A web server is a combination of hardware and software that uses various protocols (e.g., HTTP, TCP, etc.) to respond to client requests made over the internet.
In the context of software, a web server contains several parts that process network requests and control how users access these hosted files.
When a user visits your website, the browser requests these files over the internet (i.e., HTTP requests). The web server hosting your website accepts the request, finds the requested files, and sends them so that the browser can display content on your website.
Each response from the server is accompanied by a 3-digit code indicating the status of that request (i.e., a status code).
301 status code – indicates that the URL has moved permanently.
200 status code – indicates that the HTTP request is successful.
404 status code – indicates that the requested resource could not be found.
Click here for a full list of HTTP status codes.
Common web servers include Apache, NGINX, Microsoft IIS, among others. Click here to read more about web servers.