Web pages, the web, the internet, and you
What is this 'world wide web' everyone keeps talking about? Why can't they just say Internet?!?! How does a webpage get to someone's computer when a request for that webpage is made? What uses do webpages have?
This tutorial is meant as a quick guide on how the whole webpage system works online and where you as a webpage author stand in the grand scheme of things. In other words, to give you some context.
This tutorial focuses on:
- Webpage uses
- The world wide web
- The HTTP protocol
- The HTTPS protocol
- How it all comes together
What is the use of a webpage? You might be thinking it's obvious - to show some information about something to people online. That's the fundamental use of web pages, but it gets more specific.
With webpages you can:
Promote your business
If you run a business and you're not selling things online already, than you are probably losing profit! Get your business online and let the world know about it with a webpage!
Promote your self
Whether you're a freelancer of some kind (graphic designer, writer, journalist, etc.) or want to keep an online journal (blog), a webpage is a great way to let the world know about yourself and what it is that you do.
Review a product
Did you buy a product and really like it? Does it have great features? Or maybe it really sucks? Whatever your feelings on a product, you can use a webpage to inform others about it.
The world wide web
This 'world wide web' everyone keeps talking about. What exactly does that term mean? A common misconception exists that the term 'world wide web' is a synonym for the internet. In reality, the world wide web is only a part of the internet.
|World wide web||The part of the internet by which webpages and the content on those webpages such as sounds and images are transferred to users who send requests for these resources. All this data (the data of a website) is stored on a special computer known as a web server. A user requests this data through their web browser, the web server gets the request, and sends it to the user's web browser|
|Internet||An abbreviation for 'internetwork', the global communications system which links together various computer networks around the world allowing for communication between devices and people on these networks. This global system, this internetwork, uses various different protocols to allow for the communication between devices and people on different networks. There are protocols for everything - the FTP protocol for remote file transfer, the SMTP protocol for email, and the HTTP protocol for the web.....|
The HTTP protocol
HTTP stands for Hyper Text Transfter Protocol. It is this protocol that is used to transfer data across the world wide web. Every time you enter a websites URL in your web browser (ex. www.yahoo.com), your web browser is making use of the HTTP protocol to send your request for a webpage (or any other web resource such as an image) and then transfers the data to you. The data for a website is stored on a computer called a web server.
The HTTPS protocol
While HTTP is used to transfer data across the world wide web, there is another protocol which works just as HTTP does, but adds a layer of security. This protocol is the HTTPS protocol. HTTPS stands for Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure. HTTPS is used to encrypt communication between a web browser and a web server. HTTPS is often used on websites that need to provide private communication such as online stores and membership sites. Next time you are making a purchase from an online store look at your web browsers address bar, the beginning part of it should say HTTPS.
How it all comes together
- Internet = An abbreviation for 'internetwork'. The global communications system which links together various computer networks around the world allowing for communication between devices and people on these networks.
- World wide web = The part of the internet by which webpages and the content on those webpages such as sounds and images are transferred to users who send requests for these resources
- HTML = Language used to create web pages
- HTTP and HTTPS protocols = Protocols by which data is transferred across the world wide web
- You = Web page author who uses HTML to create webpages that will be transferred across the world wide web on the internet through the HTTP and HTTPS protocols