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Dummy's Guide

Don't know the difference between a server and a domain name? Here's a few clues.

Domain Name

A domain name is something like "google.co.uk". If you put "www" in front of it (www.google.co.uk), it becomes the address of a website. If you put a name and an "@" in front of it (johnsmith@google.co.uk), that turns it into an email address. Domain names have to be bought on an annual basis from an national or international registrar.

A domain name on it's own doesn't give you a web site. You also need a server.

Server

A server is a computer on which web pages live. When you type "www.google.co.uk" into your web browser, your computer asks Google's server to send it a web page.

server roomFor a big website, the server might be a giant room full of machinery with lots of flashing lights. But a small server can just be an ordinary PC with the right software and a few other bits and bobs.

Most internet service providers (e.g. BT, TalkTalk, NTL) give you some "webspace", which means you can put your web pages onto their server.

Website

A website is a bunch of web pages (like the one you're reading right now) that someone's collected together, put onto a server and given a domain name.