twitter or Facebook. All are part of the big picture. Webpages, however, are not generally something people set up casually for use with friends, like Twitter or Facebook. So for my next three month, we’ll talk webpages and blogs.

The first questions about a webpage are:  What is it? and What is it going to cost me? A Web page is a document written in HTML (hypertext markup language) and meant to be viewed on the internet in a Web browser, such as Internet Explorer or Firefox.  

You're sitting at your computer with your browser open (I use Internet Explorer.). You see the address – URL (uniform resource locator) – of content you would like to read. Clicking the link or typing in the URL address into the browser sends a message to a web server [a computer with a program installed that hosts webpage content which can include scripts, style sheets or images (ex GoDaddy)]. That server  returns the content (website or whatever) that you requested to your computer.  Basically it’s like this:                                  

Your computer‘s browser Sends a request for content  to a Web server/Host THEN the Web server/Host Returns (Transfers) the content requested  back to your computer's browser. 

BTW, the http:// in the URL address stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol is the data transfer protocol used on the world wide web (www). Https is the SECURE protocol in which the data is encrypted and verified.  Institutions, such as Banks and PayPal, that need secure connections to conduct business, shell out the extra money to keep their communications and data secure.

So as a newbie setting up a webpage you will need a computer with a browser installed, an address (URL) for your webpage, and a webserver/host that will host your website. Your computer should already have a browser that doesn’t cost you anything.  

 Next Month, Hosting and Domain Names. Rita Bay


Julie Eberhart Painter said...

Very important stuff. I've had a website for 4 years, but want to discontinue it in August and create a blog. Is that possible?

Rita Bay said...

Thanks for commenting, Julie. Yes, you can do it but don't be surprised if you get grief from the company. Your domain name is yours and you can roll it over to a blog like Wordpress. There is a small fee but the cost savings can be significant. Rita

Julie Eberhart Painter said...

Isn't there always a little fee...?

Liz Fountain said...

Maybe it's just me, but I think the lines between web site and blog are already blurring, and might be gone soon. At least in the public perception. The "guts behind the scenes" might stay distinct, but readers won't notice the difference, much. Maybe?