In the 21st Century, the internet has made its way into everyone’s daily life. Every one of us is hooked to our smartphones, laptops, and computers. From work, education, healthcare, shopping, and entertainment, to name a few, everything is available to you on the internet. The internet is not a physical space, rather a cyber-connectivity platform on which people connect to access different places which are called websites. We connect to the Internet and visit websites every day. To understand how this all works, we will break it down so even a non-tech-savvy person can easily understand it.
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But first, what is the internet?
Inter-net, as the name indicates, is a network formed between devices or platforms. When two devices such as smartphones, laptops, computers connect either wired or wirelessly, they make up a network. The internet does not constitute any physical presence. Once connected with the internet, anyone can access everything available on the internet. The Internet itself, however, does not give any data to anyone; it just provides a place.
There onwards one can log in to any website to access the information or data which is uploaded on the internet. To put it in a way for a non-tech person to understand, imagine the internet is a mall and websites are shops in that mall. The Internet provides space for websites. So, if you want to access some specific thing, you will need to log in to that website, just like if you needed to buy something, you would go to that shop inside the mall. As each shop has its own unique name, similarly, each website has its own identity which is called its domain name. To sum it up, the internet provides a space for people to connect to a platform where there are all the websites. All the data is then accessible by going on those websites.
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Now that we know what the internet is and how you can get it, let’s now try to understand what a website is and how it works.
What is a website?
In simple terms, a website consists of a collection of web pages accessed via the internet. One website has a domain name, which is like its address. You want to visit a website; you enter their domain name.
To understand this better, here’s an analogy. Just like a physical ‘site’ on land where you make a house and live, you make a website on the web and your information lives on it. And, just like the address of your house, your website also will have a unique address called ‘web address’. With the web address, internet users can easily find your website and access the information on it.
Together all the websites constitute the World Wide Web. Sometimes they are also called “webpage” which is incorrect as a website consists of several web pages. Webpages are online pages that you can view by using the internet and web service on a computer or smartphone. Webpages contain information or services by a business or organization. The information may be in different formats like text, images, videos, audio, and animation and the services may be like buying or selling products, downloading digital products, etc.
Every website on the internet is built with a specific purpose or goal. The organizations and businesses through their websites, aim to provide information and services to their members and customers.
Websites also have become a medium of entertainment like playing online games, watching movies, listening to music, and so on. Similarly, e-commerce websites let us sell and buy things online.
Websites are hosted on servers and require a web browser such as Chrome, Firefox, or Internet Explorer to be visited (either on a computer or mobile device). That means that website information isn’t stored in your computer, rather it is stored on a different computer somewhere else, that is referred to as a server.
There are hundreds of server systems all over the world, each hosting and storing information about multiple websites. If you need to access one website, your computer or device, that is connected to the internet, will reach out to those servers and request information about that particular website. The server, which contains the website information, will grant your computer’s request and send the website’s information, which is converted into readable form for you to scroll through. This is what happens behind the screen when you enter a website’s address or click on links on the website. It might seem a lot of work, but this happens in milliseconds.
But you don’t have to worry about which website is stored where and who is hosting it, you can directly access a website by entering its URL address.
Originally, websites were categorized by their top-level domains. Some examples include:
- Government agency websites = .gov
- Educational institutions’ websites = .edu
- Nonprofit organizations’ websites = .org
- Commercial websites = .com
- Information sites = .info
Most Used Websites
Now that it is clear what a website is, some of the most common and daily used websites are:
That’s all, we now know what the internet is, how it provides a platform for a different website. One of the platforms that allow you to access information on the internet is called a website. Each website contains several web pages and each website has its own unique domain. Each website has data or information relevant to the website only.
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