Web servers are computers dedicated to hosting websites and web applications that facilitate the transfer of data and files over the computer. It includes both hardware and web server software that use Hypertext Transfer Protocol, commonly known as HTTP and other protocols to perform. The web server has several roles in a network, but the most used is retrieving web pages and content stored to a client computer whenever the request is made.
A web server can either be independent or partitioned into an individual server. Hosting companies can provide you with 10 GBPS UNMETERED SERVERS to power the most demanding high-bandwidth applications. This article will provide an in-depth description of how web servers work and how your business can utilize this technology.
How does a web server work?
When a client is looking to interact with your website, they would usually search it using the web address through a browser. The browser delivers the request using an HTTP protocol, which refers to the universal language that servers and clients use to communicate. The server then accepts the request, looks for the requested content, and sends it back to the browser when successfully found. In the event the requested content is missing, the server returns a 404 error.
There are two types of web servers, static and dynamic servers, that affect the way the requested data is provided back to the browser. A static web server includes computer hardware and HTTP server software that responds to requests by retrieving and showing the needed content the way it is. This means the server does not manipulate the requested data before sending it back to the browser. Static websites are easy to build and faster to receive back requests.
A dynamic web server is slightly complicated in both architecture and the way it responds to requests. It includes a static web server, an application server, and a database. Once the browser sends a request in this server type, the server finds the content, which is then updated by the application server before it is sent back to the browser.
This setup is unique to reduce the number of static pages since the needed data is updated on the HTML templates available. The application server can generate content from a database to ensure flexibility while making it complicated and nearly impossible to build dynamic websites.
Types of web servers hosting
Your website or web application is hosted in several ways that allow your website to enjoy varying amounts of resources. These include:
- Shared hosting – This is a type of hosting where a single web server hosts many websites or applications that share the resources in the server. This is the most affordable type of hosting that is suitable for small business websites that receive less traffic.
- Virtual private server – Your website is hosted alongside other websites, but the resources are not shared like in shared hosting. Hosting your website in a VPS will cost you more compared to the previous hosting type.
- Dedicated server – A website is hosted on an individual website that allows only the website or application to use its resources. This type of hosting is expensive compared to the rest as it requires the business to purchase their hardware, software and also deal with the maintenance, which can add up the cost.
- Cloud hosting server – This is a pool of servers with centralized resources that are hosted in huge data centers. It is accessed over the internet through a console that facilitates the hosting of websites and applications by multiple users with resources dedicated to each console. These servers are powerful and can be charged for only the resources used by your website in a given time frame.
Other functions of web servers
Apart from building and hosting websites, web servers accomplish two other very important tasks in a network. These include:
- Send and receive email – Web servers support Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP), an internet communication protocol responsible for transferring email from the client to the server and vice versa.
- Download and deliver files – The web server is used to support the download and delivery of files to a client’s computer.
Web servers are essential for every website, and since not everyone can buy their server, they can easily get hosting online from servers managed by third-party entities.