What Is Meant by Web Server and Web Client?

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Heather Bennett

Web Server and Web Client are two essential components of the World Wide Web. Understanding their roles and functionalities is crucial in building and maintaining websites. In this article, we will explore what is meant by a web server and a web client, as well as their significance in the web development process.

Web Server

A web server is a computer program or software that serves requests made by clients over the internet. It stores, processes, and delivers web pages and other resources to clients upon request. When you type a URL (Uniform Resource Locator) in your browser’s address bar and hit enter, it sends a request to the web server associated with that URL.

How Does a Web Server Work?

When a web server receives a request from a client, it looks for the requested resource on its local storage. If found, it processes the request and sends back the requested information to the client in the form of HTML documents, images, CSS files, etc. The server uses protocols like HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) or HTTPS (HTTP Secure) to communicate with clients.

Types of Web Servers

There are several types of web servers available today. Some popular ones include:

  • Apache HTTP Server: Apache is one of the most widely used open-source web servers. It is known for its flexibility, stability, and security.
  • Nginx: Nginx is another popular open-source web server that focuses on high performance and scalability.
  • Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS): IIS is a web server developed by Microsoft for Windows-based systems.
  • Lighttpd: Lighttpd is a lightweight web server designed for speed and efficiency.

Web Client

A web client refers to the software or application that requests and displays web pages or resources from a web server. The most common type of web client is a web browser, such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Safari. These browsers interpret and render HTML, CSS, and JavaScript code received from the server to display websites correctly.

How Does a Web Client Work?

When you enter a URL in your web browser’s address bar and hit enter, the browser acts as a client. It sends an HTTP request to the corresponding web server, asking for the requested resource. Upon receiving the response from the server, the client interprets the HTML code to render and display the website on your device.

Additional Web Clients

Apart from web browsers, other applications can also act as web clients. Mobile apps that fetch data from servers via APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) are considered web clients. These apps use programming languages like JavaScript or frameworks like React Native to interact with APIs and present data in a user-friendly manner.

Conclusion

In summary, a web server is responsible for storing and delivering resources requested by clients over the internet using protocols like HTTP. On the other hand, a web client is a software application that requests and renders these resources received from servers.

Understanding these components is crucial for anyone involved in website development or interacting with online resources.

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