What you need for a working Website or Web Based Database

There are 4 basic parts of a Website or Database System:

Domain name: You need to register a name that people will type in to look at your website (eg www.finestsites.net).
Hosting: Your files containing the text and images of your website or database system need to to be on a web server.
The Pages: The text and images for your site. These will be organised in PHP or HTML files.
The Database: The database saves all the information that people enter into it, either the customers making an order or staff updating a project or application etc. Very small websites can operate without any database if no customer information is required to be saved.

Domain Name

The domain name is the name or address people will type to look at your website. The domain name for this website is finestsites.net. You need to register a name with a domain registration company and it needs to be maintained on a yearly or 2 yearly basis.
The domain name points to the server. When a customer types in the name and presses enter, the domain name is looked up and they are directed to the server with the IP address.
For database systems that are only used internally and not across the internet, this is not necessary as an IP address can be used instead.


When your customers are directed to your website server, they will be sent the HTML files or images that make up your website. The web server is the computer that stores all the files that belong to your website.
Web server space can be rented (commonly called web hosting), though larger companies sometimes keep their website on their onsite company server.

For more information about this see Hosting.

The Pages

This is the most important part of a website because this is what people will see. Essentially a web page is just text and images neatly arranged to make up your site.
Websites fall into a number of categories:

Static Sites are simple web pages where the HTML is either hand written code typed in to a text editing program, or made with a HTML editing program. To make or change hand coded sites, knowledge of HTML and CSS is necessary.
This is the simplest form of website because what you type into the HTML file determines what the page will look like. There is no changing elements.

Editable Sites allow you (the owner) to login and click and type to change the text and click save. To do this all the text of the website is saved in a database, not in HTML files.
There's some similarities with editing a document in Microsoft Word. When someone looks at your page, the text is taken from the database and organised on your page. Because there is a database involved, this type of website has some extra steps to set it up, but once it's running it's simple to edit your pages.
An example of this is WordPress. You can install WordPress on a web server and then edit the text to say what you want.
These kind of sites allow modules to be added in to allow different functionality, though upgrades to the system or the modules can sometimes cause problems and backups are more involved.

Custom Made Database Sites are used when you have specific requirements and particularly when you want to accept or display user data. For user data customers will have to login. Staff can have separate logins which give them access to extra functions, and sometimes this kind of system is used for an internal company database system which may or may not be connected to the internet.
Typical examples of this kind of system could be a bank which shows customer records after the login, a website selling products online where the products and prices are in the database and the customer's address is saved in a login, or an application form where your customers details go straight into a database.
These systems can automatically do certain tasks at a specified time to automate a process and can send an email to notify you someone has made an order. Customers can automatically be emailed to remind them of expiring services or staff can be emailed when important dates are approaching.
These are the kinds of database systems and websites FinestSites.net specialises in.

The Database

If your site is editable from a login page or customers or staff are putting information into your pages, this is saved into a database, probably MariaDB or somthing similar which use the SQL language. Databases make it easy to save and retrieve information so when you login to a website your information is retrieved from the database and displayed on the page.

FinestSites can do as many, or as few of these components as you require.