Sherpa Digital News
What is a Website? A basic intro for beginners
What is a Website? A basic intro for beginners
By James Sharpe
What is a Website? A basic intro for beginners

What is a website and how does it work?

Before getting into the details of a what is a website and how does it work, you’ll need to get up to speed on some of the basic definitions of the main elements that make up a website.

In a simple scenario, there are two main bits to a website.. these are..

  • Web Server
  • Domain

Web Server (Hosting)

The Web Server is essentially a computer, or a server (probably in a data center, often referred to as ‘cloud’), where all the information about the website is stored.  This includes the website files and database, as well as running the software that powers your website (web server, database server, WordPress, for example).  When a visitor goes to visit a website, it’s the Web Server that ‘serves’ this information to the visitor.


The Domain is the name of the website.. ie., www.yourdomainname.com.au.  The domain name, often aligned with the business name, allows visitors to have a memorable way to visit your site when needed.  When a visitor (on their home computer or device) types in or clicks a link to your domain, the domain name ‘resolves’ the IP address (IP address, or Internet Protocol, is a number given to every computer or device connected to the internet).  Whenever a visitor puts the domain in to visit, they’ll be directed over the internet to the web server hosting the website.

How websites work

As mentioned above, the files and database of the website are stored on the hosting.  When a visitor goes to your website via their browser, it’s the website that’s going to do the work to present this to the visitor.

The website files must be stored on reliable hosting that is secure and performs well.  Having poor performing hosting can cause problems for your website, and if the site and hosting isn’t maintained you could end up losing your website, all for the sake of saving a few dollars.

Why have a website and what can it do

Most businesses these days have a website.  You’ll see the website of a business on most advertising products (brochures, flyers, business cards), as well as email signature files.  A website also serves as a front end marketing potential for your business.  You can show off your brand and your products, as well as provide information to potential clients about what you do.

You can also have website visitors provide information to you via contact forms on the website, purchase your products (with an eCommerce site), and provide downloadable content to your visitors.

How to create a website

There are many ways to create a website, and many different tools to be able to perform this task.  If you are after a simple website and have the initiative, time and creativity then you can create a website yourself.  Many business owners have a go at creating their first website, and then as the business grows they have the opportunity to invest in a professional website development agency to take their website to the next level.  If you are looking to have quite a custom website to begin with, then you are best to look for a professional website developer


In summary, this article should have given you a high level overview of the basic components of a website and how it all fits together.  Are you ready to take the next steps with getting your website or do you have any questions?  Please feel free to get in touch with Sherpa Digital and we’ll be glad to assist.

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Sherpa Digital are a leading Website Design and Management business in Melbourne.  We specialise in developing websites for small and medium sized businesses, as well as providing WordPress Maintenance plans and hosting, SEO, Email Marketing and Automation, as well as IT Services for Small and Medium Businesses.

What Our Clients Think

We are very fortunate to have formed excellent partnerships with many of our clients. Here’s what they’re saying about us.

Melanie PayetMelanie Payet
01:41 28 Feb 22
I cant thank James from Sherpa Digital for creating my business website. Not only does it look amazing, James service was 100% fantastic. If your looking for a professional website, look no further and give James a call, you wont be disappointed. Not only is James prompt to replying,he is an easy down to earth guy to work with.
Paula DunnPaula Dunn
01:25 11 Oct 21
There are many in the digital space who claim to be experienced, quality driven professionals, and then there are those who are truly professional, approachable and solution driven. My experience with Sherpa Digital is that of quality, perseverance and solutions that have been tailored to my needs. I highly recommend Sherpa Digital and will continue to use them for all of my digital development needs going forward.
Philippa YoungPhilippa Young
23:18 10 Oct 21
Working with James at Sherpa Digital has been a fantastic experience. Starting with a clear plan and quote, through to the final product it was a smooth and streamlined project. James was always available to discuss any questions, and nothing was too much trouble. James was professional, knowledgeable, flexible and solution focused. I would strongly recommend James for your website and IT needs.
Ness JollyNess Jolly
22:38 24 Jun 21
Thanks for your great work James.I have to say that your professionalism, punctuality and responsiveness to meet our needs is a breath of fresh air.
Elysia ElElysia El
01:18 11 Mar 21
If I could give James six stars I would. I needed some help on a tricky website over the Christmas break and he was helpful, friendly, supportive and responsive – he was happy to explain anything that I didn't understand well (in a non-geeky way). Beyond the knowledge and skills, his interpersonal skills and rapport is great.

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