Join James Williamson for an in-depth discussion in this video Understanding how the web works, part of Web Development Foundations: Web Technologies.
As a web designer, it's important to understand how the web works and the processes involved in hosting, serving, and rendering websites. By understanding the terminology and underlying technology, you'll create more efficient sites and have a concrete understanding of why you do the things that you do. Before we move on to specific topics, let's take a moment to examine how the web works as an overall process. If you could compare learning web design to building a house, consider this the foundation. One of the first things I want to clear up is the confusion between the terms the Internet and the web. Most people assume they're the same thing, but they're not.
The Internet is a term that's used to refer to a massive network of millions of computers all over the world that are used to share and transmit information. This is done through various protocols and languages and includes things like email, SMS messaging, application data, as well as the web itself. The World Wide Web, which is usually shortened to just the web, is way of transmitting data over the Internet using the HTTP protocol and HTML. We'll talk more about protocols and languages later. For now, let's just focus how data is shared over the web. The web can be summarized as a series of interactions between two types of systems, clients and servers.
Clients are the devices that request and render web content. Popular clients include browsers, mobile applications, screen readers, and the various content aggregators. We live in an increasingly connected world, and the number of clients that can access web content is growing rapidly. In fact, trying to keep up with all the new clients and how they access and render your content is one of the most challenging aspects of web design. Servers are applications that deliver web content or services to clients. There is a wide range of web servers and types that specialize in specific types of data or specific processing capabilities.
They're all involved in some way in delivering the content that you request or the services that you need performed. If you're interested in the programing aspect of web design or in hosting your own site, you're gonna need to become familiar with the different types of servers and how they work. If that's sounds like a little bit of an over simplification of how the web works, well, it kind of is. So in our next movie, we are gonna dig a little deeper into the interactions between clients and servers.
- Working with web clients and servers
- Exploring HTTP
- How browsers work
- Structuring HTML
- Controlling presentation with CSS
- Dealing with data
- Working with a content management system (like WordPress)
- Using cloud services