Website

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The usap.gov website United States Antarctic Program website from 2018 02 22.png
The usap.gov website

A website (also written as a web site) is a collection of web pages and related content that is identified by a common domain name and published on at least one web server. Websites are typically dedicated to a particular topic or purpose, such as news, education, commerce, entertainment, or social media. Hyperlinking between web pages guides the navigation of the site, which often starts with a home page. The most-visited sites are Google, YouTube, and Facebook.

Contents

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. Users can access websites on a range of devices, including desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones. The app used on these devices is called a web browser.

Background

The nasa.gov home page in 2015 NASA Website Homepage - April 25, 2015.png
The nasa.gov home page in 2015

The World Wide Web (WWW) was created in 1989 by the British CERN computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee. [1] [2] On 30 April 1993, CERN announced that the World Wide Web would be free to use for anyone, contributing to the immense growth of the Web. [3] Before the introduction of the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (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 in which the user navigates and where they choose files to download. Documents were most often presented as plain text files without formatting or were encoded in word processor formats.

History

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 [4] and the AP Stylebook , [5] have reflected this change.

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. [6] 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. [7] Netcraft Web Server Survey in January 2020 reported that there are 1,295,973,827 websites and in April 2021 reported that there are 1,212,139,815 sites across 10,939,637 web-facing computers, and 264,469,666 unique domains. [8] An estimated 85 percent of all websites are inactive. [9]

Static website

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 a 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.

Dynamic website

Server-side programming language usage in 2016 Server-side websites programming languages.PNG
Server-side programming language usage in 2016

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 websites.

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 uses JavaScript 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 Player, Adobe Shockwave Player, and Java SE. HTML 5 includes provisions for audio and video without plugins. JavaScript 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 web server if needed. The browser's internal representation of the content is known as the Document Object Model (DOM).

WebGL (Web Graphics Library) is a modern JavaScript API for rendering interactive 3D graphics without the use of plug-ins. It allows interactive content such as 3D animations, visualizations and video explainers to presented users in the most intuitive way. [10]

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. [11]

Types

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:

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">HTML</span> HyperText Markup Language

HyperText Markup Language or HTML is the standard markup language for documents designed to be displayed in a web browser. It defines the content and structure of web content. It is often assisted by technologies such as Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and scripting languages such as JavaScript.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">HTTP</span> Application protocol for distributed, collaborative, hypermedia information systems

The Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is an application layer protocol in the Internet protocol suite model for distributed, collaborative, hypermedia information systems. HTTP is the foundation of data communication for the World Wide Web, where hypertext documents include hyperlinks to other resources that the user can easily access, for example by a mouse click or by tapping the screen in a web browser.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">World Wide Web</span> Linked hypertext system on the Internet

The World Wide Web is an information system that enables content sharing over the Internet through user-friendly ways meant to appeal to users beyond IT specialists and hobbyists. It allows documents and other web resources to be accessed over the Internet according to specific rules of the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Web server</span> Computer software that distributes web pages

A web server is computer software and underlying hardware that accepts requests via HTTP or its secure variant HTTPS. A user agent, commonly a web browser or web crawler, initiates communication by making a request for a web page or other resource using HTTP, and the server responds with the content of that resource or an error message. A web server can also accept and store resources sent from the user agent if configured to do so.

Web design encompasses many different skills and disciplines in the production and maintenance of websites. The different areas of web design include web graphic design; user interface design ; authoring, including standardised code and proprietary software; user experience design ; and search engine optimization. Often many individuals will work in teams covering different aspects of the design process, although some designers will cover them all. The term "web design" is normally used to describe the design process relating to the front-end design of a website including writing markup. Web design partially overlaps web engineering in the broader scope of web development. Web designers are expected to have an awareness of usability and be up to date with web accessibility guidelines.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">HTTP 404</span> Internet error message

In computer network communications, the HTTP 404, 404 not found, 404, 404 error, page not found, or file not found error message is a hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP) standard response code, to indicate that the browser was able to communicate with a given server, but the server could not find what was requested. The error may also be used when a server does not wish to disclose whether it has the requested information.

Web development is the work involved in developing a website for the Internet or an intranet. Web development can range from developing a simple single static page of plain text to complex web applications, electronic businesses, and social network services. A more comprehensive list of tasks to which Web development commonly refers, may include Web engineering, Web design, Web content development, client liaison, client-side/server-side scripting, Web server and network security configuration, and e-commerce development.

Web standards are the formal, non-proprietary standards and other technical specifications that define and describe aspects of the World Wide Web. In recent years, the term has been more frequently associated with the trend of endorsing a set of standardized best practices for building web sites, and a philosophy of web design and development that includes those methods.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Line Mode Browser</span> Command-line web browser

The Line Mode Browser is the second web browser ever created. The browser was the first demonstrated to be portable to several different operating systems. Operated from a simple command-line interface, it could be widely used on many computers and computer terminals throughout the Internet. The browser was developed starting in 1990, and then supported by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) as an example and test application for the libwww library.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Web 2.0</span> World Wide Web sites that use technology beyond the static pages of earlier Web sites

Web 2.0 refers to websites that emphasize user-generated content, ease of use, participatory culture and interoperability for end users.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Dynamic web page</span> Type of web page

A dynamic web page is a web page constructed at runtime, as opposed to a static web page, delivered as it is stored. A server-side dynamic web page is a web page whose construction is controlled by an application server processing server-side scripts. In server-side scripting, parameters determine how the assembly of every new web page proceeds, and including the setting up of more client-side processing. A client-side dynamic web page processes the web page using JavaScript running in the browser as it loads. JavaScript can interact with the page via Document Object Model (DOM), to query page state and modify it. Even though a web page can be dynamic on the client-side, it can still be hosted on a static hosting service such as GitHub Pages or Amazon S3 as long as there is not any server-side code included.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">History of the World Wide Web</span> Information system running in the Internet

The World Wide Web is a global information medium that users can access via computers connected to the Internet. The term is often mistakenly used as a synonym for the Internet, but the Web is a service that operates over the Internet, just as email and Usenet do. The history of the Internet and the history of hypertext date back significantly further than that of the World Wide Web.

A static web page, sometimes called a flat page or a stationary page, is a web page that is delivered to a web browser exactly as stored, in contrast to dynamic web pages which are generated by a web application.

Web Accessibility Initiative – Accessible Rich Internet Applications (WAI-ARIA) is a technical specification published by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) that specifies how to increase the accessibility of web pages, in particular, dynamic content, and user interface components developed with Ajax, HTML, JavaScript, and related technologies.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Web page</span> Content provided by a website

A web page is a document on the Web that is accessed in a web browser. A website typically consists of many web pages linked together under a common domain name. The term "web page" is thus a metaphor of paper pages bound together into a book.

The Web platform is a collection of technologies developed as open standards by the World Wide Web Consortium and other standardization bodies such as the Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group, the Unicode Consortium, the Internet Engineering Task Force, and Ecma International. It is the umbrella term introduced by the World Wide Web Consortium, and in 2011 it was defined as "a platform for innovation, consolidation and cost efficiencies" by W3C CEO Jeff Jaffe. Being built on The evergreen Web has allowed for the addition of new capabilities while addressing security and privacy risks. Additionally, developers are enabled to build interoperable content on a cohesive platform.

Agora was a World Wide Web email browser and was a proof of concept to help people to use the full internet. Agora was an email-based web browser designed for non-graphic terminals and to help people without full access to the internet such as in developing countries or without a permanent internet connection. Similar to W3Gate, Agora was a server application designed to fetch HTML documents through e-mail rather than http.

Content Security Policy (CSP) is a computer security standard introduced to prevent cross-site scripting (XSS), clickjacking and other code injection attacks resulting from execution of malicious content in the trusted web page context. It is a Candidate Recommendation of the W3C working group on Web Application Security, widely supported by modern web browsers. CSP provides a standard method for website owners to declare approved origins of content that browsers should be allowed to load on that website—covered types are JavaScript, CSS, HTML frames, web workers, fonts, images, embeddable objects such as Java applets, ActiveX, audio and video files, and other HTML5 features.

Front-end web development is the development of the graphical user interface of a website through the use of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript so users can view and interact with that website.

A uniform resource locator (URL), colloquially known as an address on the Web, is a reference to a resource that specifies its location on a computer network and a mechanism for retrieving it. A URL is a specific type of Uniform Resource Identifier (URI), although many people use the two terms interchangeably. URLs occur most commonly to reference web pages (HTTP/HTTPS) but are also used for file transfer (FTP), email (mailto), database access (JDBC), and many other applications.

References

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  4. "Internet, Web, and Other Post-Watergate Concerns". The Chicago Manual of Style. University of Chicago. Archived from the original on 20 February 2010. Retrieved 18 September 2010.
  5. AP Stylebook [@APStylebook] (4 November 2010). "Responding to reader input, we are changing Web site to website. This appears on Stylebook Online today and in the 2010 book next month" (Tweet). Retrieved 18 March 2019 via Twitter.
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