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A website or web site is a collection of web pages, that is, documents
accessible via the World Wide Web on the Internet. The pages of a website
will be accessed from a common root URL, the homepage, and usually reside on
the same physical server. The URLs of the pages organize them into a
hierarchy, although the hyperlinks between them control how the reader
perceives the overall structure.
A website will often be the work of one person, one organization, or on a
particular topic, or have a particular purpose. This is quite a blurry
definition, given the hypertext nature of the web: the whole of Wikipedia
forms a website, but whether the Meta-Wikipedia pages are part of the same
website or a sister website is open to debate.
Web sites are written in HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) and are accessed
using special software called web browsers. Plugins are available for
browsers which allow them to show active content, such as Flash, Shockwave
or applets written in Java. Some interactive content may also be generated
emerging standard called Dynamic HTML is starting to make an appearance,
though no standard has been formally adopted yet.
Types of Websites
There are numerous types of websites, each specializing in a particualr
service or use. A few types of websites include:
* Business site: used for promoting a business or service
* Commerce site or eCommerce sites: for purchasing goods, such as
* Download site: strictly used for downloading electronic content, such
as software, game demos or computer wallpaper
* Information site: contains content that is intended merely to inform
visitors, but not necessarily for commercial purposes
* Shock site: includes images or other material that is intended to be
offensive to most viewers
* Vanity site: run by an individual or a small group (such as a family)
that contains information or any content that the individual wishes to
* Wiki site: a site for people to contribute to material and exchange
ideas (such as Wikipedia)
Many websites are a mixture of types. For example, a business web site may
promote the business's products, but may also host informative documents,
such as white papers. There are also numerous sub-categories to the ones
listed above. For example, a porn site is a specific type of eCommerce site
or business site (that is, it is trying to sell memberships for access to
its site). A fan site may be a vanity site on which the administrator is
paying homage to a celebrity.
Many business websites, have all the appearance of brochures—that is
an advertisement that can be strolled around. Some websites act as vehicles
to communicate with other people: Webchat.
The content of a website is constrained by the hosting computer's power, and
also legally, e.g. by copyright, pornography laws, etc.