Know what a web server is and what are its functions

Know what a web server is and what are its functions

A web server is software that functions as a recipient of requests sent through the browser and then provides response requests in the form of website pages or more generally in HTML documents. However, web servers can have two different senses , namely as part of hardware (hardware) and as part of software (software).

When referring to hardware, a web server is used to store all data such as HTML documents, images, CSS stylesheets files, and JavaScript files. While on the software side, the function of the web server is as a control center to process requests received from the browser.

So actually everything related to a website is usually also related to a web server, because the task of a web server is to manage all communications that occur between the browser and the server to process a website.

Currently there are several choices of web servers currently available, we will try to discuss one by one later on the advantages of each web server. Previously, let’s try to discuss other parts of the web server.

In 1990 the web server was a project he proposed to his supervisor at CERN (European Nuclear Research Organization) named CERN httpd proposed by Sir Tim Berners-Lee. This web server runs on the NeXT server. NeXT is a company founded by Steve Jobs after leaving Apple.

In the same year it was also discovered the first time a browser called WorldWideWeb.

How does the Web Server work?

How does the Web Server work?


As explained earlier, when taking a web page, the browser sends a request to the server which is then processed by the web server. HTTP requests are sent to the web server. Before processing an HTTP request, the web server also checks security. On a web server, HTTP requests are processed with the help of HTTP servers. HTTP server is software that has the task of translating URLs (website addresses) and HTTP (protocols used by browsers to display website pages) . Then the web server sends an HTTP response to the browser and processes it into a website page.

When the web server receives an HTTP request from the browser, if needed, the web server will send a query to the database to fulfill the HTTP request request sent by the browser.

Web Server Functions

So, besides functioning as a communication link with the website and processing HTTP requests sent by the browser, in general some of the functions of the web server are as follows:

  1. Ensure that all required modules are available and ready to use
  2. Cleans storage, cache, and unused modules
  3. Conduct a security check on HTTP requests sent by the browser

However, if separated based on the definition of web server as hardware and web server as software, then the function is as follows:

Web Server As Hardware

Web Server (to distinguish it from the use of capital prefix) is the place to store scripts, images, and website content. The Web Server must be accessible from all regions that have an internet connection.

You can get a Web Server from a hosting server service provider  that suits your needs. There are a number of requirements that can be considered by choosing a hosting server service provider for your website. The server must be fast, have a large storage capacity, and have sufficient RAM capacity .

Web Server as Software

In addition to storage, the function of the web server is as software that serves requests from the browser. There are many web servers currently available, one of which is Apache.

Web Server Products

In addition to the top five web servers in the table below, there are many services offered, including Oracle Servers IBM, Servers, Gunicorn, Zope, Kestrel, Jetty and many more.

Oracle Servers IBM, Servers, Gunicorn, Zope, Kestrel, Jetty

Market share for the use of web servers  used on the website of W3Techs.

The table above is a table of percentage usage of web servers used by many websites on the internet. As you can see, Apache is the most widely used compared to other web servers. The survey was conducted taking into account the following points :

  1. The technology used on the website page.
  2. Only involves the top 10 million websites based on the ranking provided by Alexa, on average for 3 months.
  3. Excludes subdomains.

You can visit the w3techs website to see the full data.

Advantages of Each Web Server

The following list is an advantage of the top five web servers used throughout the world. The advantages that we try to discuss are only partially. There are still many other advantages that we cannot directly discuss one by one. We do not enter this section for Google Web Server services, because the service is only used specifically for Google’s online services.

  1. Apache

    • Easier settings
    • Open Source
    • Big community
  2. NGINX

    • Light
    • Many features and stable
    • High performance
  3. IIS

    • IIS fully supports Windows
    • The ability to check errors
    • Work using PHP is more stable
  4. LiteSpeed ??Web Server

    • Have DDoS prevention
    • Recover errors directly
    • Compatible with .htaccess

Every web server has its own advantages. Apache web server is a web server service that is currently the most popular used. Apache or sometimes called Apache Tomcat with the support of open source developers and the community is able to become the king of other web servers. Apart from being able to be adapted to the needs of the system, Apache is known to be compatible with various systems because it has many setting options.

In addition, NGINX is known to have strong and lightweight performance, although it is not as popular as Apache. This might be due to a lack of community support.

Where Can You Get Web Server Services?

You can run a web server service on a local server if it’s just for trial and error. How, you can download the web server installation file and then place it on your local computer. However, if you use this method you cannot access it from anywhere, unless you have a dynamic IP address.

Another solution is to rent a VPS device at a VPS service provider. When ordering VPS services, the default operating system is usually available. You just have to click and your VPS is ready with the desired operating system. The presence or absence of a web server depends on the operating system you choose. Some offer web servers with their devices.

If it is not already installed, you can install the Web Server by accessing the VPS. The way to access VPS services is to use SSH.

When the web server is installed, you can access VPS using the VPS IP address. Your website can also be accessed if it is in the http folder that has been prepared.


Web servers are an important part of the website. As mentioned earlier, the function of the web server is as a control to process requests from the browser. Without a web server, a website cannot run properly. The web server has the main task of responding to requests made by users through the browser and giving the results back to the browser.

Whereas until now Apache is still the most popular web server used. Apart from easy use, almost all operating systems are compatible with this web server.

So the end of the article about web servers, hopefully can provide benefits. If there are suggestions, please submit via the comment form at the end of this article and don’t hesitate to subscribe to our article.

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