HTTP - HyperText Transfer Protocol
Short for HyperText Transfer Protocol, HTTP is the underlying protocol used by the World Wide Web. HTTP defines how messages are formatted and transmitted, and what actions Web servers and browsers should take in response to various commands. For example, when you enter a URL in your browser, this actually sends an HTTP command to the Web server directing it to fetch and transmit the requested Web page.
The other main standard that controls how the World Wide Web works is HTML, which covers how Web pages are formatted and displayed.
HTTP: A Stateless Protocol
HTTP Status Codes
Errors on the Internet can be quite frustrating — especially if you do not know the difference between a 404 error and a 502 error. These error messages, also called HTTP status codes are response codes given by Web servers and help identify the cause of the problem.
For example, "404 File Not Found" is a common HTTP status code. It means the Web server cannot find the file you requested. The file -- the webpage or other document you try to load in your Web browser -- has either been moved or deleted, or you entered the wrong URL or document name.
Knowing the meaning of the HTTP status code can help you figure out what went wrong. On a 404 error, for example, you could look at the URL to see if a word looks misspelled, then correct it and try it again. If that doesn't work backtrack by deleting information between each backslash, until you come to a page on that site that isn't a 404. From there you may be able to find the page you're looking for.
Learn more about the common HTTP status codes in this Webopedia Quick Reference article.
Stay up to date on the latest developments in Internet terminology with a free weekly newsletter from Webopedia. Join to subscribe now.
Webopedia's student apps roundup will help you to better organize your class schedule and stay on top of assignments and homework. Read More »List of Free Shorten URL Services
A URL shortener is a way to make a long Web address shorter. Try this list of free services. Read More »Top 10 Tech Terms of 2015
The most popular Webopedia definitions of 2015. Read More »
The Open System Interconnection (OSI) model defines a networking framework to implement protocols in seven layers. Use this handy guide to compare... Read More »Computer Architecture Study Guide
This Webopedia study guide describes the different parts of a computer system and their relations. Read More »What Are Network Topologies?
Network Topology refers to layout of a network. How different nodes in a network are connected to each other and how they communicate is... Read More »