What Is Meant Web Server?


Scott Campbell

A web server is a software application that serves web pages to clients over the internet. It acts as a mediator between the client’s browser and the web pages they request. When a user types a URL into their browser, the browser sends a request to the web server, which then processes the request and sends back the requested web page.

How Does a Web Server Work?

When a user requests a web page, their browser sends an HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) request to the web server. The request includes information such as the URL of the page, any data submitted through forms, and cookies for authentication purposes.

The web server receives this HTTP request and processes it. It determines which action needs to be taken based on factors like the requested URL, HTTP method (GET, POST, etc.

), and any additional parameters. The server then fetches or generates the requested content and prepares an HTTP response.

The HTTP response contains information such as status codes (indicating whether the request was successful or not), headers (providing metadata about the response), and most importantly, the content of the requested web page.

Types of Web Servers

There are several types of web servers available, each with its own strengths and purposes:

  • Apache: Apache is one of the most popular open-source web servers. It is known for its flexibility, reliability, and extensive support for various operating systems.
  • Nginx: Nginx is a lightweight and high-performance web server designed to handle heavy traffic loads efficiently.

    It excels at serving static content quickly.

  • Microsoft IIS: Internet Information Services (IIS) is Microsoft’s web server solution for Windows-based servers. It integrates well with other Microsoft technologies.
  • LiteSpeed: LiteSpeed is a high-performance web server that aims to be a drop-in replacement for Apache while offering better performance and scalability.

Features of Web Servers

Web servers provide various features and functionalities to enhance the delivery of web content. Some common features include:

  • Caching: Web servers can cache frequently accessed content to reduce response times and lower server load.
  • Virtual Hosting: Web servers support virtual hosting, allowing multiple websites to be hosted on a single server.
  • Security: Web servers offer security measures such as SSL/TLS encryption and access control to protect sensitive data.
  • Error Handling: When errors occur, web servers can display custom error pages or redirect users to alternative locations.


A web server plays a crucial role in serving web pages to clients. It receives requests from browsers, processes them, and sends back the requested content.

With various types of web servers available, developers can choose the one that best suits their needs based on factors like performance, flexibility, and integration capabilities. Understanding how web servers work is essential for anyone involved in web development or website management.

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