Originally Posted by Erock
I have some basic Java skills and I'm wondering, is Java good for websites, or should I stick to HTML.
You're going to have to use HTML... You can put Java into HTML, but it won't replace it.
Secondly, what exactly is a server, and do I have to pay to use one, or can I create my own?
A server transmits data to clients...
-You type in "www.blah.com/blahblah" in the address bar..
-"blah.com" is sent to a name server, which tells your computer where blah.com is.
-"www." is a subdomain which affects what the name server tells you, I think, so you get 111.222.333.444, which is an IP address. Every internet connection has a unique IP address.
-You contact it with its IP address, which would be the same as typing in "111.222.333.444/blahblah".
-You're using the HTTP protocol, which means you're going to say certain stuff to the other computer and then interpret it in a certain way. So: "http://111.222.333.444/blahblah"
-Every computer has ports that it sends and recieves data to/from the internet. Each port sends a certain kind of data. HTTP is usually on port 80(you can have it on two ports by running two programs to provide it to them; you can't have both programs serve it to the same port) So: "http://111.222.333.444:80/blahblah"
-Your computer uses the http protocol to talk to port 80 on 111.222.333.444 and gets the file "blahblah". (that would make 111.222.333.444 a server)
-It's displayed on the browser.
A HTTP server provides data to clients, which are computers running a web browser...
You can have your own server by installing IIS or Apache but you have to keep your computer on all the time and need a very fast internet connection, and you won't be able to use it for anything else since you'd slow the server down, so you might want to host it somewhere. You can either pay for that or have ads on your site but get it for free. If you decide to get it for free, it'll be worse than if you had payed for it.