The World Wide Web

Posted By BrokenClaw on September 1, 2007

The World Wide Web, developed in the 1990s, runs on the Internet. The Web was an improvement on the way that people use the Internet, by providing colorful screens with words and pictures that display on the computer screen. The main improvement was that, by using a browser, you could navigate around the Internet simply by clicking the mouse pointer on a hyperlink, now known simply as a link. Another improvement was that websites could use a simple name, called a domain, to identify themselves, instead of a numeric IP address.

By agreement, companies started using the abbreviation www as a prefix on their web address to indicate the particular computer system that was part of the World Wide Web, as opposed to other systems in their company that were private. There are other prefixes which have little meaning to the casual user. Over time, as the Web became ubiquitous, the www prefix lost its usefulness, but people became so used to it, that most commercial websites still include it as part of their web address.

The full address of a website, for example Yahoo!, is

The beginning characters of that address — http:// (hypertext transfer protocol) — are computer instructions that now have no meaning to the casual user. Your browser will assume that’s what you want if you type in the address bar. Additionally, depending on your browser and your Internet service provider, you can get there simply by typing or even just Yahoo in the address bar.


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