HTTP: The Web Protocol You cannot Avoid Knowing

In a word, HTTP [Hypertext Transfer Protocol] is a web-resources transfer protocol.

In other word, HTTP is a protocol to transfer web resources. This web resources are simply website or webpage and all the components in it.

In another word, HTTP is a Protocol to transfer all the Web Resources- text, image, audio, video, animation, software etc. in form of Hypertext.

Out of the above analysis, we reach three major focus issues- What is Protocol? What is Hypertext? What is web resource?

Our next exploration will certainly reveals all the secrets.

A Glimpse of HTTP

What is HTTP Focus

INTERNET, started its journey in early 1960s by efforts of US Department of Defense in form of ARPANET. At the initial stage, child Internet connected only computers located at four different universities in the USA. Since then this Cable Network expanded to every corner of the world with tremendous development and up-gradation.

All-through this journey, Internet was gifting the world with more advanced Communication Model every year. But the one purpose Internet had from start to end in course of its development is DATA TRANSMISSION. In other word, the main purpose of Internet was always to make Data Transmission easier, smarter, speedier and time-saving.

This data is actually Digital transmittable form of image, audio, video etc. that are represented with the help of characters such as alphabets (A-Z, a-z), digits (0-9) or special characters (+,-,/,*,<,>,= etc.).

In different phases of the development of Internet, different Data Transmission Models evolved. This Models are called PROTOCOL.

Over time, Different Protocols came into being intending to make different types of Internet-resource (data) transmission easier. Some of such Protocols are-

  • FTP: File Transfer Protocol. Only files (Text, image, video) are transferred through this channel. Check out here for clarification of FTP.
  • SMTP: Simple Mail Transfer Protocol. It is used to transfer message and email.
  • NNTP: Network News Transfer Protocol. NNTP is used to transfer news to the Usenet Newsgroup.
  • HTTP: Hypertext Transfer Protocol. This is Website and Webpage transmission channel.

Now question-
QUESTION: What is this Protocol?
ANSWER: Protocol is a set of rules that are essential to communicate between devices connected with the same network. A protocol is a mechanism for transmission of a definite type of data. Protocol may be implemented by hardware or software or by both.

In simple word, Protocol is built-up system structured by hardware, software, network and definite rules to make a definite type of data transmission possible between devices irrespective of physical variant.

QUESTION: What are the rules for HTTP protocol?
ANSWER: Each Protocol is different from others. But a common structure that every Protocol conforms to is Server-Client model. On the basis of that model, HTTP has the following rules-

  • Server computer needs to install Web Server Software (like Apache, IIS etc.)
  • Client computer must have Client software- Web Browser (like Mozilla, Google Chrome etc.)
  • Server will store Web page that will be written in HTML (Hypertext Markup Language)
  • Both Server and Client must be connected with the same network.
  • It will work through a definite Port (Port 80)
  • Browser will request html page to the Server by following site’s URL. Server will find the page and return it to the Browser in html. Browser will then translate and display the page in user-readable form.

QUESTION: Why did so many Protocols evolve?
ANSWER: So many Protocols evolved actually to meet the challenge of historic necessity. When FTP (File Transfer Protocols) started, the world hardly could imagine that a thing like website or webpage which will store all out media can be transferred from one corner of the globe to another. But Tim Berners Lee made it possible in 1989 initializing a new transmission technology on WWW (World Wide Web). As a matter of fact, website-based data transmission is the ultimate success of man’s internet communication technology which is completely based on HTTP.

QUESTION: I see https at the beginning of some web URL. What is the difference between http and https?
ANSWER: Yes a URL starts with Protocol name. See details of URL here. Web address usually starts with http such as HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) is the secure version of HTTP. Using https such as in indicates that the data flowing through this Protocol between Browser and Website (Server) is secure and encrypted.

In this case a padlock icon is displayed with URL in the Browser’s address bar. To http to https in web address, a webmaster needs to acquire a SSL certificate.


QUESTION: What is Hypertext and Hypertext Markup Language [HTML]?
ANSWER: Hypertext is a Text that contains link to other texts. We can create Hypertext link by Word Processing software MS Word. Hypertext may also be image or video.

Again HTML or Hypertext Markup Language is the basic website building language. See details of HTML here. If you compose a page with MS Word and keep this file (.docx) in Web server, this will not be transmittable or will not show up in Web Browser. Web page must be in HTML. In HTML working field, every formation (color, background, paragraph, bold, heading etc,) will be have to be described. Browser will display them in proper readable form. Look the comparison below-

HTTP: HTML and Display form

Hope my article covered up your inquisitive questions on HTTP and mitigated your thirst. If you really find this useful, don’t forget to share and comment.

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