Thu. Jun 30th, 2022

Web Servers

What is a web server?

A web server is a system that delivers content or services to end users over the internet. A web server consists of a physical server, server operating system (OS) and software used to facilitate HTTP communication.

A web server is also known as an internet server.

Main purpose

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

Different types of  Web Servers

Commonly used web server types

  • Apache HTTP Server
  • Nginx
  • Lighttpd
  • Internet Information Services
  • Caddy
  • Apache Tomcat

Apache HTTP Server

  • Apache is the most widely used web server software.
  • Developed and maintained by Apache Software Foundation.
  • Apache is an open source software available for free.
  • It runs on 67% of all web-servers in the world.
  • It is fast, reliable, and secure.
  • It can be highly customized to meet the needs of many different environments by using extensions and modules.
  • Most WordPress hosting providers use Apache as their web server software

Internet Information Services

  • IIS is a web server software package designed for Windows Server
  • Microsoft’s Internet Information Services provides a graphical user interface (GUI) for managing websites and the associated users
  • IIS can serve both standard HTML webpages and dynamic webpages, such as ASP.NET applications and PHP pages
  • It also requires a commercial license and the pricing increases depending on the number of users


  • Nginx is an open source HTTP Web server and reverse proxy server.
  • Nginx has emerged as the third most popular Web server behind the Apache Web server and Microsoft’s IIS.
  • It currently powers popular websites like Pinterest,, Netflix, Hulu, Cloudflare, Zappos and Zynga.
  • In addition to offering HTTP server capabilities, Nginx can also operate as an IMAP/POP3 mail proxy server as well as function as a load balancer and HTTP cache server. Nginx can run on Linux, Mac OS X, Solaris, AIX, HP-UX and BSD variants.


  • Caddy web server, is an open source, HTTP/2-enabled web server written in Go.
  • It uses the Go standard library for its HTTP functionality
  • Caddy is the HTTP/2 web server with automatic HTTPS


  • Lighttpd is a very small and very efficient web server.
  • It is a simple and powerful alternative to IIS and Apache web servers.
  • It is designed and optimized for high performance environments. With a small memory footprint compared to other web-servers

Apache Tomcat

  • Apache Tomcat, often referred to as Tomcat Server, is an open-source Java Servlet Container developed by the Apache Software Foundation (ASF).
  • Tomcat implements several Java EE specifications including Java Servlet, Java Server Pages(JSP) and provides a “pure Java” HTTP web server environment in which Java code can run.

Factors to consider

If we choose a web server, you may consider following factors

  • Budget Restrictions
  • Security
  • Operating System
  • Web Applications
  • Scalability
  • Server Knowledge

By admin

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