Website

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What is a Website?

A website is a collection of publicly accessible, interlinked web pages that share a single domain name. Websites can be created and maintained by an individual, group, business, or organization to serve a variety of purposes. A website is also known as a “web presence” or simply “site.”

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Together, all publicly accessible websites constitute the World Wide Web (WWW). The Web is a vast network of interconnected websites shared over the Internet.

Techopedia Explains the Website Meaning

Website vs. Webpage and Web Server

Some website definitions say that websites are simply collections of hypertext transfer markup language (HTML) files that cover the same topic and are accessed through a web address (URL). This type of narrow explanation can be misleading, however.

It’s important that people who want to learn the full website meaning learn about the critical role that hyperlinks play in website development, as well as the difference between websites and web pages.

Why You Need a Website

Essentially, anyone looking to establish an online presence, share information, or engage with a community can benefit from having a website.

In today’s digital age, a simple static website can act as a business card, and a dynamic website can take the place of a storefront. They both allow you to share information with a global audience 24/7.

Website History

The first website was created in 1991 by Tim Berners-Lee, a British physicist at CERN. The site was hosted on CERN’s servers and provided information about the World Wide Web project. You can browse a reproduction of the first website here.

In 1993, CERN announced that everyone could access and use the World Wide Web for free. As a result, the number of websites grew rapidly. By the end of 1994, there were about 3,000 websites. Today, there are over 1 billion websites. Of these, it’s estimated that about 2 million sites are active.

How a Website Works

Websites are hosted on servers, and require a web browser such as Chrome or Firefox to be visited (either on a computer or mobile device). A website can be accessed directly by entering its URL address or by searching it on a search engine such as Google or Bing.

Many sites follow a standard pattern of a homepage that links off to other categories and content within the website. Every page is a single HTML document, and all of them are connected through hyperlinks (or simply “links”) which can be organized and displayed in a navigation bar for ease of use. The navigation bar is displayed on every page rather than just the homepage and allows the user to quickly move through the website’s structure.

Another important section of most websites is the footer, which is another recurring section that is found at the bottom of every page. Usually, the footer contains external links pointing to similar websites and other external resources, together with other vital info such as disclaimers, links to the terms of service, privacy policy and contact pages, as well as the physical address of the company that owns the site.

Website Accessibility

Website accessibility ensures that connected web pages under the same domain name are usable by everyone, regardless of the user’s physical abilities. Best practices include providing alternative text for images, providing transcripts and captions for multimedia content, and ensuring compatibility with assistive technologies such as screen readers and braille displays.

Types of Websites

Websites can be either static or dynamic. Static websites function similarly to a printed brochure. Their content is pre-written and remains constant unless manually edited by an editor or the website owner.

In contrast, the content of a dynamic website is stored in databases, and web pages are generated on-the-fly by server-side scripts like PHP or Python.

Components of a Website

Website design, content, navigation, and functionality components all contribute to a website’s overall success.

  • Navigation components include a main menu, breadcrumb trails, andan optional search bar.
  • Web design components include layout, color scheme, and typography.
  • Content components include static content within a website page’s body, as well as dynamic content that can be displayed both around and within the body.
  • Functionality components include forms, buttons, sliders, and interactive media.

Categories of Websites

Originally, websites were categorized by their top-level domains. Some examples include:

  • Government agency websites – .gov
  • Educational institutions’ websites – .edu
  • Nonprofit organizations’ websites – .org
  • Commercial websites – .com
  • Information sites – .info

In modern days’ Internet, the “.com” extension is by far the most popular domain, together with many other country-specific extensions (.it, .de, .co.uk, .fr, etc.).

Website vs. Webpage and Web Server

Website vs. Webpage and Web Server

If you are developing a website, it’s important to understand the difference between websites, and web pages because it will guide your decisions on how to structure the site you are building.

  • A website consists of several web pages that share the same domain and are linked together.
  • A web page is an individual document that has a unique URL within that domain.

A web server is the backend technology that stores and serves the web pages that make up a website.

    Website Benefits

    Websites are powerful tools for individuals, businesses, and governments to establish an online presence and connect with a global audience. They can be used to connect users with similar interests, share information, provide entertainment, and sell products or services.

    Future Trends in Website Development

    Several trends are shaping the future of website development. They include:

    The Bottom Line

    Websites should provide a user-friendly, efficient, and accessible experience that effectively communicates the intended message or functionality to the user.

    A person could start creating a website by choosing a reliable website hosting provider that will ensure their website content is accessible, secure, and backed up regularly.

    FAQs

    What is a website in simple terms?

    What is a website vs. a web page?

    What are the three main types of websites?

    How can I open a website?

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    Margaret Rouse
    Senior Editor
    Margaret Rouse
    Senior Editor

    Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.