Hosting Industry Demystified


A website, also written as Web site, or simply site, is a set of related web pages containing content such as text, images, video, audio, etc. A website is hosted on at least one web server, accessible through a network such as the Internet or a private local area network through an Internet address known as a Uniform Resource Locator. All publicly accessible websites collectively constitute the World Wide Web.

A webpage is a document, typically written in plain text interspersed with formatting instructions of Hypertext Markup Language (HTML, XHTML). A webpage may incorporate elements from other websites with suitable markup anchors.

Webpages are accessed and transported with the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), which may optionally employ encryption to provide security and privacy for the user of the webpage content. The user’s application, often a web browser, renders the page content according to its HTML markup instructions onto a display terminal.

The pages of a website can usually be accessed from a simple Uniform Resource Locator (URL) called the web address. The URLs of the pages organize them into a hierarchy, although hyper linking between them conveys the reader’s perceived site structure and guides the reader’s navigation of the site which generally includes a home page with most of the links to the site’s web content, and a supplementary about, contact and link page.

Organized by function, a website may be

  • A personal website
  • A commercial website
  • A government website
  • A nonprofit organization website.

It could be the work of an individual, a business or other organization, and is typically dedicated to some 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, may sometimes be blurred.

Websites are written in, or dynamically 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, PDAs and cell phones.

A website is hosted on a computer system known as a web server, also called an HTTP server, and these terms can also refer to the software that runs on these systems and that retrieves and delivers the web pages in response to requests from the website users. Apache is the most commonly used web server software and Microsoft’s IIS is also commonly used. Some alternatives, such as Hiawatha or Cherokee, are fully functional and lightweight.

There are 2 types of websites static and dynamic websites.

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 (HTML).

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 interactive menus and navigation.

A dynamic website is one that changes or customizes itself frequently and automatically, based on certain criteria.

Dynamic websites can have two types of dynamic activity: Code and Content. Dynamic code is invisible or behind the scenes and dynamic content is visible or fully displayed.

They are edited using four broad categories of software:

Text editors, such as Notepad or Text Edit, where content and HTML markup are manipulated directly within the editor program

WYSIWYG offline editors, such as Microsoft FrontPage and Adobe Dreamweaver, with which the site is edited using a GUI interface 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 RapidWeaver and iWeb, which allow users to quickly 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 code.

Some websites require a subscription to access some or all of their content. Examples of subscription websites include many business sites, parts of 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, and websites providing various other services.

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