Before jumping into web design, it’s important to make sure you have a basic grip on what websites are and how they work.

Essentially, a website is a collection of documents known as webpages (or pages for short) that contain information: images, words, digital media, and the like. The main page in a website is called a homepage, and other pages in a website are called subpages. These are connected by hyperlinks, which are spots on a page (usually text or images) that, when clicked, take the user to different location. This can be another subpage, another location on the same page, or another website altogether.

Webpages are written in a language called HyperText Markup Language (HTML). HTML tells web browsers (the programs used to surf the Internet, such as Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera, Safari, or Google Chrome) what information to display and how to format it.

Webpages are stored on a server, which is a network of computers designed to store websites. Server space is sold and maintained by hosting providers. Hosting your website on a server ensures that your website is open to the public.

These are just the basics, and naturally, there is far, far more about websites for you to learn. If you’d like to do a little research to learn more — which we highly encourage — buy a web design book (there are some great ones available on our books page) or do some searching on the web. Here are a few of our favorite web design resources: