What is a website?

A website (also spelled Web site[1][2]) is a collection of related web pages, images, videos or other digital assets that are addressed relative to a common Uniform Resource Locator (URL), often consisting of only the domain name, or the IP address, and the root path ('/') in an Internet Protocol-based network. A web site is hosted on at least one web server, accessible via a network such as the Internet or a private local area network.
A web page is a document, typically written in plain text interspersed with formatting instructions of Hypertext Markup Language (HTML, XHTML). A web page 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 of the web page content. The user's application, often a web browser, renders the page content according to its HTML markup instructions onto a display terminal.
All publicly accessible websites collectively constitute the World Wide Web.
The pages of a website can usually be accessed from a simple Uniform Resource Locator (URL) called the homepage. The URLs of the pages organize them into a hierarchy, although hyperlinking between them conveys the reader's perceived site structure and guides the reader's navigation of the site.
Some websites require a subscription to access some or all of their content. Examples of subscription websites include many business sites, parts of news websites, academic journal websites, gaming websites, message boards, web-based e-mail, social networking websites, websites providing real-time stock market data, and websites providing various other services (e.g. websites offering storing and/or sharing of images, files and so forth).



[edit] History

The World Wide Web (WWW) was created in 1989 by CERN physicist Tim Berners-Lee.[3] On 30 April 1993, CERN announced that the World Wide Web would be free to use for anyone.[4] 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.

[edit] Overview

Organized by function, a website may be
It could be the work of an individual, a business or other organization, and is typically dedicated to some 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, may sometimes be blurred.
Websites are written in, or dynamically 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, and these terms can also refer to the software that runs on these systems and that retrieves and delivers the web pages in response to requests from the website users. Apache is the most commonly used web server software (according to Netcraft statistics) and Microsoft's Internet Information Server (IIS) is also commonly used.