What is a Website?

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A website is an assembly of publicly available, interconnected web pages sharing a single domain name. They can be created and maintained by individuals, groups, businesses, or organizations for various purposes.

Note that all publicly accessible websites together make up the World Wide Web.

While sometimes mistakenly called a “web page,” a website actually consists of multiple web pages. Other terms for a website include “web presence” or simply “site.”

Understanding Websites

Websites come in a vast array of types, such as educational sites, news sites, adult sites, forums, social media sites, e-commerce sites, and more. The content within a website typically includes a mix of text and other media, but there are no strict rules governing a website’s form.

A person could create a website solely featuring black and white photos of roses or a single word, “cat,” linking to another web page with the word “mouse.” However, many websites adhere to a standard pattern of a homepage linking to other categories and content within the site.

The homepage, or simply “home,” serves as the main page of the site. Often, the homepage functions as a hub from which all other pages are accessible. A parent page, on the other hand, is an internal web page connected to several other pages in a cohesive structure, such as a specific category of topics.

Each page is a unique HTML document connected through hyperlinks, or simply “links,” which can be organized in a navigation bar for user convenience.

The navigation bar appears on every page, not just the homepage, and enables users to quickly navigate the website’s primary structure.

Another crucial section of most websites is the footer, a recurring section found at the bottom of every page. The footer typically contains external links to related websites and other external resources, along with essential information such as disclaimers, links to terms of service, privacy policy, and contact pages, and the physical address of the site’s owning company.

Websites are hosted on servers and require a web browser like Chrome, Firefox, or Internet Explorer for access (on either a computer or mobile device).

A website can be accessed directly by entering its URL address or through a search engine like Google or Bing.

Initially, websites were categorized by their top-level domains, such as:

  • Government agency websites = .gov
  • Educational institutions’ websites = .edu
  • Nonprofit organizations’ websites = .org
  • Commercial websites = .com
  • Information sites = .info
  • Network infrastructure organizations = .net
  • Cooperative associations = .coop
  • Internet service providers = .isp
  • Personal websites = .name
  • Professional websites = .pro
  • Mobile-related services = .mobi
  • Travel and tourism websites = .travel
  • Aeronautical industry = .aero
  • Museums = .museum
  • Jobs and employment websites = .jobs
  • Real estate websites = .realestate
  • Media companies = .media
  • Restaurants = .restaurant
  • Healthcare websites = .health
  • Legal websites = .law
  • Financial institutions = .bank
  • Insurance companies = .insurance
  • Automotive industry = .auto
  • Retail businesses = .shop
  • Sport-related websites = .sport
  • Art and design websites = .art
  • Environmental and green organizations = .eco
  • Wedding-related websites = .wedding
  • Telecommunication companies = .tel
  • Photography websites = .photo
  • Music-related websites = .music
  • E-commerce websites = .store
  • Construction and building companies = .construction
  • Fashion-related websites = .fashion
  • Science and research websites = .science

While these top-level domain extensions still exist, they reveal little about a website’s actual content. Nowadays, the “.com” extension is the most popular domain, along with numerous country-specific extensions (.it, .de, .co.uk, .fr, etc.).

The first website was created in 1990 by Tim Berners-Lee, a British physicist at CERN. In 1993, CERN announced that the World Wide Web would be freely accessible and usable by everyone.

Author Profile

Vasyl Kolomiiets
Vasyl Kolomiiets
I'm Vasyl Kolomiiets, a seasoned tech journalist regularly contributing to global publications. Having a profound background in information technologies, I seamlessly blended my technical expertise with my passion for writing, venturing into technology journalism. I've covered a wide range of topics including cutting-edge developments and their impacts on society, contributing to leading tech platforms.

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