I love infographics. You know, those things that explain complicated concepts with illustrations? As I’ve said before, I constantly visualize stuff in my head. Years ago, while in a conversation with the IT people at work, I was obsessed with knowing exactly where our corporate server lived. They kept saying it really didn’t matter where servers sat on the earth; wherever they were the files were available.
I finally figured out why I was so desperate to know where the server physically existed (it was in Madison, Wisconsin). By long habit, I visualized files moving through cyber-wires to my desk, just as I ran a cartoon through my head when I received a letter or picked up a head of cabbage that had been grown somewhere in the South. The cabbage grows in a sunny field somewhere that doesn’t have snow on the ground in February. Jumps onto a truck (with the help of people who pick cabbage) and begins a long journey to the back room of a grocery store where someone with an apron brings it to the front and arranges it in the bins for me to buy. I had no idea I was doing this. Apparently, my brain works in pictures. I suspect many other brains do, too.
So, for those whose gray matter craves bright shiny pictures, here’s an excellent infographic on the inner workings of a website. In this case, WP Beginner is specifically illustrating WordPress sites, but all websites need similar steps to display – magically, within seconds on your laptop, tablet or phone. My advice is not to try to understandhead the entire graphic, because there are a lot of strangely-named files that execute and the average website owner need not memorize things like wp-config and $wp_query, $wp-rewrite, $wp. (Ironic to put a $ in front of wp, since $ stands for dollars and wp stands for WordPress, which is free.)
My advice is to scroll through the long, long, long infographic and note that there are dozens of steps that need to take care of themselves before a “simple” web page displays on your screen.
Dozens. Or sometimes hundreds.
My intention in sharing this infographic is to give you an appreciation for all the magic that happens when your website works. And that when one teensy part of this process misfires, it breaks the whole thing.