What Is a Web Page?

As we have gone over before, a web page is a text file with markup language. More simply, it is a text file. It is not a special file type, like a PowerPoint presentation file. It is text only. You could, for example, write a web page with any simple text editor, such as Notepad (Windows) or TextEdit (Mac).

The main difference between a regular text file and a web page (aside from the markup language) is the filename extension. Since a plain text file and a web page are identical in form, you can change the filename extension from .txt to .html; what will change is the program that opens it. While a ".txt" file, the document will be opened by the text editor; when changed to an ".html" file, it will be opened by a browser.

Having the correct filename extension is important; if the file has the ".txt" extension, then browsers will not see it as a web page, and will instead display it as text. If the file has the ".html" extension, then browsers will understand it is a web page, and will renderWhen talking about browsers, "render" means that the browser takes the markup code and translates it into a graphic design--e.g., "The web page rendered the HTML perfectly." it correctly.

Go ahead, give it a try--I have created a web page and saved it under both filename extensions. By clicking on the links, you can see sample.txt and sample.html. (Remember to hit the back button to come back to this page!)

Although web pages often contain images or even movies and sounds, it is important to know that these media files are not contained within the web page files. Each is saved as a stand-alone file, and is called for by the web page.

One more thing: although browsers are intended to view web page files, they can actually be used to view any file that can be used on a web page. For example, you can view images--like the image I use for the link to the review quizzes. To see that image directly, click here. Or, to listen to a sound file, click on this link to the music file I provided with the PowerPoint practice. Both of those files will play directly in the browser, without a web page to contain them.



Video Review