What is the world wide web?

Published Friday 04 August 2023 10:51 PM

The world wide web is, after email, probably the most common use of the Internet. It simply requires a web browser to access it and web servers to provide content and services. So what does it do and how does it work?


A web browser displays Hypertext (HTML) and uses HTTP (Hyper Text Transport Protocol) to request and receive it. When a web browser connects to a web site it is connecting to a web server. The web browser can request (HTTP GET) and send (HTTP POST) information. To the person using a web browser they are looking at text (and often images and video) that is enhanced using a language called HTML (Hypertext Mark Up Language). HTML is sent from a web server over HTTP (Hyper Text Transport Protocol) to the web browser and the web browser interprets the HTML and displays it.


HTML is known as a markup language that is designed to be easily readable by both people and computers. By default any text in HTML is treated as text and is shown as text to be read. HTML uses the less than (<) and greater than (>) symbols to embed the hypertext markup language into a text document. A simple HTML page may look like this:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en">
<title>My web page</title>
<h1>My heading</h1>
<p>My first paragraph</p>
<p><a href="http://somesite.com">Another site</a></p>

A quick breakdown of the proceeding HTML is that first you can see HTML using less than (<) and greater than (>) to describe HTML tags. Most of the the tags have a start tag (eg <body>) and an end tag (</body>). Let's breakdown this example:

Let's simplify this

You can use tools to create and edit HTML and use a web browser to see how it looks to create HTML yourself. Tools available can be basic (Windows Notepad) that let you do all the HTML yourself or something like Adobe Dreamweaver that will massively assist with the HTML.

It gets complicated fast

HTML is complemented with CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) for more complicated design and JavaScript to do more interactive programming. Add to the fact the web server usually has an application programming language (eg PHP) and a database server (eg MySQL) and then the number of languages and complexity increases rapidly.

Hire professionals such as Azegia or put some effort in, break things down, and work on each part as necessary.

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