Is Web Service and Web Server Same?


Heather Bennett

Is Web Service and Web Server Same?

When it comes to understanding the world of web development, it is essential to grasp the difference between a web service and a web server. Although these terms might seem similar, they refer to distinct entities that play different roles in the functioning of the internet.

Web Server

A web server is a computer or software application that serves as a storage facility for websites and their associated files. It responds to requests made by users’ browsers and delivers webpage content over the internet. In simple terms, think of a web server as a giant hard drive that stores all the website data.

Web servers handle various tasks such as storing HTML, CSS, JavaScript files, images, videos, databases, and more. They ensure that when someone types in a website’s URL or clicks on a link, their browser can retrieve the necessary files from the server and display them accordingly.

Key Points about Web Servers:

  • A web server stores website files.
  • It responds to browser requests.
  • It delivers webpage content over the internet.
  • The most common web servers are Apache HTTP Server, Nginx, and Microsoft IIS.

Web Service

A web service, on the other hand, is an application or software component that allows different systems or devices to communicate with each other via standard web protocols such as HTTP. It enables machines to exchange data and perform specific tasks over a network without human intervention.

In simpler terms, imagine you have two apps – App A and App B – running on different devices. If these apps need to share information or perform actions together, they can do so by utilizing web services. The web service acts as a mediator, enabling communication between the two apps regardless of the technology or programming language they use.

Key Points about Web Services:

  • A web service allows different systems to communicate.
  • It enables machines to exchange data and perform tasks.
  • Web services use standard web protocols like HTTP.
  • They facilitate interoperability between different technologies and programming languages.

Differences Between Web Service and Web Server

Now that we have a basic understanding of web servers and web services, let’s highlight the key differences between them:

1. Functionality

A web server primarily serves website files and responds to browser requests, while a web service facilitates communication and data exchange between systems or applications.

2. Purpose

The purpose of a web server is to store and deliver website content, ensuring that it is accessible to users through their browsers. On the other hand, a web service enables different systems or applications to interact with each other seamlessly.

3. Communication

A web server communicates directly with users’ browsers using HTTP or other protocols. In contrast, a web service uses standard protocols like HTTP for communication between different systems or applications.

4. Technologies Used

A typical web server uses technologies like Apache, Nginx, or Microsoft IIS to serve websites. Web services can be built using various technologies such as SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol), REST (Representational State Transfer), XML-RPC (Remote Procedure Call), and more.


In conclusion, while a web server and web service are both crucial components of the internet, they serve different purposes. A web server stores and delivers website content, while a web service enables communication between different systems or applications. Understanding the distinction between these terms is vital for anyone venturing into the world of web development.

Remember, a solid foundation in these concepts will help you navigate the complexities of the internet and build efficient and interconnected systems.

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