All publicly accessible websites collectively constitute the World Wide Web
. There are also private websites that can only be accessed on a private network
, such as a company's internal website for its employees.
Websites are typically dedicated to a particular topic or purpose, such as news, education, commerce, entertainment, or social networking
between web pages guides the navigation of the site, which often starts with a home page
Websites can be used in various fashions: a personal website, a corporate website for a company, a government website, an organization website, etc. 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.
While "web site" was the original spelling (sometimes capitalized "Web site", since "Web" is a proper noun when referring to the World Wide Web
), this variant has become rarely used, and "website" has become the standard spelling. All major style guides, such as The Chicago Manual of Style
and the AP Stylebook
have reflected this change.
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 create 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 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 behavior to the reader
is still static, this is not considered a dynamic site.
Server-side programming language usage in 2016.
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 webserver might combine stored HTML fragments with news stories retrieved from a database
or another website 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, e.g. 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
code to instruct the web browser how to interactively modify the page contents. One way to simulate a certain type of dynamic website 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 websites 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 web 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
is also built into most modern web browsers, and allows for website creators to send code to the web browser that instructs it how to interactively modify page content and communicate with the webserver if needed. The browser's internal representation of the content is known as the Document Object Model
A 2010-era trend in websites called "responsive design" has given the best viewing experience as it provides a device based layout for users. These websites change their layout according to the device or mobile platform thus giving a rich user experience.
Websites can be divided into two broad categories—static and interactive. Interactive sites are part of the Web 2.0
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 websites are informational or produced by enthusiasts or for personal use or entertainment. Many websites 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 website
- Advertising products or services available at a brick and mortar business
- Freemium: basic content is available for free but premium content requires a payment (e.g., WordPress website, it is an open-source platform to build a blog or 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:
Some websites may be included in one or more of these categories. For example, a business website may promote the business's products, but may also host informative documents, such as white papers
. There are also numerous sub-categories to the ones listed above. For example, a porn
site is a specific type of e-commerce site or business site (that is, it is trying to sell memberships for access to its site) or have social networking capabilities. A fansite
may be a dedication from the owner to a particular celebrity
. Websites are constrained by architectural limits (e.g., the computing power dedicated to the website). Very large websites, such as Facebook, Yahoo!, Microsoft, and Google employ many servers and load balancing
equipment such as Cisco
Content Services Switches
to distribute visitor loads over multiple computers at multiple locations. As of early 2011, Facebook utilized 9 data centers with approximately 63,000 servers.
In February 2009, Netcraft
, an Internet monitoring
company that has tracked Web growth since 1995, reported that there were 215,675,903 websites with domain names and content on them in 2009, compared to just 19,732 websites in August 1995.
After reaching 1 billion websites in September 2014, a milestone confirmed by NetCraft in its October 2014 Web Server Survey and that Internet Live Stats was the first to announce—as attested by this tweet from the inventor of the World Wide Web himself, Tim Berners-Lee—the number of websites in the world have subsequently declined, reverting to a level below 1 billion. This is due to the monthly fluctuations in the count of inactive websites. The number of websites continued growing to over 1 billion by March 2016 and has continued growing since.
- ^ "The website of the world's first-ever web server". Retrieved 30 August 2008.
- ^ Cailliau, Robert. "A Little History of the World Wide Web". Retrieved 16 February 2007.
- ^ "Internet, Web, and Other Post-Watergate Concerns". University of Chicago. Retrieved 18 September 2010.
- ^ "OpenGL ES for the Web". khronos.org. Retrieved 1 April 2019.
- ^ Pete LePage. "Responsive Web Design Basics | Web". Google Developers. Retrieved 13 March 2017.
- ^ Perrin, Andrew; Anderson, Monica (10 April 2019). "Social media usage in the U.S. in 2019 | Pew Research Center". PewResearch.Org. Pew Research. Retrieved 20 July 2019. graphic *Study was quoted in Forbes.
- ^ "Web Server Survey". Netcraft. Retrieved 13 March 2017.
- ^ A total number of Websites | Internet live stats. internetlivestats.com. Retrieved on 14 April 2015.
Look up website
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Last edited on 29 April 2021, at 18:35
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