How Websites Work – Elf Knows It [ARCHIVED]

Have you ever wondered what goes on in the background when you type in, lets say There are many steps and processes involved in converting that small .ie address into a web page for you to view and use.

Your Input

First you open your web browser and type in, in less than a second, computers all over the world talk and share information to get the web page back to you.

IP Address

Every web page has an IP address, this is its ‘real’ address on the internet. Every server (this is a computer where the files are stored that are used to display the web page to you) has a unique IP address, made up of numeric values and dots. But your computer doesn’t know the address of the web address, so that’s where it needs the help of a  DNS.

DNS (Domain Name Server/Service)

Once you type in, your computer sends off a request to a DNS, sometimes more than one. This then translates into, the IP address for the server where is hosted. Then it’s time to let your computer know the IP address of Your computer then sends a request to, the server, for the web page.


Websites are made up of code, very messy code. You can view this by right clicking on a web page in your browser and clicking ‘View  Page Source’, or similar.  Your web browser converts all this code into pictures and text for you to follow.

You can actually skip all the DNS work by typing an IP address straight into your browser. If you type in it will bring you straight to Google. But this isn’t very practical, remembering strings of numbers like this for every website would drive even the most stable minded person mad.

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