Because I'm too dumb to figure things out on my own
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I bought a domain today www.opensourcetube.com Off godaddy.com. I know nothing about html or networking in general. The domain was already $10, now it wants me to pay $7 a month to create a website? What happens when I stop paying? Here I was thinking I'd just upload something to somewhere. So I have my html file <HTML> <BODY> <P>This is a completely useless website. You are wasting your time. I am wasting your time. Click <a href="http://www.yahoo.com">here</a> to find go to a real website. </P> </BODY> </HTML> And I have filezilla, because I feel like filezilla might help, I'm not sure how but it has FTP in the name, I'm guessing I can actually host the site from my own network on it, so I want to set it up so I dump my html file into filezilla and on the internet my site will work. Edit And I don't know how.
OK so here's how all this crap works: When you go to a website, you're really connecting to a server that is serving content. A server is just a computer (or a virtual machine) which you can connect to over the internet. Computers can be identified on the internet with their IP addresses. They're like phone numbers. Domains are just aliases for IP addresses. They map a name to an address; we do this so that people don't have to memorize the IP address for, say, Google. It's easier to remember www.google.com rather than 184.108.40.206 (which you can type into your address to still connect to Google as of now). This is like storing a contact in your phone so you dial "Berst Frend" rather than some number you can never remember. The reason you have to PAY for aliases (which you have done) is because SOMEBODY has to run ANOTHER server which translates these names for you. Your browser doesn't just "magically" know how to convert www.google.com into an IP address. It first contacts what's called a DNS (Domain Name System) server, which has a hardcoded IP address (usually provided by your internet service provider and stored automatically in your computer when you connect to your home internet). You ask the DNS server "Bro, where can I find www.google.com" and it goes "I got you fam. It's 220.127.116.11". Your browser then goes out into the internet and fetches the page from 18.104.22.168. So, paying for a domain is just paying for the name translation service. You still have to have a server somewhere (with a public IP address) that serves the content. This is where the extra 7 dollars a month comes in, I think: you can pay for the server where you can host files. If you're still confused, here's an example. If my computer had a public IP address and I installed webserver software on it, I COULD pay for a domain and point it to my computer's public IP address and host a website. Furthermore, I don't even have to pay for a domain: people can still connect to my website using my IP address (but good luck getting people to take you seriously when you say "Check out my website! *gives IP address instead of domain*"). So after all that, let's talk about your situation. USUALLY, internet service providers charge a lot of money to get a public static IP address. Unless you can get one for free or figure out dynamic DNS (which I don't know about, sorry), it's not worth hosting your own webserver. I mean if you don't mind updating the DNS record (the thing on the DNS server that you're currently paying for that tells people the IP address of your webserver) every time your IP address changes and you have a spare computer, go for it. But you can't just use filezilla to make the server: you have to have a program on whatever computer you're going to use that is able to serve content. This is a webserver program, and it's usually apache, nginx, or a windows server. There are others, but these are the big ones. It's a lot to get into if you want to do it yourself. I wouldn't recommend it unless you're willing to put in a lot of time and you're really dedicated. If you have the money, I would simply pay for a cheap service where you can use some web GUI to dump files onto your server and everything just works. I haven't used one of these services, but I know people here have, so you can talk to them about it. Edit: Sorry, here's like... a short version of how the internet works: 1) User types "www.google.com" into their browser 2) Browser contacts special DNS server to ask what the IP address is for www.google.com 3) DNS tells browser "google can be found at 22.214.171.124" 4) Browser asks for the page at 126.96.36.199 5) Google's computer receives your request and hands it off to a webserver program 6) Webserver program on Google's computer looks for the file(s) that you need and gives them back to your browser 7) You browser renders the content. 8) Repeat for all requests. If you're looking to host content, you have to provide the server and program for steps 5 and 6.
Just an extra note in case it's useful: if an IP looks something like YYY.YYY.YYY.YYY, where YYY is a number from 0 to 255, it's what's called an IPv4 address. If it looks something like hhhh:hhhh:hhhh:hhhh:hhhh:hhhh:hhhh:hhhh, where hhhh is a hexadecimal number from 0-ffff, or nothing, it's an IPv6 address. Example IPv4 address: 188.8.131.52 Example IPv6 address: 2001:4860:4860::8888
Alright, read both of those posts, very informative. I was confused on how all that worked. I think for now I will be hosting my own site, just as a test, and then when I get serious about it and have everything set up I think I'll go with a hosting site. That is unless I really feel like getting serious and set up my own server. I'd let you guys know what I'm actually working on, but I think a big part of how my attention span works is if I get "wow cool"'s before I'm actually done, my brain goes "well I already got all that done I'm gonna do something else now". Is that unfair? I'll link a video I'll post on YouTube about it later.
I think for now I will be hosting my own site, just as a test, and then when I get serious about it and have everything set up I think I'll go with a hosting site.Don't forget: if you host it on your own computer, you still have to set up the webserver program. It's not that hard, and there's plenty of tutorials for easy setup if you don't need a database or server side scripting.