A website is a collection of related web pages, including
multimedia content, typically identified with a common domain name,
and published on at least one web server. A website may be accessible
via a public
Internet Protocol (IP) network, such as the Internet, or
a private local area network (LAN), by referencing a uniform resource
locator (URL) that identifies the site.
Websites can have many functions and can be used in various fashions;
a website can be a personal website, a corporate website for a
company, a government website, an organization website, etc. Websites
are typically dedicated to a particular topic or purpose, ranging from
entertainment and social networking to providing news and education.
All publicly accessible websites collectively constitute the World
Wide Web, while private websites, such as a company's website for its
employees, are typically a part of an intranet.
Web pages, which are the building blocks of websites, are documents,
typically composed in plain text interspersed with formatting
Hypertext Markup Language
Hypertext Markup Language (HTML, XHTML). They 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. The user's
application, often a web browser, renders the page content according
HTML markup instructions onto a display terminal.
Hyperlinking between web pages conveys to the reader the site
structure and guides the navigation of the site, which often starts
with a home page containing a directory of the site web content. Some
websites require user registration or subscription to access content.
Examples of subscription websites include many business sites, news
websites, academic journal websites, gaming websites, file-sharing
websites, message boards, web-based email, social networking websites,
websites providing real-time stock market data, as well as sites
providing various other services. As of 2018, end users can access
websites on a range of devices, including desktop and laptop
computers, tablet computers, smartphones and smart TVs.
3 Static website
4 Dynamic website
Multimedia and interactive content
8 See also
10 External links
Main article: History of the World Wide Web
NASA.gov homepage as it appeared in April 2015
World Wide Web
World Wide Web (WWW) was created in 1990 by the British CERN
physicist Tim Berners-Lee. On 30 April 1993,
CERN announced that
World Wide Web
World Wide Web would be free to use for anyone. Before the
HTML and HTTP, other protocols such as
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.
Websites have many functions and can be used in various fashions; a
website can be a personal website, a commercial website, a government
website or a non-profit organization website. Websites can be the work
of an individual, a business or other organization, and are typically
dedicated to a 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, can be blurred. Websites are written
in, or 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, tablet computers and
smartphones. A website is hosted on a computer system known as a web
server, also called an HTTP (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol) server.
These terms can also refer to the software that runs on these systems
which retrieves and delivers the web pages in response to requests
from the website's users. Apache is the most commonly used web server
software (according to
Netcraft statistics) and Microsoft's IIS is
also commonly used. Some alternatives, such as Nginx, Lighttpd,
Hiawatha or Cherokee, are fully functional and lightweight.
Main article: Static web page
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
Hypertext Markup Language (HTML);
Cascading Style Sheets
Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) are
used to control appearance beyond basic HTML. Images are commonly used
to effect 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
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 can be edited using four broad categories of software:
Text editors, such as Notepad or TextEdit, where content and HTML
markup are manipulated directly within the editor program
WYSIWYG offline editors, such as
Microsoft FrontPage and Adobe
Dreamweaver (previously Macromedia Dreamweaver), with which the site
is edited using a
GUI and the final
HTML markup is generated
automatically by the editor software
WYSIWYG online editors which create media rich online presentation
like web pages, widgets, intro, blogs, and other documents.
Template-based editors such as iWeb allow users to create and upload
web pages to a web server without detailed
HTML knowledge, as they
pick a suitable template from a palette and add pictures and text to
it in a desktop publishing fashion without direct manipulation of HTML
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 behaviour to the reader is still static, this is not
considered a dynamic site.
Server-side programming languages repartition on 28 April 2016.
Dynamic web page
Dynamic web page and Web application
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
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 web server 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
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.
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
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
Internet application that mirrors the complexity of a desktop
application like a word processor). Examples of such plug-ins are
Microsoft Silverlight, Adobe Flash, Adobe Shockwave, and applets
written in Java.
HTML 5 includes provisions for audio and video
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) and the technique is known as Dynamic HTML. A 2010-era trend in
websites called "responsive design" has given the best of viewing
experience as it provides with a device based layout for users. These
websites change their layout according to the device or mobile
platform thus giving a rich user experience.
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 and the AP Stylebook, have reflected this
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:
Posting interesting content and selling contextual advertising either
through direct sales or through an advertising network.
E-commerce: products or services are purchased directly through the
Advertising products or services available at a brick and mortar
Freemium: basic content is available for free but premium content
requires a payment (e.g.,
WordPress website, it is an open source
platform to build a blog or website.)
There are many varieties of websites, each specializing in a
particular type of content or use, and they may be arbitrarily
classified in any number of ways. A few such classifications might
Click "show" or "hide" to toggle this table
Type of Website
A site, typically few in pages, whose purpose is to sell a third
party's product. The seller receives a commission for facilitating the
Enabled portal that renders not only its custom CMS but also
syndicated content from other content providers for an agreed fee.
There are usually three relationship tiers (see Affiliate Agencies).
Commission Junction, advertisers like eBay, or a consumer like Yahoo!.
Used to preserve valuable electronic content threatened with
extinction. Two examples are:
Internet Archive, which since 1996 has
preserved billions of old (and new) web pages; and Google Groups,
which in early 2005 was archiving over 845,000,000 messages posted to
Usenet news/discussion groups.
Internet Archive, Google Groups
A site created specifically to attack visitors' computers on their
first visit to a website by downloading a file (usually a trojan
horse). These websites rely on unsuspecting users with poor anti-virus
protection in their computers.
Blog (web log)
Sites generally used to post online diaries which may include
discussion forums. Many bloggers use blogs like an editorial section
of a newspaper to express their ideas on anything ranging from
politics to religion to video games to parenting, along with anything
in between. Some bloggers are professional bloggers and they are paid
to blog about a certain subject, and they are usually found on news
A site with the purpose of creating an experience of a brand online.
These sites usually do not sell anything, but focus on building the
brand. Brand building sites are most common for low-value, high-volume
fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG).
A website the information in which revolves around a celebrity or
public figure. These sites can be official (endorsed by the celebrity)
or fan-made (run by a fan or fans of the celebrity without implicit
Platform to fund projects by the pre-purchase of products or by asking
audience members to make a donation.
A website that allows the visitor to donate to charity simply by
clicking on a button or answering a question correctly. An advertiser
usually donates to the charity for each correct answer generated.
The Hunger Site, Freerice
A site where persons with similar interests communicate with each
other, usually by chat or message boards.
Myspace, Facebook, orkut, VK
A site the business of which is the creation and distribution of
Classified ads site
A site publishing classified advertisements
Used to provide background information about a business, organization,
A site where users can find other single people looking for long-term
relationships, dating, short encounters or friendship. Many of them
are pay per services, but there are many free or partially free dating
sites. Most dating sites in the 2010s have the functionality of social
Electronic commerce (e-commerce) site
A site offering goods and services for online sale and enabling online
transactions for such sales.
Fake news website
A site publishing fake news stories, intending to deceive visitors and
profit from advertising.
A site where people can hold conversations in the form of posted
A website designed specifically for use as a gallery; these may be an
art gallery or photo gallery and of commercial or non-commercial
A website made by the local, state, department or national government
of a country. Usually these sites also operate websites that are
intended to inform tourists or support tourism.
A site devoted to the criticism of a person, place, corporation,
government, or institution.
A site that lets users play online games such as gambling.
Satirizes, parodies or amuses the audience.
Most websites fit in this category to some extent. They do not
necessarily have commercial purposes.
Most government, educational and nonprofit institutions have an
A site that enables users to upload and view media such as pictures,
music, and videos
A website that is the replication of another website. This type of
website is used as a response to spikes in user visitors. Mirror sites
are most commonly used to provide multiple sources of the same
information, and are of particular value as a way of providing
reliable access to large downloads.
A short and simple form of blogging. Microblogs are limited to certain
numbers of characters and works similar to a status update on
Similar to an information site, but dedicated to dispensing news,
politics, and commentary.
Websites about an individual or a small group (such as a family) that
contains information or any content that the individual wishes to
include. Such a personal website is different from a celebrity
website, which can be very expensive and run by a publicist or agency.
A website created to fraudulently acquire sensitive information, such
as passwords and credit card details, by masquerading as a trustworthy
person or business (such as Social Security Administration, PayPal, a
bank) in an electronic communication (see Phishing).
Photo sharing site
A website created to share digital photos with the online community.
(see Photo sharing).
Flickr, Instagram, Imgur
Websites that index torrent files. This type of website is different
from a Bit torrent client which is usually a stand-alone software.
Mininova, The Pirate Bay, IsoHunt
A site on which people may voice political views, provide political
humor, campaign for elections, or provide information about a certain
candidate, political party or ideology.
Question and Answer (Q&A) site
Answer site is a site where people can ask questions & get
Stack Exchange Network
Stack Exchange Network (including Stack
A site in which people may advertise a place of worship, or provide
inspiration or seek to encourage the faith of a follower of that
A site on which people can post reviews for products or services.
Yelp, Rotten Tomatoes
a site on which teachers, students, or administrators can post
information about current events at or involving their school. U.S.
elementary-high school websites generally use k12 in the URL
a site which largely duplicates the content of another site without
permission, without actually pretending to be that site, in order to
capture some of that site's traffic (especially from search engines)
and profit from advertising revenue or in other ways.
Search engine site
A website that indexes material on the
Internet or an intranet (and
lately on traditional media such as books and newspapers) and provides
links to information as a response to a query.
Google Search, Bing, DuckDuckGo, Ecosia
Includes images or other material that is intended to be offensive to
Web portals used by individuals and organisations to showcase things
of interest or value
Social bookmarking site
A site where users share other content from the
Internet and rate and
comment on the content.
Social networking site
A site where users could communicate with one another and share media,
such as pictures, videos, music, blogs, etc. with other users. These
may include games and web applications.
A social news website features user-posted stories that are ranked
based on popularity. Users can comment on these posts, and these
comments may also be ranked. Since their emergence with the birth of
web 2.0, these sites are used to link many types of information
including news, humor, support, and discussion.
Social news sites
allegedly facilitate democratic participation on the web.
Reddit, Digg, SlashDot
A site designed to host or link to materials such as music, movies and
software for the user to download.
An online comic, ranging in various styles and genres unique to the
World Wide Web.
Penny Arcade, xkcd, Gunnerkrigg Court
A site that provides a webmail service.
Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo!
A site that provides a starting point or a gateway to other resources
Internet or an intranet.
msn.com, msnbc.com, Yahoo!
A site in which users collaboratively edit its content.
Wikipedia, wikiHow, Wikia
Some websites may be included in one or more of these categories. For
example, a business website may promote the business's products, but
may also host informative documents, such as white papers. There are
also numerous sub-categories to the ones listed above. For example, a
porn site is a specific type of e-commerce site or business site (that
is, it is trying to sell memberships for access to its site) or have
social networking capabilities. A fansite may be a dedication from the
owner to a particular celebrity. Websites are constrained by
architectural limits (e.g., the computing power dedicated to the
website). Very large websites, such as Facebook, Yahoo!, Microsoft,
and Google employ many servers and load balancing equipment such as
Cisco Content Services Switches to distribute visitor loads over
multiple computers at multiple locations. As of early 2011, Facebook
utilized 9 data centers with approximately 63,000 servers.
In February 2009, Netcraft, an
needed] 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. 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
World Wide Web himself, Tim Berners-Lee—the
number of websites in the world has 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
Lists of websites
Nanosite, a mini website
Web content management system
Web development tools
Web hosting service
World Wide Web
World Wide Web Consortium (Web standards)
^ "website". TheFreeDictionary.com. Retrieved 2011-07-02.
^ "The website of the world's first-ever web server". Retrieved
^ Cailliau, Robert. "A Little History of the World Wide Web".
^ Pete LePage. "Responsive Web Design Basics Web". Google
Developers. Retrieved 2017-03-13.
^ "Internet, Web, and Other Post-Watergate Concerns". University of
Chicago. Retrieved 2010-09-18.
^ "AP tweets that it will change from Web site to website". Retrieved
^ "Web Server Survey". Netcraft. Retrieved 2017-03-13.
^ Total number of Websites
Internet live stats.
internetlivestats.com. Retrieved on 2015-04-14.
Look up website in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
Library resources about
Resources in your library
Internet Corporation For Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)
World Wide Web
World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)
Internet Society (ISOC)
BNF: cb125428495 (d