What Is a Website?
A website is a collection of pages accessed via a web address that have been created and published on a computer connected to the Internet. Websites are managed by individuals, groups or businesses to serve a variety of purposes. Websites use a special formatting called HyperText Markup Language (HTML) to make it easy for people to create, share and manage content online.
The number of websites is estimated at over 1.3 billion and growing. They range from simple sites built using a homepage construction kit to complex, professionally designed online shops with many thousands of subpages. There is also a significant part of websites used around the world that cannot be reached through public networks and are instead only accessible via internal company intranets.
The primary purpose of most websites is to communicate information to the public. This might be in the form of a corporate presentation, an artist’s portfolio or an individual’s personal page. A website can also be a platform for social interaction and collaboration, as evidenced by blogs, forums and crowdsourced content.
Websites are typically grouped into categories according to their intended audience and purpose, including news, education, commerce and entertainment. They are accessed by typing the website address into a device’s web browser, which connects to a computer that keeps the site’s files and serves them up based on the request.
Each webpage on a website is a separate document that displays different kinds of information depending on how the HTML code is written. The layout of the pages is determined by a number of factors including browser size and display capability, screen resolution, and the device used to access the site. The underlying technology that makes this possible is the World Wide Web, an information sharing system that is made up of a network of computers worldwide that interconnect through special software.
Most websites are designed with a specific audience in mind, such as business customers or the general public. Some sites aim to be as user-friendly as possible, while others provide a specific service or product such as ecommerce sales. Regardless of the type of site, the design must be consistent and professional in order to achieve its intended purpose.
The content of a website is equally important and should be clear, concise and easy to read. Novelists write stories that paint a vivid picture with words, reporters and columnists report the news with drama and flair, and web content writers share their knowledge with succinct clarity.
The ability of a website to generate revenue depends on its marketing and promotional efforts as well as its usability and functionality. A successful ecommerce website, for example, will have clear call-to-actions and a convenient checkout process. It will also be designed for the highest possible level of security to protect users’ financial information.