Anatomy of a Website

First, here's a look at some simple terminology I use throughout this book. You need to know what the following terms mean and how they apply to the body of work you're developing for the Web:

  • Website A collection of one or more web pages linked together in a meaningful way that, as a whole, describes a body of information or creates an overall effect (see Figure 2.1).

  • Web server A computer on the Internet or an intranet that delivers Web pages and other files in response to browser requests. (An intranet is a network that uses Internet protocols but is not publicly accessible.)

  • Web page A single document on a website, usually consisting of an HTML document and any items that are displayed within that document, such as inline images.

  • Home page The entry page for a website, which can link to additional pages on the same website or pages on other sites.

Figure 2.1. Websites and pages.

Each website is stored on a web server. Throughout the first week or so of this book, you'll learn how to develop wellthought out and well-designed websites. Later, you'll learn how to publish your site on an actual web server.

A web page is an individual element of a website in the same way that a page is a single element of a book or a newspaper (although, unlike paper pages, web pages can be of any length). Web pages sometimes are called web documents. Both terms refer to the same thing. A web page consists of an HTML document and all the other components that are included on the page, such as images or other media.

One problem with the term home page is that it means different things in different contexts. If you're browsing the Web, you usually can think of the home page as the web page that loads when you start your browser or when you click the Home button. Each browser has its own default home page, which generally leads to the website of the browser's creator or one that makes them some money through advertising when you visit.

Within your browser, you can change that default home page to point to any page you want. Many users create a personalized page linking to sites they use often and set that as their browser's home page.

If you're publishing pages on the Web, however, the term home page has an entirely different meaning. The home page is the first or topmost page on your website. It's the intended entry point that provides access to the rest of the pages you've created (see Figure 2.2).

Figure 2.2. A home page.


Most of your users will access your site through your home page, but some will enter your site through other pages. The nature of the Web is that people can link to any page on your site. If you have interesting information on a page other than your home page, people will link directly to that page. On the other pages of your site, you shouldn't assume that the visitor has seen your home page.

A home page usually contains an overview of the content of the website, available from that starting pointfor example, in the form of a table of contents or a set of icons. If your content is small enough, you might include everything on that single home pagemaking your home page and your website the same thing. A personal home page might include a link to a person's resume and some pictures from a recent vacation. A corporate home page usually describes what the company does, and contains links like "About the Company," "Products and Services," and "Customer Support."

Sams Teach Yourself Web Publishing with HTML and CSS in One Hour a Day
Sams Teach Yourself Web Publishing with HTML and CSS in One Hour a Day (5th Edition)
ISBN: 0672328860
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2007
Pages: 305

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