What is a Website?


A website is a collection of webpages hosted under a common domain. Usually, all the pages of a website are stored on the same physical server, have the same basic layout and interface, and are interlinked via hyperlinks. This rather general definition is often excepted, as many popular websites spread their bandwidth load over several servers (google.com, for example), and still other websites are hosted under one general domain name (geocities.com, for example). While there is no formal definition of what is and what isn't a website, any collection of documents on the World Wide Web that are available under a common address and reference each other are considered to be a single website. The term website is often shortened to just "site" in speech, and is written as two separate words "web site" in some strict publications.

The first website open to the public was the CERN site, who's purpose it was to promote the World Wide Web. Indeed, the web server, the web browser, the HTTP protocol, and the HTML markup language were all inventions of a single CERN employee. The original first webpage is still hosted at CERN for historical reasons, albeit at an archived address and not at its original address. All the early websites have a distinctly outline form, which reflects HTML's outline nature. Even today it is considered proper form to code websites in outline form, from the structure of the directories to the semantic structure of the pages.

While the concept of a website and the World Wide Web in general had been designed to facilitate the sharing of information, many websites are coded in such as fashion as to actually hinder their availability and accessibility. Some website-authoring tools, such as Microsoft FrontPage, create websites in non-standard code, rendering them inaccessible to all but proprietary web browsers, such as Microsoft's own Internet Explorer. Often, the webmasters of these websites are uninformed, and as have effectively made it impossible for users of other web browsers to access any complaint vector, have no way of knowing about the problem. This phenomenon had led to a situation where website authorship is no longer a simple procedure that any proficient person could learn, rather, the testing of different browsers under different conditions is something that only a seasoned professional could accomplish.

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