Homepage, website, web presence, website, internet presence


The homepage construction kit – not only an unding for most web designers, also in terms of understanding a bad thing. Many misunderstandings could be avoided if product managers and marketing managers at 1&1, Host Europe, Strato, etc., were to be more transparent. try a little bit more for linguistic correctness.

Our (working) everyday life is full of misunderstandings – hosting service providers have a not insignificant share in it. Obviously, they are not aware of the bad influence they have on the language, on the interaction between web service providers and customers, for instance. Otherwise, they wouldn’t keep coming up with language monstrosities like "Do-It-Yourself Homepage" or "WebBuilder Homepagebaukasten", which are primarily aimed at private customers and small businesses and only describe the services associated with them to a limited extent. Basically, 1&1’s TV commercials are partly responsible for the fact that in common parlance there is an inadequate distinction between "homepage", "website", "web presence", "website" and "Internet presence". But exactly such a differentiation is indispensable for the planning and realization of an internet presence. I would like to take up a topic suggestion of several readers at once and make the differences clear.

Today, more than ever, "homepage" is a homonym, a word that, at least colloquially, stands for different things – this is especially true of the German language. Homonyms are usually explained by a context, but often not even then. Then it’s a matter of asking questions to prevent misunderstandings ("Should only the start page be revised or the entire web presence?").

"Home page" or. simply "home" has always been the preferred term in English to describe the start page of a web presence. "Make This Your Homepage" currently reads, for example, on the home page of AOL.com. In German this has been adopted many times see the web-speak article "Home, Start, Startseite, Hauptseite".

What makes communication in this country so problematic is the fact that "homepage" is commonly understood as a synonym for "web presence". The lower the affinity to the medium Internet, the more likely it is that an interlocutor, when he says "homepage", means the entire web presence. However, this would be similar to saying "front page" but actually meaning "newspaper" or saying "front cover" but meaning "book". The Internet has long since replaced television as the leading medium. The language, however, with which we describe the Internet and fill it with life, sometimes gives the impression of still being transmitted with a 33.6 modem – it is very jerky. It is time to change this.


"Homepage" is one of the terms I avoid because of its ambiguity. Homepage" refers to the homepage of a website, and only this homepage! If anglicisms are misleading, and "homepage" is certainly a word in need of explanation, then I think one should resort to better alternatives. How nice that the German language has suitable alternatives ready – in this article they are described. News anchors such as Claus Kleber have also started to refer solely to the domain name in question ("For more details, see today.en"). The explicit reference to a home page is therefore omitted. No "homepage," no misunderstanding.


Similar to a newspaper, a "website" means a single page of an information offer. The start page is just as much a single web page as all other subpages of the entire web presence. Colloquially, "website" is also used to describe the entire web presence, for example: "The official website of the Bundesliga". Better would be: "The official website of the Bundesliga"
A linguistically correct statement would also be, for example: "The Hannover city portal.de comprises a total of around 20.000 websites."

Web site

Web presence" refers to the entirety of all web pages of a digital information offering. Of all synonymous terms (web presence, internet presence, website) "web presence" is my preferred term.
Example 1: The web presence is not only a communication platform to the outside world, but also within the university. Example 2: The website of the German Bundestag can be found at Bundestag.en.

Internet presence

"Internet presence" means the same as "web presence", i.e. the totality of all web pages of a digital information offer. In this case, too, the following tendency can be observed: the less pronounced the speaker’s affinity for the Internet (resp. that of the addressee), the more likely it is that the term "Internet presence" will be preferred to "website". "Web presence" is the younger and more modern variant, "Internet presence", on the other hand, is more official. Example: Our new website is clearly structured, user-friendly and offers citizens additional service information.


The English term "site" stands for "property", "facility", "location" or simply "place". Accordingly, "website" (formerly "web site") describes a site or. a place on the net/web/internet. While "website" in the German-speaking world is (currently still) mainly used by experts, in English this word is the generally preferred term for a web presence.
Example: "Was this Mark Zuckerberg’s first website??"

Conclusion / Recommendation

Successful companies can be recognized by their websites. Modern websites, on the other hand, are characterized not only by impeccable technology and an appealing design, but above all by a contemporary language. A lack of sensitivity in communication is just as revealing as deficits in matters of design, for example; actually incentive enough, both for companies and agencies, to differentiate more strongly in terms of language and to refrain from linguistic monstrosities such as "Do-It-Yourself Homepage". Apart from that, companies that are interested in a convincing web presence would be well advised to steer clear of the aforementioned homepage construction kits.

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