Why you need a domain
Once your website has been created it needs to be added to the "Internet". The internet is organized into structures called domains. You know them as "businessname.com" for businesses, "collegename.edu" for educational instituitions, "charityname.org" for non-profit organizations and "agencyname.gov" for government instituitions along with several others.
When you register for a domain, you are signing up to own the rights to a particular "internet address". It is that internet address (along with your website) that allows your small business to efficiently reach a vast number of potential customers.
Access via the Internet
Once you have a domain, your website has to be "hosted". To do that, you use web hosting companies that put your website on their web servers. The job of these web servers is to serve up your website to any browser that makes a request with your domain name as the return address.
To handle the sheer number of websites and requests for their content, web servers are housed by the tens of thousands in facilities known as "server farms". Your website could easily be hosted in a server farm located in Ireland or Australia.
Once the decision is made to have a website, the next important decision is to choose your web hosting service. Believe it or not, this is determined by the toolset of your website creator. Most websites are designed to operate in conjunction with databases which allow for greater capabilities. However, these toolsets and databases were created to operate specifically on certain operating systems. The three major operating systems are Unix, Linux and Windows.
The development team at Red Car Software uses the Microsoft Visual Studio development environment and Microsoft SQL Server database to create websites for customers. However, these websites (technically web-based applications) must run in Microsoft Windows environments containing ASP.NET frameworks.