What is a Website? Basic Answer: A Website is simply a main folder, with web page files inside it (text files, pictures files, etc), that is stored on a master computer (known as a server). In turn, a collection of servers (master computers) are linked together (connected together) via internet connections (telephone connections) to form a 'network of servers' (network of master computers) known as the World Wide Web - Servers (master computers) linked together like a spider's web, with intersections and cross connections, that allow multiple computers (servers) to connect to each other and your computer (known as the client computer) in order to share Text Information, Audio/Video files, Downloadable Software files and other Website Page files.
The main folder is usually named after a domain (www) name, such as amazon.co.uk, and can be accessed using software called a web browser; such as Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera or Maxthon. It is a web browser's job to connect to a specific server (master computer) in order to download, and possibly display, the website contents contained within a specific main folder; such as the web page content (i.e. text and photos) contained within the main amazon.co.uk folder. So if you were to type www.amazon.co.uk into internet explorer's Address Bar edit box and then press the ENTER keyboard key, Internet Explorer 11 would connect to the amazon server (amazon master computer) that is storing the main amazon.co.uk folder and then download and display the main Amazon web page.
Fig 1.0 - The Amazon website is just a folder, with sub-folders, that contains website files made up of Text, Images and Audio/Video
The following example shows what a website's Main Folder looks like behind the scenes. Here I am showing you what the main folder of this website (yoingco.com) looks like. On the left-side are the website sub-folders and files as I create them on my computer and on the right-side are exactly the same website sub-folders and files when they have been uploaded to (stored inside) the main/root folder called yoingco.com that resides on my web hosting company's server (master computer).
Fig 1.1 - Inside the main/root folder called yoingco.com (right-side) as it appears on my web hosting company's server (master computer)
A web page is a text file within a website's main folder (see above), or within its sub-folder(s), that contains codes/instructions for a web browser to interpret/use. A web browser such as Internet Explorer 11 connects to a website (its main folder) such as amazon.co.uk, opens its main web page (text file) called index.html for example (located inside the main folder) and then reads the codes/instructions within that web page (text file) in order to know what contents to download (i.e. Picture, Audio/Video and Animation files) and/or what contents to display (i.e. the Text Information itself) and HyperLinks (Text Links, Picture Links, etc).
Inside each folder, main folder or sub-folder, of a website there is normally a text file (web page) called index.htm or index.html. It is called the Index web page because it is supposed to index all the other web pages and/or multimedia files within its folder (main website folder and its sub-folders), and because it is normally the first web page (text file) that a web browser such as Internet Explorer 11 will open/read/display, even when no reference to an index web page has been specified in the URL. For example: In the case of yoingco.com; If you type www.yoingco.com inside internet explorer's Address Bar edit box, instead of www.yoingco.com/index.html, and then press the ENTER keyboard key internet explorer will display the index.html text file (web page) by default anyway. Technical: Behind the scenes the web server returns index.html as the default web page (text file) that Internet Explorer 11 should display in this case of no specific Index web page being requested.
Fig 1.2 - The BBC's WEATHER Index Page - Its URL is not displaying index.html inside internet explorer's Address Bar edit box
In the above example if you type www.bbc.com/weather/ inside internet explorer's Address Bar edit box, instead of www.bbc.com/weather/index.html for example, and then press the ENTER keyboard key internet explorer will still display the Index website page (i.e. the website page content making up the index.html text file) by default. Why? Because behind the scenes the computer that is hosting the website (the web hosting computer - server) tells internet explorer (or whatever web browser you are currently using) to display the content of the index.html text file (website page) whenever no specific website page has been typed into the Address Bar edit box.
A website address (web address) is normally a full domain name. For example: www.yoingco.com is a full domain name. So when someone asks me "What is your Website Address?" I reply with "www.yoingco.com". Strictly speaking though, a website address does not have to end with .com. It can end with .net, .co.uk, .biz and so on.
Fig 1.3 - The BBC's website address (www.bbc.com) is being displayed inside internet explorer's Address Bar edit box
A website address, just like a house address, tells you where to find something. For example: My house address tells everyone where I live and www.yoingco.com tells everyone where my Free Windows 10 Computer Lessons are.
An URL (Earl or U, R, L) is just another way of saying Path Name or website address that also states/includes the direct path to a specific web page or file download for example. So if you wanted to view the Control Panel web page on the yoingco website for example you could type the website address www.yoingco.com into internet explorer's Address Bar edit box, press the ENTER keyboard key, click on the INDEX link and then click on the link called COMMON CONTROL PANEL PROGRAMS EXPLAINED. Or you could just type its URL directly into internet explorer's Address Bar edit box: www.yoingco.com/common_windows_10_control_panel_programs_apps_explained.html. Either way will display the Control Panel web page. And the same goes for a file download. Its url could be www.yoingco.com/music/madonna.mp3. With website addresses and URLs the forward slash / is used instead of a Path Name back slash \.
URLs come in all shapes and sizes. Take a look at the URLs in these next two examples. This first is a URL that displays a BBC iPlayer web page. Its main/root folder is bbc.co.uk. It then has four sub-folders - iplayer, episode, b070k3gf and eastenders-09022016. No index page was stated in the URL though, such as episode1.html.
Fig 1.4 - This is a URL that displays the BBC iPlayer website page for this episode of the TV Programme called Eastenders
With the second URL it displays a YouTube Video website page. Its main/root folder is youtube.com and its index page, which derives from the code: watch?v=A1RWgjAielI, tells the YouTube Video website what video to play. In other words, these kind of URLs pass a code to the index page which in turn may pass that code onto the actual video player on the website. This is what all URLs are ultimately doing anyway. Passing information through the Address Bar edit box (URL edit box).
Fig 1.5 - This is a URL that displays the YouTube Video website page for this episode of the TV Programme called Eastenders
So with the above knowledge; If someone said "Please e-mail me the link to that YouTube Video" they would be asking you to write down https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A1RWgjAielI (or even www.youtube.com/watch?v=A1RWgjAielI) in an e-mail and send it to them so that they can then watch the same YouTube Video.
To view a web page (text file) from a particular website (main folder or sub-folder) you use a program called a Web (Internet) Browser. The four common web browsers are Internet Explorer (Microsft), Firefox (Mozilla), Chrome (Google) and Safari (Apple).
You type a website address (i.e. www.yoingco.com) or URL (i.e. www.yoingco.com/common_windows_10_control_panel_programs_apps_explained.html) into the web browser's Address Bar edit box (address box) and then click on its GO button (or press the ENTER keyboard key). In the case of a website address: The web browser then asks your ISP's (Internet Service Provider's / Broadband Company's) internet computer (server / master computer) to make an Extended Internet Connection to the server (master internet computer) storing the website contents (main folder contents) of the website you have just asked for. Once that website contents has been downloaded, its main (default) web page (i.e. index.html) is displayed. In the case of an URL: The web browser goes one step further and displays the specific web page you typed in the url, instead of displaying the main (default) web page of index.html for example.
Because each website address is unique, just as a house address is unique, the web browser knows how to find the server (master internet computer) that is storing (hosting) that website's main folder and contents. It, together with other technologies, knows how to turn a website address (and an url) into a unique number. Just like a house has a postcode/zip code, but on a more unique level.
The reason why I have explained the main and extended internet connections to you, is because many people do not fully understand how the internet works as a whole. For example: They do not understand when you say "The Server Is Down" and so on.
A server is just a master computer. Your ISP's (Internet Service Provider's / Broadband Company's) computer is a server for example because it is serving the needs of your computer. It stores sent and received data on its hard drive so it can check that data for viruses before putting it (downloading it) onto your computer (clean) or on to another computer (clean). Your ISP's computer also acts as a storage place for your e-mail files and the files belonging to the personal website they may have given you. So when you send someone an e-mail using the Windows MAIL App for example, that e-mail gets forwarded from your computer onto your ISP's e-mail computer (e-mail server) which then forwards it onto your friend's ISP computer; once the e-mail has been scanned for viruses and other malware.
Your computer is known as a Client computer because you are the client (customer). When your ISP's computer cannot make an extended internet connection to a server (i.e. e-mail computer), such as the Microsoft Outlook e-mail server (to forward your e-mail onto your friend's ISP computer), you say "The Microsoft Outlook E-Mail Server Is Down" because no extended internet connection could be made to it. In the case of the Microsoft Outlook E-Mail Server, who have millions of client computers (extended internet connections) to serve, sometimes it will breakdown. Wouldn't you fall down with tired legs if you had to serve a few million customers in 1 day.
Your computer can change from a client computer to a server computer. For example: If you set up a wireless or cable network you can set it up so that your computer is the master computer - the server. So at the end of the day a server is just a computer that takes control of everything, which means it has to be clever and powerful.
A home page is the web page that you first see when your web browser starts. For example: If the home page is set to www.google.com, every time you open Internet Explorer 11 for the first time it will display the Google Search web page (i.e. index.html) from the Google website (main folder), whose contents were downloaded (fetched) when an extended internet connection was made to the Google website (www.google.com).
The home page does not have to be a website address. It could be an URL. For example: The home page could be set to www.bbc.co.uk/bbctwo if you wanted the BBC2 web page as the first web page to display when internet explorer starts. In this case the extended internet connection would be to the sub-folder called bbctwo of the main folder (website) called bbc.co.uk. The web page that would be displayed (not specified in the URL) is the index web page inside the bbctwo sub-folder. Because the bbctwo sub-folder was the last folder to be named in the URL it is set to the current folder. And because no web page was given in the URL (i.e. television.html) the default (standard/normal) web page is used instead, which is always the index web page. Hence why every folder (main folder and sub-folder) must have an index web page inside them. If the index web page does not exist you normally get an error web page displayed instead (i.e. Page Not Found) or you are able to see the contents (sub-folders and files) of that, unindexed, folder.