What Do You Mean by Web Server?


Angela Bailey

What Do You Mean by Web Server?

A web server is a software application that is responsible for handling HTTP requests from clients and delivering web content to them. It serves as the backbone of the World Wide Web, enabling websites to be accessed and viewed by users across the globe.

How Does a Web Server Work?

When a user types a URL into their browser’s address bar or clicks on a link, their browser sends an HTTP request to the appropriate web server. The web server then processes this request and returns an HTTP response, which contains the requested web content. This content could be in the form of HTML pages, images, videos, or any other type of file that can be displayed on a website.

The Components of a Web Server

A typical web server consists of several components:

  • Hardware: This refers to the physical computer that runs the web server software. It includes components such as CPUs, memory, storage devices, and network interfaces.
  • Operating System: The operating system provides the necessary resources and services for running the web server software.

    Common examples include Windows Server, Linux distributions like Ubuntu or CentOS.

  • Web Server Software: This is the actual application that handles HTTP requests and responses. Popular web server software includes Apache HTTP Server, Nginx, and Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS).
  • Domain Name System (DNS): DNS is responsible for translating domain names (e.g., www.example.com) into IP addresses (e., It helps route requests to the correct web server.

The Role of Web Servers in Hosting Websites

Web servers play a crucial role in hosting websites. When you purchase hosting services from a web hosting provider, they allocate server space to store your website’s files and make them accessible to visitors. The web server software is responsible for serving these files to users upon request.

Additionally, web servers support various protocols, including HTTP and HTTPS, which ensure secure communication between the server and the client’s browser. This is particularly important when handling sensitive information such as login credentials or personal data.


In conclusion, a web server is a vital component of the internet infrastructure that enables websites to be accessed and viewed by users worldwide. It processes HTTP requests and delivers web content to clients, making it an essential part of website hosting and data transmission.

Understanding how web servers work and their role in the World Wide Web can help you make informed decisions when it comes to website development, hosting, and security.

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