In the previous chapter you learned the basics of XHTML by creating a simple one-page résumé. There’s a lot more you can do to perfect that page, but before going any further it’s worth taking a look at one of the most important pieces of the Web puzzle—getting your pages online.
In this chapter, you start by taking a closer look at how Web servers work. Once you’re armed with these high-tech nerd credentials, you’ll be ready to search for your own Web host—the company that will let you park your site on its Web server. All you need to do is figure out your requirements, see which hosts offer what you need, and start comparison shopping.
As you learned in Chapter 1, the Web isn’t stored on any single computer, and no company owns it. Instead, the individual pieces (Web sites) are scattered across millions of computers (Web servers). Only a subtle illusion makes all these Web sites seem to be part of a single environment. In reality, the Internet is just a set of standards that let independent computers talk to each other.
So how does your favorite browser navigate this tangled network of computers to find just the Web page you want? It’s all in what’s known as the URL (Uniform Resource Locator)—which is simply the Web site address you type into your browser, like www.google.com.
A URL consists of several pieces. Some of them are optional, because a browser or Web server can fill them in automatically. ...