Web Server

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A web server is a computer program manages websites by allocating web pages as they are requested.  The primary objective of the web server is to save, handle, and distribute web pages to the users.  This transmission is done using HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP).  Most of the web pages are constant structures, which include HTML documents, images, style sheets, tests, and so forth.  Aside from HTTP, web servers make use of SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) for emailing, and FTP (File Transfer Protocol) for file transmission and repository.

The primary task of a web server is to display the website’s details.  If a web server is private and is used internally, then it is called an Intranet Server. When someone searches for a website by typing the URL (or web address) into a web browser’s address bar, the browser issues a request to the internet for viewing the corresponding web page for that address.  A Domain Name Server (DNS) translates this URL to an IP Address, which in turn leads to a web server.

The web server is asked to send the content website to the user’s browser.  All websites on the internet have a specific identifier in terms of an Internet Protocol (IP) address.  This (IP) address is used to interface between different servers across the internet.  Today, Apache is the most common web server on the market.  Apache is an open source software that handles almost 70 percent of all websites available today.  Apache is used as the automatic web server environment of most web-based applications.  Another commonly available web server is Internet Information Service (IIS), which was developed by Microsoft.

A web server is a computer that holds information about web pages.  Each web server has an IP address and a domain name.  Any computer can be made into a web server by setting up server software and linking the machine to the internet.  There are many web server software applications, which include public domain software and commercial packages, for example.

Web servers are mostly part of a bigger suite of internet and intranet-connected software for emails, FTP files, and creating web pages.  There are several factors to consider in choosing a web server, such as how well it fits with the operating system and other servers; its capacity to handle server-side programming; what kind of security features it offers; and which search engine and site-building tools come with it.

A web server carries content or services to end users over the internet (i.e., people using their browser to access websites).  A web server is composed of the following:

  • Physical server
  • Server operating system
  • Software used to enable HTTP communication.

A web server is also called an internet server.

Types of Web Servers

  • Apache – the most common web server on the market, Apache was developed by the Apache Foundation. It is an open source software that can be installed on multiple platforms, including Linux, Windows, UNIX, and Mac OS.
  • Internet Information Service (IIS) – a high-speed web server developed by Microsoft which runs on Windows NT/2000 and 2003 platforms.
  • NGINX – a lightweight and robust server, recognised for its high speed, security, easy configuration, and low resource usage.
  • LiteSpeed – a high-speed web server designed to replace Apache. It is now the 4th most commonly used server on the internet the internet.  It is popular for its enhanced performance and low cost.
  • Lighttpd – an open-source web server intended for speed-critical environments, while still managing to maintain compliance, security, and flexibility. It was originally written to target the c10k problem, like the NGINX, but has since become a popular server worldwide.
  • Jigsaw – an open-source web server launched by the World Wide Web Consortium. Jigsaw was intended to as a means of testing various web-based