Since you made it to this page and you’re readying this I am going to take it that you already know what a website is. However you may be a little confused on How a Website actually works, I am going to make this as simple as possible to give you an idea of how websites work.
Let’s start with Domain Names, a domain name is simply the address (URL) to the website, for example the Domain Name for (this website) is www.hrpointconsulting.com. You should be able to see this from the top of your browser. Another example would be www.Google.com, I’m guessing that most of you know what Google is. Simply put a Domain Name is the Link to a website, you could think of a Domain Name as a Street Address. To learn more about Domain Names check out the article on “Choosing A Good Domain Name”.
Without trying to confuse you I just want to mention why Domain Names are actually used. When you are connected to the internet your computer is identified using an IP Address (computers basically do everything using numbers), an IP address generally looks something like 322.214.171.124, four sets of 3 numbers.
Domain Name Server (DNS)
Now that you know what a Domain Name is let’s take a look at the role of a Domain Name Server. Domain Name Server is usually shortened to DNS so from now on when you see DNS I am referring to a Domain Name Server. The operation of a DNS is never really seen or known of, since they work in the background. When you enter a domain name like www.google.com into your browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome, Etc) that Domain Name is first sent to a DNS, the DNS will then tell your Browser the actually IP address for that Domain Name.
Now let’s look at how the website is actually displayed on the monitor in front of you. As you may know every website is made up of multiple files, these files need to be stored somewhere so that anyone on the internet can access them. This is where Website Hosting comes in, Website Hosting is basically a computer that is always on that holds all the files for a website and is connected to the Internet.
Using the IP Address from the DNS your browser can then locate the computer which has all the files for the Domain Name (Website) you are trying to view. I’ll try and give an example to help make sense;
Say you enter www.google.com into your browser address bar, your browser will then ask a Domain Name Server what the IP Address for www.google.com is. The DNS will then replay saying the IP Address for www.google.com is 126.96.36.199. Your browser will now use this IP Address to locate the computer that contains all the files for www.google.com. Now www.google.com (188.8.131.52) will send your browser the appropriate files needed to display Google on your computer.
Hopefully this does help you better understand the basics behind how websites work.