HTML and CSS Reference
Hosting Your Web Site
You can save all of your work locally on your own computer, but when it's time to make it available to the
World Wide Web, you need to move those files to a web server. You have a few hosting options if you're
building your own website:
Using web space provided by your ISP: An Internet service provider (ISP) is the company that
connects you to the Internet. Many service providers offer a limited amount of web space where
you can host your own site. Ask your ISP whether web space is included with your service
contract and how you can use it.
Using free web space: Many companies provide free web hosting, though “free” is a relative term
because free web hosts are usually supplemented by advertising. If you're not bothered by such
ads appearing on your website, free hosting may be a quick solution to getting your files online.
Paying for web hosting: Perhaps the best option is to purchase service from a company that
specializes in hosting websites. Many offer hosting packages for as little as $10 (US) per month
and include more robust features than free hosting or ISP hosting provides (such as e-mail
service, server-side scripting, and databases). Research your options, and choose a host that
can meet your needs.
If you opt for paid web hosting, you'll also need to purchase and register a unique domain name to be your
site's address on the Web. Some hosting companies offer domain registration as an included service (and
some domain registrars also offer hosting services), but securing a domain and securing a host are usually
two separate processes.
We won't go into all the particulars of registering a domain and getting your site online with a web host.
After all, this is still the first chapter, and numerous resources online can provide more information. To
learn more about hosting your websites when the time comes, just visit your favorite search engine and
have a look around for information about “web hosting basics” or some similar phrase. One good place to
start is the Wikipedia entry about web hosting service ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_hosting ),
which offers a fairly detailed introduction to set you on your way.
Introducing the URL
Every file or document available on the Web resides at a unique address called a Uniform Resource
Locator (URL). The term Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) is sometimes used interchangeably with URL,
though URI is a more general term; a URL is a type of URI. We'll be using the term URL in this topic to
discuss addressed file locations. It's this address that allows a web-connected device to locate a specific
file on a specific server in order to download and display it to the user (or employ it for some other
purpose; not all files on the Web are meant to be displayed).