What Is a Python Web Server?
A web server is a software application that serves web pages to clients upon request. It handles incoming HTTP requests and responds with the appropriate HTML content.
Python, being a versatile programming language, offers several options for creating web servers.
Python’s Built-in Web Server – SimpleHTTPServer
Python’s standard library includes a module called SimpleHTTPServer, which provides a basic yet effective way to create a web server. This module allows you to serve static files from any directory on your computer.
To start the SimpleHTTPServer, open your terminal or command prompt and navigate to the directory containing the files you want to serve. Then, execute the following command:
$ python -m SimpleHTTPServer
By default, this will start a web server on port 8000. You can access your files by opening your browser and entering http://localhost:8000 in the address bar.
A More Powerful Option – Flask Web Server
If you need more advanced features or want to build dynamic websites with Python, using a framework like Flask is highly recommended. Flask is a lightweight and flexible web framework that allows you to easily create web applications.
To use Flask as your web server, you’ll first need to install it. Open your terminal or command prompt and run the following command:
$ pip install flask
Once Flask is installed, you can create a simple web server with just a few lines of code:
from flask import Flask
app = Flask(__name__)
return "Hello, World!"
if __name__ == '__main__':
Save the code above in a file with a .py extension, such as server.py. Then, open your terminal or command prompt and navigate to the directory containing the file. Run the following command to start the server:
$ python server.py
Flask will start a web server on port 5000 by default. You can access your web application by opening your browser and entering http://localhost:5000 in the address bar.
Python offers various options for creating web servers depending on your needs. The SimpleHTTPServer module is suitable for serving static files, while Flask provides a more powerful framework for building dynamic web applications.
Regardless of which option you choose, Python makes it easy to get started with web development.