A website can easily be broken down into three parts. Before we proceeded, it’s important to know that underneath a website, there are several moving interconnected components that make it work. Over time, many of these features and functions have been automated, simplified to the end user, making it even easier than ever before to create a website. But what exactly a website comprises is something many people take for granted that we think it’s important for people to understand.
At the core, a website is broken down into three parts: a host, an application, and a domain. One analogy we can use is that of a house. A house can be broken down into three parts. There is the land or property that the house is on (the host), there is the structure itself (the application), and an address or sign (the domain). These are the basic components that make up a house.
Part 1: The domain
As stated above, the domain is your website address and or sign. It is broken into two parts: a name and an Ip address. Using our house analogy, the domain name is like the street name, and the IP address is equivalent to the geographic longitude and latitude of the property (hosting provider). But an address requires a location, so that is where the web host comes in.
Part 2: The host
The web host is the company that provides you with the land to build your website. Like with any type of property you can pay upfront and own it, you can lease it, you can rent it, you can share it e.g. And that is really all a web host is. In that, they provide the infrastructure for you to host your website. When you purchase space from a web host, they provide you with an IP address your domain points to. So your domain is the address, and it’s now pointing to host or the land for your website, which leads us to the last part, which is the web application or the building structure.
Part 3: The application
For the web application, this can be as small as a simple basic HTML page to a full-blown CMS like WordPress, Drupal or something custom. Depending on the features you need, and the number of pages, and the traffic of your application will factor what kind of host you will need.
Putting it all together
With that, it comes down to you asking what features you need. Some companies specialize in web hosting and domains, but when it comes down to the application, it’s on you to decide what you want (WordPress, Drupal e.g.) other companies offer all three (domain, hosting, and application) as they realize sometimes people just need to build a website. While other companies focus solely on domains and network infrastructure. As you can see, we have only scratched the surface, but we hope this at least gives you a better understanding of how a website works and what to know when it comes to building a website.