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What's A Website ?

A Website is space on a computer where anyone who subscribes can say "This is me, this is what I do, or what I am interested in, what I know, or what I can sell you". An electronic brochure and source of information available to the whole world 24 hours a day 365 days of the year.

Within the website, each screenful of information is called a page. Pages may contain text, or graphic images, or even photographs, sound and video.

A main feature are the "links" embedded within a page that can be clicked with a computer mouse and which transport viewers to other pages. To continue with the brochure analogy, you would normally open a brochure at the front or the back and browse forwards or backwards a page at a time. With a website, the user decides the order they want to see the pages in by clicking the links that interest them.

This interactivity generates a sense of ownership and participation in the user, binding them to the information much more tightly than a traditional brochure.

To maximise this benefit, it really needs someone with an understanding of interactive programming to get the best out of creating the electronic pages and links that build the website.

What sort of websites are there?

There are many sorts of Websites, ranging from a single page "This is us" offering, through to mammoth Websites like the Enterprise Ireland site which has hundreds of pages full of information about legislation, taxation, grants and funding, VAT, employment, trade and industry, planning, commerce and so on, together with links to other relative agencies and sites.

Websites may be provided by individuals (in which case they are usually called homepages), special interest groups, such as "The Association of Widget Collectors", educational establishments like universities, or science and research centres, Governments, voluntary organisations, individual retailers, banks and businesses, manufacturers and importers, news, media and financial organisations and multinational corporations. Although the size of the organisations may differ, each has the same opportunity and scope.

A small businesses can have the same presence and create the same image as a multinational. Each chooses the style and content of its own pages.


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