Web 101





The term domain refers to a website address or URL, without the “http://www.” A domain can be any combination of letters, numbers and hyphens up to 64 characters, including the domain name extension. Here’s where it gets complicated: a domain does not exist until it has been registered. This may sound strange, but it makes sense. It wouldn’t be feasible to have a bank of every possible combination of numbers and letters from which a person could select a domain.

When a person decides they want a website, he must first see if the domain has been registered. If it hasn’t, he chooses a registrar and registers the domain there. If the domain is already registered he can attempt to purchase the domain from the current registrant. The registrant has all the power in this situation and can choose to refuse to sell the domain, or sell it for as much money as he likes. The exchange of domain for money is not overseen by any governing body, it is a personal and private deal, and must be undertaken carefully. Often times engaging an escrow service is the best method to ensure that you will get what you’re paying for.

The other often confusing aspect of a domain is how a person takes possession of one. You cannot buy a domain, what you do is register it. In order to exist a domain has to be registered with a registrar. Registrars typically charge a yearly registration fee. If you stop paying the fee, the domain expires and someone else can buy it.

Domain name extension

The  combination of letters preceded by a domain and a period is called the domain name extension, and serves to help organize the millions of domains that exist. Originally there were only three: .gov for the US government, .mil for the US military, and .edu for educational institutions. .Com, .net and .org quickly followed for public use. At this point hundreds of domain name extensions exist.


URL, or “earl” means uniform resource locator. It is the full website address for any website. Our URL is http://www.KateSites.com


A registrar is an entity that administers domain registrations. When you decide that you want to register a domain you go to a registrar who checks with a central authority to see if any other registrar has registered the domain you want. If not, they say to that central authority, “we are registering it, and the registrant is this person, now don’t let anyone else register this domain.” Typically registrars also provide hosting services.

Hosting, Storage & Bandwidth

Once you’ve registered your domain, you need to sign up for hosting. A hosting company has nearly unlimited storage and bandwidth, and charges its customers based on how much of each they use. Hosting is creating a digital home for your website on a server. Storage is how many square feet you’ve got, and bandwidth is how many visitors you have each day. So, a small, text-based site with no graphics requires very little storage. If 20 million people read the text daily, that site would use a lot of bandwidth.

Web server

A web server is very simply where the folders that hold content are housed. Picture a room, alive with the hum of hundreds of computers, filled with folders that are rented by people who have registered domains.


A Domain Name Server has the very specific job of directing the internet to look in the proper folder on the proper host’s servers when a person types in the corresponding domain name. So, when you type “KateSites.com” into the website address bar in your browser, the DNS that has been assigned to our domain creates a path through the internet to connect you to the folder on the server that houses all the content for our website.


FTP means file transfer protocol, which refers to the process by which files are uploaded from point a: your hard drive, a disc, etc, to point b: folders on hosting servers.


Internet Service Provider is the company you pay for access to the internet: Verizon, TimeWarner, ComCast, etc.

HTML, Javascript, Flash

Html is short for Hyper Text Markup Language. HTML is the “language” of the internet. It is used to create everything you see when you go to a website. Unless you are creating website content by writing html code, html isn’t something you need to understand in depth. Javascript and Flash are alternatives to html.

We hope you’ve gained a little insight into the wide world of “computer-speak”. Let us know if there’s more you’d like to know!

If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?

The internet can be thought of in much the same way, it doesn’t exist when you’re not using it. What does exist are servers where information is stored. When a person types in a website address, a system of virtual tubes connect the internet-browser with folders sitting on giant server-computers. And in those folders is content that you see as pages on a website.

Often times when trying to make sense of how the web works, we get bogged down by tech-speak terms that don’t mean anything to us. Below are a handful of terms that KateSites finds themselves using a lot, and what they really mean.

Websites made simple.