What Are the Naming Schemes to Identify the Web Server?


Scott Campbell

Web servers are an integral part of the internet infrastructure. They handle requests from clients, such as web browsers, and deliver the requested web pages to them.

But how do we identify these web servers? In this article, we will explore the various naming schemes used to identify web servers.

1. IP Address:
The most common method to identify a web server is by its IP address.

An IP address is a unique numerical label assigned to each device connected to a computer network. Web servers can be reached by typing their IP address directly into the browser’s address bar. For example, is an IP address commonly used for local development servers.

– Simple and direct way to access a server.
– Each server has a unique IP address.

– Difficult to remember long sequences of numbers.
– IP addresses may change if the server’s network configuration changes.

2. Domain Name System (DNS):
While IP addresses are effective in identifying web servers, they are not user-friendly.

To overcome this issue, the Domain Name System (DNS) was created. DNS translates human-readable domain names into their corresponding IP addresses.

For example, when you type “www.example.com” in your browser’s address bar, DNS resolves it to an IP address like 203.113.1 before establishing a connection with the web server.

– Easy for users to remember and type domain names.
– Provides flexibility in changing server IPs without affecting users.

– DNS resolution adds an extra step in establishing connections.
– DNS records may take time to propagate globally.

3. Hostname:
A hostname is a label assigned to a device connected to a computer network that is used to identify it uniquely within that network. In the context of web servers, the hostname is usually the part of the URL that comes after the protocol (e.g., http://) and before the domain name.

For example, in the URL “https://www.com/index.html,” the hostname is “www.”

– Provides a more human-friendly way to identify servers.
– Allows multiple services on different ports to be hosted on a single IP address.

– Hostnames are not always unique across different domains.
– Changing a hostname may require reconfiguring DNS records.

4. Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN):
An FQDN is a complete domain name that specifies its exact position in the DNS hierarchy.

It consists of a hostname and its parent domains, separated by dots. For example, “mail.com” is an FQDN where “mail” is the hostname and “example.com” is the parent domain.

FQDNs provide a precise naming scheme for web servers and are commonly used in email server configurations, virtual hosting setups, and network administration tasks.

– Provides a standardized way to reference specific locations within a domain.
– Enables proper email routing based on server addresses.

– Lengthy FQDNs can be cumbersome to type or remember.
– Changing an FQDN requires updating DNS records accordingly.

In Summary

Identifying web servers can be done using various naming schemes. IP addresses are direct but not user-friendly, while DNS provides human-readable domain names. Hostnames offer flexibility for hosting multiple services on one IP address, and FQDNs provide precise positions within a domain hierarchy.

Understanding these naming schemes is crucial for web developers, network administrators, and anyone involved in website management. By leveraging these identification methods effectively, you can navigate through the vast internet landscape with ease.

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