Internet: how websites work

With the spread of the Internet, another sector has also evolved. This is actually a crucial element of the Internet and you can easily imagine what it is that dominates the Internet itself. Undeniably, it is a website. The term we are all so familiar with.

Modern days are heavily occupied by this amazing piece of application that lives on another application. If you are interested to learn what exactly this statement means and how all of these elements work behind the scene, you are in the right place. Whether you are a nerd or a geeky geek or not, let’s be one and learn how modern websites work behind the scene. Even if you are not planning to use this knowledge in your professional life, it will still allow you to stand out from the rest of the Internet users who rely on the technology without understanding it.

What is a website?

A webstie is an application made by developers or web programmers by the means of markup, styling and interactive programmming. A crucial feature of websites is the fact they are running inside another applications or pieces of software. You can easily imagine what such software is. We all know, a web site requires a web browser for its work. To have access to the World Wide Web which the name hidden behind the acronym WWW, we all need a browser.

WWW can be seen in the top box of a browser and it is followed by the name of the site we are visiting itself. There, we often see a term of letters preceding www which is either http or https. That is a protocol.

How do websites work?

Websites work through a bunch of sets of instructions that are created and automated by programmers. A website lives in a server in the form of data. A server is the place where these websites and their relevant documents reside in a raw data form. It is important to understand, the way websites are stored on servers differs from the way you can see them on your browser. There is not much of GUI or Graphical User Interface at work at server. This is crucial for security and other necessary measures. A website which exists or is temporarily accessed via your browser comprises raw data forms. Yet, these data come in a well-structured , well-planned presentation. As you can imagine, this is absolutely necessary to make them comprehensive for the users who would like to visit these websites.

The things you need to know about protocols

The communication between your browser and a server storing a website relies on protocols which have already been mentioned at the beginning of this article.

Actually, a server communicates with your browser back and forth through the means of either an http protocol or an https protocol. These popular shortcuts stand for Hyper Text Transfer Protocol o and Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secured.

It is important to be aware of the fact there are various other protocols. Some of the most popular ones are  FTP, Mail and Media. Still, the major type of protocols for both browser and server which moves the data back and forth is TCP or Transfer Control Protocol.

How do Internet protocols work?

When you are looking for a piece of information on Google or anywhere else, you are behind the scene of the Internet. In order to fetch any information, you have to send a request to the server. Each request you are making has a unique identifier. You are certainly aware of these identifiers even if you have never learnt theory on the topic. Such an identifier is undeniably a website’s DNS or a Domain Name System. In practice, a Domain Name System is just a name of a website such facebook.com or amazon.org. Certainly, all of the websites are supped to have such a name, otherwise you will not be able to reach them.

What happens to your request next?

Your request then gets received by the server. The server is looking for this exact DNS. Some other information is required for this purpose, for instance the website’s IP address. While your browser is loading the circling loading animation which is so popular on websites, the server is looking for the pieces of information you would like to receive. The server is fetching the data from its own server.

You might be wondering what happens if, for instance, the server does not have such information. In such a case, it will look for this information on nearest server. Once it is fetched, the server will send you the RAW data. Next, your browser will present all of this information to you in a comprehensible way it was meant to.

Now you know how websites work behind the scene and can explain it to your peers.

One thought on “Internet: how websites work

  1. Quite an impressive route network. I love the fact that in a split second you can send information to a point on the other side of the planet

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