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A Web site, Website or WWW site (often shortened to just site) is a collection of Web pages, that is, HTML/XHTML documents accessible generally via HTTP on the Internet; all publicly accessible Web sites in existence comprise the World Wide Web. The pages of a Web site will be accessed from a common root URL, the homepage, and usually reside on the same physical server. The URLs of the pages organise them into a hierarchy, although the hyperlinks between them control how the reader perceives the overall structure and how the traffic flows between the different parts of the site.

Some Web sites require a subscription to access some or all of their content. Examples of subscription sites include many Internet pornography sites, parts of many news sites, gaming sites, message boards, Web-based e-mail services and sites providing real-time stock market data.


A Web site will often be the work of an individual, a business or organization, or dedicated to a particular topic or purpose. This is quite a blurry definition, given the hypertext nature of the Web: the whole of Wikipedia forms a Web site, but whether the Meta-Wikipedia pages are part of the same Web site or a sister Web site is open to debate.

Web sites are written in, or dynamically converted to, HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) and are accessed using a software package called a Web browser. Web pages can be viewed on computers or various portable devices (PDAs, cell phones, etc.) that have internet-capable functionality and an available internet connection.

Static Web sites can be created using text editors like Notepad or WYSIWYG editors like Microsoft FrontPage and Macromedia Dreamweaver. Active Server Pages (ASP), Java Server Pages (JSP) and/or a host of other dynamic web-scripting languages can also be used to generate Web pages. Static content may also be dynamically generated periodically or if certain conditions for regeneration occur (cached) to avoid the performance loss of initiating the dynamic engine on a per-user or per-connection basis.

A Web site also requires software known as an HTTP Server, two very common examples include Apache, the most commonly used Web server software used on the Internet (according to Netcraft statistics), and Microsoft's Internet Information Server (IIS). Often Web sites may include content that is pulled from one or more databases or using XML-based technologies such as RSS.

Plugins are also available for browsers, which use them to show active content, such as Flash, Shockwave or applets written in Java. Dynamic HTML also provides for user interactivity and realtime element updating within Web pages (i.e., pages don't have to be loaded or reloaded to effect any changes), mainly using the DOM and JavaScript, support for which is built-in to most modern browsers.

Types of Web sites

There are numerous types of Web sites, each specialising in a particular service or use. A few types of Web sites include:

Many Web sites 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 Web sites have the appearance of brochures—that is, an advertisement that can be strolled around. Some Web sites act as vehicles for users to communicate with other people via webchat.

Web sites are constrained by architectural limits (e.g. the computing power dedicated to the Web site). Very large Web sites, such as Yahoo!, Microsoft, Google and most other very large sites employ several servers and load balancing equipment, such as Cisco Content Services Switches or F5 BigIP solutions.


Mousetrapping is a technique employed by some "aggressive" commercial Web sites, especially ones that are pornographic in nature, that prevents the user from leaving the site, depending on Web browser settings. Typically, this form of trapping is employed by the use of Javascript code (or Dynamic HTML) that detects a user's attempt to either close the browser window or leave the Web site to view another site. These attempts may easily fail if the user disabled javascript on their Web browser; however, disabling Javascript may also impact how well certain pages on the current site or other Web sites load. Tools such as pop-up blockers can help in preventing this annoyance but by no means will solve the problem entirely.


The Webby Awards are a set of awards presented to the world's "best" Web sites.


As noted above, there are several different spellings for this term. Although "website" is commonly used (particularly by some newspapers and other media), Reuters, Microsoft, academia, and dictionaries such as Oxford, prefer to use the two-word, capitalised spelling "Web site". An alternate version of the two-word spelling is not capitalised. As with many newly created terms, it may take some time before a common spelling is finalised. (This controversy also applies to derivative terms such as "Web master"/"webmaster".)

The Associated Press Stylebook, the preeminent authority in newspaper style, suggests "Web site" and "Web page". "WWW site" is almost never acceptable.

See also

External links

de:Webpräsenz es:Sitio Web eo:Retejo fr:Site Web ko:웹사이트 ia:Sito del web it:Sito web lv:Tīmekļa vietne he:אתר אינטרנט nl:Website ja:ウェブサイト pt:site ru:Сайт simple:Website su:jalaloka sv:Webbplats uk:Сайт zh:網站