What is Web Content?

What Is Web Content?

Web content is the textual, visual or aural content that is encountered as part of the user experience on websites. It may include, among other things: text, images, sounds, videos and animations.

In Information Architecture for the World Wide Web, Lou Rosenfeld and Peter Morville write, “We define content broadly as ‘the stuff in your Web site.’ This may include documents, data, applications, e-services, images, audio and video files, personal Web pages, archived e-mail messages, and more. And we include future stuff as well as present stuff.”

HTML web content

Even though we may embed various protocols within web pages, the “web page” composed of “html” (or some variation) content is still the dominant way whereby we share content. And while there are many web pages with localized proprietary structure (most usually, business websites), many millions of websites abound that are structured according to a common core idea.

Blogs are a type of website that contain mainly web pages authored in html (although the blogger may be totally unaware that the web pages are composed using html due to the blogging tool that may be in use). Millions of people use blogs online; a blog is now the new “home page”, that is, a place where a persona can reveal personal information, and/or build a concept as to who this persona is. Even though a blog may be written for other purposes, such as promoting a business, the core of a blog is the fact that it is written by a “person” and that person reveals information from her/his perspective.

Search engine sites are composed mainly of html content, but also has a typically structured approach to revealing information. A search engine results page (SERP) displays a heading, usually the name of the search engine, and then a list of websites and their addresses. What is being listed are the results from a query that may be defined as keywords. The results page lists webpages that are connected in some way with those keywords used in the query.

Discussion boards are sites composed of “textual” content organized by html or some variation that can be viewed in a web browser. The driving mechanism of a discussion board is the fact that users are registered and once registered can write posts. Often a discussion board is made up of posts asking some type of question to which other users may provide answers to those questions.

E-commerce sites are largely composed of textual material and embedded with graphics displaying a picture of the item(s) for sale. However, there are extremely few sites that are composed page-by-page using some variant of HTML. Generally, webpages are composed as they are being served from a database to a customer using a web browser. However, the user sees the mainly text document arriving as a webpage to be viewed in a web browser. Ecommerce sites are usually organized by software we identify as a “shopping cart”.

A wider view of web content

While there are many millions of pages that are predominantly composed of HTML, or some variation, in general we view data, applications, E-Services, images (graphics), audio and video files, personal web pages, archived e-mail messages, and many more forms of file and data systems as belonging to websites and web pages.

While there are many hundreds of ways to deliver information on a website, there is a common body of knowledge of search engine optimization that needs to be read as an advisory of ways that anything but text should be delivered. Currently search engines are text based and are one of the common ways people using a browser locate sites of interest.

You can read more information at Wikipedia.com

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