What Are Web Servers and Why Are They Needed?

The web hosting industry appears to be incredibly complex to most novice webmasters, especially those that are not familiar with crucial web hosting terms. One of the most basic web hosting terms is “web server.” Web servers are the focal point of web hosting. In fact, web hosting is simply a service in which you remotely lease web servers for your web site’s use. If you have been struggling to figure out what a web server is and why it is needed then you may want to continue reading.

The Main Purpose of a Web Server

A web server’s main purpose is to store web site files and broadcast them over the internet for you site visitor’s to see. In essence, a web server is simply a powerful computer that stores and transmits data via the internet. When someone visits a web page on your site their browser communicates with your web server, sending and receiving information that ultimately dictates what appears on the visitor’s computer screen. Thus, the main purpose of a web server is to store and transfer web site data upon the request of a visitor’s browser.

How Do Web Servers Work?

Every web server and computer that is connected to the internet is assigned an IP address that identifies that device on the network. Even standard computers are assigned IP addresses when they connect to the internet. An IP address is almost like the return address on a postal package. When you visit a web site, a request is sent out from your IP address to the IP address of the web server. The web server then responds by sending data to the requesting IP address, and this is the process through which all data is transferred to your computer from a web site. More than ninety percent of the web sites on the internet are currently utilizing a leased web server that is being provided by a web hosting company. Web server capabilities differ depending upon the type, size and provider of the hosting plan.

Why Are Web Servers Needed?

Without web servers the internet as we know it would cease to exist. Web servers are an integral part of the way the internet works. The web hosting industry is simply used to lease out web servers, providing average business owners and individuals with the opportunity to use high-tech servers that make it possible to expand their outreach to the entire world. Without rental web servers the internet would be a fraction of the size it is today, as most web site owners can afford to buy their own web server in cash.

Web servers are the gateway between the average individual and the world wide web, yet surprisingly web hosting plans start at only a couple of dollars per month. Now that you’re familiar with web servers you can begin shopping for a quality web hosting plan without the usual confusion that most novices experience.