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A Website in Plain English

You could compare a website to a shop window. Its somewhere, where you can show things to other people, generally in order to sell them, although it does not have to be.

In order to set up a shop window for other people to see, you need three things:

  1. You need a window display
  2. You need a shop to put your window display in
  3. That shop needs a physical address so that people can find it.

Similarly, your website needs three things:

  1. There is the website itself, which is analagous to the window display.
  2. You need somewhere to host the website. That is analogous to the shop.
  3. You need a website address so that people can find it.

Let’s talk about each of these points, but we will do it in reverse order, starting with a Website Address.

Website Address (otherwise known as Domain Name)


Your website needs an address to let people find it. For example, Typically website addresses are a string of letters followed by, or .com or in fact many other alternative extensions.

You need to register your address with a domain registrar, who will charge an annual fee. The domain registrar will check that the address is unique and quote the cost, which is usually heavily discounted for the first year. If your chosen address is not unique (i.e. it has already bee taken by someone) then the domain registrar will offer alternative similar addresses.

Examples of domain registrars include, 123 Reg or GoDaddy. Go ahead and click on one of the links, enter your chosen address, and see how much it costs. You could go to a review site and look for a domain registrar there, such as UK Web Host Review.

Website Host

Server Rack

The Website Host is the computer on which your website runs. Hosting companies operate lots of computers and ensure that they are always running, so that when anyone goes to look at your website, they will be sure to always find it. They also offer services such as regular backups and security scanners.

If you choose WordPress as a platform for your website, then many hosting companies offer streamlined installation of WordPress and streamlined software updates.

The Website Itself

Now that you have the address and the shop to house your window display, you need to think about how to build it. There are a number of website builders you could use. For example, WixWeeblySquareSpace. They are fairly easy to use and may seem like a good idea in the short term. However, you will find that they turn out to be quite expensive after the first year. Price was one of the factors that encouraged me to learn more about WordPress.

WordPress is Open Source and therefore free to use. Its also used by 35% of the websites on the Internet. There is a learning curve involved, but its well worth the effort.

If you need some help getting up to speed, do get in touch.

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