IP, DNS, URI, URN and URLS
Bear with us as we are sure you will feel smarter at the end of reading this page!
The internet as you know is made up of computers all connected to each other. Those computers are referenced by numbers.
This is what is called an Internet Protocol (IP) address.
As these are not that memorable to most of us humans, a Domain Name System (DNS) was invented.
The system uses a standard format Uniform Resource Indicator (URI).
The URI is a system of naming where you will find a particular resources - like an orienteering flag for geo-caching - marking a particular place where you will find a cache, or a site upon which you will find a real house.
A URI can be on the internet or even on your computer.
If you have a file on apples that you have placed in the recipes folder under your user name, then the URI for that would look like:
On the internet a URI may look like this:
A URI has two main parts - the kind of scheme used and the name or path of the resource.
URI = Scheme + Uniform Resource Name (URN)
In the examples above the kind of scheme would be the 'c://' (local computer file system) or the 'http://' (internet).
HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is one of the schemes used to access the internet (a gateway if you will).
The name of a URI that uses http and a URN has commonly been referred to as a Uniform Resource Locator (URL).
It is a type of URI.
URL = http + URN
So why are we telling you all this stuff?
Just as we buy or rent a piece of physical re-estate, so too do we have to buy or rent our place online - the place we are going to house our website. That is what domain hosting is all about.
Not everyone knows how to get to your place within that one computer, so thats why you also pay for a URL - a roadmap by which anyone and everyone can find the way to your website.
You may choose to buy these services with the same company (and sometimes the URL is included for 'free' when you sign up with a Domain hosting company) or find the best deals for each wherever that may be.
There is one last word about hosting - make sure that you know what you are getting. You definitely want it to be a place where your website will fit and function. That's where we can help you with some advice if you need it.