Infrastructure of a website Mom, where do websites come from?

Before you can publish a website on the Internet, you need to set up some things. The following illustrates the structure of a website that uses a registered domain name.

Domain names are unique
and cannot be duplicated.
They are a business asset
and can be bought and sold.
You cannot register a name
that belongs to a registered trademark.

Server 1 *)
Domains are registered into a world-wide database.
Make sure you have ownership of your domains.
Owners have access to the registrar’s server (via an account) to control how domains are used.
When a domain is pointed to a web hosting service it becomes the website’s address.
Domain names can be moved from one Registrar to another
Server 2 *)
Websites need server space to be seen on the internet. Web hosting services rent out space on their servers.
It’s important to know what a hosting provider offers with their service, and how reliable and consistent the service is.
A website becomes ‘live’ when the domain points to the hosting server.
Websites can be moved from one hosting service to another.
Server 3 *)
Email servers are separate from any other Internet setup. You can create email addresses using your domain.
Yahoo, Gmail, or Hotmail are ‘anonymous’ email servers and are not associated with any other domain name.
Once an email address is set up on the email server it can be used instantly.
Email addresses CANNOT easily be moved, only re-set up on a new server. Email archives may be lost.

*) A server is a computer or computer program that manages access to a centralized resource or service in a network.

You don’t need a domain to have a website

If you want a website you need a web address (also called URL: uniform resource locator). However, you don’t have to register a domain name. You can use online services such as (free), (free), or (paid). Those services create a web address for you by combining your business name with their domain name.

Beware of one-click wonders

The most important thing to be aware of is that the infrastructure for a website and email services is not created automatically, or with just one click.

  • A domain does not exist until a unique domain name is registered.
  • A website does not exist without having at least one page set up on a host server.
  • An email address does not exist without having been set up on an email (POP, SMTP, IMAP) server.

The above is the most likely infrastructure for a simple self-hosted static website. A basic, standard setup.

In most cases many more variables are involved. The timing or sequence of setting these services up is important, and, depending on the complexity of the planned website, additional services may be needed, such as secure sockets, shopping carts, merchant accounts, databases, and more.

CompuScribe Communication Design can help you with the set-up of these services, move domains or existing websites to new servers/services, and set up email addresses. CCD keeps track of all logins and makes sure that the ownership of these services are clearly yours.

Request an analysis of your online assets and and how they could be improved.