How the Web Works
The World Wide Web is the most popular part of the Internet by far. Once you spend time on the Web you will feel that there is no limit to what you can discover. The Web allows rich and diverse communication by enabling you to access and interact with text, graphics, animation, photos, audio and video.
So just what is this miraculous creation? On the simplest level, the Web physically consists of your personal computer or mobile device, web browser software, a connection to an Internet service provider, computers called servers that host digital data and routers and switches that direct the flow of information.
The Web is sometimes referred to as a client-server system. Your computer is the client; the remote computers that store electronic files are the servers.Navigating the Web
Let's say you want to access the Louvre museum website. First you enter the address or URL of the website in your web browser (more about this shortly). Then your browser requests all the data files that comprise the web page from the web server that hosts the Louvre's site. The server transmits the data over the Internet to your computer. Your web browser interprets and assembles the data, displaying it on your computer screen.
The Louvre's website also has links to the sites of other museums, such as the Vatican Museum. If you click the link, you access the web server for the Vatican Museum. In this way, information scattered all across the globe is linked together.
The "glue" that holds the Web together is called hypertext and hyperlinks. This feature allows electronic files on the Web to be linked so you can jump easily between them. On the Web, you navigate--commonly known as browsing or surfing--through information based on your interest at that particular moment.
To access the Web you need a web browser, such as Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Chrome or Safari. How does your web browser distinguish between web pages and other types of data on the Internet? Web pages are written in a computer language called Hypertext Markup Language or HTML.Learn more: Web Browsers
Last update: Jan 13, 2011