The World Wide Web (WWW) was created in 1990 by the British physicist Tim Berners-Lee at CERN. On April 30, 1993, CERN announced that the World Wide Web would be free to use for everyone. Before the introduction of HTML and HTTP, other protocols such as file transfer protocol and gopher protocol were used to retrieve individual files from a server. These protocols provide a simple directory structure that the user navigates and chooses which files to download. The documents were often presented as text files without formatting, or were encoded in word-processing formats.

Sites have many functions and can be used in a variety of ways; A website can be a personal website, a corporate website, a government website or a nonprofit web site organization. Websites can be the work of a person, business or other organization, and are generally dedicated to a particular subject or purpose. Any Web site may contain a hyperlink to another Web site, so that the distinction between the different sites, as perceived by the user, may be blurred. Web sites are written, or converted to, HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) and can be accessed using a software interface classified as a user agent. Web pages can be accessed or otherwise accessed from a range of computer-based devices and the Internet has allowed for various sizes, including desktops, laptops, PDAs and cell phones. A site is hosted on a computer system known as a Web server, also called an HTTP server. These terms can also refer to the software that runs on these systems, which retrieves and delivers Web pages in response to user requests. Apache is the most widely used web server software (according to Netcraft statistics) and Microsoft IIS is also commonly used. Some alternatives, such as Nginx, Lighttpd, Hiawatha and Cherokee, are fully functional and light.