How Websites Work
To help our clients understand the nature of our services, we would like to present a few common facts about websites and how they work.
A website is a collection of files that, when assembled together, can construct a web page. Typically, these website files reside on a separate server computer that can respond to requests you send from your browser. When you type in a website’s name into your browser’s address bar you are actually requesting a set of files to be sent from the server computer to your local computer. Your browser interprets these files and constructs the web page that you see in front of you.
A domain name refers to an address on the internet such as getfoundeugene.com or facebook.com. While domains can have many different endings such as .com, .org, or .net, they all accomplish the same objective which is to point to a certain location on the web. Much like how your home address points to the location of your house, a domain points to the location of your website.
When you purchase a domain name, you are reserving it to point to the location where your website lives. Domains typically run from around $15-25 per year and can be purchased from a variety of websites such as GoDaddy or NetSource.
In order for a website to be sent to your computer’s browser, a program called a web server is required. A web server responds to requests made from other computers and sends out web pages. While you can install a server and run a website from your own computer, hosting services offer data storage to store your website as well as advanced features to help make your site more accessible. A web hosting service also has the ability to back up your data, provide email features, and keep everything secure. For this reason, it is highly recommended that you use a hosting service to run your website.
Your internet browser, computer, and internet service provider all cache or store the information telling them where a domain name lives. A domain name has name-servers that match the domain together with the IP address where the data resides. As you switch servers, the domain name stays the same but the name-servers and the IP address will change. It sometimes takes 2 – 48 hours for this change to propagate across the Internet.
When you purchase a domain such as getfoundeugene.com, you can choose to add additional content or other websites to the same domain but in a separate location. A sub-directory such as getfoundeugene.com/blog references a specific sub-folder after the domain name. A sub-domain such as blog.getfoundeugene.com uses a prefix in front of the domain name to retrieve content from another sub-folder.
For the most part, this can be attributed to one or two things.
1. Your browser has cached or stored an older version of the page. It does this to improve performance but can sometimes cause undesirable effects. Fortunately, this can be resolved by cleaning your browser’s cache. To flush this cache you can do a “hard refresh”, which on Windows is usually ctrl+f5 (command + R on Mac) or you can delete your browser cache/cookies in the browser’s settings. Also, Restarting your browser and computer will often solve a cache issue.
2. It is possible that you might be using a different Internet browser.
Currently, we recommend Google Chrome as it is very fast and minimalistic. Another excellent browser is Mozilla Firefox, and it comes with more add-ons than you can imagine. Apple’s Safari is also a simple yet modern browser.
For the most part, we strongly recommend against using Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. While Version 9 had some improvements, Versions 6,7, and 8 all have severe issues with web standards and do not display sites correctly. The older versions also have security risks. If you must use IE, at least use the latest version. Currently, Microsoft is releasing it’s replacement for Internet Explorer, Project Spartan.
Your IP address is a unique number that identifies your computer on the Internet. Most of the time, it looks like 22.214.171.1246. To find the IP address you are currently using, such search for “Whats my IP Address” on Google. Your IP address will be different when you are on different Internet connections. Likewise, if you go to a coffee shop you will have a totally different IP than at work.
As an open source project established in 2003, WordPress is a free website building tool that offers a rich user interface for non-programmers. With a diverse community of developers around the world, WordPress has tons of available features, often for free! Unlike several other competing platforms that have come and gone in popularity, WordPress is here to stay. Again, with very limited programming knowledge, users can update their websites manually without having to code anything at all.
WordPress is currently used on 15% of the top million websites, including top fortune 500 companies such as Ford, Best Buy, Nikon, Samsung, Wired, Southwest Airlines, TechCrunch, and Network solutions.
While Google’s SEO recommendations are made available to the public, many web developers attempt to get better rankings by manipulating Google’s page ranking system using practices that might not be ethical. This is known as Black Hat SEO. White hat SEO refers to practices that are inline with Google’s policies. These practices are encouraged by Google and straight forward and ethical. At Get Found, we follow White Hat SEO practices to ensure that your ranking will never be penalized by Google.
Unfortunately, the SEO industry is filled with many scam artists that will promise you #1 rankings and tell you that your current SEO is weak. They may also charge monthly fees for “on going SEO” without providing any service of any kind. A sizable portion of these email submissions are automatically sent by bots.
At Get Found, we’re very transparent about how we handle Search Engine Optimization. No gimmicks or false promises. Everything we do is by the book according to SEO best practices. If someone is sending you emails promising #1 rankings and fast SEO results, they are likely not a reputable business.
To provide the most accurate and relevant results, Google tailors its search results specifically to each user. Using your IP address’s location, they provide results specific to your geographic location. They also personalize your search results based on your social connections in your Google plus account. This second factor illustrates how social media influences search ranking.