What is a Web Server?
What is a Web Server?What is a Web Server?

A web server is a computer that accepts and deals with requests (mostly HTTP) made by users on the internet. They store information of web pages, web content, and sites, and display this content when requested by the user.

All data and information we see online is housed on a server. Companies or individuals can either rent server space, house their own web server, or use cloud hosting services to host their site. Once hosted on a web server, a website can be accessed and viewed on the internet through a web browser.

It is because of web servers that we can see, interact with, and travel between pages on a website and within search engines.    

Key Takeaways:

  •   Web servers are computers that house and manage the information that we see online. They store and retrieve (when needed) the files for the websites that they host.  
  • Web servers mostly communicate through HTTP requests to deliver the information we request when we interact with websites online.   
  • Companies can use web servers to house their own websites, or use website hosting services, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) to house their files on other company's dedicated server.   

How Do Web Servers Work?  

Web servers mostly use HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) to communicate and transfer data. However, they also use SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) and FTP (File Transfer Protocol) when needed, for example when sending emails or transferring files.    

Web servers are simply a delivery service for everything we see online. They house all of the data we need to make sure that we get the information that we see on websites and applications on the internet.   

Web servers use software to send and receive requests through the domain name of websites (e.g. Techbuyer.com). They are essentially a server that stores software and coding files related to websites, including HTML and Javascript documents.  

When a web browser needs a file, it requests the data from the server using an HTTP request. The server will then send the information back in order for the data to be visible on screen to the user of the browser.

What are HTTP Requests?  

HTTP requests are protocols sent by a client device, (e.g. your laptop or PC) to a server to start an action. HTTP Actions are started every time we click on a new page of a website or interact with content we see online. They are used to send information between an application, for example, a web page, and the server hosting the information displayed on that page.  

Web servers mostly work in HTTP requests to ensure effective data transfer that allows us to view and interact with information online.  

What is Web Server Hosting?   

Web server hosting allows companies to rent server space from data centers rather than housing their own device. Generally, this is important as not every company can house their own server effectively, with correct cooling, maintenance, and care.    

Server Hosting is also more environmentally friendly than every small company having a server on which to host their website sat within their offices. This is because data centers can compile information from multiple companies onto a singular device, meaning less technology is needed to host the same amount of data.  Website hosting is a service used by most companies around the world and so is important to the operations, infrastructure, and functions of the business world.

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What Makes a Web Server?   

Depending on the nature of the server, for example, if it is hosting multiple websites or supporting large organizations, the requirements in terms of components and capabilities will change. However, generally speaking, web servers include large storage components and powerful processing power. They have a lot of information to deal with and transfer when and as needed, therefore they have to be powerful, and they have to be quick.    

NVMe storage and powerful CPUs that are capable of quickly and efficiently transferring requests and data. This will create a productive and efficient device that is capable of performing as a powerful web server. You will find that this also reduces the risk of bottlenecks forming, either in your IT system or on your website.    

Website speed and performance are becoming increasingly important to ensure that a user’s attention is kept. A powerful and capable web server is essential for developing a quality online presence for businesses around the world. Whether you rent server space, or are developing your own device, considering the power of the technology is essential.

Web Server Configuration  

Configure your web server using Techbuyer’s CTO service or use our online HPE CTO tool to create a device that meets your needs and supports your business growth. Maximize your IT budget and bring out the best in your technology by designing your server to your exact requirements here.