Browsing the Web

The Web. It’s a big—in fact world-wide—thing. The World Wide Web. It’s where the “www” in a web address comes from, like Someone has told you about an amazing site that contains many cooking recipies and you can “just go to to browse them.” What?

Web Address

You know how telephone numbers work. If you want to find out the phone number of a business you might pick up your phone and dial 411 or 555-1212 or even 800-555-1212. Speak the city name and the business name into the phone and the computer voice on the other end will tell you the phone number. Given that phone number, you call the business. Going to a company’s website is like calling that company on the phone. First you need to know the company’s web address, just like you need to know the company’s phone number in order to call them.

Web addresses looks like this:

Notice how some of them start with “http://”. You can ignore that part. Or not. It doesn’t matter. The web address

is the same thing as

Use or ignore the “http://” part—it’s up to you.

It’s pretty much the same with the “www.” part too. For most websites you do not need to use the “www.” part, which means that

is the same web address as

Not all websites allow the “www.” part to be optional. So if you are unsure, you can always add the “www.” part to the beginning of the web address. For example, if someone tells you to go to and that doesn’t work you can always try the address and see if that works.

Web Browser

Let’s say you want to go to Ford’s website and someone has told you their web address is How do you “go” to that website? First you will need a program that allows you to browse the Web, a Web browser. Windows comes with a Web browser program built-in that is named Internet Explorer. There are many Web browser programs like Firefox, Safari, Opera, and others. But since you must install one of these browsers in order to use them we will stick with using Internet Explorer since it is already installed (built-in) to Windows.