Start learning with our library of video tutorials taught by experts. Get started
Viewed by members. in countries. members currently watching.
Web Design Fundamentals is a survey of Web design and development techniques and technologies, fundamental concepts, terms, and best practices involved in professional web design. Instructor James Williamson examines popular web development tools, server-side software solutions, content management solutions, and cloud-based software, providing a high-level overview of the world of Web publishing.
The DNS is one of the most important processes on the web and it's also one of the most overlooked. Domain Name Servers or DNS, address one of the most fundamental differences between humans and computers. When a web server hosts a website, the site is assigned a unique IP address that is used to identify its location. The IP address for lynda.com, for example, is 126.96.36.199. While computers find working with these long strings of numbers simple, humans would struggle to remember them.
Imagine trying to remember the IP addresses of every website you frequent. In order to make the web more usable for us primates, each website is also assigned a unique domain name that is then associated with the site's IP. Now, this is where the DNS comes in. Others have described it as the phonebook of the Internet and I really can't think of a better example than that. When you type www.lynda.com into your browser, the domain name is sent to the name server, which looks up the address and returns the proper IP to your browser, which is then used to find the website.
All of this happens amazingly quickly. To understand this process a bit better, look at the flow of the DNS process in more detail. The DNS system is an incredibly complex and fluid database that is distributed across servers all over the world. When you register a newly hosted website, it is assigned an IP address and registered with the DNS. Your hosting company usually handles this step, associating the domain name with the IP, behind-the-scenes. Your website is now registered and ready to accept requests.
So, what happens when a request is made? Well, let's say you type in www.lynda.com into your browser. Well, first, the browser checks with your local ISP's default DNS to see if the name server has ever heard of that site. If so, you'll receive the IP and just keep going. But remember, the DNS system is a huge database, spread all over the world. So, what happens if you make a request that your local DNS doesn't recognize? Well, this is where it gets a little complicated. There are a group of servers called the root name servers.
These name servers, in turn, know all the name servers for what we call top-level domains. In the case of lynda.com, the root name servers would give the location of the .com name server. The browser would then query the .com DNS and receive the proper IP address. If the address is still not found, you'll get a dreaded DNS error message, telling you that your site can't be found at that location and you'll have to try again. DNS caching helps to speed up the retrieval process even further.
If you've visited the site within about 24 hours, your default DNS will cache the name for you, making the retrieval very fast. Okay. So, now that we know a little bit more about DNS, why does it matter to web designers? Well, if the DNS is not assigned properly, when you register your site, no one will be able find you. So, it's important to monitor this process. When registering multiple domain names for one site, www.lyndatraining.com also takes you to the lynda.com, for example.
You need to make sure that the domain names are registered to the correct IP. Most important, you need to make sure ownership of the site is probably registered. Most clients are going to want you to handle registering the site and getting the host set up for them. If you register it in your name, you own that site. Getting the site transferred from one hosting company to another and thereby changing the DNS listing will be impossible without your assistance. Hosting companies will not make changes without the owner's consent.
If you're registering a site for a client, make sure that relationship is clearly understood and the proper owner listed for the site. One more thing. Most name servers don't refresh their cache for about 24 hours. That means that if you migrate your site from one host to another, any servers that cached your old location, won't point to the new site for about a day or so. That's why migrating sites over the weekend makes the most sense. You'll have fewer visitors wondering where everything went.
There are currently no FAQs about Web Design Fundamentals (2010).
Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.
Search within course videos and transcripts, and jump right to the results.
Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.
Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.
Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.