HTML Ignition: #2 Understanding How People Access, Create, and Navigate the Online World
Discover the history and philosophy behind the online world.
The internet is an integral part of our daily lives, with over 4.9 billion people using it worldwide. It has revolutionized the way we interact with each other, do business, and consume information. However, despite its ubiquity, many people are still unaware of how the internet works and the technologies that power it. In this piece, we'll explore the basics of the web, including how people access it, how websites are created, and the underlying technologies that make it all possible.
How the web works
To understand how the web works, we need to go back to the early days of computing. In the 1960s, the US government created the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET), a network of computers designed to allow researchers to share information. Over the next few decades, this network expanded and evolved into what we now know as the internet.
The internet is essentially a global network of computers connected by wires and wireless networks. This network allows people to send and receive information and communicate with each other in real-time. To access the internet, you need a device, such as a computer, smartphone, or tablet, and an internet connection. There are many ways to connect to the internet, including via Wi-Fi, cellular networks, and wired connections like Ethernet cables.
Once you're connected to the internet, you can access websites, which are essentially collections of web pages that are stored on servers. A web page is essentially a document written in a markup language like HTML, which is then rendered by a web browser like Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. This allows users to see and interact with the content on the page, which can include text, images, videos, and interactive elements like forms and buttons.
Accessing the web
There are a variety of tools and technologies involved when it comes to accessing the web. The most common tool used for accessing the web is the web browser, which is a software application that allows users to access and view web pages. Some of the most popular web browsers include Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, and Microsoft Edge.
Web servers are also an important part of accessing the web. Web servers are computers that store and deliver web content to users. When you enter a URL into your web browser, the browser sends a request to a web server asking for the content associated with that URL. The web server then delivers the content back to the browser for display.
In addition to browsers and web servers, there are also a variety of devices that can be used to access the web. These include desktop and laptop computers, smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices. Each of these devices may have different screen sizes, resolutions, and other specifications that impact how web content is displayed.
For users who have disabilities, there are also tools like screen readers that can help make web content accessible. A screen reader is a software application that reads web content out loud to the user, allowing them to navigate and interact with the content using audio cues.
Contributing to the web
Understanding the basics of the web is essential for anyone who wants to create websites or work in the tech industry. When you understand how people access the web, how websites are created, and the underlying technologies that power it all, you are better equipped to navigate the online world and take advantage of its many opportunities.