What Is a Website?

A website is a collection of interconnected web pages that share a common domain name and provide explicit links (most often in the form of clickable portions of text) to allow the user to move from one page to another. Web pages are typically displayed on the computer screen using a web browser.

Many websites provide information and services, such as online shopping, music downloads, social networking, and news and entertainment. Some offer educational and scientific information, such as research papers and data sets. Others are portals that allow users to login and access information from within a company or organization.

Websites are also a place for bloggers to share their views and connect with an audience. Bloggers choose their own domain names and write about subjects they are passionate about. They can use monetization strategies to make money from their blogs and build whole careers around them.

Like people, computers need a place to live. While some computers are built into devices such as TVs and mobile phones, most are purchased or leased for use at home or in the office. The computer that hosts a website is called a server, and its function is to store, retrieve, and serve files.

The first website was created in 1990 by Tim Berners-Lee, a British physicist at CERN. The World Wide Web was opened up to the general public three years later in 1993. Since then, the popularity of the Internet and the growth of the web has made it possible for anyone with a computer to create their own site and share content with other Internet users.

Web developers use a variety of languages to construct and design websites. The most common is HyperText Markup Language, or HTML. This language was introduced in the 1990s and represents the bare minimum that is required to create a website. More advanced languages such as Cascading Style Sheets and JavaScript enhance and modify the basic structure provided by HTML.

While there is an endless number of ways to create a website, the best ones follow a similar pattern. They begin with a homepage that links off to other pages within the site. They are easy to navigate and contain a mix of text and other media such as images or videos. They also feature a clearly labeled search bar.

Most importantly, websites have a clear purpose and goal. This is especially important for businesses that want to attract customers. For example, an online retail store should have a clear call-to-action, such as “Buy Now,” to encourage potential customers to complete the purchase process. Similarly, an online news source should have clear and concise headlines that make it clear what type of content they are offering. In addition, using keywords and other techniques that improve search engine optimization can help a website rank higher in search engine results pages. This, in turn, increases traffic to a website. In fact, many website visitors may start out with a blog post but venture to other parts of the site after reading it.