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Definitions

Web Server – Definition, Features, Uses and More

Web Server Definition

A web server or HTTP server is a piece of communications software that intermediates between the server on which it hosts the requested data and the client’s computer—and also allowing bidirectional or unidirectional, synchronous or asynchronous connections, with any client application, even with browsers that translate translatable code to a specific web page.

In other words, these are programs that mediate between the Internet user and the server where it requests the information.

Web servers are programs of daily use on the Internet, which use various data protocols to communicate, the most common and somewhat standard being HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol).

However, it is also possible to use the term to refer to the computer where the files that make up a website are stored, along with the software necessary to comply with the web data connection.

Features of a Web Server

A web server operates on a computer waiting for requests from a client’s web browser. And also, providing the requested data to compose a web page or, failing that, an error message. Web servers can be of two kinds: static and dynamic.

Static servers

They consist of a computer where it stores the information and an HTTP server that responds to the request protocols. Its name comes from the fact that the files are sent correctly as they are stored.

Dynamic servers

Instead, they are static servers that contain additional software (usually applications and databases) that allow them to update the requested information before sending it to the client.

What is a Web Server for?

The function of web servers is to mediate between user requests and the files that contain the requested information on the computer where they are stored. Therefore, it needs one to publish a website and also to have access to the data that compose any web page. This process occurs as follows:

  • The user enters a web address (URL) in their browser, and it sends a request to the webserver.
  • The web server (software) searches for the relevant files either on the server itself (hardware). Or on a hosting service where they are always available and online.
  • The files are then processed as requested and sent according to the transfer protocol. That is, according to a set of rules that regulate communication between computers.
  • The browser receives the files and assembles the content of the web page displaying it to the user.

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