What is a website: Examples, Types and Structure

A website is a collection of web pages that are created with web technologies such as HTML, XHTML, or AMP HTML by a person or an organization. Website is a way of World Wide Web presence. A website can be displayed to a user agent via a browser such as Google Chrome, Firefox, or Microsoft Edge. A website has a server that serves the resources that are necessary to render the web page for the users. A website can include CSS, JavaScript, HTML, XHTML, XHR, JSON, PDF, CSV, Image and Font files. The first website was written and published on November 13, 1990, by Tim Berners-Lee on a NeXT computer. One day after Tim Barners-Lee and Robert Cailliau published a revised concept for a global hypertext project.

What is the meaning of term website?

Since the web presence includes all websites grouped under a certain domain and belonging to a provider and any downloadable documents on the World Wide Web, it is the preferred medium with which providers and users can come together via the Internet. The shortening of the long-term World Wide Web Site to a single lowercase word website reflects a typical development of technical expressions. Leading news agencies such as Reuters and The Chicago Manual recommend the collapsed spelling website in English, as do dictionaries and encyclopedias such as the Canadian Oxford Dictionary.

The use of the spelling website can be seen in large Internet companies such as Google and Apple. Microsoft, on the other hand, uses both spellings, both website, and website. The terms site, website, internet platform, website, and web page collection are used interchangeably in general. In professional discourse sometimes websites (web applications + services/daemons as FTP and e-mail) are broader than web presence (only Web applications). While internet platform is generally used synonymously with website, web platform is often used synonymously with only in part of the cases website used.

What is the structure of a website?

Websites consist of structured text in which images and other multimedia elements can be integrated. The essential feature of websites is that they contain references, so-called hyperlinks, to other websites and together form the hypertext. Every document has at least one address (URL) that can be accessed in a web browser. Web pages can have static or dynamic content. Dynamic content is regenerated each time it is called, preferably based on the result of a database query. In addition, the same content can be presented in different ways, for example as a print version or version for the screen.

Web pages are loaded from the Internet but can also be stored on a local storage medium, for example, a hard drive. The entirety of the web pages of an Internet presence is referred to as a website, web presence, Internet presence, or colloquially as a homepage.

What is a Dynamic Website?

In contrast to static web pages, which technically represent an HTML document on the webserver, web pages are often generated dynamically or actively at the moment of the request. This is useful if a website is to contain very current information such as stock prices or weather forecasts. In this case, the webserver executes a program that has been specifically developed in advance for this task. It carries the data from databases and creates the HTML document. This is then transferred from the webserver to the browser and displayed to the user. Another use case arises from the need to react to input from the user, such as entering a search term in a search engine. The search engine software creates a list of suitable links based on the search term and generates a website that conveniently presents this list to the user. The ability to generate web pages dynamically based on user input and database content quickly made the web a universal platform for many types of applications. The advantages lie in the independence of operating systems and other properties of the clients. The only basic requirements are a network connection to the server and a web browser.

Any program that can be executed on the server system can be used to generate dynamic web pages. To simplify programming, however, standards such as the Common Gateway Interface (CGI) were introduced to make web applications independent of the type of web server. The majority of CGI applications were and are written in the Perl programming language. Technologies such as PHP, J2EE, and .NET developed due to the rapidly increasing need for very powerful servers to operate web applications. Since the content of extensive websites is usually entered by several people, a content management system (CMS) is often used in such projects. More and more, mostly PHP and MySQL-based solutions in free software are pushing onto the market, which can be used quickly even by inexperienced programmers, as long as they do not exceed a certain complexity.

What are the most popular CMS systems for websites?

What is Dynamically Generated Static Website?

With the standardization for XML and XSLT, the W3C showed away in December 2000, how “real” and thus static HTML documents can be generated dynamically, which can take on the complexity of the database extracts of a CMS or even these Outperform: Simple and content-restricted, but well-structured output data in XML are converted into valid, complex HTML by an adapted XSL transformer, which is then available as a static document on the webserver.

The main advantage is the higher performance because the host computer does not have to put together complex websites on request and the server can therefore cope with higher numbers of visitors. Another advantage is the greater flexibility in design. In contrast to conventional CMS, where database content is inserted into ready-made and relatively rigid HTML templates, a structured XML output document has a significant influence on the layout and user guidance of the HTML document generated from it. This allows the amateur suitable for producing also of long and related content via XML editor and their presentation in easily rezipierbarerForm, for example as a web-friendly e-book, whereby a single “website” can consist of several screen pages that are “folded” using CSS and can be conveniently leafed through or accessed using menu navigation. It is also possible to design entire websites as graphical user interfaces with several elements that can be operated in parallel. One of the main obstacles to the broad use of these significantly expanded options with regard to display and data storage has long been considered to be Microsoft Internet Explorer, which, as a long-standing market leader, only offers sufficient standard conformity with regard to CSS with Version 8, which was released in 2009.

What are the components of a website?

In the simplest case, a website consists of at least one HTML file that is located in a directory in the path of a domain. In general, however, it is now made up of numerous HTML files, which can also be accommodated in a nested directory structure. It should also be noted that an HTML file itself usually consists of a file with the ending .html or .htm and a directory of the same name, in which the non-HTML-compliant elements (images, media, etc.) are stored; this includes files about the CSS class typing and various script files (JavaScript ).

At least this is how it looks when the displayed page is saved by the browser on the visitor’s hard drive. The provider can, however, have generated them dynamically from templates and database contents, so that the existence of a real file is only faked (partly because it promises better positions in search engines). CSS and JavaScript files are typically specified centrally for a website and, in the case of mass hosts, are even specified by the provider for the entire webspace.

A homepage is the page of a website that is designed as a central hub. The start page (entry, index page) is the first page called up on a website. In most cases, the home page is also the home page of a website. In special cases, however, it is preceded by an intro page, usually, because it is followed by a frame is shown, which search engines often do not capture optimally. The intro should then provide the necessary information about the content and keywords that are invisible to the visitor and intended for search engines, provided that the following pages remain invisible to them. Therefore, the intro often appears extremely spartan and says nothing for the visitor; it is often perceived as a nuisance and an obstacle. In many cases, attempts are made to counteract this with Flash animations, which, however, are also viewed by many visitors as an imposition and a waste of time. In response to this, a link to skip is usually offered. The components of a website are summarized in the list below.

  • Homepage
  • Category Page
  • Service, Product, Blog Page
  • Content of the website
  • Server of the website
  • Design of the website
  • HTML, CSS, JS, Images, Font files and codes

What are the purposes of HTML, CSS and JS for a website?

A technology mix of different techniques is used in the implementation of websites. The basic techniques here are HTML, CSS, and often JavaScript. There are various ways of combining these techniques within an HTML document (website). The JavaScript code can e.g. B. can be placed directly “inline” in the HTML description. The “Script” tag from HTML can be used for this purpose. Furthermore, direct connections with certain JavaScript functions can be set via HTML event handler attributes such as “onclick” or “ontouchstart”. Such an approach mixes logic for describing the content, design, and behavior. Due to a mixture, later changes to the behavior cannot be made without also taking the content (HTML) and presentation (CSS) into account. In the case of separation, this can be adjusted and further developed separately. Furthermore, the HTML document is simplified and remains free of longer JavaScript areas and CSS definitions. The following separation should be achieved with the following.

  • HTML content: The HTML document should only keep the content to be displayed. The HTML tags used for this should be free of event handler attributes and inline JavaScript code. Styling attributes with CSS content should also not be used in the HTML markup.
  • Visual representation: The visual representation of the content of the view should be defined in separate CSS files. The styles defined there are used by the rendering engine of the web browser when building the view. The separate definition of the visual representation also allows easier adaptation of the presentation for different output media. For example, a responsive web designimplemented, which automatically adapts to the technical conditions of the end device, such as the screen size. The integration of the CSS file in the HTML document should only be done via a “Link” tag in the header of the document. Older HTML tags for adapting visual representations, such as font or center, should no longer be used and have been marked with HTML5 as out of date (“deprecated”).
  • Behavior: The client-side behavior of a website and the registration for input events should only take place in the JavaScript code. This code should also be placed in separate JavaScript files. The JavaScript file is also integrated into the HTML document using the script tag. However, an external file is addressed with the src attribute. When integrating JavaScript files into an HTML document, the strategy has also established itself of defining all script tags at the end of the HTML document. The reason for this is the rendering behavior of web browsers. As soon as the web browser finds a script tag, the script is downloaded and executed. Only after this process does the actual rendering of the rest of the content of the HTML document continue. If the header of the HTML document already defines several scripts, the website remains blocked until all scripts have been loaded. Alternatively, the async or defer attribute of HTML5 can be used for the script tag. However, the script files to be loaded must not have any dependencies, since the exact sequence of loading is no longer defined.

If the described separation of content, behavior, and presentation is taken into account, the techniques used for the implementation of websites are also divided into individual areas. There is no direct mixing. The strict separation increases the maintainability and adaptability of the document. This separation also enables easier division of tasks when realizing a web project.

How to create a website?

Websites are mainly written in the platform-independent markup language HTML or XHTML in order to ensure that they can be displayed by as many browsers as possible. Today, websites are designed with CSS, because they allow the easy design of content that has been structured with HTML or XHTML. For more complex websites, the HTML source text is usually generated using a server-side script (PHP, Perl, Python, Ruby, VBScript) or programming languages (Java), which among other things also allow the use of database systems (MySQL, PostgreSQL, Oracle). Often, client-side scripting languages ​​such as JavaScript are also used, which are typically used more for user interaction than for the full creation of a website. Server-side scripts or programs preferably generate HTML text as output, which is then rendered by the user’s browser. The website is stored on a web server, which is often operated in a data center by a so-called web host and rented out to the owner of the website.

The development of websites is known as web design or web authoring.

What are the purposes of a website?

With the help of various communication offers, a website builds a relationship between the provider, the operator and the user of the website. For example, “Holisticseo.digital” as a whole is a website that is stored on one or more host computers (servers) on the Internet, while what is displayed in the browser is specifically viewed as a single document. The website of the German language Wikipedia as an example currently comprises over five million websites.

  • Purely private self-presentation , in which someone presents himself with his personal details (name, address, birthday, etc.), his interests, photos, an online diary and a guest book in which visitors submit their comments on the design and content of the offer can. The fact that criminals could misuse such information for their own goals speaks against providing overly personal data.
  • Semi-private presentation in so-called weblogs , which are mostly of a private nature and resemble an open online diary, in which visitors can contribute to the content of the page, as well as in forums that deal with very specific subject areas and where everyone has their questions, Answers and opinions in the public space of the Internet. In both forms, emphasis is placed on being polite. If the rules of decency are violated repeatedly or too severely, exclusion from the forum is possible.
  • Purely informative presentation of a business or private nature, with which either an organization or a company presents itself and the associated field of activity or a private person presents their qualifications and previous activities (applicant website), with particular emphasis on the various contact options (telephone, fax, e-mail, etc.) is placed. See also Wikibooks applicant homepage .
  • Sales-related websites of companies whose main field of activity is online trading , such as B. online auction houses , mail order companies , online shops or online insurance companies. Such web presences present products and services on the web in order to make offers to visitors and to receive or mediate orders.
  • Thematic web offers that are used to provide comprehensive information about a specific content, such as B. Legal texts, cultural programs or lexicons. However, the technical advantage of easier updating compared to printed offers is not always used. It can ghost sites arise.
  • News websites that provide the latest news either generally or only for a specific area of ​​society. Often times, web feeds can also be found on these pages . Websites are often financed by advertisements .
  • A landing page is a sales-optimized website that can be accessed just by clicking on e.g. B. an advertisement or a link in an email is reached. The special thing about a landing page is that it focuses on one action.

What are the different kinds of websites?

Types of websites are listed below.

  • Affiliate network
  • Affiliate agency
  • Archive site
  • Malware website
  • Blog (weblog)
  • Brand-building site
  • Celebrity website
  • Comparison shopping website
  • Crowdfunding website
  • Click-to-donate site
  • Content site
  • Classified ads site
  • Corporate website
  • Online dating service
  • E-commerce website
  • Fake news website
  • Internet forum
  • Gallery website
  • Government website
  • Gripe site
  • Online game website
  • Online gambling website
  • Humor site
  • Information site
  • Media-sharing site
  • Mirror site
  • Microblog website
  • News site
  • Personal website
  • Phishing website
  • Photo sharing website
  • p2p/Torrents website
  • Political site
  • Question and Answer (Q&A) site
  • Religious site
  • Review site
  • School website
  • Scraper site
  • Search engine
  • Shock site
  • Showcase website
  • Social bookmarking site
  • Social networking service
  • Social news
  • Warez
  • Webcomic
  • Webmail
  • Web portal
  • Wiki site

What is the relation between a website and SEO?

The relation between a website and SEO is that websites can improve their overall functionality, benefits for users by optimizing their overall structure for a search engine’s quality perception and crawling patterns. Search Engine Optimization is the process of improving a digital entity’s overall rankings by helping users to perform their search intent. Search Engine Optimization can be implemented for social media search engines such as Instagram, Twitter, or Pinterest or for Apps within App Store and Google Play.

Websites are the main target of most of the SEO efforts since a website can exist in social media search engines, or App search engines with its own proxies. A search engine can improve its performance on the Search Engine Result Pages by improving its content quality, page loading performance time, and overall crawl efficiency. SEP can be used to improve a website’s organic traffic with different verticals of SEO as described below.

  • Local SEO
  • Technical SEO
  • Semantic SEO
  • Web Page Loading Performance Optimization
  • Layout and Design Optimization
  • User Experience Optimization
  • Conversion Rate Optimization
  • Image SEO
  • Barnacle SEO

Holistic SEO is the expression of all verticals of SEO in a united manner to improve the organic search visibility and performance of a website. Thus, the definition of a website and SEO are connected to each other with other types of SEO. As in SEO and website connection, digital marketing and a website are connected to each other to improve a brand’s digital impression, image, and sales overall.

Is the website speed important?

Yes. Website loading speed is important to provide a better user experience and having a better crawl efficiency. A slow website can affect the conversion rate of the website while preventing the website perform its purpose. A search engine can decrease the rankings of a slow website while not being able to crawl a slow website efficiently. Website speed is important to provide a smooth loading, being responsive during the loading phase, and runtime. To evaluate a website’s efficiency and quality, the user-centric metrics that focus on user experience for measuring website speed should be understood.

How does a website distribute PageRank among web pages?

A website distributes PageRank between its own web pages via hypertext. A hypertext can have an anchor text (link text) to provide relevance. PageRank is invented by the founders of Google, Sergey Bring, and Larry Page. PageRank takes its name from Larry Page’s last name which is Page. PageRank can be measured with link quantity, link prominence, link text, link quality between different web pages of a website. To measure the PageRank, some Python Scripts or online technologies can be used such as OnCrawl. But, any of these PageRank measurement methodologies are not configured for Google’s internal PageRank formula. Thus, PageRank measurement methods have estimated formulas to measure the PageRank. A website can distribute PageRank to the different website sections with different portions based on the site tree. Crawl-path and crawl efficiency are also important for a search engine to see the PageRank Distribution of a website. The terms below should be used to understand further what PageRank is and how it is distributed.

Crawl path, site-tree, hypertext, and other related terms to the PageRank can be used to understand a website’s connection to the SEO as a term.

What is site-tree of a website?

Site-tree is the structure of a website related to its internal topical hierarchy with the navigation. URL Pattern of a website, its breadcrumbs, and internal link circulation along with navigation can signal the tree of the website. A website tree can be used to understand the most important part of a website while assessing more prominence to the specific section of a website. A search engine such as Google, or Microsoft Bing can understand the website tree to use it for assigning a quality score for the website according to the specific topic. Uniting similar articles by segmenting the website show the categories and website sections to a search engine and user. Thus, creating a semantically correct site structure is important to signal the relevance of a website section to a search engine and user. Semantic SEO and website tree are connected terms to each other to create better meaningful and user-friendly website trees for relevance.

Is mobile-first indexing important for websites?

Yes. Mobile-first indexing is important for websites to have better organic search visibility and user-friendliness. If a website is not usable for mobile users, it won’t be able to have a prominent existence on the open web since most of the population uses mobile devices to surf on the web. Mobile search, mobile usability, and mobile-first indexing are connected to each other in the context of mobile websites. A mobile website is the mobile version of a website that is convenient to be used within the mobile version. Mobile-first indexing is the process of indexing a website with the mobile version to provide a relevant result to the user’s search term which is a query. Having a responsive website will help a website to have better results for user engagement, search engine rankings, prestige, and customer satisfaction. Since, mobile users increased their population among internet users, to design a mobile user-friendly website, designers started to use the term mobile-first. Mobile-first design means that the website will be designed with the mobile version before the desktop version.

What is the difference between a website and web page?

The primary difference between a website and a web page is that a website occurs from multiple web pages while a web page consists of from itself. A website can have multiple web pages for different categories, and purposes such as information giving, or product selling while a web page can only have the main purpose that is self-contained. A website can consist of a single web page which is called Single Page Websites. Single page websites use only a single web page with multiple sections for corporate communication, lead generation, and product commercial. A website can signal its different sections with URL structure and breadcrumb while a web page can signal its different sections with Semantic HTML and design differences.

How many websites are archived by internet archive?

More than 3 billion websites are archived by internet archives. 580 billion web pages are archived by the Internet Archive to provide a historical record for the past of the web. Internet Archive is a non-profit organization to helps people to save the history of the web. Registering a web page and a website to Internet Archive help users to find the old information on the web. Internet Archive is a precaution against link rot and web decay. Having a prominent existence within the internet archive can help a search engine to see the prominence of a website since users registered the website’s web pages to the archive, which means that a social crowd cares about the specific website. Registering web pages to the Internet Archive helps protect against content duplication and hijacking. Since, the original content owner can be seen in the Internet Archive, performing a DMCA Complaint is easier to protect a website’s content. Thus, one of the most important components of a website which is the content can be protected against the content farms. Between 35 and 75 percent of the web is saved within the internet archive.

To learn how to save a website into the internet archive with Python, read the related guideline.

How does a Search Engine define a website?

A search engine can define a website with different angles such as segmenting a website based on author names, product names, categories, or layout and CMS that is used. A search engine can define a website’s borders according to the sub-domains purposes, or cross-site borders if the websites are owned by the same owner such as an organization or person. The methods below can be used to define a website by a search engine.

  • Domain name
  • Sub-domain name
  • Author name
  • Web page layout
  • CMS Systems that are used
  • Code Structure and Server Location
  • Content-Type and Web Page Type
  • Title Templates for a specific Search Intent
  • Cross-site mutual signals for identity of brand, person, and organization

Websites definition and border determination process are related to the domain extensions, and website segments based on purpose and identity.

Last Thoughts on a Website and Holistic SEO

Definition of a website can be done based on historical information, the owner of the website, or segments of a website. Definition of a website can affect the search engines’ perception of the website. A website that is defined based on the authors’ names can be affected the author-related updates such as marriage, or career-related news. A trustworthy author can help to improve the reliability of the websites that have the author’s articles. A website definition can be done based on the CMS and the code structure besides the author-based segmentation. Crawl patterns and page loading performance metrics can be changed based on the different server infrastructures. Thus, the definition of a website is important to determine an SEO Strategy for Holistic SEO. Knowing the historical data, internet archive past of a website, and understanding its components such as web pages, HTML, JS, and CSS or Font and Image files are important to perform any kind of optimization related to the SEO, CRO, and digital marketing.

The guideline for the website definition and explanation will be updated in light of new information.

Koray Tuğberk GÜBÜR

2 thoughts on “What is a website: Examples, Types and Structure”

Leave a Comment

What is a website: Examples, Types and Structure

by Koray Tuğberk GÜBÜR time to read: 18 min