A website (also written as a web site) is a collection of and related content that is identified by a common domain name and published on at least one web server. Examples of notable websites are Google Search, Facebook, Amazon, and Wikipedia.
All publicly accessible websites collectively constitute the World Wide Web. There are also private websites that can only be accessed on a intranet, such as a company's internal website for its employees.
Websites are typically dedicated to a particular topic or purpose, such as news, education, commerce, entertainment or social networking. between web pages guides the navigation of the site, which often starts with a home page.
Some websites require user registration or subscription to access the content. Examples of paywall include many business sites, news websites, academic journal websites, gaming websites, file-sharing websites, Internet forum, web-based email, social networking websites, websites providing real-time stock market data, as well as sites providing various other services.
While "web site" was the original spelling (sometimes capitalized "Web site", since "Web" is a proper noun when referring to the World Wide Web), this variant has become rarely used, and "website" has become the standard spelling. All major style guides, such as The Chicago Manual of Style and the AP Stylebook, have reflected this change.
Static websites may still use server side includes (SSI) as an editing convenience, such as sharing a common menu bar across many pages. As the site's behavior to the reader is still static, this is not considered a dynamic site.
A 2010-era trend in websites called "responsive design" has given the best viewing experience as it provides a device-based layout for users. These websites change their layout according to the device or mobile platform, thus giving a rich user experience.
There are many varieties of websites, each specializing in a particular type of content or use, and they may be arbitrarily classified in any number of ways. A few such classifications might include:
|Affiliate network||A site, typically few in pages, whose purpose is to sell a third party's product. The seller receives a commission for facilitating the sale.|
|Affiliate agency||Enabled Web portal that renders not only its custom CMS but also syndicated content from other content providers for an agreed fee. There are usually three relationship tiers (see Affiliate Agencies).||Commission Junction, advertisers like eBay, or a consumer like Yahoo!.|
|Archive site||Used to preserve valuable electronic content threatened with extinction. Two examples are: Internet Archive, which since 1996 has preserved billions of old (and new) web pages; and Google Groups, which in early 2005 was archiving over 845,000,000 messages posted to Usenet news/discussion groups.||Internet Archive, Google Groups|
|Malware website||A site created specifically to attack visitors' computers on their first visit to a website by downloading a file (usually a trojan horse). These websites rely on unsuspecting users with poor anti-virus protection in their computers.|
|Blog (weblog)||Sites generally used to post online diaries which may include discussion forums. Many bloggers use blogs like an editorial section of a newspaper to express their ideas on anything ranging from politics to religion to video games to parenting, along with anything in between. Some bloggers are professional bloggers and they are paid to blog about a certain subject, and they are usually found on news sites.||WordPress|
|Brand-building site||A site with the purpose of creating an experience of a brand online. These sites usually do not sell anything, but focus on building the brand. Brand building sites are most common for low-value, high-volume fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG).|
|Celebrity||A website the information in which revolves around a celebrity or public figure. These sites can be official (endorsed by the celebrity) or fan-made (run by a fan or fans of the celebrity without implicit endorsement).||Jim Carrey|
|Comparison shopping website||A website providing a vertical search engine that shoppers use to filter and compare products based on price, features, reviews, and other criteria.||Shopping.com|
|Crowdfunding website||Platform to fund projects by the pre-purchase of products or by asking audience members to make a donation.||Kickstarter|
|Click-to-donate site||A website that allows the visitor to donate to charity simply by clicking on a button or answering a question correctly. An advertiser usually donates to the charity for each correct answer generated.||The Hunger Site, Freerice|
|Content site||A site the business of which is the creation and distribution of original content||wikiHow, About.com|
|Classified ads site||A site publishing classified advertisements||gumtree.com, Craigslist|
|Corporate website||Used to provide background information about a business, organization, or service.|
|Online dating service||A site where users can find other single people looking for long-term relationships, dating, short encounters, or friendship. Many of them are pay per services, but there are many free or partially free dating sites. Most dating sites in the 2010s have the functionality of social networking websites.||eHarmony, Match.com|
|E-commerce website||A site offering goods and services for Online shopping and enabling online transactions for such sales.||Amazon.com|
|Fake news website||A site publishing fake news stories, intending to deceive visitors, and profit from advertising.||BFNN, The Daily Stormer|
|Internet forum||A site where people can hold conversations in the form of posted messages.||SkyscraperCity, 4chan|
|A website designed specifically for use as a gallery; these may be an art gallery or photo gallery and of commercial or non-commercial nature.|
|Government website||A website made by the local, state, department, or national government of a country. Usually, these sites also operate websites that are intended to inform tourists or support tourism.||USA.gov, Naenara, GOV.UK|
|Gripe site||A site devoted to the criticism of a person, place, corporation, government, or institution.|
|Online game website||Websites where users can play online games||, OGame, Travian,|
|Online gambling website||A site that lets users play such as gambling.|
|Humor site||Satirizes, parodies, or amuses the audience.||The Onion, National Lampoon digital archive, Encyclopedia Dramatica|
|Information site||Most websites fit in this category to some extent. They do not necessarily have commercial purposes.||Most government, educational and nonprofit institutions have an informational site.|
|Media-sharing site||A site that enables users to upload and view media such as pictures, music, and videos||YouTube, DeviantArt|
|Mirror site||A website that is the replication of another website. This type of website is used as a response to spikes in user visitors. Mirror sites are most commonly used to provide multiple sources of the same information and are of particular value as a way of providing reliable access to large downloads.|
|Microblog website||A short and simple form of blogging. Microblogs are limited to certain numbers of characters and work similarly to a status update on Facebook.|
|News site||Similar to an information site, but dedicated to dispensing news, politics, and commentary.||CNN bbc.com/news|
|Personal website||Websites about an individual or a small group (such as a family) that contains information or any content that the individual wishes to include. Such a personal website is different from a celebrity website, which can be very expensive and run by a publicist or agency.|
|Phishing website||A website created to fraudulently acquire sensitive information, such as passwords and credit card details, by masquerading as a trustworthy person or business (such as Social Security Administration, PayPal, a bank) in an electronic communication (see Phishing).|
|Photo sharing website||A website created to share digital photos with the online community. (see Photo sharing).||Flickr, Instagram, Imgur|
|p2p/Torrent file||Websites that index . This type of website is different from a BitTorrent client which is usually a stand-alone software.||Mininova, The Pirate Bay, IsoHunt|
|Political site||A site on which people may voice political views, provide political humor, campaign for elections, or provide information about a certain candidate, political party or ideology.||Rhinoceros Party|
|Question and Answer (Q&A) site||A site where people can ask questions and get answers.||Quora, Yahoo! Answers, Stack Exchange Network (including Stack Overflow)|
|Religious site||A site in which people may advertise a place of worship, or provide inspiration or seek to encourage the faith of a follower of that religion.|
|Review site||A site on which people can post reviews for products or services.||Yelp, Rotten Tomatoes|
|School website||a site on which teachers, students, or administrators can post information about current events at or involving their school. U.S. elementary-high school websites generally use k12 in the URL|
|Scraper site||a site that largely duplicates the content of another site without permission, without actually pretending to be that site, in order to capture some of that site's traffic (especially from search engines) and profit from advertising revenue or in other ways.|
|Search engine||A website that indexes material on the Internet or an intranet (and lately on traditional media such as books and newspapers) and provides links to information as a response to a query.||Google Search, Bing, DuckDuckGo, Ecosia|
|Shock site||Includes or other material that is intended to be offensive to most viewers||Goatse.cx, rotten.com|
|Showcase website||used by individuals and organisations to showcase things of interest or value|
|Social bookmarking site||A site where users share other content from the Internet and rate and comment on the content.||StumbleUpon, Digg|
|Social networking service||A site where users could communicate with one another and share media, such as pictures, videos, music, blogs, etc. with other users. These may include games and .||YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn|
|Social news||A social news website features user-posted stories that are ranked based on popularity. Users can comment on these posts, and these comments may also be ranked. Since their emergence with the birth of web 2.0, these sites are used to link many types of information including news, humor, support, and discussion. Social news sites allegedly facilitate democratic participation on the web.||Reddit, Digg, SlashDot|
|Warez||A site designed to host or link to materials such as music, movies, and software for the user to download.||The Pirate Bay|
|Webcomic||An online comic, ranging in various styles and genres unique to the World Wide Web.||Penny Arcade, xkcd, Gunnerkrigg Court|
|Webmail||A site that provides a webmail service.||Hotmail, Gmail, Protonmail, Yahoo! Mail|
|Web portal||A site that provides a starting point or a gateway to other resources on the Internet or an intranet.||msn.com, msnbc.com, Newgrounds, Yahoo!|
|Wiki site||A site in which users collaboratively edit its content.||Wikipedia, wikiHow, Wikia|
In February 2009, Netcraft, an Internet monitoring company that has tracked Web growth since 1995, reported that there were 215,675,903 websites with domain names and content on them in 2009, compared to just 19,732 websites in August 1995. After reaching 1 billion websites in September 2014, a milestone confirmed by NetCraft in its October 2014 Web Server Survey and that Internet Live Stats was the first to announce—as attested by this tweet from the inventor of the World Wide Web himself, Tim Berners-Lee—the number of websites in the world have subsequently declined, reverting to a level below 1 billion. This is due to the monthly fluctuations in the count of inactive websites. The number of websites continued growing to over 1 billion by March 2016 and has continued growing since. A total number of Websites | Internet live stats. internetlivestats.com. Retrieved on 14 April 2015. Netcraft Web Server Survey in January 2020 reported that there are 1,295,973,827 websites and in April 2021 reported that there are 1,212,139,815 sites across 10,939,637 web-facing computers, and 264,469,666 unique domains. An estimated 85 percent of all websites are inactive.
Following modernization, better access to computers, growth in smartphone technology and use, social media popularity, and cheaper access to the internet, the number of internet users worldwide increased tremendously to 3.97 in 2019. This represents over 51 percent of the global population, with Asia remaining the continent with the most internet users as it accounts for 50 percent of the total number of internet users worldwide. China has the most internet users in the Asian continent, accounting for 25 percent of users in Asia. Also, China has more internet users than any other country in the world with over 934 million monthly users as at 2020. This number is more than double the number of internet users in the US which ranked third with 284 million monthly online users. India ranked second with about 687 million internet users accessing the internet either through mobile devices or computers. One of the most popular activities online is social networking. In 2020, Facebook, a social networking site founded by Mark Zuckerberg recorded over 2.7 billion monthly active users. This number accounts for over half of global internet users, making Facebook the most popular online social network.