Pomegranite Online Presence Consultancy blog Website elements

What do you need to build a website?

by Riyad

We recently started a skills-sharing day at Pomegranite where we set aside an hour on a Thursday and take turns teaching each other new things based on our various skill sets.

This past week was my turn and I decided to run through an overview of some of the main elements that need to be in place before you can build a website.

Don’t be overwhelmed by all the technical terms – Sarah, Liz and Carla, all English Lit grads, made it through the class relatively unscathed.


– This is the name people will go to – www.pomegranite.co.za – like an address.

– Extensions – .co.uk, .com, .org – are not really technically different, however they are used to indicate the type of organisation/region. For example .org would be best suited to an NGO but nothing stops a business using it.
– This is registered online via a hosting company or service provider
– It is renewed annually, almost like paying rent for the name

– If you don’t renew the domain it can be acquired by someone else after a certain period

– Domains are basically a friendly way to name an IP.


– This is the physical location that will be assigned to your domain name

– You can physically build your own server to host or use a third party service

– Each server has its own type of environment and software running on it
– Generally 2GB of space is needed for an average size website

Flat websites or database driven website

Flat websites

– Flat websites refer to sites that only consist of the physical files on the server

– Flat sites have all content, styling, HTML, etc, physically rendered in each file

– Flat sites are updated manually by updating an HTML file or JS file or the like

– Flat sites are generally only used for small sites as they can be cumbersome to update

Database driven websites

– Refers to any site that houses content or info in a database

– Runs on a templating structure

– Calls are made in files to display relevant info

– Variables are used to detect what to display based on one or many conditions

Server environment

– Refers to the type of software or OS running on a hosting

– There are two main types: LAMP stack, Windows server

– If you want to use an open source solution for a website you need a LAMP stack

– If you are building a custom online product using ASP or Visual Studio or the like you will most likely need a Windows environment

– Open source tools such as WordPress and Joomla will not work properly in a Windows hosting environment and vice versa
– It is very important when choosing or setting up a hosting environment that you know what the main technology base will be.