In this blog, we are going to see in detail about the web servers, its usage, and its significance. Along with that, we are also going to see about the different types of web servers. Web server forms the core any hosting, without it launching a website online is impossible.
What is Web Server and how it works?
Web server is basically a program that uses HTTP to serve files that create web pages to users in based on their requests, which are forwarded by their computer’s HTTP connection.
A server that delivers an XML document to another device can be called as a Web server. In other words, a Web server is an Internet server that responds to HTTP requests to deliver the content and services.
It can be explained with a simple example, Let’s say if you are in front of your computer, browsing your Web, and you receive a message from a friend saying, “I had just read a great article! You can check it from the following URL. It’s at http://blog.mallow-tech.com/” So you will type that URL into your browser and press enter.
And that’s it, no matter where the website hosted in the world, the page will be displayed on your computer screen.
A web server is always connected to the internet. Every Web server will be provided with a unique address which was arranged with a series of four numbers between 0 and 255 separated by periods.
Different Types of Web Servers
There are different types of web servers available in open market. Let us see in detail about few of the popular web servers.
Apache Web Server
Apache is one of the most popular web servers in the world. It is developed by the Apache Software Foundation. Apache is an open source software and can be installed on almost all operating systems such as Linux, Unix, Windows, FreeBSD, Mac OS X. Around 60% of machines run on Apache Web Server.
An Apache server can be customized easily as it contains a modular structure.As it is an open source, you can add your own modules to the server when to require and make modifications that suit your needs.
It is stabler than any other web servers and is easier to solve administrative issues. It can be easily installed on multiple platforms successfully.
Recent Apache releases provide you the feasibility of handling more requests when you compare to its earlier versions.
IIS Web Server
IIS is a product of Microsoft. IIS server has all the features just like Apache, but it is not an open source and personal modules cannot be added easily and modification is a little bit difficult.
Microsoft developed, maintains it, thus works with all the Windows operating system platforms. Also, they had good customer support if it had any issues.
Nginx Web Server
Nginx is another free open source web server, it includes IMAP/POP3 proxy server. Nginx is known for its high performance, stability, simple configuration and low resource usage.
This web server uses event- driven architecture than of the threads to handle requests. The advantage of this architecture is that is more scalable and uses only a small amount of memory under the load. It is gaining popularity in the recent times and it is hosting about 7.5% of all domains worldwide.
lighttpd, pronounced “lighty” (don’t ask me why), is basically a free web server distributed with the FreeBSD operating system. This open source web server is fast, secure and consumes much less CPU power than many of the other web servers. Lighttpd can also run on Windows, Mac OS X, Linux and Solaris operating systems.
These are the various types of web servers. One can use the type of web servers based on the requirement of the client.