What Is Web Server and Examples?


Heather Bennett

A web server is a software application that serves requests made by clients across the internet. It delivers web pages, files, and other resources to users who access them through a web browser. In simpler terms, it acts as a mediator between the client and the server, facilitating the communication and transfer of data.

How does a web server work?

When you type a URL in your browser’s address bar and hit enter, your browser sends a request to the appropriate web server. The server processes this request and responds by sending back the requested data. This data could be an HTML page, an image file, a video, or any other resource that you’ve requested.

Examples of Web Servers:

There are several popular web servers available today. Let’s take a look at some of them:

1. Apache HTTP Server:

Apache HTTP Server, often referred to simply as Apache, is one of the most widely used web servers globally. It is open-source software that runs on various operating systems such as Windows, Linux, macOS, and more. Apache’s flexibility and robustness make it a popular choice for hosting websites.

2. Nginx:

Nginx (pronounced “engine-x”) is another powerful open-source web server known for its high performance and scalability. It is often used as a reverse proxy server or load balancer alongside Apache or other backend servers. Nginx excels in serving static files efficiently while handling large amounts of concurrent connections.

3. Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS):

Microsoft IIS is a web server designed specifically for Windows servers. It comes bundled with Windows Server operating systems and provides excellent integration with other Microsoft technologies like ASP.NET for dynamic content generation. IIS offers various features such as security enhancements, easy management through GUI tools, and support for different web protocols.

4. Lighttpd:

Lighttpd, also known as “Lighty,” is a lightweight web server renowned for its speed and low memory footprint. It is particularly suitable for serving static content efficiently and handling high loads. Lighttpd supports various advanced features like FastCGI, URL rewriting, and SSL/TLS encryption.


In conclusion, a web server plays a crucial role in delivering web pages and other resources to users over the internet. It acts as a bridge between clients and servers, processing requests and sending back the requested data. Various web servers like Apache, Nginx, IIS, and Lighttpd offer different features and performance characteristics to suit diverse requirements.

Remember to choose the appropriate web server based on your needs while considering factors such as performance, scalability, security, operating system compatibility, and supported technologies.

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