Human life is intricately linked today to the World Wide Web and the Internet. Just look at how normal things of life have been turned on its head. You do not read traditional newspapers but browse digital versions while on the go, sending letters in envelopes is passé, you type and send email for immediate delivery. Music is not about cassette tapes or CDs but live streaming to your headphones and soccer is more of having fun on the gaming console than playing fields.
This online revolution started in 1989 when English scientist Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web while working at CERN in Switzerland. It was in 1990 that he wrote the first web browser. His studies and invention was first released in January 1991 to other research institutions but it was not until August 1991 that it was available on the Internet for the benefit of the general public.
There is a general tendency to club the World Wide Web with the Internet. However, it is not correct and the two are not synonymous with each other. The “Web” as people call the World Wide Web is basically a subset of the Internet and consists of pages which can be accessed through a web browser. The Internet on the other hand is the actual network of networks or space where all online things like the Telnet, gaming, email, and Internet Relay Chat (IRC) is located.
Web pages are transferred to your computer through Hyper-Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP) and this hypertext can contain words or phrases that links one page to another, either in the same website or in another. Web pages are written in hyper-text mark-up language (HTML) which basically works in combination with HTTP. Web pages in addition to formatted content also contain multimedia content such as video, audio, images and other software components.
A website is made up of multiple web pages with a common theme or domain or both. The content of a website is provided by the publisher of the site. In case of interactive sites, guest writers also contribute content to the site. Web content is usually meant for business and governmental or non-governmental organisations but today plays a huge role in providing information and entertainment to the common person at large.
How then is a webpage on the World Wide Web entered into? There are two ways to it. It can either be through following a hyperlink to that page or source or by typing in the URL of the page in the web browser which then initiates a series of steps and background communication messages to display the page requested for.
Finally, “browsing” or “web surfing” or “navigating the web” is the act of moving from one page to another through hyperlinks.