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Web Servers

Web servers can be either hardware or software, or perhaps a combination of the two.

Hardware Side:

A hardware web server is a computer that houses web server software and the files that make up a website (for example, HTML documents, images, CSS stylesheets, and JavaScript files). A web server establishes a connection to the Internet and facilitates the physical data exchange with other web-connected devices.

Software side:

A software web server has a number of software components that regulate how hosted files are accessed by online users. This is at the very least an HTTP server. Software that knows and understands HTTP and URLs (web addresses) is known as an HTTP server (the protocol your browser uses to view webpages). The content of these hosted websites is sent to the end user’s device through an HTTP server, which may be accessed via the domain names of the websites it holds.

Basically, an HTTP request is made by a browser anytime it wants a file that is stored on a web server. The relevant (hardware) web server receives the request, which is then accepted by the appropriate (software) HTTP server, which then locates the requested content and returns it to the browser over HTTP. (If the server cannot locate the requested page, it responds with a 404 error.)

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