Blog is short for Web-Log. It is a common model for websites in which information is arranged on a timeline – like a personal journal. Most blog’s are arranged in reverse chronological order – from the most recent item (displayed first) to the oldest (displayed last). This model is useful for time-related content such as news or a personal journal.
A browser is a software that knows how to interpret and present web-pages. You are viewing this web-page with a browser. My favorite and recommended browser is Mozilla Firefox.
CMS stands for Content Management System. It is a broad name used to describe software application that are used for organizing and usually publishing content online. WordPress is an example of a CMS that is predispositioned for content that is arranged on a timeline – like blogs.
CSS stands for cascading style sheets. It is a kind of programming language that is used by web designers to add visual design to the content that is found in web-pages. All the font sizes, colors and even the layout of this web-page are programmed in CSS. CSS makes it possible to change the look of your WordPress blog (without making any changes to it’s content) using themes.
The Internet is a vast network of web-servers that serve web-sites. For this to work each server is assigned a unique IP address by which it is known. IP addresses are number sequences that are not very people friendly. Therefore the Internet operates a system called DNS (Domain Name System) – it is kind of like the “yellow pages of the internet”. A domain is a unique textual name like “mywebsite.com” which you can purchase and register as your own. When you do it automatically becomes listed in the “yellow pages” of the internet so that everyone can find it.
This listing includes information such as your contact information and some technical details. One of the technical details is the actual IP address of the server where your website is stored. When someone tries to access your website by typing “www.mywebsite.com” – the browser automatically looks it in the “yellow pages”, retrieves the IP address of the web-server and then contacts it and asks for the homepage of your website.
When you reach a web-server it shows you one web-page, a first page – this first web-page is called the Home-page . Usually it has some information on it and links that you can click. Those links point to other web-pages. Sometimes links point to other web-pages on the same web- server, sometimes they point to web-pages on other web-servers. For example:
- this-link will take you to a web-page on this web-server that contains an article I wrote about WordPress.
- this-link will take you to the another server – one that has lot’s of web-pages about WordPress itself.
Hosting is the term used to describe a storage space for web-sites on the internet. The simplest way to think of it is as computer that you rent for your web-site. A “host” is a web-server that contains the software and information required to run your web-site – it “hosts” your website. Hosting computers operate in data-centers which are designed to operate 24 hours a day with fast internet connectivity and reliable infrastructures (security, backups, electricity, etc.). There are various types of hosting services available online.
HyperText-Markup Language – HTML is essentially a standard method of arranging information to be published on the Internet. It makes it possible for me to create this page using diverse software tools and for you to read it using almost a web-browser of your choosing. It has two key core features: (1) the ability to provide descriptive (markup) information about the contents of a web-page (such as headings, paragraphs, sections, quotations, emphasis, etc.); (2) the ability to create links from one page to another using URL‘s.
The most basic function in a computer network is the ability for computers to communicate with one another. To achieve this each computer needs to have unique identification (like a social security number). A unique identification acts like an address to which communications can be sent. All communications sent to a specific address will be delivered to the computer associated with that address. The addressing system used to identify and address computers on the internet is called Internet Protocol. An IP Address is therefore a unique address for a computer on the internet. It is a sequence of dot-separated numbers that looks something like 123.456.78.9. If you are reading this then it is very likely your computer has an IP address to.
A Post is a name commonly used to refer to an entry in a blog. The most common characeristic of Posts is that they have a publish date and time which places them on a timeline in relationship to others posts.
A WordPress Theme is like an outfit for your WordPress website – it contains information that tells WordPress how your website should appear and function for visitors. Besides your content, your Theme is what makes your blog visually unique and special. Technically speaking you have to have a theme – without it your blog would be invisible. When WordPress is installed it comes with a standard built in Theme. You can add more Themes to your WordPress installation and decide “which one you want to wear”. Or you can have a theme custom-tailored for your website.
URL stands for Uniform Resource Locator. It is a technical term used to describe a “place” on the internet. Most “places” on the internet are Web-pages. Every web-page in the world has a unique identifier (pretty amazing if you think about it) – this is it’s URL.
URL’s are generally made of two parts. The first is usually the name of the web-server. The second part usually comes after the web-server name and points the web-server to the unique page within it. For example.
- “www.iamronen.com/category/yoga” will lead you to a page that contains a list of yoga-related web-pages.
- “www.iamronen.com/contact” will lead you to page that has a contact form you can use to send me a message.
When you look at a website (like this one) you are actually only seeing half of the picture. For example it contains information that tells it that if you click here it should open a new window and show you another Web-page which has some information about me. You don’t see all that information, but it’s there. If you hear some technica+l people talking about “HTML” – that’s the language in which web-pages are written. The reason you are not seeing HTML is because the web-browser application you are using to view this page hides all the information you don’t need to see and only shows you what makes sense to you.
Web-pages are sent to you from another computer. When you type in a web address (called a URL) such as “www.iamronen.com” into your web-browser you are actually telling it to go to a computer that’s connected to the internet, it can be anywhere in the world, and ask it to show you what is on it. That computer is called a web-server. It is called that because it’s job is to serve you web-pages! Makes sense. Somewhere out there is a Web-Server which has been told to answer when you ask for “www.iamronen.com”.
Now it’s pretty easy to answer that question – it’s a collection of web-pages that exist on a web-server. You probably already knew that instinctively, but now we have a few basic terms to communicate some more about websites and WordPress.