Internet Ministry: A Church's Glass Wall©

LM2DM Project of Lee Clowning Ministry


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Accessing a web site on the internet

Uniform Resource Locator (URL) and Domain Name

Hosting the organization's web site

Company to host web site

What is a web site page?

What is a web site's home page?

Support of the web site and its pages

E-mail: POP accounts/addresses, Alias e-mail addresses, and WEBMAIL

Password protecting the access of some of a web site's pages

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The internet is a large number of computers/servers that are connected by a network of telephone lines and wireless communication devices such as satellites, microwave relay towers, etc.

People can access a web site through an internet account that is provided by an Internet Service Provider (ISP). There are other ways people can access the internet such as through the facilities of the company for which they work, schools that they attend, libraries, etc.

Internet browser software is used to transmit and receive data and commands between your computer and other computers on the internet. The internet browser software interprets HTML commands in a web page and displays the page's content according to the commands. There are several browser software products on the market. The current most popular browsers are Netscape and MS Internet Explorer.

Sometimes there is some confusion about what is meant by the terms, computer and server, when talking about the internet. A computer typically refers to the machine used by a person to connect to the internet. A server is a computer that is involved in interpreting and handling requests for a web site's page and transferring of the web site's page to the computer used by the person that initiated the request. Several servers will be involved in handling the request to access a web site's page. The same concept applies to the use of e-mail. Several servers will handle the activities involved in sending and receiving e-mail messages throughout the internet.

There are books available from books stores that provide detail explanations of internet terms. One good web site that provides explanation of internet terms is A search using an internet search engine will provide additional web sites that contain explanations of internet terms.

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The Uniform Resource Locator (URL) address identifies the server where the web site's home page is located, the type of software needed to access the file, and the name of the file to be accessed. The URL address for the Learn More 2 Do More web site is The domain name is part of the URL.

A web site's pages and supporting files are hosted by a company that has direct access to the internet. The files that make up the web site are stored on the host company's server. For a person to visit a web site, he has to enter the web site's URL address into his internet browser software. The browser uses the URL address to send the request to the internet to locate the home page of the web site. After the home page is located, the content on the home page is sent to the computer that requested the home page.

The Uniform Resource Locator (URL) contains data that servers on the internet can use to identify the specific server that contains the page a person wants to view.

The URL address is broken down into several parts. Each part is separated by a period.

The http:// indicates the type of server that will handle the request.

www - This is normally "www." The "www" is not included in all URLs.

The "lm2dm" is the Domain Name.

The ".org" is the Top Level Domain (TLD) name. TLD name is the last three letters in an URL. The TLD indicates the type of organization that owns the domain name.

Domain Name along with the TLD name is what is registered that identifies your web site. The Domain Name is normally is a short and easy name to remember. It can be a long and very descriptive name that can easily identify the name of the organization.

Normally a church/religion based domain name has a TLD of ".org" and not ".com" although a church can use .com as its TLD. Non-profit organizations normally end their domain name in .org. In the past, when selecting a TLD name, the .org has been used for any organization that did not fit the following criteria:

.com Commercial and business
.edu Educational institutions
.mil Military


Provides network services

.gov Government

New TLD names are being added. When you decide to establish a domain name, review the list of TLD names available at that time. The company with which you register the domain name will be able to help you decide which ending is to be used with the domain name selected for your web site.

The URL can contain two digit sections that indicate the country where the organization is located.

A period separates the different segments of an URL.

You can learn more about URL and domain name from many internet web site books available from your local bookstores and from many internet web sites.

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The computer files that comprise the web site (pages, graphics, photographs, sounds, etc.) are stored on a server that is owned by the company that hosts the web site. The hosting company has a connection to the internet (backbone) system.

The company that hosts a web site can provide statistics about the number of people that visit the web site. If a database is needed to collect data about the people that visit your web site, the host of the web site will provide the database software.

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It is recommended to pay a company to host the web site because of the support that comes with paying the fee. Typically, a company that provides free web sites offer little or no support for the web sites. The support becomes important when a problem is encountered with the web site.

The cost of paying a company to host the web site will vary and the services offered by companies will vary. "You get what you pay for" applies to web site hosting companies. A better financial deal will be offered by companies that can bundle the web hosting services with the ISP services. You do not have to use the same company to host the web site and provide the ISP services.

ISP services can run from about $13.00 a month to about $29.00 a month. The web site hosting fee for a small to medium size web site can run from about $15.00 to $50.00 a month. The fee will be determined by the services provided.

A low fee charged for hosting a web site may be offset by the company charging a fee for services that another company may include in the cost of hosting the web site. The same things applies to the ISP services. Comparing companies' fees and services can end up like comparing apples to peaches or oranges. Do not get in a hurry. Do the homework.

When you are setting up a web site, you may not be sure of the services you will need. That is a fact of life. Talk with a web master of an organization similar to your organization to gain insights to the services you will need.

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A web site page is not the same as a page in a book. A page in a book is the same size as all the pages in the book. A web page is actually a computer file, and one page is displayed on the computer monitor at a time. The data in one page can be displayed on just one screen on the monitor, and the data contained in another page can be so large that it requires several screens on the monitor to display all the data. The data in a page may just be text while another page will contain text, sounds, photographs, etc.

Typically, a page contains data that is related to a common subject. When the subject changes, another page will be displayed. For another page to be displayed, the page must be requested from the web site host's server. The requested page will be transmitted to the viewer's browser software that will display the content of the page on the monitor.

Often in a web page, there are "links" that, when selected, enable data to be displayed from another web page or in another part of the current page. The links are typically underlined. To execute a link, move the cursor to the link and select the link using the left button on the mouse. When a link is selected, you are requesting a new page to be sent to your computer or another section in the same page to be displayed. Going to another section in the same page can seem like the computer is displaying another page. This concept can enable one page to contain a variety of data.

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The web site home page is the first page displayed when a web site is visited. The home page is an HTML file that is named "index" or "default." The home page is the first introduction of the visitor to the web site. The design of the home page is important since it creates the "first impression" of the web site. From the home page, a visitor can go to the different pages in the web site.

If a home page takes "too long" to load, the visitor may leave the web site and go to another web site. Care needs to be taken to make sure the home page loads quickly on the visitor's computer.

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The support of the web site and its pages can be provided by a member of the organization, volunteer, or a company can be hired to support the web site. Supporting the web site includes creating new pages, altering content of existing pages, selecting and entering graphics & photographs into the computer, designing the format of each page, etc.

Web pages are created using Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) code. The code tells the web browser software how to display the text, photographs, graphics, etc. that are contained in a web page. The creator of a web page can write HTML code using Text Editor software. This requires a person to know HTML code. HTML code can be written using wordprocessor software that will save a file as an .html or .htm file.

HTML Editor software is another way to create a web page. Using HTML Editor software such as FrontPage, Dreamweaver, WebExpress, GoLive, etc. enables web pages to be created without knowing HTML code. These programs enables the user to position text, photographs, graphics, etc. on a web page that is similar to the way desktop publishing software can design printed pages. This method is sometimes call What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG). The HTML Editor creates the HTML coding for the user. Using HTML Editor software will not create as efficient HTML code as a person actually creating a web page using HTML code, but very nice web pages can be created.

HTML Editor software will transfer a web page to the web site's host server. Text Editor software may not transfer the web page to the web site's host server so a File Transfer Protocol (FTP) software such as Cute FTP or WS_FTP is needed to transfer the web page to the host computer. The FTP software enables web site management on the host computer by uploaded and downloaded of web pages and files. The software can delete files from the web site on the host computer.

Whoever supports the web site will maintain a copy of all pages and supporting files with the same folder/directory structure that is contained on the computer of the company that hosts the web site.

A company that is hired to support a web site may or may not host the web site's files. The company will create the web pages, update existing pages, create or obtain graphics, scan photographs, etc.

The hired company may or may not be able to give direction about designing the IM. If the company is already supporting several organizations that operate an IM, the company may be able to share information about how the other organizations operate their IM.

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THINGS ARE CHANGING - By the time you are reading this, some of the things written about POP e-mail accounts and alias e-mail addresses may not be 100 percent correct. To find out more about POP e-mail accounts and alias e-mail addresses, you can use an internet search engine to locate web sites that provide data about e-mail addresses. The POP stands for Post Office Protocol which governs how e-mail message are transferred through the internet. Technical Support of the ISP or web site hosting company will provide instructions on how to set up you internet browser software to send and receive e-mail.

When an internet access account with an Internet Service Provider (ISP) is established, you will normally get one POP mail account. Each POP mail account is assigned a user name and a password that are used to access the account. E-mail messages can only be sent to a POP e-mail account.
The ISP will provide you with the server names your internet browser software will use to send and receive e-mail messages.

Some ISP companies only allow a person to send an e-mail if the sending person is connected to the internet through their network. This is a security protection to cut down on sending unauthorized e-mail messages. The security protection can cause problems when people are located where they could not call the telephone number that connects them to the company's network without having to pay long distance charges. Many companies have gotten around this problem with WEBMAIL.

WEBMAIL is a feature that is growing in popularity. The company with which you have established the POP mail account(s) will have a web site that you can access at anytime you are connected to the internet. Once connected to the web site, you can send and receive e-mail. The company that provides this feature will provide more detail about using WEBMAIL.

Web hosting companies often provide for each hosted web site several POP e-mail accounts and several alias e-mail addresses for each POP e-mail account.

An e-mail "alias" address is a pretend or "make believe" e-mail address. An alias e-mail address is associated with a POP e-mail account. Multiple alias e-mail addresses can be associated with a specific POP e-mail address.

How many e-mail addresses will your organization need? Will more than one staff person need to be able to access to the e-mail messages sent to a specific e-mail address. The e-mail software used can have an impact on how the e-mail messages can be distributed to different staff members if the office computers are part of a network.

EXAMPLE: The Blue Speed company provides you with an internet account and the name of the servers used for sending and receiving e-mail messages. Your account name is "wolfbrand." The internet name of the company, Blue Speed, is "" Your POP e-mail address for this internet account is A password will be selected to use to access this POP account.

You want to use four alias e-mail addresses that will include the name of your company's web site. The names of the four alias e-mail addresses are;;; and

The Blue Speed company in their servers will set up each of the alias e-mail addresses to point to the POP e-mail address. When you connect to the internet using the wolfbrand internet account, you will be able to access the e-mail messages sent to any of the following e-mail addresses:

POP e-mail accounts set-up by the company that hosts a web site are handled in the same basic manner as defined in the above example. Technical Support of the ISP or web site hosting company will provide instructions on how to set up you internet browser software to send and receive e-mail.

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Some web site pages can have data that not all people accessing the web site will be allowed to see. To limit who can access a specific web site’s page, server side CGI scripts are used to restrict access. To create the needed CGI scripts requires a programmer that has the specific technical knowledge to create the scripts. If an employee of the company that hosts the web site does not create the CGI scripts, the programmer that creates the CGI scripts will need to work with the technical staff of the company that hosts the web site.

Once it is determined that there will be a need to place data in a web site page that cannot be accessed by all people visiting the web site, the technical support staff of the company that is hosting the web site should be contacted to find out what has to be done to establish access restriction on the specified web site page.

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