How websites work

How the technology fits together

I’ve been asked this a lot recently so I thought I’d take my scribbles from the back of a napkin and share it 🙂

This is a simplified version of how the technical stuff fits together…

  1. To get the party started you need to register a domain name
    This is the web address you type into your internet browser to visit the site. We use a registrar called Crazy Domains because they are really well priced and we can register domains there as well as .com, .info etc.
  2. Once you have your domain name you need to organise hosting
    Your host is the place on the internet your website will live on. Your hosting company will give you an IP address and your website and email will live on this computer which is maintained by your hosting company. We use HostGator because their customer service is out of this world and their hosting packages are exceptional value for money.
    Places you register your domain name will offer you hosting packages and hosting companies will offer you opportunities to register domains with them. This is totally up to you. Personally I like to have my domains in one place and my hosting with HostGator. This is based on less than awesome experiences with combined registrar and hosting service providers.
  3. Then you tell your domain registrar where your website will live
    This is like telling Australia Post to redirect your mail when you move. You simply log into your registrar and add the name servers HostGator provide and you’re ready to rock and roll.

Now the fun begins

This is where WordPress, plugins, themes, social media, Office AutoPilot, Google Analytics and all that jazz come into play.

How it all fits together
This is a REALLY basic diagram of how your hosting, WordPress, plugins, themes and your other online accounts like Feedburner, Analytics and social media fit together.
  1. WordPress is installed on your hosting (a good webhost will have an this awesome automagic installer as part of your hosting package that makes it a quick and painless process). Once WordPress is installed the possibilities are endless.
  2. Choose and install a theme
    A theme is what controls how your website looks. We use a premium theme called Headway because it’s easy to use and the design options are only limited by your imagination. Again, their technical support and development community is very well supported. For us, these are deal breakers so you can rest assured if it’s a product we’ve used with our clients it’s going to have been put through the ringer.
  3. Install your WordPress plugins
    Plugins create extend the functionality in your WordPress site into practically anything you can imagine. Plugins can link your social media accounts to your website, add in online shopping, allow you to create email newsletters from your website, add social media share buttons, turn your website into a photo journal. I promise you that no matter what you decide you need your site to do, there is most likely a plugin that will help you do it.
  4. Setup the other online service accounts you want to use and sync them with your website.

Across Communications organise all of the above for you as part of our web development services. We know what buttons to click when and where to make sure you have a powerful, easy-to-use, customised solution that works for your business (the first time around). Give Leigh a call on 0403 515 665 or shoot us email to have a chat about getting your business online.

On a side note

Why I don’t have a reseller account

A reseller is someone who buys the right to sell domain names and/ or hosting. They are your first port of call for support if you need a hand with something or need to troubleshoot a problem.

We help our clients with all sorts of technical enquiries and troubleshooting when they need it. But we setup retail accounts directly with the hosting providers for two reasons:

  • I want to know that when I can’t resolve something I have some heavy weights that will get right onto it – we don’t want to slow down the development process!
  • Once we complete the site and hand it over to you, you will still have an experienced technical team at your webhost to help you if any problems ever come up – that’s part of our commitment to you that you will not be tied to us forever after your site goes live.


Lesleigh Ross

Over the last decade Lesleigh Ross has been leading project and change teams in complex delivery environments and transformation projects across public, private and not-for-profit sectors. Leigh is highly skilled in industry best practice methodologies and frameworks which is demonstrated through her ability to deliver quality business outcomes across ‘green fields’ and recovery projects and programmes. As a ‘digital native’ Leigh believes delivering innovation in business is only possible through collaborative project design where the business and technical teams work hand in hand. A geek in her own right Leigh is able to “degeek the geek” and facilitate effective engagement through all stages of project delivery. Leigh is the current Queensland Lead for the Change Management Institute and a proud member of the Australian Institute of Project Management and the International Centre of Complex Project Management. She is active in her local chapters and national interest groups which are focused on improving the professionalism, diversity and inclusion within the project management community.

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