In the previous chapter you learned the basics of HTML by creating a simple one-page résumé. You can do a lot more to perfect that page, but before going any further, pause a moment to consider one of the most important pieces of the web puzzle: getting your pages online.
In this chapter, you’ll learn how web servers work and how you can put them to work for you. Once you’re armed with these high-tech nerd credentials, you’ll be ready to search for your own web host, a company that lets 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 (websites) are scattered across millions of computers (web servers). Only a subtle illusion makes all these sites seem 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 website address you type into your browser, like www.google.com.
A URL consists of several pieces. Some are optional, because a browser or web server can fill in some blanks automatically. Others are ...