Web servers make internet content ready for retrieval

A web server is a special software that makes services, data or more general content ready for retrieval on the internet. A browser – also called a web client – is required to display a page. Anyone who would like to put their web presence online or make it public will need a web server. It is the most convenient to go through an internet provider. One of these providers is connected to the worldwide data network. You rent a domain name and web space and load the created internet pages on the storage space.

You should use a web server to run on your home computer if you develop internet pages or dynamic sites with PHP and MySQL.

A web server works as follows: if you enter a web address into a browser, then an HTTP request is sent to a dedicated web server. The name in the address bar chooses the right server and program on the server. The web server waits for requests. If no specific file is requested in a query, a homepage default.html or index.html will usually be sent by the web server. The web server takes a look at the configured directory with this approach, and accordingly provides the file back to the browser. This is usually files (HTML files) that are read and displayed by the browser. Static content (HTML files) are transferred directly to the browser by the web server, unlike dynamic websites which need further modules according to programming and requirements. You can recognise these by the file endings .php and .asp.

Every browser can only display HTML code, so dynamic content, such as .php files from the web server, will need to be passed further, for example with a PHP parser. A parser interprets the PHP programmed files and returns the results as a static HTML page to the web client.

We servers are offered by different companies

A web server is a program or service available from many different manufacturers. Some well-known web servers are the Internet Information Server, which has been provided as an additional component since WINDOWS 2000. It is abbreviated as IIS and is not a stand-alone project, but a part of Windows. In addition, Apache is also a well-known web server. Apache is the most used web server on the internet. You can create dynamic Web pages using server-side scripting languages such as PHP and CGI. Many other features can be integrated via modules.

The Apache Tomcat provides and environment for executing Java code on web servers, which was developed as part of the Jakarta Project of the Apache Software Foundation. It is a servlet container which can also translate and run JavaServer pages into servlets with the help of the JSP compiler Jasper. In addition, there is also a complete HTTP server. The HTTP server is used primarily for development by Tomcat, while an Apache Web server is preferred over Tomcat for production. To do this, a plugin is embedded in Apache that forwards requests for dynamic content to Tomcat. The plugin then usually speaks to Tomcat via the Apache JServ Protocol.

nginx is also a web server and reverse proxy that is very fast. It is designed to consume very little resources even under high load. XAMPP is another web server which is a compilation of free software. XAMPP makes it easy to install and configure the Apache web server with the MySQL or SQLite database and the scripting languages Perl and PHP. XAMPP also includes other useful tools such as the FTP server ProFTPD, the mail server Mercury, phpMyAdmin, Webalizer and OpenSSL. It is especially well-suited to development and dynamic content in the homepage.

The MAMP web server is also a well-known web server: The abbreviation “MAMP” stands for Macintosh, Apache, MySQL and PHP. MAMP creates a fully-fledged web server with PHP and MySQL quickly in a short time, similar to packages for Windows and Linux. The software package is free of charge.

You can find more information on web servers on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_server