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The process of building web sites


A website, or web site, is a collection of web pages hyperlinked together and accessible to a web address. It is also said internet site by metonymy, the World Wide Web based on the Internet.

In July 2013, the web has over 698 million sites, with over 175 million considered as active. The billion websites was reached in September 2014.

The web today is based on HTTP, URL and HTML. The HTTP protocol allows user agents (usually browsers) to access resources via their URL. HTML includes mechanisms to link resources together (including hyperlinks). Different resources linked, available on the same domain, is a web site.

Sometimes referred to as internet site instead of website. The websites are not necessarily available on the internet. For example, the intranet may contain one or several websites but are not accessible on the internet (they are accessible only to the private company network).

Organization of a web project

The various stages of conducting a web project can be summarized as:

  1. launch: study needs, competition and existing information and data for the establishment of a specification;

  2. design: developing the structure (tree), the content of web pages, graphics, part of the functional specification;

  3. installation: see below;

  4. production: the site is online, becomes available to the target audience;

  5. operation: maintenance phase and promotion of the site, including SEO and/or paid links (Google Adwords, Microsoft Adcenter, or others)

The performing step includes:

  • booking and managing a domain name (web address on which the site is accessed);

  • implementation of an infrastructure for website hosting (web servers, database …)

  • frontend development, the part visible in the browser; the pages are described in known web browsers, mainly by HTML, CSS and JavaScript. The graphics are embedded in these pages.

  • the development of the backend, the part that runs on the server side;

Creating a website can be done by a web agency or made by yourself. If creation is entrusted to a web agency it is important upstream to have set a first framing or specifications of the project. To develop a website yourself, you can use a web page editor; for experienced web developers, a simple text editor will suffice. One can also use a content management system.

Content Management Systems

The content management systems (CMS) are used to develop websites using pre established models made by programmers or communities of programmers. These software are available for beginners and simplify certain steps such as computer programming or site architecture. Application procedures of the domain name, site hosting and SEO are similar to traditional custom sites.

Structure of pages

A website is a collection of pages that can be accessed by following links within the site. The address of a website is actually the URL of a web page, designed to be the first consulted: the homepage. Page view of a site is called a “visit”, because the links are expected to direct to all the pages of the site without leaving it. A visit can begin with any page, especially when the URL is given by a search engine. Technically, nothing distinguishes the home page of another page.

Static and dynamic sites

There are two types of websites: static sites and dynamic sites.

Static sites

These sites have the mechanism of the simplest operation: URLs that match a file returned by the web server. The content of the pages of a static site does not depend on variables such as databases. To change the content of a page, it is necessary to change the content of the file.

In addition, visitors can only see the content of the site but not to participate. To achieve them, only the so-called “frontend” languages are required, that is to say, HTML, CSS and JavaScript (in theory, however, it is possible to use only the HTML).

  • HTML is used to write the contents of the site page.
  • CSS allows you to decorate the page.
  • JavaScript is used to add strength, but only on the browser side (eg graphic animations).

Dynamic sites

Instead these sites offer content that can change over time. Programs run the server side (backend) to generate the pages. These programs can use databases or other data sources to compose the pages that will be displayed in the browser.

This dynamism has capabilities that can not provide the so-called static sites. For example visitors can participate (comment on a blog, change the content of wiki pages …). To achieve them, we also need HTML, CSS and JavaScript, but the programs that run on the server side are using other languages that can dynamically create pages. There are several languages for creating these pages (Java, C #, PHP, Ruby, Python, etc.). Their role is to analyze the queries of visitors and then make an appropriate response.


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