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DEFINITIONS:

URL: The Uniform Resource Locator is the name of a web resource that you would like to access. For web browsing applications, the URL will refer to the website you would like to visit. A URL for web purposes normally takes the form of "http://www.MyDomain.com" and is commonly called a web address or website address. For most browsers, the http:// and the www are optional.

IP ADDRESS: This is the Internet Protocol (IP) address used to identify and locate servers, computers or devices connected to the Internet. In order for any two devices to communicate, they need to know each others IP address as the IP address will be used by the Internet to route the data properly. A device can be a web server, email server, a PC or any other electronic system that connects to the Internet. An IP address takes the form of four numbers separated by dots. Each number can range from 0 to 255. Examples of IP addresses include:

• 209.73.186.248 (www.yahoo.com)
• 192.20.5.55 (www.att.com)

DOMAIN NAME: The domain name is simply the name chosen by the website owners to access their website. It commonly is the name of their business (like Microsoft or Yahoo) but could also be more descriptive such as MyBestPhotos. The domain name can be upper or lower case letters, numbers, or dashes. The name cannot contain spaces.

Domain names are not case sensitive so MyBestPhotos is the same as mybestbestphotos. A domain name will have a suffix such as .com, .us, or .org. The .com extension is the most popular. In some cases, the .com extension for the domain you would like to use has already been reserved so the other extensions provide additional options.

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Understanding the Web

So what happens when you type www.google.com into your web browser software? Consider the figure below.

  1. When you type a web address (or URL - Uniform Resource Locator) of a website into your Internet browser, your browser must first determine the Internet Protocol (IP) address of the server hosting the website you want to see. To do this, the browser will first send a message to a domain name server (DNS) which will look at the domain name of the web address and provide back to the browser the appropriate IP address for the server used to host the website.
  2. The browser can then send a request to retrieve the website files from the server that is hosting that website. The web hosting server will then transfer to the browser all the files needed to display the website (which may take some time depending upon the speed of the Internet connection) and the browser will display the website.

These two steps are important since everyone with a website must enable each of these steps in order for your website to be displayed. For step 1 above, you need to register your domain name with a domain name registrar so that the domain name server system will recognize your domain name. For step 2, you need to contract with a web hosting service so that your website files can be loaded onto a web hosting server. Your domain name registrar can be a different company than your web hosting service.

How the Interwork Works

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