The World Wide Web (defined)

The World Wide Web, also known as the Web, is the part of the Internet that consists of structured text files, called web pages, that link to other web pages and digital files using hypertext links. Every page or file on the Web is identified by its Uniform Resource Locator (URL).

Web pages are written in a structured markup language called HTML (HyperText Markup Language), a type of text file. These web pages are stored on a web server, a computer that shares web pages and linked files over the Internet. A collection of web pages on a web server is known as a website. Websites are most commonly identified by a unique domain name. You use a web browser, such as Firefox, to navigate and view these web pages stored on web sites.

It’s a common mistake to think of the World Wide Web as the entire Internet, but the Web is in fact only part of the Internet, just the part that most people are familiar with and interact with the Web more than any other Internet protocol, including email.

Before the invention of the World Wide Web and the web browsers needed to view and navigate the Web, people using the Internet encountered a text-only Internet. Since plain text is still the basic building block of information transmission on the Internet, you can still view everything on the Internet, including web pages, as text-only documents. But why do that when you can see colorful web pages with images, video, audio, and beautiful typography? That’s one of the reasons that the World Wide Web grew so fast.

Read more about the World Wide Web on Wikipedia, and learn about the Web’s history, standards, and related technologies.

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