Web Server Basic- The Must-know Things For Beginners
If you are acquainted with the term SERVER, it is unusual that you haven’t heard of Web Server. At beginning of my blogging career, I did assume Server to be Web Server. Probably this is not mistake as I might not be alone in this group that take up Web Server as the only Server type.
There are obvious reasons behind this. Evolving of millions of websites around the world after World Wide Web being invented, has made Web Server play the authoritative role over all the servers like News Server, Mail Server, FTP Server, Telnet Server etc.
As a blogger and web developer, Mastering the technical know-how of Web Server is more necessary than learning about the bank where hard-earned money is kept. Web Server is also like a bank where you keep your valuable website files produced by your hard efforts to make show before the world.
Here from NETPLANTER.COM, we’re going to make you acquainted with the lanes and by-lanes of this bank with intensive care.
What is Web Server?
First of all, let’s have a look at what Server is. Server, as the name suggests, is the thing or person which or who serves something to others. In computing, Server is as follows—
- A program in computer that provides resources stored in it to other computer programs as well as users (Client) as per request through definite protocol.
- The physical computer that stores data in data center to serve is also popularly referred to as a Server.
Hence Web Server —
- is a definite program in computer that stores and delivers data to another program of a client computer named Browser.
- is the computer that runs Web Server program.
- transmits data through HTTP protocol
- transmit data through Port 80.
How does Web Server work?
Here are step by step procedure how Web Server runs functionality—
- You store those site files in a opted Web Server under your desired hosting package.
- You purchase a domain name for the site and link it to your Web Server’s IP address. Learn more about IP Address here.
- Your site is on the go.
- Somebody from any corner of the world requests a page of your site either by typing domain name or web address or URL in the BROWSER’s address bar or clicking any link created by you.
- Web Server processes the request by matching your domain name.
- If found, its sends the linked page to the browser in html format.
- Browser translates this document in our readable form and displays on the screen.
- If it doesn’t find the requested page, it shows ‘error 404’ message meaning ‘page not found’.
What are the requirements for Web Server?
Server is basically a computer where an environment is built up to store web resources and transmit it through certain protocol to clients both from the self or of the remote corner of the world responding to one or thousands of requests at a time.
- Necessary software
- Required hardware and settings
- Continuation of 7/24 running
- Continuous Internet connectivity
Software and Hardware requirement for Web Server?
Servers are software-specific. Servers for web transmission most popularly uses Apache HTTP server software. Then comes into the scenario Microsoft’s IIS. There are also other software comparatively not-so-notable. Then what might be the hardware and configuration necessity will be tending to the following factors—
- Operating system of the Server Computer
- Whether the server is for Home network or business hosting
- Size of the Server meaning what a volume of data it is going to handle
- Targeted network speed
Apache is supported by almost all the operating systems- Linux, Unix, Windows, Mac OS X, FreeBSD and so on whereas IIS mainly supports WINDOWS and its effective integration with Windows has made it easy to run. As a matter of fact, a regular desktop computer may be turned into a server providing necessary software.
Again, on consideration of space volume, web-script type (such as text, image, video), required speed, user’s bandwidth, it is essential to accumulate sufficient RAM, Processor and HDD or SSD to support the demand of the Server ensuring proper handling of the server-load not letting it slow down or fall. Providing required network speed is also a burning fact in this case.
Readers’ Question: Can I build Web Server at home with my PC? How? Will this respond to remote client’s request?
Certainly you can. You can build such a server by the help of your PC and host any of your sites and make it a part of World Wide Web responding to any remote browser’s request around the world. You even needn’t buy any domain name’ your IP address will do.
But this effort has a great limitation as it is not easy to fulfill and retain all the server-building criteria; such as uninterrupted power supply and internet connection, 100% up time, high speed net connection, server security, technical knowledge etc. So in practice, people purchase or share hosting package form the globally recognized and renowned Web-server companies avoiding all hassles to run their client-oriented sites; rather than building one by themselves.
But if you want to host a website that is not commercial or so important, needn’t run all the time and whose clients are your friends, relatives, colleagues or students, you can depend on such type of by-yourself hosting. And you can do this the following way—
Aapche is the most popular open source software for building Web Server. You can Download and use it easily without free of cost.
Download Apache from Apache.org and install it in your PC. Then perform the necessary configuration. The whole process is here
In your Windows PC, click Start button → Control Panel → Program → Turn Windows Freature On/Off → Check IIS (Internet Information Service) check-box → Click OK and allow installation process to finish.
Once finished, click Widows START button and write IIS in search box. From the result list, click ‘Internet Information Service Manager’ and do necessary configuration. See the whole process before your eyes—
And yes, your site hosted by such home made Server can be visible from any corner of the world as part of World Wide Web if you own a Static Public IP Address and use it in Server Configuration. Again if you use Private/Dynamic IP, your site is to be visible only from the devices that are connected with same Local Area Network or use the same wifi.
So hope this illustration on Web Server has covered up all of your questions and satisfied your curiosity. Please drop a comment below about your thinking of Web Server. Also throw any sort of question that are left but unavoidable to fulfill the necessity of this article.