What Is A Web Server?

If you’re like most people, you’ve probably don’t spend much time thinking about where websites come from. After all, if you were born in the 90’s or later, the web has always just been there. And even if you're older, you've probably accepted the internet as an essential part of your life by now. Most people certainly don’t think of a website as data... ...and they probably don’t think of web servers, ever. But web servers are the reason that data ends up as perfectly-placed pixels on your iPhone. Without them, there wouldn’t be any websites as we know them. So, in this article, we’re going to talk about web servers.  What is a web server? How do they work? And which ones are most popular? And then we’ll guide you to some resources you can use if you’re looking to set up a web server for yourself on your VPS.

What is a web server?

A web server is a computer running software that accepts and respond to World Wide Web client requests. The computer (server) stores all the info needed for a website, and the software processes requests and sends the requested document to the website’s visitors using Internet protocols. Web servers use the HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) protocol to serve files and web pages in response to a request from a user via an HTTP client (usually a web browser like Google Chrome or Safari). The web server typically runs all the time to serve a client’s request in various outputs like HTML, XHTML, and XML, which are otherwise known as web pages. Before serving web pages to the client, it needs to collect some other resources, like CSS or JavaScriptfiles, images and fonts.

How does a web server work?

Let’s talk about how a web server works. But before we talk about how a web server works, we need to understand the term URL.

What is a URL?

A URL (Uniform Resource Locator) is a unique address for a file that’s stored on a web server.  The file may be an HTML file, a CSS file, an image file, or any other file related to a web page, and is referred to as a resource for a web server.  A URL has the following elements:
  • The protocol (http/https) used to access a resource.