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The web page usually means what is visible, but the term may also refer to a computer file, usually written in HTML or a comparable markup language. Web browsers coordinate various web resource elements for the written web page, such as style sheets, scripts, and images, to present the web page. Typical web pages provide hypertext that includes a navigation bar or a sidebar menu linking to other web pages via hyperlinks, often referred to as links.
On a network, a web browser can retrieve a web page from a remote web server. The web server may restrict access to a private network such as a corporate intranet. The web browser uses the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) to make such requests.
A static web page is delivered exactly as stored, as web content in the web server's file system. In contrast, a dynamic web page is generated by a web application, usually driven by server-side software. Dynamic web pages help the browser (the client) to enhance the web page through user input to the server.
Color, typography, illustration, and interaction
Web pages usually include information such as the colors of text and backgrounds and very often contain links to images and sometimes other types of media to be included in the final view. Layout, typographic and color-scheme information is provided by Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) instructions, which can either be embedded in the HTML or can be provided by a separate file, which is referenced from within the HTML.
The latter case is especially relevant where one lengthy stylesheet is relevant to a whole website: due to the way HTTP works, the browser will only download it once from the web server and use the cached copy for the whole site.
Images are stored on the web server as separate files, but again HTTP allows for the fact that once a web page is downloaded to a browser, it is quite likely that related files such as images and stylesheets will be requested as it is processed. An HTTP 1.1 web server will maintain a connection with the browser until all related resources have been requested and provided. Web browsers usually render images along with the text and other material on the displayed web page.
Web users with disabilities often use assistive technologies and adaptive strategies to access web pages. Users may be color-blind, may or may not want to use a mouse perhaps due to repetitive stress injury or motor neurone problems, may be deaf and require audio to be captioned, may be blind and using a screen reader or braille display, may need screen magnification, etc.
Disabled and able-bodied users may disable the download and viewing of images and other media, to save time, network bandwidth or merely to simplify their browsing experience. Users of mobile devices often have restricted displays and bandwidth. Anyone may prefer not to use the fonts, font sizes, styles and color schemes selected by the web page designer and may apply their own CSS styling to the page. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) recommend that web pages are designed with all of these options in mind.
A web page, as an information set, can contain numerous types of information, which is able to be seen, heard or interacted with by the end user:
- Perceived (rendered) information:
- Textual information: with diverse render variations.
- Non-textual information:
- Static images may be raster graphics, typically GIF, JPEG or PNG; or vector formats such as SVG or Flash.
- Animated images typically Animated GIF and SVG, but also Flash, Shockwave, or Java applet.
- Audio, typically MP3, Ogg or various proprietary formats.
- Video, WMV (Windows), RM (RealMedia), FLV (Flash Video), MPG, MOV (QuickTime)
- Interactive information: see interactive media.
- For "on page" interaction:
- For "between pages" interaction:
- Hyperlinks: standard "change page" reactivity.
- Forms: providing more interaction with the server and server-side databases.
- Internal (hidden) information:
- Linked Files through Hyperlink (Like DOC, XLS, PDF, etc.)
- Metadata with semantic meta-information, Charset information, Document Type Definition (DTD), etc.
- Diagrammatic and style information: information about rendered items (like image size attributes) and visual specifications, as Cascading Style Sheets (CSS).
- Note: on server-side the web page may also have "Processing Instruction Information Items".
The web page can contain dynamically adapted information elements, dependent upon the rendering browser or end-user location (through the use of IP address tracking and/or "cookie" information).
From a more general/wide point of view, some information (grouped) elements, like a navigation bar, are uniform for all website pages, like a standard. This kind of "website standard information" are supplied by technologies like web template systems.
Web pages will often require more screen space than is available for a particular display resolution.
Most modern browsers will place a scrollbar (a sliding tool at the side of the screen that allows the user to move the page up or down, or side-to-side) in the window to allow the user to see all content.
Scrolling horizontally is less prevalent than vertical scrolling, not only because such pages often do not print properly, but because it inconveniences the user more so than vertical scrolling would (because lines are horizontal; scrolling back and forth for every line is more inconvenient than scrolling after reading a whole screen; most computer keyboards have page up and down keys, and almost all computer mice have vertical scroll wheels, the horizontal scrolling equivalents are rare). When web pages are stored in a common directory of a web server, they become a website.
Web pages do not have a fixed length as in a paper page, and they can vary in length.
The width of a web page varies depending on the size of the display so it leads to web pages of different lengths. For long web pages, information flow and presentation is quite critical.
If the web page is longer and the information on the top is undesirable to the user, the probability of reading further down is low. However, both longer and shorter web pages have their own pros and cons.
The initial viewing area of a web page is known as being "above page fold".
The content above the page fold is important as users use it to evaluate if they have come to the right page. It is important to have content above the page fold that keeps the user interested enough that they scroll down. The information foraging theory describes that once a user has deemed the part above the fold of a page valuable they are more likely to deem the rest of the page valuable.
When printing a web page, the ease of printing depends on the length of the page, compared to shorter web pages with pagination. In longer web pages which have infinite scrolling (for example, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter), it is harder to print all pages as the total number of upcoming pages is unknown. Therefore, users can only print loaded pages in web pages which use infinite scrolling.
Another issue that occurs with long web page printing is the use of ads known as clickbait on websites. Therefore, the printed version of a web page with click baits will contains ads. However, some browsers such as Google Chrome uses an extension where users get the opportunity of formatting web pages and printing without ads.
A website will typically contain a group of web pages that are linked together, or have some other coherent method of navigation. The most important web page on a website is the index page. Depending on the web server settings, the index page can have any name, but the most common names are index.html and index.php.
When a browser visits the homepage of a website or any URL pointing to a directory rather than a specific file, the web server serves the index page. If no index page is defined in the configuration or no such file exists on the server, either an error or directory listing will be served to the browser. A web page can either be a single HTML file or made up of multiple HTML files using frames or Server Side Includes (SSIs).
Frames have been known to cause problems with web accessibility, copyright, navigation, printing and search engine rankings, and are now less often used than they were in the 1990s. Both frames and SSIs allow certain content which appears on many pages, such as page navigation or page headers, to be repeated without duplicating the HTML in all files.
When creating a web page, it is important to ensure it conforms to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) standards for HTML, CSS, XML and other standards. The W3C standards are in place to ensure all browsers which conform to their standards can display identical content without special consideration for proprietary rendering techniques. A properly coded web page is going to be accessible to many different browsers old and new alike, display resolutions, as well as those users with audio or visual impairments.
The Uniform Resource Locator is also called as URL. Web pages are typically becoming more dynamic. A dynamic web page is one that is created server-side when it is requested and then served to the end-user. These types of web pages typically do not have a permalink, or a static URL, associated with them. This practice is intended to reduce the amount of static pages in lieu of storing the relevant web page information in a database. This can be seen in forums, online shopping websites, and on Wikipedia. Some search engines may have a hard time indexing a web page that is dynamic, so static web pages can be provided in those instances.
Creation and viewing
The design of a web page is highly personal. A design can be made according to one's own preference, or a premade web template can be used. Web templates let web page designers edit the content of a web page without having to worry about the overall aesthetics. Many use all-in-one services for web domain purchases, web hosting service and templates to build customized websites. Web publishing tools such as Tripod and Wordpress offer free page creation and hosting up to a certain size limit. Other ways of making a web page are to download specialized software, like a Wiki, CMS, or forum. These options allow for the quick and easy creation of a web page which is typically dynamic.
In order to graphically display a web page, a web browser is needed. This is a type of software that can retrieve web pages from the Internet. Most current web browsers include the ability to view the source code. Viewing a web page in a text editor will also display the source code.
Pages are usually found with assistance from a search engine, but they can receive traffic from social and other sources.
While one is viewing a web page, a copy of it is saved locally; the copy is being viewed.
Depending on the browser settings, the copy may be deleted at any time, or stored indefinitely, sometimes without the user realizing it.
Most GUI browsers provide options for saving a web page more permanently. These may include
save the rendered text without formatting or images, with hyperlinks reduced to plain text;
- save the HTML as it was served: overall structure is preserved, but some links may be broken;
- save the HTML with relative links changed to absolute ones so that hyperlinks are preserved;
- save the entire web page: all images and other resources including stylesheets and scripts are downloaded and saved in a new folder alongside the HTML, with links referring to the local copies: Other relative links are changed to absolute;
- save the HTML as well as all images and other resources into a single MHTML file. This is supported by Internet Explorer and Opera. Other browsers may support it if a suitable plugin is installed.
In addition to the option to print the currently viewed web page to a printer, most operating systems allow applications such as web browsers to "print to a file" which can be viewed or printed later. Some web pages are designed, for example by use of CSS, so that hyperlinks, menus and other navigation items, which would be useless on paper, are rendered into print with this in mind. Sometimes, the destination addresses of hyperlinks may be shown explicitly, either within the body of the page or listed at the end of the printed version. It can be specified in CSS that non-functional menus, navigational blocks and other items ought to simply be absent from the printed version.
- "How People with Disabilities Use the Web". W3C. 5 May 2005. Retrieved 2009-05-01.
- Honigman, Brian. "Long vs. Short Landing Page – Which One Works Better?". Inbound Marketing. Retrieved 2016-11-14.
- Schade, Amy. "The Fold Manifesto: Why the Page Fold Still Matters". Nielsen Norman Group. Retrieved 2016-11-16.
- Lynch, Patrick. "Page Width and Line Length". Yale University Press. Retrieved 2016-11-14.
- Broider, Rick (2013). "Print Friendly for Chrome optimizes Web pages for printing". PCWorld. Retrieved 2016-11-14.
- Tysver, Dan (1996–2008). "Linking and Liability — Problems with Frames". Minneapolis, USA: Beck & Tysver. Retrieved 2009-05-01.
- "HTML Techniques for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 - Frames". W3C. 6 November 2000. Retrieved 2009-05-01.
In the following sections, we discuss how to make frames more accessible. We also provide an alternative to frames that uses HTML 4.01 and CSS and addresses many of the limitations of today's frame implementations.
- Santambrogio, Claudio (10 March 2006). "…and one more weekly!". Opera Software. Retrieved 2009-05-15.
- Castro, Elizabeth (2005). "Creating a Web Page with HTML: Visual quick project guide," San Francisco, CA, USA: Peachpit Press, ISBN 032127847X, see , accessed 19 September 2015.
- Souders, Steve (2007). "High-Performance Web Sites: Essential Knowledge for Front-End Engineers," Sebastopol, CA, USA: O'Reilly Media, ISBN 0596550693, see , accessed 19 September 2015.