Websites are now center pieces for every businesses and bloggers. News channels splatter ads that tell you to have website of your own business. The website is the face of your company, and plays a vital role in building trust. Since it is closely linked to your identity, its imperative you know the levers that control your website. Having access to all the levers help you in managing your website.These are the things which every website owner must have access to.

Websites, like a house – has a name (domain name), a place (hosting) and things that make it up (content). Domain name is name people type in their browser to reach you. Browser then tries to ascertain your location to establish the contact. Once contact is established then the contents are loaded in browser. But majority focus only on content and loose sight of other things resulting 1 entity having too many names littered across, or zombie domains like problems. Hence lets jump in and understand the various levers that control your website.

The Domain: The 1st Lever that control your website

Domain: The first lever that control your website

The Domain Name is name of your website. If you see this websites name www.harshankola.in – that is the domain name of this site. The “.in” is considered as TLD aka Top Level Domain. There are lots of varieties of TLD’s like .com, .org, .gov, .gov.in, .pk, .cn, .ac.in, .net, .co.in etc… The middle part is called domain and beginning www is called subdomain. If you have domain name as techblog.wordpress.com the TLD will be “.com“, the domain will be “wordpress” and subdomain will be “techblog“.

To register your domain name(ex: google.com, facebook.com) you have to approach domain registrar like Big Rock, Go Daddy etc… The domain names are unique to websites hence while registering the registrar first searches whether the domain name chosen by you is available and not taken by other. For example If you try to register wordpress.com, or google.com facebook.com it will not be available as they are already taken and hence you will not be able register them. if a domain available then only you can proceed to register and buy it. But please do note The domain registrars are  guys who are allowed to sell domains not subdomains. The subdomains are given out by owner of that domain. For example, if you want to register techblog.wordpress.com you need approach “wordpress” to licence the subdomain “techblog” not a domain registrar.

The domain registrar actually rents you domain name for a particular time period to prevent domain squatting. So you need to keep renewing your domain name regularly. Once you register your domain, you need to make sure that domain name actually points to place where your content is hosted. If you had CDN(Content Delivery Network) then you need change things like Nameserver. If you wanted forward the domain to your blogspot or wordpress blog, it requires to changes to DNS records of CNAME, A record etc.. To do all these things related to DNS Server you need access to account you had created with Domain Registrar. So this account of domain registrar is First lever that you need to control your website’s functions. its important you have access to this. Even if you hire new guy to manage your domain, he has to manage via this account only, hence have access to Domain Registrar’s Account.

Hosting: The 2nd Lever that control your website

The hosting service gives you a space to host your website. whenever a person types a name of website, the browser first contacts domain name server to find out hosting server address. Then the browser contacts hosting server, on successful connection it begins loading content from this server.

In hosting there are various types of it namely shared hosting, virtual private server hosting and dedicated server hosting to cater various requirements of the users. In case of shared hosting all the websites hosted by the service provider are stored on same disk and this is cheapest form of hosting too. In case of virtual private server you get access to a virtual machine running on hosting server and this slightly costly as the virtual machine gives you more freedom to do things. In case of dedicated server you are given a full fledged computer to host hence its very expensive.  While selecting hosting plan its also necessary to know max bandwidth and max space allowed for your site. If your website doesn’t plans to have blogs then space required will be least.If many people will visit your site then bandwidth requirement will be higher. Hosting services also provide e-mail services and other features. Creation and management of subdomains are all jobs hosting service itself. The type of operating system on hosting server also matters for the content to be hosted. Once you have made up your mind on hosting plan you purchase for the requisite time period. Like domain name the hosting space is also leased to you for a particular duration.

To give a single point of access to all the services, the hosting service provides you a control panel (cPanel is most famous one provided by many hosting services, some hosting services give their own inhouse versions). If you want to upload contents to your site the FTP server address are all available through hosting control panel only. To manage various services provided hosting service such as emails, subdomains, FTP accounts, you need to have credentials of Hosting Service’s control Panel account. So this cPanel’s account is the second lever that provides you access to tools to control your website’s hosting functions. To add new email or add new subdomain or let a new developer build your site from scratch, you need this cPanel account.

The contents: The 3rd Lever that control your website

Content: The third lever that control your website.

The contents are the things that are displayed to your users. Once a link to hosting server is established, the server software of host starts providing your content to browser. If the content is just a html file then server sends it directly to browser, otherwise it processes the file and sends appropriate file to browser.

There are lots of technologies to display the contents. On most simple side of spectrum is HTML pages. HTML page is static page and doesn’t change. But there are active dynamic pages built from technologies like ASP, JSP & PHP. One can also use content management systems like WordPress, Joomla, Drupal to build their websites too. The most important constraint with content is it must load fast. Its also necessary to know the various hooks and straws of content systems(Also Read: How I build SKDRDP site from scratch). Too big images and resource files have power to slow your site down. If some data about your business has changed then you will need to change the content. If the content is in HTML then you need a full time developer to manage and control your website. If your site has content management system then you need to learn its how to.

Now a days majority of websites have content management systems as it make easier to focus on content and forget various technicalities of running website. The CMS makes it easier to add new content and also makes it easier to expand its own functionalities by ways of plugins. Since the benefits of CMS are obvious, its important to have access to CMS’s administrator account. So this CMS’s account is the third lever that control your website. To make any changes to content you need this CMS’s administrator account.

These are the various levers that control your website. Please do have access to all of these to avoid future catastrophe with your website.