Lesson Details

This is an introductory lesson presented by PixelComb Academy. This lesson will cover how the history of websites, how they are developed, how they operate, their innovation, and their use. We will have a brief look at online stores commonly referred to as E-commerce websites. 

This lesson is provided free in efforts to not only educate our clients, but to also empower anyone with a desire to learn.  At the end of this lesson, you will be able to take a free test to earn a certificate by PixelComb Academy.



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A website (also referred to as a site and also written as web site) is a collection of web pages and related content. Websites are identified by a domain name which is a simpler form of a URL.

Websites can serve their purpose for public use in the World Wide Web or for private use within a private network. 

Websites are usually dedicated to a specific topic or purpose such as for blogging, education, social networking, as well as commerce such as e-commerce which performs money transactions through the web. 


British CERN physicist Tim Berners-Lee was the creator of the first website as well as the the creator of the World Wide Web (WWW). The first website was launched on August 6, 1991 while he was working for CERN, a physics lab in the country of Switzerland. The purpose of the first website was to serve as an information management system that linked documents which where on different computers. 


March 1989


The development of the first website began as a proposal for an information management system that was presented to the managers at CERN (Conceil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire) on March 1989. The proposal was made by a British CERN physicist Tim Berners-Lee.


March 1989

Early 1990


The first proposal was not accepted at first. Tim Berners-Lee then worked with Robert Cailliau, a Belgian engineer at CERN to refine the proposal. 

Sometime in early 1990, Tim Berners-Lee’s boss gave him time to work on the project.

Early 1990

Later 1990


The project was first called Information Management. Tim Berners-Lee tried out different names including Mine of Information and Information Mesh before sticking to the final name WorldWideWeb.

Later 1990

End of 1990


Toward the end of 1990, Tim Berners-Lee developed the important technologies that would become the backbone of the Web, using a Steve Jobs-designed NeXT computer.

  • Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) for creating Web pages.
  • Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP)  rules for transferring data throughout the Web. 
  • Uniform Resource Locator (URL) to give a website an address to find pages. 

Tim Berners-Lee also created the Web server software to host websites, as well as a web browser to find a web pages. 

End of 1990

August 6, 1991


On August 6, 1991 Tim Berners-Lee made the Web a publicly available service on the internet, when he published the first website.

The website was hosted at CERN on Tim Berners-Lee’s NeXT computer. The website URL was

August 6, 1991


In the present day 2020, websites are developed with advanced capabilities and serve an important role in today’s society, economy, and industry operations.

Websites help us to inform others, provide and exchange data, sell products and services, as well as provide a software and technologies over the internet. 

In 2020, websites went on to become a real need for many businesses after the global Covid-19 pandemic which forced many businesses to close physical locations. As a result of closures, businesses began to rely on websites to perform their business transactions, more specifically online store websites also referred to as e-commerce websites.


There are two broad categories called static websites and interactive websites.

Interactive sites allow interactivity between visitors or users and the site owner or his or her staff.

Static sites serve to capture information, however, do not allow engagement between the website owner or his or her staff and the website visitor or user.

There is steady growth in websites with the purpose of making money through transactions, 

School A website where teachers, staff, and students can post events, links to sources, and host a portal for parent and teach communication and grades. SDSU
Social Networking A website with a database and applications that allow people to communicate and post content, as well as compute algorithms to provide users with relative content Facebook
Web portal A website that provides an entry point to other sources such as the internet or an intranet. This can also commonly called a web browser. Yahoo


Depending on the purpose of the website, websites can be made from scratch using simple HTML language or can be made using Open Source, Closed Source, and Hybrid Source software platforms. 

In today’s modern society, majority of websites are not made from scratch, but rather use some type of platform and CMS (content management system).  The reasons for using website platforms is due to the ease in the design and development process, as well as ease in maintenance, updating, and ease in integration to third-party software. 



Open Source Platform

Open source software platforms are provided to the public at no cost. They can be downloaded and operated on a computer or a web server.

This type of platform provides developers almost unlimited amount of possibilities in terms of being able to create applications and integrations to third party software. In addition, digital marketers have almost unlimited amount of control and ability to produce higher quality SEO (search engine optimization) practices, and better conversion rate optimization.

Because open source is free, the developers of the platform are not responsible for and do not maintain the website that is made with the software. Instead the platform developers focus on improvement of their software platform. The responsibility of maintaining the website falls under the website owner, who would often require website developers to maintain it. 

Design and development using open source software can vary in time and cost, depending on the platform used and what functionalities will be developed. Another variable in cost is the proficiency of the team who will design and develop who need to be contracted or hired. 

Open source software will require the website owner to pay for a website hosting/server. Website hosting/servers can cost as little as $9 a month or as much as thousands per month. The cost of hosting/servers vary according to the type of platform and its use.

Since open source platforms are free, the website created would theoretically always belong to the website owner as the owner can download the website onto a hard drive at any time.

Closed Source Platform

Closed source platforms are sold typically under the SaaS (software as a service) model which chargers owners of the website a monthly or yearly fee for use.

This type of platform creates limitations on what can be developed and designed as it restricts programming languages, restricts design capabilities, restricts UX (user experience) design capabilities, restricts security capabilities, restricts performance capabilities, and may or may not allow third-party software integrations. In addition, these platforms also create limitations in digital marketing processes such as SEO (search engine optimization) and conversion rate optimization.

Close source platforms are commonly referred to as DIY (do it yourself) websites. These type of platforms provide easy to use website builders and templates, which make it easy to design, but obviously have limits in design. These platforms often do not require teams of developers and designers as they usually provide drag and drop website builder tools that take away the need to know coding.  

Because closed source platforms charge for their use and the software cannot be downloaded, the websites created would never belong to the website creator/owner. If the platform subscription is not paid or cancelled, the account can be closed and the website can be closed or discontinued. Some companies will discontinue the website, however will allow the website owner to re-enter a subscription at a later time. 

Hybrid Source Platform

Hybrid platforms are sold under the SaaS model just like closed source platforms. 

Hybrid platforms allow developers and designers with more capabilities for development of applications and design, however, still have limitations as the platform company does not allow developers to access all files including core files.

Essentially, Hybrid platforms are still closer in relation to closed source platforms rather than open source platforms.

These platforms will be maintained and hosted on the servers of the platform company.   

Since hybrid platforms are not free, the website will never belong to the website owner as it cannot be downloaded.

Popular Examples Of Open Source, Closed Source, and Hybrid. | As of July, 2020.

PLATFORM COMPANY Magento,, Joomla Shopify, Squarespace, Volusion Wix

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NOTICE: PixelComb Academy is a department of PixelComb that provides free general education for the public. There are no charges for lessons. All lessons are created by professionals. PixelComb is not an accredited university. PixelComb reserves the right to change the content of any lesson and will do so periodically in efforts to provide up-to-date information.