In this article, we’ll explain what a website is, how it works, its types, and everything you need to know about websites. Let’s get started.
What is a Website? – Definition
As the name implies, a website refers to a ‘site’ on the ‘web’ where you can put information about your business or organization and internet users can access it by using the internet.
Just like a physical ‘site’ on land where you make a house and live, you make a website on the web and your information lives on it. And, just like the address of your house, your website also will have a unique address called ‘web address’. With the web address, internet users can easily find your website and access the information on it.
Technically, a website is a collection of interlinked pages on the internet grouped together under a unique name or online address. These pages, known as web pages, contain information or services by a business or organization. The information may be in different formats like text, images, videos, audio, and animation and the services may be like buying or selling products, downloading digital products, etc.
For example, the page you’re viewing right now is a web page. It is one of the several pages on our website SiteSaga.com. This page and several other pages are arranged under the name SiteSaga.com and can be accessed by entering ‘www.sitesaga.com’ in your web browser.
As a user, you just need a computer, a smartphone, or any device having a web browser, and an internet connection to access a website. You need to enter a web address on the address bar of the web browser of your device. After that, it takes you to a page called the home page of that site.
A home page contains the basic overall information regarding what the website is about and what services the site offers. There are links on the home page that direct you to pages with more detailed information.
What is a Website Used For? And Types of Websites
Every website on the internet is built with a specific purpose or goal. The organizations and businesses through their websites, aim to provide information and services to their members and customers.
Websites also have become a medium of entertainment like playing games online, watching movies, and listening to music, and so on.
Similarly, e-commerce websites let us sell and buy things online. Alibaba and Amazon are the top e-commerce companies that are doing billion-dollar business via their websites.
Here’re some of the popular types of websites along with what they’re used for:
- Government website – Provides different types of information and services and saves a great deal of time. Example: www.USA.gov, www.australia.gov.au, etc.
- Education website – Websites of schools, universities, or independent academic organizations that offer online courses and various learning materials. Example: www.harvard.edu, www.coursera.org, etc.
- News portal – Makes readers updated with the latest news on the world scenario. Example: www.CNN.com, www.nytimes.com, etc.
- Blog website – Provide information on various topics. Example: www.sitesaga.com (our website is a technology blog about building websites).
- Entertainment website – Allows watching movies, videos, listening to songs, playing games, and so on. Example: www.rollingstone.com, www.netflix.com, etc.
- Social media site – Let users engage and interact with other users. Example: www.facebook.com, www.twitter.com, etc.
- Search engine site – Help users search for things and get useful results. Example: www.google.com, www.bing.com, etc.
Top Websites on the Internet
The number of websites releasing per day is massive. It is hard to say how many websites exist there in total. So, it’s impossible to make a list of all websites.
According to Internet Live Stats, an unbelievable number of over 200 million websites are known to be online.
Here’re just a few of the top websites according to popularity among users.
These are the giants of the web engaging millions of internet users every month.
How Does a Website Work?
To understand how a website works, you need to understand mainly 2 basic concepts first. They are:
- Domain Name
- Web Hosting
The domain name and web hosting are the 2 most essential things you need to create a website. A website works when these two things work together.
In simple terms, the domain name is the name of your website. You need to register your domain name with a domain registration company in order to get a unique web address. Some of the popular domain provider companies are NameCheap, GoDaddy, etc.
So, every website on the internet has a web address that locates the position of the website. When you enter the web address of a website on your web browser, the browser navigates through the web, finds the location of the requested page, and brings out the information for you.
This is where web hosting comes in. The storage location where your website files and content are stored is called the Web hosting.
Hosting services are also called web hosts and servers. Precisely, they are special computers situated in remote locations. They consist of huge memory and very powerful processors. Some of the popular web hosting companies are HostGator, SiteGround, Bluehost, etc.
Behind the scenes, when you type in a web address on the web browser, it starts to search for the particular website on the server where it is located. And then, the web browser fetches website files and HTML code from that server and formats it to a pleasing web page and displays on the browser window.
Types of Websites – Static vs. Dynamic Websites
Websites are basically divided into 2 types:
- Static Websites
- Dynamic Websites.
Static websites are ones with fixed information and the same content to display. And Dynamic websites are those with the facility to change the web page content as per need.
Dynamic websites can update web pages by the use of complex programming languages. It is capable of engaging users and linking the database to the website. The addition and removal of web page components are done from the database.
Static websites are cheaper and require less programming knowledge to create. Whereas, dynamic websites are little costly, and require a little more knowledge of programming languages.
However, you can find various website builders nowadays that provide a framework to create static as well as dynamic websites easily without having to write codes.
Brochure websites, portfolio websites, informational websites, etc. are examples of static websites. And eCommerce websites, blog websites, news websites, etc. are examples of dynamic websites.
Why Do You Need a Website for Your Business?
It is undeniable that it is crucial to have a website for your business in today’s world. No matter what scale your business is, it is guaranteed that websites are a profitable investment for your business.
Research by ThinkWithGoogle.com has found that 6 out of 10 customers look for your business website whereas about 90% of purchase decisions start with a web search.
Here are some reasons for you to have a website for your business:
- Increase in Reach: Your website helps your product to get in reach of more people who can be your possible customer.
- Online Presence: It lets your customers be able to find you anytime and anywhere. There is the only chance of losing customers to your competitors when you don’t get your business going online.
- Increases Credibility: Online presence of your business makes your business more professional. It enhances the trust factor of your customers.
- Market Expansion: As your website can be viewed from all around the globe. So, you may meet your potential customers from different parts of the world.
- Cost-Effective: Having an e-commerce site can be cost-effective as compared to an actual store. It cuts the cost of operating, wages, utilities, etc. Cutting the overhead costs will lower your product prices and hence, increase your sales.
- Customer Interaction: It is easier for your customers to reach you online, and give criticisms and feedback. You can also take suggestions and reviews of your products from the users. This way you can improve your products and eventually the sales of products increase.
How to Start a New Website?
Now that you are familiar with the importance of a website, you might want one for your business. Chances are that you have no idea about making websites.
Normally, making a website involves learning codes that take months of practice and experience. We suppose you don’t want to learn it.
Another way to get a website is by hiring a web developer or web development company to create it for you. It keeps you from learning the codes yourself, but you’ll need to pay a big chunk of money.
But thankfully, there’re many beginner-friendly website platforms like WordPress available nowadays. They allow you to create websites easily and at a much affordable price.
For example, to create a site in WordPress.com platform, all you have to do is to sign up, choose a beautiful theme, and add content. WordPress.com is a fully hosted platform where you can make a free website. If you want to learn, see our step by step guide on how to make a website in WordPress.com.
If you want to create a site with the self-hosted WordPress (WordPress.org), then you’ll need to install WordPress on a hosting account and set up your site.
What is Blog and How it Differs From a Website?
A blog is a type of website that is focused on providing information on different topics. The content of the blog is called “blog post”. The content of the blog appears in reverse chronological order (newer posts appear on top).
Blogs are primarily run by an individual or a group of people and they aim to convey information in a conversational and informal way.
Blogs often share general information, experience, reviews, critics, suggestions, or reactions through their posts. A reader can get an insight of what the post is trying to convey.
When blogging was started in the early days, it was used as a personal diary where writers would share their daily lives’ activities. With time, people have started blogging to share information on various other topics like education, health care, business, fitness, tech, motivation, etc.
Some people seem to find it a little uneasy to distinguish between blogs and websites. Here are some of the things that differentiate blogs and websites.
- Blogs are only a type of website. A blog is aimed at providing information on various topics. So, a blog is a subset of websites.
- Blogs are dynamic. It means they are frequently updated with new content. Bloggers can add multiple posts per day to their blog site. Whereas, most other websites are static in nature i.e. the content on their pages mostly remains the same.
- Blogs can be a small part of a big website. Or it can be integrated as a section on other websites to give particular information about their own organization. Most business websites have a blog section included in their site to give details about their products and services.
That’s all. We hope this article helped you to get a clear picture of what a website is, how it works, types and uses, and how to get one for your business or company. If you already have a site, then please feel free to share your experience with us.
And, you may find it confusing which one to use, “web site or website”. They mean the same thing. Sometimes, you’ll find the only “site” written. It also means the website. So, don’t waste time on it.