What Is index.html? How To Create and Use index.html?


Websites provide a lot of web pages with different URLs but there are some defacto pages that exist most of the web sites. index.html is one of them. index.html is used as the main or entrance page for the whole web site or web application.

What Is index.html?

As its name suggests index.html consists of two words index and html. The index simply means shortlist for multiple items. In web terminology generally used to showcase the website pages, categories or parts on a single page. Html simply an extension for the index file which means the index file is an HTML file that contains HTML code or tags with some CSS and JavaScript code. index.html file generally resides in the root path of the web page and when the web site like http://www.poftut.com is requested by default index.html file is returned.

What Contains index.html?

As stated previously index.html file contains mainly HTML code or tag with some CSS and JavaScript code. The client web browser will render and show the HTML, CSS and JavaScript code. For example, the following screenshot is the https://www.apachefriends.org/index.html. This is the main page of the apachefriends.org which contains content like text, header, video, menus, categories, links etc.

What Contains index.html?
What Contains index.html?

index.html Code

There is no standard about the index.html code but there are some regular code parts generally used in index.html. Below we can see that the JavaScript code is defined inside the head part of the web page. Also, the links and menu are defined as the first element of the index.html.

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index.html Code
index.html Code

index.html Basic Structure

When we look at an index.html file we can see that there is some basic structure that is mostly used in most of the web site’s other pages.

  • `Menu` will contain shortcuts to other pages of the sites.
  • `Main Content` generally contains information about the web site and some latest or generic or definitive information about the web site.
  • `Footer` may contain some social media link, contact information, copyright information, etc.

Location Of The index.html

The index.html file is stored inside the web site root directory of the webserver. If the webserver is Apache2 the default path is /var/www and the web site folder name. If the webserver is IIS the path will be C:\inetpub\sites by default but change according to specific web site configuration.

index.html vs index.htm

Well, we can see some minor changes in the usage of the index.html web page. index.htm is an alternative to the index.html file. index.htm is generally used in Windows servers but almost the same HTML, CSS and JavaScript code is used.

index.html Alternatives

index.html was popular a long time ago. Currently, most of the web sites prefer index.php or nothing where index.html is not used. But there are some alternatives that are mostly used with dynamic server-side applications or sites like PHP , Python, ASP.NET, etc.

  • `index.asp` is used by ASP.NET web sites or web applications.
  • `index.php` is used by PHP web applications.
  • `default.html` or `home.html` are also alternatives to the index.html.

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