In general, an interactive website will use the standard graphical user interface (GUI) present on all websites to create interactivity with the viewer. For example, a website that displays weather forecasts for an area may simply allow a user to type in his or her location and then show weather details for that region. While this technically is interactive, since it allowed the user to input his or her information, this would be a fairly unimpressive level of interactivity.
A more elaborate interactive website might allow the user to input his or her location and also indicate a particular year or day and display weather for that time period. This could allow the user to better understand recorded weather patterns and trends throughout history. An interactive website could also display an image of the Earth, perhaps represented as a three-dimensional rendering, and allow the user to interact with that globe. The website might display weather for different countries and allow the user to zoom into specific regions, or to move and manipulate the globe to see various parts of the world and quickly view the weather in those areas.
Different types of software are often used to create an interactive website, though programs usually include various features to display animations or allow the user to manipulate images that appear on the page. This can be used for educational purposes, entertainment, and for a number of other reasons as well, including attracting more users to a particular website. There are scientific websites that allow a user to explore the various structures of different plants and animals, at cellular and microscopic levels, as well as sites that can be used to better understand the size of the universe. An interactive website can also be used to allow users of a website to play games or interact with friends online.