A website is a set of related web pages that share a web domain and can be accessed over the Internet.
Right now you are viewing a website called Learn the Net located at the domain name https://websitebuilders.com. This website is made up of hundreds of web pages, each of which has unique address called a URL that consists of the domain name followed by a file path that leads to the page being viewed. In the case of this page, the path looks like this: /website/. All of the web pages located at a URL that begins with https://websitebuilders.com are part of the Learn the Net website.
What we have just described is the basic structure of a website that is shared by every website. Every website consists of multiple web pages that share a domain name and can be accessed over the Internet.
There are two major categories of websites: static and dynamic.
- Static websites simply display content that is stored on the server. An example of a static website would be a small business website that displays basic information about the business and provides contact information and directions to the business.
- Dynamic websites are interactive and change or update automatically in response to input from the website visitor. An example of a dynamic website is an e-commerce site with a shopping cart feature that a user can use to build and place an order.
In order for a website to be accessible over the Internet, it must be physically stored on a web server. A web server is a computer connected directly to the Internet that is designed to store websites, process requests and serve websites up to visitors.
Frequently Asked Questions
How many websites are there on the Internet?
There are around 1 billion websites on the Internet, a milestone commemorated by the inventor of the web himself. The number fluctuates as there are constantly website being added and removed from the web. It's also worth pointing out that a significant percentage of the total number of websites are essentially dead – no longer updated or maintaned in any meaningful way.
Do you have to own a server to have a website?
No, there are many hosting companies that maintain multiple web servers and rent space on those servers to customers who want a website. There are many different types of hosting plans described by words like shared, dedicated, virtual private, and cloud. For most websites that are just getting started, an affordable shared hosting with a hosting company that has a good reputation online will be perfectly adequate.
Does a major website such as Facebook need more that a single server?
While a single server may host dozens – even hundreds – of simple low-traffic websites, a complex and popular website like Facebook requires many servers, typically spread between multiple data centers, and a complex system of networking equipment. In case of Facebook, in early 2011 the website was powered by 63,000 servers located in 9 data centers.