What exactly is a website and is it necessary to have one?
Websites are without a doubt the most important element of the internet. The term is often used inconsistently, so to make it clear once and for all, this article answers the question: what is a website?
The central page of a website is called a home page. This is usually the first page you see when you call a website up and can also be called a ‘start page’ or ‘index page’. From here onwards, the user delves into the site’s subpages.
Do you need your own website?
By placing a link to your own website next to your social network profile, you increase the chances of catching the attention of potential employers, interested parties, or like-minded people.
A website’s large reach is certainly one of the reasons for the growing number of internet sites in recent years:
Creating a website
Many companies include a link to their website on their business cards or in their e-mail signature. When this address is typed into a browser’s search field (known as the uniform resource locator, URL), the start page of the website appears. Depending on the size of the website, site visitors have the opportunity to access the website’s subpages. Hyperlinks, or simply ‘links’ are used to connect single HTML documents of a website. Links to important subpages (e.g. departments, product categories, or representative information pages) are usually combined in the navigation and can be found in the header of the website. They are displayed on every subpage of the website and not just on the home page. The navigation helps the user orientate themselves and see an overview of the website’s structure. Links to more subpages can also be placed in the text and image elements in the website’s content. The footer at the bottom of a page often contains links to further information like the site owner and the legal framework.
Dynamic vs. static websites
If the aim is for your site to take on the role of a digital business card, then a static website will usually suffice. HTML documents with the desired information are created and are stored under their own URL on the webserver. When a user enters the web address, they are presented with a static HTML document that looks exactly like those stored on the server. But what happens when a website needs to regularly add new content? With a static website, the changes need to be manually carried out in the HTML code of each individual subpage of the web project. With dynamic websites, this manual step is avoided since the webserver freshly generates the websites each time they are called up. Instead of continuously issuing the static HTML pages unmodified, the server adjusts the page content automatically according to the last update. The dynamic website is based on a strict division of the content and layout. Both aspects are assembled when the site is entered into the browser. Dynamic websites, therefore, require more high-performance servers than static websites, as well as a database such as MySQL, with which the server can manage the elements of the website. Generally, dynamic websites rely on pre-defined layouts and design templates, which are filled with relevant content. Due to their flexibility, dynamic websites are the more popular choice.
What’s important for your own website?
Placing content online is easier than ever, but before a website goes online you should check every individual subpage for legal certainty to avoid legal confrontation, which could prove costly.
- Online copyright: Copyright laws also exist online. If you include texts, images, videos or music files on your website without first seeking permission, you make yourself liable to prosecution. You can only use copyright-protected material with the rights holder’s consent. The software also falls under the copyright category and using a template could cause problems if the programmer hasn’t explicitly made it available for free use.
If you are confident you now know what a website is and ready to have one yourself, contact me and I will be glad to get you started with the whole process.