What Is a Web Server? Here’s What You Need to Know

07 Nov, 2023

What comes to mind when you hear the term “webserver”? For most people, it’s a computer that stores and delivers website files to web browsers. In other words, it’s what makes your website possible! Without a web server, there would be no way for people to access your content online.

So, web servers are the things that make it possible for us to view websites. They’re made up of hardware and software, and they use a protocol called HTTP to communicate with browsers like Google Chrome. The server loads and delivers the requested page to the user.

Web servers also send emails via Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP). We can configure File Transfer Protocol (FTP) to send or receive files securely. These are popular protocols that are used by many different applications. SMTP is used to send emails, while FTP transfers files between servers.

A web server is a device that connects to the internet and exchanges data with other devices. Data can take many forms, including HTML files, images, JavaScript, and CSS files. Web server hardware also holds web server software.

Web servers are the backbone of the internet. They’re responsible for hosting all of the websites we use every day, and they control how users access those websites’ files. There are many different web server software options, but a web server is simply a program that can understand HTTP requests and URLs at its core.

Like me, you probably use the internet every day without overthinking about how it works. You open your web browser, type in a website address, and enter. Then magically, pictures and text appear on your screen! But have you ever stopped to wonder how that happens?

Well, the answer is that websites are hosted on web servers. This blog post will explore how web servers function, why we need them, and we will list some famous web servers as examples.

What Is the Function of a Web Server?

In a client-server model, one program, usually called the client, requests a resource or service from another program, the server. This is a typical structure for web servers and allows different parts of a website to be handled by separate programs. It also makes it easier to manage large websites since we can host different sections on several servers.

There are a few steps that web servers take to respond to web clients’ requests:

1 – When you want to load a website’s content, your web browser requests access through the internet. This is called an HTTP request. It’s how websites send information back and forth between their servers and your computer.

When you type in a web address, your web browser looks it up using the Domain Name System (DNS). This system translates website addresses into numerical IP addresses that computers can understand. If your browser has been to that website before, it will have saved its IP address in its cache, so it won’t need to look it up again.

2 – Your web browser sends a request to a web server, processes it, and looks for the relevant data in its files. The web server responds to your browser with the requested information.

3 – After your web browser requests a website from a web server, the webserver sends back the website’s files. Then, you see the website’s content on your screen.

Don’t worry if you see an error message when trying to access a website. It’s not always your fault! The website’s server is having trouble finding or processing the files you asked for most of the time. The most common error is 404, but there can also be permission issues with a 403 error. So don’t be upset – these things happen to everyone from time to time!

Suppose a web server fails to receive a timely response from another server acting as a proxy or gateway. In that case, it can result in a 504 error.

Dynamic or Static Web Server

Web servers can either serve static or dynamic content. Static web servers are just computers with some HTTP software, whereas dynamic web servers involve more complexity. The website’s files are sent to the browser exactly as they are – unchanged with a static server.

A dynamic web server has extra software to make it more powerful. This software might include an application server and databases. Dynamic servers are great for businesses because they can handle more traffic and keep things running smoothly.

Dynamic web servers are a great way to keep your website looking fresh and updated. They work by keeping track of the files on your site and then updating the ones that are being served to browsers.

This means that you can make changes to your site without waiting for a whole new page load – visitors will see the updates in near-real time. This can be a great way to keep your site looking fresh and updated without worrying about manual updates.

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Features of Web Servers

Most web servers support the HTTP protocol, which processes incoming requests and responses. In addition, most web servers offer standard features such as the ability to write files and directories, change file permissions, and create new users.

  • Log files are a great way to keep track of what’s going on with your website. Every time someone visits your site, a new line is added to the log file documenting what happened. This can include things like security events, requests, and errors. If you ever need to troubleshoot something on your website, accessing these logs can be helpful.
  • If you’re ever looking to access a website’s resources, you’ll likely need to go through some authentication first. This is usually done by asking for a username and password. It’s important to know that not all websites require authentication. Still, it’s essential to have the correct information for those who do.
  • If you’ve been using the internet for a while, you’ve probably heard “bandwidth.” But what is bandwidth, exactly? In essence, it’s the amount of data that can be transferred or processed at any given time. This is especially important for running a website. You want to ensure that your network isn’t oversaturated and can deliver files smoothly. That’s where bandwidth limiting comes in – it controls the speed of responses to ensure your website is always up and running efficiently.
  • Storage space is vital for any website. You need enough space to store your website’s files, including images, videos, and other multimedia. If you don’t have enough space, your website will be slow and may not load. Make sure you have enough storage space before launching your website!

Suppose you’re looking for a cloud storage provider that can offer you dynamic disk space configuration. In that case, Rovity is a perfect choice. With Rovity, you can add any amount of additional SSD-based disk storage space on demand. This will give you the flexibility and scalability to grow your business.

Web servers are a great way to share your content with the world. They allow you to share information with others easily. Still, they also make it easy for people to find what they’re looking for. In addition, web servers can include other essential elements, such as:

  • If you’re looking to start a website or are in the process of creating one, you’ll need to choose a programming language for your web server. This is the code used to develop programs that run on your server. Many different programming languages are available, but some of the most popular ones include PHP and Python. So if you’re not sure which language to choose, these are two good options to start with.
  • Uptime is crucial for any website. It tracks the amount of time a web server is functional and can process requests or deliver files. This uptime also affects when a hosted website is available, known as website uptime. A 99.9% uptime guarantee is the industry standard. Ensure your website has good uptime, so customers aren’t left waiting!

What Is the Purpose of a Web Server?

There are three primary purposes of web servers:

  1. Provide hosting for multiple websites or web applications.
  2. Receive and process File Transfer Protocol (FTP) requests.
  3. Sending and receiving emails.

So, if you want to create a website, you’ll need access to a web server. The easiest way to do this is by using web hosting. Your website will be stored on a web server and made available online with web hosting. This makes it easy for people to find and visit your website.

If you’re thinking about starting a website, you’ll need to find a web hosting provider. Web hosting is a service that offers your website server space to securely store its files, media and other assets, and databases. Not only that, but a web hosting service provider’s role is also to ensure servers run efficiently. It involves regular backups, managing caching, security analysis, and general housekeeping and maintenance.

If you’re like most business owners, you don’t have time to worry about the technical details of your website. That’s where a web host comes in. They’re responsible for maintaining and monitoring your website’s server, ensuring everything runs smoothly. This will help you focus on your business.

And believe it or not, there are some pretty good reasons to have them in charge!

  • You’re on the right path if you’re looking for a web host that can offer optimal uptime and performance. A good web host will take care of all the hardware maintenance and software updates so that you can focus on your website’s content and design. This can help improve website performance and uptime. So if you’re ready to take your online presence to the next level, be sure to research the best web hosts available.
  • Web hosts take security very seriously, implementing protocols and systems to reduce vulnerabilities and protect websites against malware or cyberattacks. By choosing a host that takes security seriously, you can rest assured your website is in good hands.
  • If you’re looking for a place to host your website, you have many different options. Various hosting plans offer a range of features and functions, so it’s vital to pick the one that fits your needs. Whether you’re just starting or need a more robust plan, there’s sure to be something perfect.
  • Hosting providers offer a variety of plans that site owners can choose from to get the necessary amount of server resources. These resources may include CPU, memory, and disk space. Site owners don’t have to maintain their dedicated servers and can instead choose a hosting plan that provides these resources for an affordable price.
  • A web host’s scalable hosting plans give website owners the ability to obtain more resources as needed. This can be in the form of increased storage capacity or extra bandwidth. This flexibility makes it possible for a site to grow with its audience.

The Market for Web Servers

Some of the most popular web servers include Apache, IIS, and Nginx. These servers power millions of websites and are responsible for delivering content to users worldwide. Each server has its strengths and weaknesses, so choosing the right one for your needs is necessary.

  • The Apache HTTP Server is popular web server software used on many operating systems. Website owners, developers, and hosting providers often choose it for its stability and flexibility. The Apache HTTP Server has a market share of over 31.3%.
  • NGINX is a trendy open-source web server software that has many uses. We can use it for HTTP web serving, reverse proxying, HTTP load balancing, and email proxying. NGINX is known for its speed and capacity for handling multiple concurrent connections, so high-traffic websites often use it.
  • IIS is a secure web server software developed by Microsoft. It is widely used in Windows operating systems. IIS is known for its stability and security, making it a popular choice for businesses and organizations.
  • Lighttpd is a free and open-source web server software known for its speed while requiring less CPU power. It is also famous for having a small memory footprint, making it ideal for use on smaller devices or systems.
  • LiteSpeed WebServer is a high-performance web server software that can handle large traffic volumes. It is designed for speed and stability, making it the perfect choice for busy websites. LiteSpeed WebServer is also easy to use, with a simple interface that makes it easy to get started. LiteSpeed WebServer is a drop-in replacement for Apache. It offers all of the features of Apache, plus additional features.

Choosing a web host is an important decision. When looking for a web host, you want to ensure that they support the type of server you need. For example, Rovity uses both Apache and NGINX, two of the leading web servers on the market. This will help us get the most out of these large-scale web server software.

So, we can offer our clients the combined power of Apache and Nginx with our in-house fine-tuning. This means that your website will get the best performance possible, no matter what. We’re experts at making sure that your website runs as smoothly as possible so that you can focus on your business.


A web server is a purposely-designed computer that stores, processes, and delivers website files. It’s made up of two parts: the hardware and the software sides. The hardware side is what you see and touch- it’s the physical machine that houses all of the components needed to run a website. The software side is what makes everything work- it’s responsible for receiving files from the internet, storing them, and delivering them to visitors.

Web servers are an essential part of the internet, delivering content to browsers worldwide. Regardless of the type of web server, they come with some standard features, including file logging, authentication, bandwidth limiting, and storage space. This makes them a vital part of any organization’s online presence.

If you want your website to be accessible online, you need to have your server or web hosting. Web hosting is a service that provides a server for your website. You don’t have to worry about setting up and maintaining your server.

If you’re like most business owners, you don’t have time to deal with the technical aspects of website hosting. That’s why it’s a good idea to choose a web host that will take care of the server for you. This will ensure that your website is secure and performs well. By choosing a web host, you can focus on other valuable aspects of your business.

If you’re looking for a web host in India that is both reliable and affordable, Rovity is an excellent choice. We offer tons of premium features, including WordPress optimization, which can help your website run smoothly. Our prices are reasonable – perfect for small businesses or bloggers on a budget.

Jafar Muhammed

Jafar Muhammed has 10+ years of experience in WordPress, web hosting, domain names, DNS, CDN, server administration, etc. He is an open web advocate. He is the CEO of Rovity, the fastest-growing premium shared hosting startup in India.

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