How Do Web Servers Work
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How Do Web Servers Work

Probably when, you come to a website to search a company that offers Web Hosting or Web servers services, do you really know how do these server’s work? Having a good knowledge of or about the service or product you are going to purchase is good for you.

The first thing you should know is that the machines that are responsible for storing the data and exchanging it to other machines are know as Web servers.


For web server to work you always need two machines, one is client that requests the data and a web server that stores the data in it. Without software like Fire fox and Internet Explorer browser, one cannot negotiate with server to exchange the data. Check more here

For web server there are many options software available, which does the same work to request the data transfer in between the Clients and servers through Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP).

It depends on Operating System (OS) selected for the web server. For an example, UNIX fans choose Apache Web server, while Microsoft Internet Information Server is a popular choice for Windows NT.

Simple data trade between the client’s machine and a Web server works like this:

  • The Client’s browser cut apart the URL into a number of separate parts, including address, path name and protocol.


  • The browser detects which protocol (the language client machines use to communicate with servers) should be used. For Ex: Protocols used are File Transfer Protocol (FTP) and Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP).


  • The browser sends a GET request to the Web server to retrieve the address it has been given. For example, when a user types, the browser sends a GET 1.jpg command to and waits for a answer.


  • The server responds on to the request of browser and verifies that the given web address exist, and finds the appropriate files, runs the proper scripts, exchanges cookies if required, and proceeds the results back to the browser. In case, if server is unable to locate the file, it sends an error message to the client.


  • The browser translates the data it has been given in to HyperText Markup Language (HTML) and displays the results to the user.


This above process is repeated until the client browser leaves or closes the website. Apart from the functions mentioned above, the Web server also has an additional number of responsibilities.

Whereas a Web browser simply translates and displays data it is fed, a Web server is responsible for distinguishing between various error and data types.

A Web server must, for example, designate the proper code for any sort of internal error and send that back to the browser immediately after it occurs. It also has to distinguish between various elements on a Web page (such as .GIF, .JPEG and Audio files) so that the browser knows which files are saved in which format.

Depending on the site’s function, a Web server may also have numerous additional tasks to handle, including logging statistics, handling security and encryption, serving images for other sites (for banners, pictures, etc), generating dynamic content, or managing e-commerce functions.

Now you have got an idea of a Web server, you should be pleased about all the process that goes in to delivering a single page of content to your computer screen. Keep this knowledge in mind when going to shop your another host.