Understanding the Internet and Websites
By Marshall Turner
was designed from the ground up to give non-technical people
an easy-to-use system to create and manage their internet
presence. Even though we have taken the complexity out of
website creation, there is terminology and concepts that
you need to understand in order to be comfortable with discussing
This article will explain some of the terms and concepts
you will encounter and how they relate to WebforAuthors.
These explanations are general in scope and are intended
to familiarize rather than be definitive.
Domain and Subdomains
A domain is the address or name of a website. An example
of a domain is webforauthors.com. One use of a domain is
for a website (e.g. http://www.webforauthors.com).
This type of address is also referred to as a "URL" which
is an abbreviation of "Uniform Resource Locator" - in other
words, an address. The first part of the address (e.g. http)
indicates the protocol to use, with "http" referring to
a web page.
Another use of a domain is for email. An address such as
firstname.lastname@example.org is used to deliver email to the
Subdomains are part of a domain. An example of a subdomain
is our demonstration website http://www.87thseabees.webforauthors.com.
Subdomains are typically used to create separate websites
within a domain.
The WebforAuthors system lets you choose a domain or subdomain
address for your website. For more information on our subscription
plans, see the FAQS/Knowledgbase page located under the
Support menu button.
Top Level Domains
The ".com" part of the domain name is referred to as a top
level domain (or TLD). There are many top level domains
but the ones you are most familiar with are .com, .net,
.gov, .org and .edu. Some top level domains have special
requirements. For example, only governments may use .gov,
only educational organizations may use .edu, and only non-profit
entities may use .org. Each country also has a top level
The .com designation originally meant commercial but has
become the most popular TLD and is used for other than commercial
purposes. Most people want to have a .com address as this
is the most recognized TLD. But as the internet grows in
popularity, the number of registered domains continues to
increase. This may make it difficult to find the name you
When you sign up for the New Domain Plan, the WebforAuthors
system searches to see if the name you chose is available.
If it is, we handle the registration as a part of the subscription
sign up process, making it easy for you.
To get a domain name you need to register (i.e. purchase)
the domain. You can register a domain name only if no one
has already registered the name.
WebforAuthors handles registration of domains with our Domain
Plan. You can also register your domain through many other
registration services. If you purchase your domain through
another registrar, you may use our service by choosing the
Domain Hosting Plan.
Since a subdomain is a part of a domain, the owner of the
domain controls the assignment of these names. There is
no registration process and thus no registration fee. WebforAuthors
offers subdomains with our Subdomain Plan.
Once a new domain is registered, all the name servers on
the internet must be updated with the new domain name. Name
servers are special computers that are used as a directory
to lookup the server on which a domain is hosted. Typically
it takes about 24 hours, but it can take up to 72 hours,
for a new domain to be updated in all the name servers.
Until the name servers are updated the new domain cannot
be found and you will get an error (server cannot be found,
etc.) if you try to go to that address.
Once you have a domain you will need a hosting service.
This is simply the web server (i.e. computer) on which your
web site exists. Obviously the web server must be connected
to the internet and should be reliable and fast. You can
pay a little to a lot for hosting depending on your needs.
Basically there are two types of hosting: shared and dedicated.
A shared hosting service means you share the server with
other websites. A dedicated hosting service means you have
your own server. A shared service will be much less expensive
than a dedicated service.
WebforAuthors uses advanced dedicated servers housed in
a secure, underground facility that has its own backup power
generators and redundant connections to the internet. This
provides for a fast, reliable system to host your website.
Because you share our servers with other WebforAuthors subscribers
we can offer our services and tools for a low annual fee.
Creating a Website
Once you have a name and hosting your website is up and
running. But until you put web pages on your server there
is nothing to see. The WebforAuthors system is the easiest
way to create your web pages. If you are doing this on your
own, you will need to use software that can create a web
page. Two of the most popular programs are Macromedia Dreamweaver
and Microsoft FrontPage, although even Microsoft Word can
create a web page. The popular programs give you much more
control than an application like Word.
A web page typically contains graphics and text. You create
graphics using software such as Macromedia Fireworks and
Adobe Illustrator. You create your text using a word processor.
Take both of these and combine them using Dreamweaver, or
other web page software, to create the actual web page.
This gives you a basic or "brochure" web page. Create as
many pages as you want and link them using a menu or simple
links. Once you are satisfied with the page, upload it to
your web server using FTP (File Transfer Protocol - a method
of moving files from one system to another).
To get advanced features such as those included with WebforAuthors,
you need to get into programming and databases. By building
a powerful system focused on ease-of-use, WebforAuthors
has eliminated the complexity of web page creation. Easy,
fast and powerful, we give you control over the content
and take away the headaches of design, graphics creation
Content and Content Management
Content is simply the text and graphics that make up a web
page. A CMS is a software tool that lets you easily make
changes to the content without needing web page software.
The WebforAuthors system includes a CMS focused on the specific
needs of authors.
A mailing list is used to collect email addresses and other
information from visitors to your web site. A visitor to
your web site can sign up for mailing lists that you offer.
You may want to offer a mailing list to notify visitors
of bookstore appearances, book updates or news about you
as an author.
The WebforAuthors system allows you to add mailing lists
to your web site. When someone signs up, they receive an
email notifying them that they have signed up. If the sign
up is in error, there is a link which will remove their
name. Their information is stored on our servers in a database.
Your account provides you with tools to manage these lists
by adding, changing or removing sign ups. These are your
private lists, they are not accessible by any other author.
Newsletters are emails that contain news. The WebforAuthors
system includes a newsletter tool that lets you send newsletters
to people on your mailing lists. Keep your fans updated
on book signings, appearances and special promotions with
newsletters. Use them carefully so your fans look forward
to getting news from you.
A forum is an online discussion board. Visitors can post
message and carry on an online conversation. WebforAuthors
provides you with your own private forum. Visitors to your
forum must sign up before they can post. We email a password
to their email address which they will use to sign in and
post messages. Anyone can read the postings.
The internet can be a powerful tool in helping an author
succeed. WebforAuthors is focused on providing a comprehensive
system specific to the needs of authors. We encourage feedback
and suggestions from our authors to help us better meet