World Wide Web

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The World Wide Web is a distributed system of hyperlinked documents accessible on the Internet. The short term used to describe the World Wide Web is simply Web. The Web consists of a large collection of documents that are stored on computers around the world, and is a way to access information by using the Internet. Web documents contain graphics, sounds, text, and video.

Users access Web servers by using a software program called a Web browser. Web browsers, such as Internet Explorer, are software programs that enable people to view and explore Web sites. People use Web browsers to access Web documents called Web pages. Web pages are linked to one another through hyperlinks.

Documents on the Web are uniquely identified by a Uniform Resource Locator (URL). A technical definition of the Web is defined as, "All the resources and users on the Internet that are using the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) protocol." That is why http:// always appears at the beginning of a Web address, as in URLs are used to allow users to browse from one website, such as Conservapedia, to another.

One of the major contributors to the development and invention of the Web is Tim Berners-Lee.


The World Wide Web is not the only way to access information on the Internet. The Internet, not the Web, is used for e-mail, Usenet newsgroups, and instant messaging. E-mail relies on the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP or the "outgoing e-mail server") protocol. Usenet newsgroups and instant messaging use the File Transfer Protocol (FTP) protocol. FTP is used to make files and folders publicly available for transfer over the Internet.

A protocol is a standard for communication between computers.

See also