What is a Web Server?

What is a Web Server?

Today, in this article i am going to discuss what is a web server. A web server is a computer or program usually installed in a datacenter operated by a hosting company. The purpose of this computer is to save the website so that people can visit them on the internet. Let’s get into the topic.

History:

Apache is the most famous and widely used open source software developed and managed by the Apache software foundation. In 1989, Tim Berners-Lee (creator of World Wide Web) developed for sharing information over the Internet. Therefore, It was kept as a new project proposal to CERN’s employer with the aim of exchanging information using a hypertext system.

What is a Web server?

Web server

A web server can easily defined as a software program designed to handle website requests. The main task is to provide content to the world wide web to make them accessible for the end users. It doesn’t provide the functionality beyond simply providing an environment in which the server-side program can execute and pass back the generated responses. Server is much faster and more powerful than a regular computer. It can be located anywhere in the world.

Basically, this server is used to host websites, but also it can serve for gaming, data storage, FTP, email, etc. Therefore, all the communication between the client (web browser) and the server takes place via HTTP.

Examples of web server:

  1. Apache Tomcat
  2. Microsoft’s Internet Information Server(IIS)
  3. Google Web Server(GWS)
  4. Nginx from NGINX
  5. FTP
  6. SMTP

Definition of web browser:

A web browser is a client, program, software, tool by which we send the HTTP request to the web server. It knows how to communicate with the server. The main purpose of the web browser is to locate the content on the World Wide Web and to display the web page, the image format, the audio, and video format.

Client/Server model:

Client server model

When you click on any button on your browser you send a request to the server. The server receives the request and sends back the requested page to the web browser. In simple terms, The server receives and responds to requests from users that can transfer by their computers HTTP clients that may be Internet browsers or mobile applications.

Key points:

  • When a client sends a request for a page, the server looks for the requested page. So, if the requested page is found, it will be sent to the client with an HTTP response.
  • When the requested page is not found, the server sends an HTTP response: Error 404 Not found.
  • If the client has requested for some other resources, then the server will contact the application server and data storage to construct the HTTP response.

Benefits of the web server:

Advantages of web server

Most of the servers have different functionalities, below are few servers and their usage.

  1. HTTP (to provide a website)
  2. FTP server (for uploading files)
  3. Database server (for storing information that is important for the operation of a website)
  4. Email server.

Along with the benefits there are few drawbacks for the web server they are:

  1. System crashes.
  2. This can be more expensive than just hosting a website.

Therefore, web servers are valuable tools in many situations because they are easy to use and do not require configuration or downloaded software. By the above information, you got a brief idea about What is Web server and its benefits.

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