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A website, also written as web site, is a collection of related web pages, including multimedia content, typically identified with a common domain name, and published on at least one web server A web site may be accessible via a public Internet Protocol IP network, such as the Internet, or a private local area network LAN, by referencing a uniform resource locator URL that identifies the site

Websites have many functions and can be used in various fashions; a website can be a personal website, a commercial website for a company, a government website or a non-profit organization website Websites can be the work of an individual, a business or other organization, and are typically dedicated to a particular topic or purpose, ranging from entertainment and social networking to providing news and education All publicly accessible websites collectively constitute the World Wide Web, while private websites, such as a company's website for its employees, are typically a part of an intranet

Web pages, which are the building blocks of websites, are documents, typically composed in plain text interspersed with formatting instructions of Hypertext Markup Language HTML, XHTML They may incorporate elements from other websites with suitable markup anchors Web pages are accessed and transported with the Hypertext Transfer Protocol HTTP, which may optionally employ encryption HTTP Secure, HTTPS to provide security and privacy for the user The user's application, often a web browser, renders the page content according to its HTML markup instructions onto a display terminal

Hyperlinking between web pages conveys to the reader the site structure and guides the navigation of the site, which often starts with a home page containing a directory of the site web content Some websites require user registration or subscription to access content Examples of subscription websites include many business sites, parts of news websites, academic journal websites, gaming websites, file-sharing websites, message boards, web-based email, social networking websites, websites providing real-time stock market data, as well as sites providing various other services As of 2016, end users can access websites on a range of devices, including desktop and laptop computers, tablet computers, smartphones and smart TVs


  • 1 History
  • 2 Overview
  • 3 Static website
  • 4 Dynamic website
  • 5 Multimedia and interactive content
  • 6 Spelling
  • 7 Types
  • 8 See also
  • 9 References
  • 10 External links


Main article: History of the World Wide Web Whitehousegov in 1995, during the presidency of Bill Clinton

The World Wide Web WWW was created in 1990 by the British CERN physicist Tim Berners-Lee On 30 April 1993, CERN announced that the World Wide Web would be free to use for anyone Before the introduction of HTML and HTTP, other protocols such as File Transfer Protocol and the gopher protocol were used to retrieve individual files from a server These protocols offer a simple directory structure which the user navigates and chooses files to download Documents were most often presented as plain text files without formatting, or were encoded in word processor formats


Websites have many functions and can be used in various fashions; a website can be a personal website, a commercial website, a government website or a non-profit organization website Websites can be the work of an individual, a business or other organization, and are typically dedicated to a particular topic or purpose Any website can contain a hyperlink to any other website, so the distinction between individual sites, as perceived by the user, can be blurred Websites are written in, or converted to, HTML Hyper Text Markup Language and are accessed using a software interface classified as a user agent Web pages can be viewed or otherwise accessed from a range of computer-based and Internet-enabled devices of various sizes, including desktop computers, laptops, PDAs and cell phones A website is hosted on a computer system known as a web server, also called an HTTP server These terms can also refer to the software that runs on these systems which retrieves and delivers the web pages in response to requests from the website's users Apache is the most commonly used web server software according to Netcraft statistics and Microsoft's IIS is also commonly used Some alternatives, such as Nginx, Lighttpd, Hiawatha or Cherokee, are fully functional and lightweight

Static website

Main article: Static web page

A static website is one that has web pages stored on the server in the format that is sent to a client web browser It is primarily coded in Hypertext Markup Language HTML; Cascading Style Sheets CSS are used to control appearance beyond basic HTML Images are commonly used to effect the desired appearance and as part of the main content Audio or video might also be considered "static" content if it plays automatically or is generally non-interactive This type of website usually displays the same information to all visitors Similar to handing out a printed brochure to customers or clients, a static website will generally provide consistent, standard information for an extended period of time Although the website owner may make updates periodically, it is a manual process to edit the text, photos and other content and may require basic website design skills and software Simple forms or marketing examples of websites, such as classic website, a five-page website or a brochure website are often static websites, because they present pre-defined, static information to the user This may include information about a company and its products and services through text, photos, animations, audio/video, and navigation menus

Static web sites can be edited using four broad categories of software:

  • Text editors, such as Notepad or TextEdit, where content and HTML markup are manipulated directly within the editor program
  • WYSIWYG offline editors, such as Microsoft FrontPage and Adobe Dreamweaver previously Macromedia Dreamweaver, with which the site is edited using a GUI and the final HTML markup is generated automatically by the editor software
  • WYSIWYG online editors which create media rich online presentation like web pages, widgets, intro, blogs, and other documents
  • Template-based editors such as iWeb allow users to create and upload web pages to a web server without detailed HTML knowledge, as they pick a suitable template from a palette and add pictures and text to it in a desktop publishing fashion without direct manipulation of HTML code

Static websites may still use server side includes SSI as an editing convenience, such as sharing a common menu bar across many pages As the site's behaviour to the reader is still static, this is not considered a dynamic site

Dynamic website

Server-side programming languages repartition on 28 April 2016 Main articles: Dynamic web page and Web application

A dynamic website is one that changes or customizes itself frequently and automatically Server-side dynamic pages are generated "on the fly" by computer code that produces the HTML CSS are responsible for appearance and thus, are static files There are a wide range of software systems, such as CGI, Java Servlets and Java Server Pages JSP, Active Server Pages and ColdFusion CFML that are available to generate dynamic web systems and dynamic sites Various web application frameworks and web template systems are available for general-use programming languages like Perl, PHP, Python and Ruby to make it faster and easier to create complex dynamic web sites

A site can display the current state of a dialogue between users, monitor a changing situation, or provide information in some way personalized to the requirements of the individual user For example, when the front page of a news site is requested, the code running on the web server might combine stored HTML fragments with news stories retrieved from a database or another web site via RSS to produce a page that includes the latest information Dynamic sites can be interactive by using HTML forms, storing and reading back browser cookies, or by creating a series of pages that reflect the previous history of clicks Another example of dynamic content is when a retail website with a database of media products allows a user to input a search request, eg for the keyword Beatles In response, the content of the web page will spontaneously change the way it looked before, and will then display a list of Beatles products like CDs, DVDs and books Dynamic HTML uses JavaScript code to instruct the web browser how to interactively modify the page contents One way to simulate a certain type of dynamic web site while avoiding the performance loss of initiating the dynamic engine on a per-user or per-connection basis, is to periodically automatically regenerate a large series of static pages

Multimedia and interactive content

Early web sites had only text, and soon after, images Web browser plug ins were then used to add audio, video, and interactivity such as for a rich Internet application that mirrors the complexity of a desktop application like a word processor Examples of such plug-ins are Microsoft Silverlight, Adobe Flash, Adobe Shockwave, and applets written in Java HTML 5 includes provisions for audio and video without plugins JavaScript is also built into most modern web browsers, and allows for web site creators to send code to the web browser that instructs it how to interactively modify page content and communicate with the web server if needed The browser's internal representation of the content is known as the Document Object Model DOM and the technique is known as Dynamic HTML A 2010-era trend in websites called "responsive design" has given the best of viewing experience as it provides with a device based layout for users These websites change their layout according to the device or mobile platform thus giving a rich user experience


The form "website" has become the most common spelling, but "Web site" capitalised and "web site" are also widely used, though declining Some in academia, some large book publishers, and some dictionaries still use "Web site", reflecting the origin of the term in the proper name World Wide Web There has also been similar debate regarding related terms such as web page, web server, and webcam Among leading style guides, the Reuters style guide, The Chicago Manual of Style, and the AP Stylebook since April 2010 all recommend "website" Among leading dictionaries and encyclopedias, the Canadian Oxford Dictionary prefers "website", and the Oxford English Dictionary changed to "website" in 2004 Wikipedia also uses "website", but Encyclopædia Britannica uses both "Web site" and "Website" Britannica's Merriam-Webster subsidiary uses "Web site", recognising "website" as a variant

Among leading language-usage commentators, Garner's Modern American Usage says that "website" is the standard form, but Bill Walsh, of The Washington Post, argues for using "Web site" in his books and on his website however, The Washington Post itself uses "website" Among major Internet technology companies and corporations, Google uses "website", as does Apple, though Microsoft uses both "website" and "web site"


Websites can be divided into two broad categories—static and interactive Interactive sites are part of the Web 20 community of sites, and allow for interactivity between the site owner and site visitors or users Static sites serve or capture information but do not allow engagement with the audience or users directly Some web sites are informational or produced by enthusiasts or for personal use or entertainment Many web sites do aim to make money, using one or more business models, including:

  • Posting interesting content and selling contextual advertising either through direct sales or through an advertising network
  • E-commerce: products or services are purchased directly through the web site
  • Advertising products or services available at a brick and mortar business
  • Freemium: basic content is available for free but premium content requires a payment eg, WordPress website

There are many varieties of websites, each specializing in a particular type of content or use, and they may be arbitrarily classified in any number of ways A few such classifications might include:

  • Internet portal
    • Link rot
    • Lists of websites
    • Site map
    • Web content management system
    • Web design
    • Web development
    • Web development tools
    • Web hosting service
    • Web template
    • Website architecture
    • Website awards
    • Website governance
    • Website monetization
    • World Wide Web Consortium Web standards


    1. ^ "website - definition of website by the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia" Thefreedictionarycom Retrieved 2011-07-02 
    2. ^ "The website of the world's first-ever web server" Retrieved 2008-08-30 
    3. ^ Cailliau, Robert "A Little History of the World Wide Web" Retrieved 2007-02-16 
    4. ^ https://developersgooglecom/web/fundamentals/layouts/rwd-fundamentals/indexhl=en
    5. ^ "Handbook of Journalism" Reuters Retrieved 2010-08-05 
    6. ^ "Internet, Web, and Other Post-Watergate Concerns" University of Chicago Retrieved 2010-09-18 
    7. ^ "AP tweets that it will change from Web site to website" Retrieved 2010-04-16 
    8. ^ "Ask Oxford: How should the term website be written in official documents and on the web" Oxford Dictionaries Online Archived from the original on September 2, 2008 
    9. ^ "Web site computer science" Encyclopaedia Britannica Archived from the original on 2013-02-17 Retrieved 2010-09-18 
    10. ^ "Website - Definition and More" Merriam-Webster Retrieved 2010-09-18 
    11. ^ Lisa Gold 2010-04-17 "AP Stylebook surrenders the battle over "Web site" vs "website"" Retrieved 2010-08-05 
    12. ^ "The Slot—Sharp Points: Here We Go Again—Eeee!" Retrieved 2007-02-25 
    13. ^ Nakamura, David; Wallsten, Peter; Aizenman&, NC "The Washington Post" Washington Post Retrieved 2010-08-05 
    14. ^ "Welcome to Google Business Solutions" Google Retrieved 2010-08-05 
    15. ^ "Site Map" Apple Retrieved 2010-08-05 
    16. ^ "Microsoft Windows" Microsoft Retrieved 2010-08-05 
    17. ^ "Internet Explorer 9 Preview Builds" Microsoft Retrieved 2010-08-05 
    18. ^ "Microsoft R Expression R" Microsoft Retrieved 2010-08-05 
    19. ^ Web Server Survey | Netcraft Newsnetcraftcom Retrieved on 2013-06-15
    20. ^ Total number of Websites | Internet live stats internetlivestatscom Retrieved on 2015-04-14

    External links

    Library resources about
    • Internet Corporation For Assigned Names and Numbers ICANN
    • World Wide Web Consortium W3C
    • The Internet Society ISOC

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