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What is the World Wide Web?

The Internet and the World Wide Web are not the same thing. The World Wide Web is only a portion of the Internet. The World Wide Web usually refers to information on the Internet that can easily be accessed using a browser, such as Internet Explorer or Firefox. Most documents on the World Wide Web are written a language called HyperText Markup Language, or HTML.

What is the World Wide Web composed of?

There are five integral pieces of the World Wide Web that allow you to access a website. These five pieces are:

  1. Your personal computer
  2. A web browser, such as Internet Explorer, Foxfire, or Netscape Navigator
  3. An Internet Service Provider, such as Road Runner or AOL
  4. Servers, which are special computers dedicated to storing files
  5. Routers and switches, which direct and channel the flow of information from the server to your computer

How does a webpage get to my computer screen?

  1. You enter the URL of a website. The URL (Uniform Resource Locator) is a webpage’s address on the Internet. The “www” part of the address indicates that the webpage is on the World Wide Web portion of the Internet.
  2. Your Internet Service Provider gives you access to the Internet, and allows your browser to “talk” to other computers
  3. Your browser requests the webpage from the computer, called a web server, which hosts or stores the web page you want to access. Your browser’s request travels through routers and switches to get to the web server.
  4. The server sends the data back to your computer, using routers and switches to move the information from the server to your computer
  5. Your browser interprets the data and displays it on your screen.

What is HTML?

Web pages accessed on the World Wide Web are written in a language called HyperText Markup Language, or HTML. You can see what HTML looks: On your browser’s menu bar, select “view” and then “source” to see the HTML that was used to write this page. Web pages are written in HTML because this is the language that your browser can read.


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