What is the World Wide Web and How Does It Work

Let's start by defining the World Wide Web. What is it? It is nothing more than a network of computers all over the world. All these computers in the Web can communicate with each other. They all use the communication protocol called HTTP. A protocol is nothing more than a set of rules that people accept and obey. HTTP is HyperText Transfer Protocol, the key "set of rules" for transferring data across the WWW.

How does the WWW work? First, information is stored in documents called web pages. Next, web pages are files stored on computers called web servers. Then, computers reading the web pages are called web clients. Web clients view the pages with a program called a web browser. Some popular browsers are Internet Explorer and Firefox.

Let's follow your role in the WWW. You have a website you have created on your home computer, and now you want to share it with the world. Your website is x number of pages long. Your next step is to contact our hosting company, and purchase a hosting package (which is a place for your website to live on the WWW) and a domain name (which is an address that is easier for people to remember than an IP number). Now you load those pages onto one of our servers, using an FTP program. (File transfer protocol). Now you are ready for a web client (browser) to come along and ask to read your files (your website). It does this by requesting the page by using a standard HTTP page address. An address may look like this: http://www.sample.com/index.htm.

How does a browser display a web page? Well, all web pages contain instructions for display in their coding. The browser displays the page by reading and performing these instructions. The most common instructions are called HTML tags. Some examples of HTML tags are <p> for paragraph, <title> for the page title, <img> for image, and so forth. Put them all together, and these tags will tell a browser just how a website should look and perform.

This is the end of the tutorial. Once your website is on the WWW, if can be found by web clients from all over the world. The system may experience a speed bump now and then, but that is pretty amazing considering the enormous task it performs of keeping the entire world connected.

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