A friend of mine on G+ asks:

What is the difference between a web page and a web site?

The Alpha Bitch Gray Geek(tm) responds:

Here’s an historical answer to that one, since I am a gray geek, and worked on site number 26, I think it was, that came up on the WWW when we actually counted the damn things at CERN as they came up (and hey, you asked…:):

Originally a web page was one page.  Just one.

A web site was a complex of pages, linked generally by menus of hyperlinks or scripts and buttons and so on.

However, over time, people started asking, “Do you have a web page?” meaning “Do you have a presence on the web?” and for most people that meant a web site with multiple pages — having a one page “calling card” site was very 1995-1997-ish.

As a result, colloquially, “having a web page” came to mean “having a web site” as an equivalency in business parlance, where in geek speak, they are different things.

Since there are more business people and non-geeks than actual people who think about web architecture, the precise technical meaning of “a web page” is lost in semantic hell, and aspie geek web developers everywhere tamp down annoyance at the usage on a constant basis (I say this with perfect identification).

So, if someone says, “I’d like you to help me with a web page,” it’s necessary to ask them “Oh?  How many?”

This is semantically annoying and logistically necessary if you value your time, friendship, and sanity. :)


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