I get asked this question all the time.
Imagine a file cabinet that you have at home or in your office. Inside that file cabinet there are file folders and in each folder there are individual pages.
Now imagine that same file cabinet as your website hosting and each one of the folders is a website and each website contains the pages for that particular site….simple (kind of).
All websites are hosted somewhere. One of the largest website hosts is GoDaddy.com. When you sign up for hosting you are paying for some space on a computer (server) that you can put your website. This server is connected directly to the internet with a much faster internet connection that we have at home. Each server usually will contain multiple websites, this is called shared hosting…each in their own folder on the server. You can get you very own server just for your website but this is not required for most sites and will cost you quite a bit more than shared hosting.
When you sign up for hosting you will be assigned an IP address for you website. This is like your street address on the internet.
Now imagine a “master map” of the internet that knows where all the websites live. This is called DNS or Domain Name Service. We will discuss this later but DNS is how your website gets found when someone in Ohio types in www.yourwebsite.com it goes to your site.
It is very important that your IP does not change or your visitors will be looking in the wrong place for you site but you should not have to worry about that, your host will make sure that it remains the same.
That’s it really. Next time you visit your favorite website just remember that all of the pages are in a folder on a computer somewhere and when you typed in the website address DNS helped you get there.