When you access a particular web site, you view the designated files on the server, whether that is text, images, audio, video, or a combination of each. We commonly refer to this content as pages, even though it is not displayed in the same size, shape, or manner as a printed page.
Nevertheless, the phrase web page is used to describe the content displayed within a web browser after
the file has loaded, even if you must scroll to view all the content. So even though they’re not strictly accurate, the terms ‘page’ and ‘file’ are typically used synonymously in reference to websites.
Consider the following screen capture of a page on the NYTimes website. The address shows the domain (nytimes.com), followed by a series of folders (pages and education), then the name of the file being displayed: index.html.
The file name of this page – index.html – tells us it is the main page in the enclosing folder (education). In fact, if we were to remove ‘index.html’ from the end of the web address, then click Enter, the resulting page would be the same. This is because most web servers are set up to look for a page titled ‘index’ by
default (i.e., even if no file name was specified in the web address).
This means when you enter google.com into your browser’s address field, it actually looks for the default file in the root or top-level folder on the designated space of the web server.
Note: While most servers look for ‘index’ as the standard start pages in each folder, the extension itself
can vary. If the majority of a site’s pages are built with basic HTML, the extension will most likely be .html.