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A website (also spelled web site) is a collection of related web pages, images, videos, sound files, or other digital assets that are addressed with a common domain name or IP address. A website is hosted on a computer system known as a web server. A website is hosted on at least one web server, accessible via the Internet or a private local area network.
A web page (also spelled webpage) is a document, typically written in plain text interspersed with formatting instructions of Hypertext Markup Language (HTML, XHTML). A webpage may incorporate elements from other websites with suitable markup anchors, commonly referred to as "links". Webpages are accessed and transported with the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP). The user's web browser uses its HTML markup instructions to display the page content onto a terminal.
The pages of a website can usually be accessed from a simple Uniform Resource Locator (URL) called the homepage. The URLs of the pages organize them into an internal hierarchy. However, the links between them provide the reader with a perceived site structure, and guide navigation of the site.
All publicly accessible websites collectively constitute the World Wide Web. This was created in 1990 by CERN engineer Tim Berners-Lee. On 30 April 1993, CERN announced that the World Wide Web would be free for anyone to use.
Types of websites
There are many varieties of website, each specializing in a particular type of content or use; and they may be arbitrarily classified in any number of ways. The following are types of website that, in one way or another, are relevant to fandom:
- Archive: used to preserve valuable electronic content threatened with extinction (e.g. the Internet Archive, which preserves snapshots of billions of websites)
- Blog: short for "web log"; generally used to post online diaries which may include discussion forums
- Corporate website: a site used to provide official information about a business, organization, or service (such as a television network or publisher, who may thus provide information on TV series, forthcoming publications, and the like)
- E-commerce site (electronic commerce): offers goods and services for online sale
- Community: a site where persons with similar interests communicate with each other, usually by chat or message boards
- Forum: a site where people discuss various topics, often on message boards
- Info(rmation) site: a site that contains content that is intended to inform visitors.
- Journaling site: e.g. LiveJournal
- Mirror site: a site that is a complete reproduction of another website.
- Personal site: a site created by an individual
- Social networking site: a site where users can communicate with one another and share media, such as pictures, videos, music, blogs, etc. with other users
- Wiki: a site which is collaboratively edited by users (for example, Wikipedia or Fanlore), often used to create an online encyclopedia
- Adapted from the Wikipedia article on websites.