After a brief discussion with everyone yesterday we decided to create a new series of posts called “Web Basics.” We agreed that we needed to take a step back for you, our friends and family, and stop talking about all this technical stuff. Web people have a habit of using web speak. I suppose, like most professions, we use the slang and acronyms pertaining to our industry; but we know this doesn’t help. It only succeeds in turning your eyes into the back of your heads and gets you frustrated…
Well no more!
So, what is a website?
I think a website can really be explained on two fundamental levels, the literal and the potential. For now lets concentrate on the literal. A website is literally a collection of information beamed to you through the Internet and reassembled through a host of very complicated processes (most of which we won’t get into). It is a series of codes, written in a language your computer can understand, that is automatically assembled revealing the pretty boxes and do-hickey’s you see on screen.
F!@(), Zach! You promised you wouldn’t use any of those fancy acronyms…
Yes, I know, but wait…. (I like to talk to myself)
Websites are a lot like any physical building or construction project. You have a base, a foundation of cement and steel beams on top of which you layer design elements. On top of the cement foundation and vertical wooden planks you add drywall, paint, molding, pictures, etc. Additionally, components are added to allow you to interact with the building. Doors are bolted on, windows are added, allowing light and entry into your new building.
Websites are just like buildings.
And finally, the backend code for any website really just spits out the XHTML, you can think of it as the mixer of the cement that will be used as the base or foundation.