What is a Website?

website design on laptop

Before we get started talking about how to build a website, let’s talk about what a website is.

A website is a collection of digital pages that are accessed through the Internet using an electronic device like a computer, tablet, or phone. When a page is accessed, it’s content is displayed on the screen of the device.

You can think of a website like a book.

open bookBoth Books and Websites Have Pages

A book is composed of any number of pages that are connected.

A website is composed of one or more web pages, which are contained within a single object (a website domain name like Microsoft.com).


Both Books and Websites Have a Cover (Page)

A book has a cover, which is what people initially see when they come across the book that gives them an idea of what the book is about.

The landing page, or homepage, of the website is typically what they first see when they go to a website, so it is like a book cover. They get an idea of what the website is about and what kinds of information they has.

library shelvesLibraries are Similar to Website Hosting

The book often sits on a shelf with other books, which may be inside a large building such as a library.

Websites are composed of electronic files and documents that are stored on one or more special computers, called web servers or servers.

Web servers are always on and are connected to the Internet, enabling access to the websites at any time and from anywhere. They often store many websites together, and are usually located inside large facilities that maintain them and protect them.

seo google rankingCard Catalogs are like Search Engines

People look for books using a large index that helps them find relevant books on a topic, by name, or other criteria.

Websites are often found using search engines (like Google or Bing) that index billions of websites by what those websites contain, helping people find relevant content based on their search criteria.

Websites Offer Greater Flexibility and Opportunities

While books and websites have plenty of similarities, there are some notable differences.

Unlike a book, a website can be updated easily, feature dynamic content, be interactive, and/or have various forms of media (video, images, etc.).

There are also far fewer barriers preventing access. Because a website is digital, people can typically access a website at any time, from anywhere, on-demand. Many people can visit a website and browse its content all at the same time.

Although there are differences, being able to think of it as being similar to a book, will hopefully help you have better understanding and insight into how a website works.