What is a Website?....Basic Answer. A Website is simply a main folder, with web pages inside it, that is stored on an Internet (Worldwide) Computer. That main folder is usually named after a domain name, such as yoingco.com, and can be accessed using a web browser such as Internet Explorer or Firefox. It is a web browser's job to connect to an internet computer and then download and display the web page content within the main (yoingco.com) folder. So if you type www.yoingco.com into internet explorer's Address Bar edit for example, and press the ENTER keyboard key, internet explorer should connect to the internet computer that is storing the main (yoingco.com) folder on it and then download and display the content that makes up the main web page within that yoingco.com (main) folder.
A web page is a text file within the Main Folder (see above), or within its sub-folder(s), that contains codes/instructions for a web browser to use. Basically. A web browser such as Internet Explorer connects to a website (main folder) such as yoingco.com, opens the main web page (text file) within that main folder (i.e. index.html) and then reads the codes/instructions within that web page (text file) in order to know what content to download (i.e. Picture, Audio/Video and Animation files) and/or what content to display (i.e. Text (the Information itself) and HyperLinks (Text Links, Picture Links, etc)).
Inside each folder, main folder or sub-folder, there is normally a text file (web page) called index.htm or index.html. It is called the Index web page because it is supposed to index all the other web pages and/or multimedia files within its folder, and because it is normally the first web page (text file) that a web browser (such as Internet Explorer) will open/read/display when no reference to an index web page has been specified in the URL. For example. In the case of yoingco.com. If you type www.yoingco.com inside internet explorer's Address Bar edit box, instead of www.yoingco.com/index.htm, and then press the ENTER keyboard key internet explorer will display the index.htm text file (web page) by default anyway. Technical: Behind the scenes the web server returns index.htm as the default web page (text file) that internet explorer should display in this case of no specific Index page being requested.
A website address (web address) is normally a full domain name. For example. My full domain name is www.yoingco.com. So when someone asks me "What is your Website Address" I reply with "www.yoingco.com". Strictly speaking though, a website address does not have to end with .com. It can end with .net, .co.uk, .biz and so on. A website address, just like a house address, tells you where to find something. For example. My house address tells everyone where I live and www.yoingco.com tells everyone where my Free Computer Lessons are.
An URL is just another way of saying Path Name or website address that also states/includes the direct path to a specific web page or file download for example. So if you wanted to view the Control Panel web page on this website for example you could type the website address www.yoingco.com into internet explorer's Address Bar edit box, click on the INDEX link and then click on the CONTROL PANEL link. Or you could just type its URL directly into internet explorer's Address Bar edit box: www.yoingco.com/control_panel_windows_7.htm. Either way will display the Control Panel web page. And the same goes for a file download. It's url could be www.yoingco.com/music/madonna.mp3. With website addresses and URLs the forward slash / is used instead of a Path Name back slash \.
To view a web page (text file) from a particular website (main folder or sub-folder) you use a program called a Web (Internet) Browser. The three common
web browsers are Internet Explorer, Firefox and Opera. You type a website address (i.e. www.yoingco.com) or URL (i.e. www.yoingco.com/control_panel_windows_7.htm)
into the web browser's Address Bar edit box (address box) and then click on its GO button. In the case of a website address; The web browser then asks
your ISP's (Internet Service Provider's / Broadband Company's) computer to make an Extended Internet Connection to the Internet (Worldwide) Computer that
is storing the website (main folder) you have just asked for (just typed) and displays its main (default) web page (i.e. index.html). Whereas in the case
of an URL; The web browser goes one step further and displays the specific web page you typed in the url, instead of displaying the main (default) web
page of index.html for example.
Because each website address is unique, just as a house address is unique, the web browser knows how to find the internet (worldwide) computer that is storing (hosting) that website's main folder and content. Basically. It, together with other technologies, knows how to turn a website address (and an url) into a unique number. Just like a house has a postcode/zip code, but on a more unique level.
The reason why I have explained the connections (main and extended) to you, in this category (see previous section), is because many people do not fully
understand how the internet works as a whole. For example. They do not understand when you say "The Server Is Down" and so on.
A server is just a master computer. Your ISP's (Internet Service Provider's / Broadband Company's) computer is a server for example because it is serving the needs of your computer. It stores sent and received data on its hard drive so it can check that data for viruses before putting it onto your computer (clean) or on to another computer (clean). Your ISP's computer also acts as a storage place for your emails, website and so on. If someone sends you an email with their Windows Live account, the Windows Live computer is a server to the person who sent you the email. Windows Live sends their email to your ISP's computer.
Your computer is known as a Client computer because you are the client (customer). When your ISP's computer cannot make an extended internet connection to a server computer, such as the Windows Live server (to check your email), you say "The Windows Live Server Is Down" because no extended internet connection could be made to it. In the case of Windows Live, who have millions of client computers (extended internet connections) to serve, sometimes their server (master computer) will shutdown. Wouldn't you fall down with tired legs if you had to serve a few million customers in 1 day.
Your computer can change from a client computer to a server computer. For example. If you set up a wireless or cable network you can set it up so that your computer is the master computer - the server. So at the end of the day a server is just a computer that takes control of everything, which means it has to be clever and powerful.
A home page is the web page that you first see when your web browser starts. For example. If the home page is set to www.google.com, every time you open
a new Internet Explorer the first web page it will display is the Index web page (i.e. index.html) from the Google website (main folder) - downloaded
(fetched) when an extended internet connection was made to the Google website (www.google.com).
The home page does not have to be a website address. It could be an URL. For example. The home page could be set to www.bbc.co.uk/bbctwo/ if you wanted the BBC2 web page as the first web page to display when internet explorer starts. In this case the extended internet connection would be to the sub-folder called bbctwo of the main folder (website) called bbc. The web page that would be displayed (not specified in the URL) is the index web page inside the bbctwo sub-folder. Because the bbctwo sub-folder was the last folder to be named in the URL it is set to the current folder. And because no web page was given in the URL (i.e. television.htm) the default (standard/normal) web page is used instead, which is always the index web page. Hence why every folder (main folder and sub-folder) must have an index web page inside them. If the index web page does not exist you normally get an error web page displayed instead (i.e. Page Not Found) or you are able to see the contents (sub-folders and files) of that, unindexed, folder.
Microsoft product screen shot(s) reprinted with permission from Microsoft Corporation. As stated here by the Microsoft Corporation.