Websites are collections of related web pages that are gathered under a single domain name. They are maintained by a person or organization and are made available over a computer network. Websites are hosted on servers that can be accessed either through the Internet or a local area network, and can be reached at a specific web address known as a URL (Uniform Resource Locator). Consequently, the totality of publicly accessible websites constitutes the World Wide Web.
URLs are essentially references to internet resources. The syntax of an URL typically consists of the protocol, the domain name or IP address, a port number, the path of the resource, scripts and a query string.
A web page is a text document specifically formatted with Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) instructions. Web browsers are able to read the HTML codes and display their instructions into visible or audible web pages. As such, the browser will not display the formatting codes, but will interpret their content for the viewer. Learning how to use HTML to properly display information on a web page is a key aspect of web design.
When incorporating elements form other websites, web designers will make uses of anchors, which enable them to literally anchor a URL to a piece of text on their web page. Viewers can then click on the text to reach the website whose URL is in the link. The visible text of a hyperlink is therefore called anchor text.
Owners use their websites to disseminate information on various topics that may be of interest to web surfers. Nowadays, there are literally millions upon millions of websites that tackle topics of general interest or cater to specific niches. Consequently, some websites, such as online libraries, academic journals, online gaming sites, message boards, file sharing sites and adult content websites, may require a subscription to access their full content. Subscribers may be asked to pay a monthly fee or simply to create a user account and provide an email address.
Depending on their organization and function, websites may be personal or commercial, and they may belong to an individual, a business or a public institution.