The World Wide Web

Written by Idara Akan - 25/11/2015

The Internet: World Wide Web

 At the end of this write-up, we would have learnt:

  • The components of a website
  • How a website is seen by visitors
  • Explanation of some internet terms

The Components Of A Website

A website is a collection of one or more webpages. Webpages are documents with information such as images, text, digital media etc. Webpages are displayed by web browsers on our computers i.e. the programs used to surf the internet e.g. Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Opera, Safari, Firefox. Webpages are written in a computer language called HTML which describes the layout, format and content of the page to the web browser. This implies that web browsers understand the HTML language.


The webpages reside on a web server which is connected to the internet. The web server is specially built to host (display) websites and is located with a web host provider.


To host a website, you need a domain name, a web host provider and the website. A domain name is the unique name that identifies a website. It allows the website visitor to find and return to a webpage more easily. It also allows advertisers the ability to give the website a memorable name that the visitor will remember and visit.


How A Website Is Seen By Visitors

To get a webpage onto your screen, your browser will send a request to the web server:  where

www is the protocol transfer is the domain name and

about-5m is the name of the web page to be displayed.


Your browser then connects to the web server through the domain name. The domain name is decoded to get the IP address of the web server.

The web server sends back the requested webpage to your screen thus displaying the webpage. This is how a website is viewed in simple terms.


Explanation Of Some Internet Terms

The Internet is a global network of computer networks utilizing a suite of protocols called TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) that supports interconnection of a number of different computer networks.

The Internet supports communication and sharing of data, and offers vast amount of information through a variety of services and tools.

The World Wide Web (www) was invented in 1991 by Tim Berners-Lee and is the fastest-growing Internet service. It is based on HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) allowing users to access data in multimedia format. The simplest unit is the webpage, primarily a document coded in HTML format that can be accessed by using a browser. HTML links contents of a webpage to each other as well as to other webpages through a hyperlink. Each webpage has an address, a uniform resource locator (URL)

HyperText Markup Language - HTML is a computer language that tells web browsers the layout, the format and the content of the webpage.

A website is a collection of one or more webpages which are documents that contain information such as images, words, digital media etc. Webpages are stored on a server that holds files for one or more sites. Server space is sold and maintained by hosting providers.

Web servers are computers whose job is to respond to a browser’s request for a webpage and deliver it through the internet. Webpages hosted on a web server can be displayed to anyone anywhere in the world. To host your webpage on a web server, you need to pay hosting charges to a web host provider.

Web Hosting is a service provided by a vendor which offers a physical location on their host server for the storage of web pages and files. Hosting your website ensures that your website is accessible to the public.

Domain Name – an addressing structure used for identifying and locating computers on the Internet.

  • Domain names provide a system of easy to remember internet addresses, which can be translated by the Domain Names System (DNS) into the numeric addresses (IP addresses) used by a network.
  • A domain name is a unique name that identifies a website and is sometimes called a host name. The host name is a more memorable name for the website as against the numeric and difficult-to-remember IP address of the website.
  • The domain name allows the website visitor to find and return to a webpage more easily. It also gives business promoters the chance to give their website a memorable name that visitors will remember and want to visit. Domain names have two parts:
  • Domain names have two parts:
    • First part names the host computer
    • Second part identifies the top level domain
  • Top level domains (TLD) – identifies the type of host
    • Generic Top Level Domains
    • Country Code Top Level Domains
  • Top Level Domains e.g.
    • .com – commercial/company site
    • .edu - educational
    • Country Code Top Level Domains e.g.
  • .au – Australia,
  • .ng - Nigeria
  • .uk – United Kingdom
  • .us – United States
  • Domain names are used in URLs and e-mail addresses
  • All website domains are restricted to valid host names so that the website domains that are chosen are not useless to the people who pay for them.

IP address (Internet Protocol): a unique number/address used to identify each computer and the network it is connected to. It is used by TCP/IP to route packets of information from a sender to a location on the Internet. The IP address consists of four sets of numbers ranging from 0 to 255 separated by dots, e.g.

  • The first two number sets designate the network.
  • The third number set identifies the local network.
  • The fourth number set identifies the particular machine.

Domain Name System (DNS) – a system of mapping names to IP addresses. Because domain names are alphabetic, they are easier for humans to remember. The internet, however, is based on IP addresses. Every time you use a domain name, DNS translates the name into the corresponding IP address, similar to a phonebook for the internet.

Uniform Resource Locator (URL) – uniform naming scheme that specifies unique addresses of Internet resources. The first part of the address indicates what protocol to use and the second part specifies the IP address or the domain name where the resource is located e.g. is the URL for 5M eServices Limited.

  • Each Internet document or file has a unique address called a URL
  • The URL comprises of three parts:
    • Protocol – lets the computer know how to process the information it receives
    • Domain name – Internet address of the computer hosting the site and storing the documents
    • Path – tells the computer which directory and file to access


http                       transfer protocol.

www                     server name.

5meservices      second-level domain name.

com                       top-level domain name.

about-us                         directory name.