How the Web Works - dummies

By Faithe Wempen

The web is a part of the Internet; it is a system of interconnected pages of information stored on publicly accessible servers. A web page is a document created in a programming language known as Hypertext Markup Language (HTML). It’s stored on a web server somewhere on the Internet, and it has an address, called a Uniform Resource Locator (URL), that can be used to access it.

A collection of related web pages, such as all the pages for a particular company’s web presence, is known as a website. A browser is software that enables you to display web pages on your computer. Internet Explorer is the browser that comes free with Windows.

One way to view a particular web page is to type its URL into the browser. Suppose you have the URL of a web page you want to view. Maybe you got the address from a magazine article or a billboard, or a friend sent it to you.

You type the URL into the browser’s Address bar and press Enter, and the browser goes out to the Internet, retrieves the page, and displays it for you.


Another way to access web pages is to follow a hyperlink, which is a clickable link to another web page. A hyperlink can be either text or a graphic. When you hover the mouse pointer over a hyperlink, the pointer turns into a pointing hand, indicating it’s over a clickable hyperlink.


Sometimes text hyperlinks are underlined or in a different color from the rest of the text to make them more obvious. You can click a hyperlink on one page to move to another page, and then click a hyperlink on that page to move to another, and so on, bouncing your way across the web from link to link.