What is a Web Server?

As I said in the previous chapter, A Website is nothing but a collection of interlinked web pages and files stored in a single folder. And, that folder is stored on a publicly accessible computer called a “Web Server” or just a “Server”. 

Every time you enter a URL into the web browser, the web browser finds out the web server based on URL and sends a request to it asking for a web page. As soon as a web server receives that request, it processes the request and sends back a web page as a response to the browser.

Typically, A Web Server is a special computer box with no mouse, no keyboard and some special software that processes tons of simultaneous requests at the same time.

 “Hey! Wait! So a Web server is just a computer. Just like mine?”

Theoretically Correct! You could turn your computer into a server. But you can not maintain a web server from your home. There will be power cuts to your home, your internet connection could be interrupted due to heavy rains, which disconnects your computer from the internet. 

You generally use your computer to connect to the World Wide Web and access information. Once you are done with collecting the information or having a video call with your friend, you turn off your computer and disconnects from the internet.

On the other hand, People access your website from all over the world at any point in time. So, to make that 24/7 access possible, a Web Server that stores your website folder must always be connected to the internet. 

“One more question! I maintain my own computer. Who maintains a web server? In fact, where can I purchase my web server to serve my website? ” 

A Web Hosting company will sell you a web server to host your website and they will make sure that your web server is always connected to the internet so that your website can be accessed from any part of the world, all the time.

“I also heard the statement client – Server model? What is a client anyway?”     

Usually, your web browser that requests the information is called client ( On Our Personal Computer ) and the computer that serves the requested information is called a server. Hence the name Client-Server Model.

You’ll learn more about web hosting and web hosting providers in a future chapter. In the next lesson, you will learn about the Domain Name.