A web server is computer software and underlying hardware that accepts requests via HTTP , the network protocol created to distribute web pages ,  or its secure variant HTTPS. A user agent , commonly a web browser or web crawler , initiates communication by making a request for a specific resource using HTTP, and the server responds with the content of that resource or an error message. The server can also accept and store resources sent from the user agent if configured to do so. A server can be a single computer, or even an embedded system such as a router with a built-in configuration interface, but high-traffic websites typically run web servers on fleets of computers designed to handle large numbers of requests for documents, multimedia files and interactive scripts.
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What is an Application Server?
As people began to realize the effectiveness of transferring data across what is now known as the internet, multiple operating systems began to develop so that all industries, and eventually the public, could exchange data using computers. If you run a website, it is important to understand what web servers are, how they operate, and what role they play in delivering your website content to site visitors. It's possible you've never thought about what happens when you enter a URL into your computer's browser or click on a website found in a search result.
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A web hosting service often shortened to web host is a type of Internet hosting service that allows individuals and organizations to make their website accessible via the World Wide Web. Web hosts are companies that provide space on a server owned or leased for use by clients, as well as providing Internet connectivity, typically in a data center. Web hosts can also provide data center space and connectivity to the Internet for other servers located in their data center, called colocation , also known as housing in Latin America or France. Until , the Internet was restricted to use only " The World Wide Web protocols had only just been written   and not until the end of would there be a graphical web browser for Mac or Windows computers. To host a website on the internet , an individual or company would need their own computer or server. The owners of the websites, also called webmasters , would be able to create a website that would be hosted on the web hosting service's server and published to the web by the web hosting service. As the number of users on the World Wide Web grew, the pressure for companies, both large and small, to have an online presence grew. By , companies such as GeoCities , Angelfire and Tripod were offering free hosting.
Host static and dynamic websites in the cloud with Click to Deploy or customized solutions. Don't have a domain name or website? Secure your domain name, get a business email address, build your website without code, and set up online ads. Deploy a complete web-serving stack with solutions from the Google Cloud Marketplace.