How Do Web Servers Work
Have you ever wondered just exactly how this Web page you are reading found its way into your browser and onto your computer screen? The process largely depends on Web servers.
Have you ever wondered just exactly how this Web page you are reading found its way into your browser and onto your computer screen? The process largely depends on Web servers. Read on as Webopedia briefly explains the mechanisms that bring Web pages to your home, your office or your mobile computers.
Typically, users visit a Web site by either clicking on a hyperlink that brings them to that site or keying the site's URL directly into the address bar of a browser. But how does the same site appear on anyone's computer anywhere in the world and often on many computers at the same time?
Let's use Webopedia as an example. You decide to visit Webopedia by typing its URL -- http://www.webopedia.com -- into your Web browser. Through an Internet connection, your browser initiates a connection to the Web server that is storing the Webopedia files by first converting the domain name into an IP address (through a domain name service) and then locating the server that is storing the information for that IP address (also see Understanding IP Addressing).
The Web server stores all of the files necessary to display Webopedia's pages on your computer -- typically all the individual pages that comprise the entirety of a Web site, any images/graphic files and any scripts that make dynamic elements of the site function.
Once contact has been made, the browser requests the data from the Web server, and using HTTP, the server delivers the data back to your browser. The browser in turn converts, or formats, the computer languages that the files are made up of into what you see displayed in your browser. In the same way the server can send the files to many client computers at the same time, allowing multiple clients to view the same page simultaneously.
This article was originally published on June 24, 2010
Stay up to date on the latest developments in Internet terminology with a free newsletter from Webopedia. Join to subscribe now.
From A3 to ZZZ we list 1,559 text message and online chat abbreviations to help you translate and understand today's texting lingo. Includes Top... Read More »Huge List of Computer Certifications
Have you heard about a computer certification program but can't figure out if it's right for you? Use this handy list to help you decide. Read More »
Computer architecture provides an introduction to system design basics for most computer science students. Read More »Network Fundamentals Study Guide
Networking fundamentals teaches the building blocks of modern network design. Learn different types of networks, concepts, architecture and... Read More »The Five Generations of Computers
Learn about each of the five generations of computers and major technology developments that have led to the computing devices that we use... Read More »