How websites work?

(Another Essay explaining the website functioning technically)

Ok. So now since we are already enlightened with the knowledge of ‘What is Internet and how it works?’ (I know it’s somewhere in back of your mind), I thought I would – for my own benefit – research and write about a prominent element associated with (and in) it – Website and talk about how it functions. Yes, its quite beautiful actually.

Website is the collection of inter-related web pages.

The web page is a text file which contains set of HTML tags that describe how the text should be formatted when a browser displays it on the screen. Using HTML, a web page may also display images, audio, or video. It may incorporate elements from other websites with suitable markup anchors.

The pages of a website can usually be accessed from a simple Uniform Resource Locator (URL) called the homepage. The URLs of the pages organize them into a hierarchy, although hyperlinking between them conveys the reader’s perceived site structure and guides the reader’s navigation of the site. Web pages are accessed and transported with the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), which may optionally employ encryption (HTTP Secure, HTTPS) to provide security and privacy for the user of the web page content.

The website needs to be hosted on at least one web server, which is accessible through the Internet and whose primary function is to deliver web pages on the request to clients. Web servers are able to map the path component of a Uniform Resource Locator (URL) into a local file system resource (for static requests) or an internal or external program name (for dynamic requests). That is to say, the client’s user agent will translate URL requested by the end-user into a connection to combination of host (www) and domain name (e.g. – with a HTTP 1.1 request. The web server on website ( will append the given path to the path of its root directory giving the local file system resource. It will then read the file, if it exists and sends a response to the client’s Web browser. The response will describe the content of the file and contain the file itself or an error message will return saying that the file does not exist or is unavailable.

To enable users to access, retrieve and view documents and other resources on the Internet, a software application is used called web browser, which acts an interface and brings information resources to the user.  The software component of the web browser that takes marked up content (such as HTML, XML, image files, etc.) and formatting information (such as CSS, XSL, etc.) and displays the formatted content on the screen is called web browsers engine (or layout engine). HTML is passed to the browser’s layout engine to be transformed from markup to an interactive document and display any kind of content that can be part of a web page.  Nowadays, web browsers include additional components to support e-mail, or Internet Relay Chat (IRC). More and more applications are being developed, which sometimes through addition plug-ins in the browser can be accessed.

Summarizing, to develop a website, it is essential that several different components work together in order for the Web to be accessible to people. These components include:

  • Content – it is the primal information in a Web page or Web application for which the user has accessed. This could be in form of –
  • Text, images, videos and sounds.
  • Code or markup language.
    • Web browsers – software which acts as an interface.
    • Web server – to host the website.

Plug-ins – a piece of software which enhances another software application and usually cannot be run independently.


Hope this helps. This is a short gist for basic TECHNICAL understanding. I mean there is always Wikipedia, but then how will I show, I know stuff if I do not write up. Wait for more!


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2 responses to “How websites work?”

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