A website is a collection of related web pages, including multimedia content, typically identified with a common domain name, and published on at least one web server. A website may be accessible via a public Internet Protocol (IP) network, such as the Internet, or a private local area network (LAN), by referencing a uniform resource locator (URL) that identifies the site.
Websites have many functions and can be used in various fashions; a website can be a personal website, a commercial website for a company, a government website or a non-profit organization website. Websites can be the work of an individual, a business or other organization, and are typically dedicated to a particular topic or purpose, ranging from entertainment and social networking to providing news and education. All publicly accessible websites collectively constitute the World Wide Web, while private websites, such as a company’s website for its employees, are typically a part of an intranet.
Websites can be divided into two broad categories—static and interactive. Interactive sites are part of the Web 2.0 community of sites, and allow for interactivity between the site owner and site visitors or users. Static sites serve or capture information but do not allow engagement with the audience or users directly. Some websites are informational or produced by enthusiasts or for personal use or entertainment. Many websites do aim to make money, using one or more business models, including:
- Posting interesting content and selling contextual advertising either through direct sales or through an advertising network.
- E-commerce: products or services are purchased directly through the website
- Advertising products or services available at a brick and mortar business
- Freemium: basic content is available for free but premium content requires a payment (e.g., WordPress website)
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 below: