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WHAT EXACTLY IS A WEBSITE AND HOW DOES IT WORK?

Shalom Solomon

The term website is one of the most commonly used terms alongside words like food, Google, Facebook and TikTok. While we use this term every day, quite a few of us know what a website is exactly and the number gets a little smaller again when we ask how many of us understand how a website works. 

Well, if you are part of the number that don’t understand the workings of websites on the internet or even what a website is, count yourself lucky.

In the next few paragraphs, we will discuss in simple terms what a website is and explain how it works.

Hang around, you won’t be disappointed.

What is a Website?


A website is simply a presence or location on the world wide web consisting of one or more interconnected webpages that can be accessed using a single web address. Think of a website as and the web as a library. The library (the web), contains a lot of books (websites) and each book is made up of pages (webpages). 

There are millions of websites on the web and the number keeps rising every day. As of 2019, there were more than one billion websites on the web. 

Now, for a website to be qualified as a bona fide site, it has to be available on the internet all the time, we are talking about 24 hours of every day.

Websites can be created and maintained by a person, a group, an organization, a company or even a country, to serve a specific purpose or purposes. All the millions of websites on the internet, constitute the world wide web.

Before we go too far, let’s do a short history lesson.

The first website was created by computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee on the 6th of August 1991. Its contents were not that exciting though, it was practically a manual on how to use the world wide web. It contained information about the World Wide Web project and gave instructions on how to create webpages and people could also learn about hypertext.

Sadly, in the excitement of the whole project, the first website was lost. Although a simulation of it has been created in 2013. After the launch of the first website, there were only 10 websites by 1992 and whooping 3,000 websites by 1994.

With the launch of the Google search engine in 1996, the number rose to around 2 million. Currently, there are around 1.9 billion websites running on the internet today; we might soon hit the 2 billion mark if we haven’t already. 

How Do Websites Work?


First off, websites are hosted on servers and can be visited using web browsers such as Firefox, Opera Mini or Chrome. A website can be accessed on a web browser either by entering its URL address or by searching using key words on search engines such as Google. To display a website on the internet, you need a website, a server and a domain name. 

A domain name is the address that you type into a web browser address bar to get a website. Domain names are unique to each website; meaning that no two websites can have the same domain name.

Websites are sometimes categorized by their domain names. Some examples are:

.edu – for educational institution websites

.gov – for government agency websites

.info – for information sites

.com – for commercial websites

.org – for nonprofit organization websites

And there are the others like country specific extensions like .uk, .ng, .fr, etc.

So, when you enter a web address into a web browser, what happens is that the web browser looks up the IP address of the domain name, it also locates the web server that the website is hosted on and submits a request to the server for a copy of the webpages.

After receiving the copies from the server that your web browser translates the codes on the web page and displays it on the screen of your electronic device.

And that’s it. This is the magic that happens behind every website that loads on your electronic device. 

Thanks for reading ; -)

Comments

Jhon Doe

- 20 October, 2018

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Jhon Doe

- 20 October, 2018

Lorem ipsum dolor sit, amet consectetur adipisicing elit. Accusamus numquam assumenda hic aliquam vero sequi velit molestias doloremque molestiae dicta?

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