Webpages and Websites

Posted By BrokenClaw on September 4, 2007

A Webpage

A webpage is what you see displayed in your browser at any one time. It was originally called a page because in the early days of the Web, it resembled a printed page from a book. The first webpages were just static lines of text, with some added color, rudimentary graphics, and hyperlinks. You would click on a link to move around from page to page.

Today, most webpages have little in common with printed pages. For example, even though you don’t see anything moving on this page, and it may resemble a page from a pamphlet, the content is created on the fly when you load the page in your browser. There are at least ten distinct sections on this page which are pulled together and placed in specific areas to create the webpage you see now. On some webpages, you can actually move things around, change the appearance, pick the content you want to see, etc.

That type of webpage is sometimes described as Web 2.0, meaning that it is a new version of the Web, significantly different from the old days of static pages and links. You may have encountered this type of webpage on your ISP’s home page, where they encourage you to add a personal touch to have your own home page. Other examples are major sites like Yahoo! which allows you to create your own My Yahoo page.

A Website

A website is the Internet equivalent of a building or office. It is a collection of webpages under the control of a company, a person, or a group of people. Each website has a unique web address, known as the uniform resource locator, abbreviated URL, which identifies it and allows anyone in the world to find it from any Internet computer. Some websites are nested within other websites, or are part of a collection of sites within a single domain, like a collection of offices within a business, or a collection of businesses within an office building.

The computer which actually holds and serves the data for a website is called a server, and it is not necessarily located within the same building as the company it represents. In fact, only big technology companies like Microsoft and Google generally maintain their own web servers. Everyone else rents server space and pays for maintenance and bandwidth from a hosting company. Just like everything else on the Internet, location is irrelevant. Once a domain is established, the website owner contracts with a hosting company, which can be located anywhere, to host the files, serve the webpages, and maintain the integrity of the service.

The term server applies to any computer whose main purpose is to serve (store, send, and receive) files to other computers, rather than interacting with human users.

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