Web Server and Its Examples: A Complete Guide

by | Nov 7, 2022 | Web Hosting | 0 comments

When a client requests to display any website over the World Wide Web (www), the software quickly responds using Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP). This software is called Web Server. You can say that a term that uses both software and hardware to work together is called a web server.

There is detailed information about web server examples in this article that you can learn by reading till the end. Let’s get started with the web server.

What is a Web Server?

Web Server is a software on which most of the internet depends. When the informative data is retrieved from local storage and is provided to the client upon his request is called Web Server Software. You can also simplify the expression of a web server as the computer or collection of multiple computers working to simultaneously deliver and produce different content and web pages to various users.


The web servers’ content is primarily static, consisting of Html codes, style sheets, images, documents, tests, etc. The web server not only supports HTTP but also follows Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (STMP) and File Transfer Protocol (FTP). Both of these protocols can be used for transferring files, sending emails, and storing data. There are a lot of web server examples, but only the best ones rule.

Web Server Software is responsible for viewing the content on any website. If any web server is being used internally and not publicly visible, it is known as an intranet server. If any person adds a URL on a browser’s search bar, such as Firefox or Chrome, the browser will proceed with this request to the internet. The internet will take the spontaneous action of viewing the corresponding website of the entered address.

The DNS (Domain Name Server) will immediately convert the URL or web page address into an IP address. Finally, the IP address points towards the web server and the web server must deliver all the provided content of the searched URL. In the next section, let’s talk about the top 8 web server examples.

Top 8 Web Server Examples

This section contains the leading web servers used by most internet users today. It isn’t easy to decide which one is to keep on the first stand and which to the second, as these web servers hold a lot of market areas. Every web server is important and different within own criteria. Let’s begin with the first one.


1- Apache Web Server

Apache Web Server was founded in 1996 and is now ranked as the most used web server in the internet world. The organizer behind the Apache web server is “Apache Foundation.” The Apache Web Server is a freeware and correspondent of Windows, Mac, Linux, FreeBSD, UNIX, and other multiple platforms.

The feature that makes Apache Web Server unique is that it is open-source software widely installed in all systems. The Apache Web Server rules over 60% of server machines to carry out internet activities. It was released under the license terms of 2.0.

  • Essential features of Apache Web Server


  1. Apache Web Server is an open-source and accessible web server. The architecture of Apache is module based.
  2. Apache provides easy, flexible and quick customization and configuration to the web browsers.
  3. Behind this web server, there is a big community of web developers that help to run the process effectively.
  4. The security patches are tackled regularly also the updates are always frequent.
  5. Apache Web Server is also compatible with IPv6.

2- IIS or Internet Information Services Web Server

IIS stands on the second rank of the web servers. Microsoft presented the IIS or Internet Information Services, commonly known as the high-performance web server. You can run IIS on upcoming new versions of Windows, Windows NT/2000, and 2003 platforms. The IIS is easy to administer because the operating system is fully integrated.

However, IIS is bundled with Windows NT/2000 and 2003. The IIS also stands for Microsoft Internet Information Services. The user can configure the IIS server with the help of a graphical interface. IIS can easily remove or add modules or extensions through the module-based architecture. IIS has a built-in feature of the authentication mechanism and advanced security features.

  • Main features of Microsoft –IIS Web Server


  1. The paramount quality of Microsoft -IIS is that it is remotely manageable.
  2. No particular place is required to manage IIS.
  3. The architecture of Microsoft -IIS is module based.
  4. The control and security of the web server are tight and up to the mark.


3- NGINX Web Server

The popular and successful web server NGINX was created in 2002 by developer named Igor Sysoev. NGINX stands alone among all the other web servers because it works in the form of a proxy server in correspondence with other applications of web servers such as Apache.

The sole purpose of creating the NGINX web server was to carry, handle and connect hundreds of concurrent connections to amplify and enhance the performance. The NGINX was a helping hand initially for all the heavy applications to balance their loads. It is famously known that NGINX is responsible for at least 66.8% of the busiest web pages.

There are two main versions of NGINX, NGINX Plus, and OSS NGINX. It works smoothly and effortlessly with PHP-FPM. Following are the main features of NGINX web server.

  • Main Features of NGINX Web Server


  1. NGINX is ideally known for managing, controlling, and organizing high-traffic websites.
  2. The applications and websites with high visibility, such as Pinterest and Netflix, use NGINX web servers.
  3. NGINX is sufficient to tackle the c10k problem that simultaneously puts hurdles in some websites’ management of 10,000 connections.
  4. NGINX is an open-source accessible web server with high performance and low memory consumption.
  5. It is an event-driven architecture and an Asynchronous one.
  6. It is also compatible with IPv6.

4- Apache Tomcat Web Server

A java container or specialized form of java servlets web server is widely known as Apache Tomcat. Apache Tomcat is an accessible web server developed by Sun Microsystems initially in 1999 and then transferred to the ASF (Apache Software Foundation). The Apache Tomcat web server supports ASP.net, PHP, Python, Perl, etc., by working under port 8080. Have a look at the main features of Apache Tomcat web server.

  • Main features of Apache Tomcat Web Server


  1. SSL secures Apache Tomcat.
  2. Apaches Tomcat web server has access to the control over Fikes and directories present in the server root.
  3. Apache Tomcat is an open-source web server with most Java enterprise specs.



5- Lighttpd Web Server

Lighttpd is a widely used and known accessible web server with the FreeBSD operating system. It is pronounced as lighty. Lighttpd is an accessible, open-source web server with secure and fast features. Additionally, Lighttpd consumes less power from CPU and disc space, unlike the other servers, and that counts as a great advantage of the server.

You can use the Lighttpd server if you use the Linux, Windows, Mac OSX, and Solaris operating systems. Lighttpd was first introduced in 2003, and web cameras, internet routers, and other small hardware have made Lighttpd their primary web server. You will not see Lighttpd among the shared web servers on the internet for open websites.

  • Main features of Lighttpd Web Server


  1. Lighttpd is among those web servers which are open source and high-performing web servers.
  2. It is compatible with IPv6 and IPv4.
  3. Lighttpd is also tightly focused on PHP.
  4. Lighttpd allows fast and authentic downloads, authentication support, secure applications, and user tracking.

6- Sun Java System Web Server

Sun Java System Web Server was introduced by Sun Microsystems and is widely used for large and medium websites. Unlike the other web servers, Sun Java System Web Server is not open source, although it is free.

On the other hand, it works with Linux, Windows, and UNIX web platforms. A great variety of scripts, languages, and technologies are required for web 2.0. These technologies are Java Servlets, PHP, Python, Perl, JSP, ASP and ColdFusion, and Ruby on Rails.

  • The main features of Sun Java System Web Server


  1. The new feature in Sun Java System Web Server allows the user to restrict or close access using the authentication of a flat file.
  2. Sun Java System Web Server supports the Java security system.
  3. This web server also allows the users to migrate easily from other versions, such as iPlanet Web Server 6.0
  4. Sun Java System Web Server is all in control regarding access and security for web publishing.

7- OpenResty Web Server

The web server based on LuaJIT and NGINX with the event-driven architecture is called OpenResty Web Server. This web server handles multiple thousands of connections simultaneously due to the building of scalable features, high-performance services, and web applications.

According to the NetCraft report of May 2022, the OpenResty Web Server looks after the 8% internet market. OpenResty was first released in June 2011, and later on, the six updated versions of the web server were released the same year. The latest version of OpenResty was released in September 2022.

  • Main Features of OpenResty Web Server


  1. OpenResty Web Server is known for its high-performance internet.
  2. OpenResty Web Server is also known for handling multiple connections at once.
  3. OpenResty Web Server is an event-driven architecture.

8- LiteSpeed Web Server

LiteSpeed Web Server was developed and released by LiteSpeed technologies in 2003. LiteSpeed Web Server is a proprietary and paid web server. LiteSpeed contains three legal and valid licenses: Site Owner, Free Starter, and Web Host. LiteSpeed is paid for managing high-traffic websites.

It offers excellent scalability and a high-performance rate. According to the September 2022 report of NetCraft, LiteSpeed holds 5% of the net market. LiteSpeed’s purpose is to securely manage and control thousands of concurrent connections with the minimum load on CPU and memory resources. LiteSpeed is compatible with many famous and notable control panels, such as DirectAdmin and Plesk.

  • Main features of LiteSpeed Web Server


  1. LiteSpeed Web Server is lightweight like its name. It does not consume heavy memory on storage.
  2. It is also event-driven architecture.
  3. The configuration process in LiteSpeed is easy and quick.
  4. LiteSpeed requires Zero-downtime maintenance.
  5. LiteSpeed Web Server is equipped with built-in anti-DDos features.
  6. Mod_rewrite, mod_securuty, and .htaccess configuration are the additional features in LiteSpeed.

How do the Web Servers Perform?

Web Servers work through different domain names of multiple websites and deliver the website’s content to those who request it. A web Server is a software that consists of various components, including an HTTP server. The HTTP server helps the web server to read and understand URLs and HTTP.

A web server is also hardware in the form of a computer and works to store the data of web server software, images, HTML documents, JavaScript files, and other website-related files.

The web server starts its function when a web browser such as Firefox or Google chrome demands content hosted on a web server, and the browser will ask HTTP to deliver the file. When the web server receives the request, HTTP accepts it, searches the related file, and sends it to the browser via HTTP.

Steps of Web Server Work

The web server depends on the steps to work when a browser requests or demands a file. The series of steps are as under:

  1. First, the person will type the URL in the address bar of the web server.
  2. The web server will start to work as soon as the person hits the search icon
  3. In the second step, the web browser will obtain the IP address of the required domain name.
  4. It depends on the web browser to either search the IP address of the domain name or translate the URL through Domain Name System (DNS).
  5. Thirdly, a request is sent to the web server through HTTP to find the required file from the internet.
  6. The window will show the top pages related to the IP address or URL in the result section.
  7. On the other hand, if something goes wrong with the connection or the requested page is broken, then the web server will respond with an error message.


  • Example of the Uses of Web Server

Web servers are known as the larger package of intranet and internet-related functions. The uses of the web server are as under:

  1. You can send and receive emails from one part to another part of the world through web servers.
  2. You can create your blog websites and other publishing webpages through web servers.
  3. Web Servers are widely used to download requests for FTP (File Transfer Protocol).
  4. Web servers also support server-side scripting, so the web server can employ scripts to customize the user’s response.

What are the Difference between Static and Dynamic Web Servers?

There are two main types of web servers that are further subdivided into other web servers, such as Apache, LiteSpeed, etc. These two types are Static Web Servers and Dynamic Web Servers. Both types are different from one another in some aspects. Let’s find out the main differences Between Static Web Servers and Dynamic Web Servers.

  1. Static Web Servers:

The web server is used in one way: to serve dynamic or Static content. Static content is the content that is adopted and shown as it was initially. You cannot change the static content. The static web server primarily consists of HTTP software and a computer. The server will send the required content to the host without any changes; that is why it is called static content.

  1. Dynamic Web Servers:

On the other hand, things with dynamic content are different. Dynamic range is based on the software and web server such as database and server. It is called a dynamic server because the hosted files can be updated using the application server before being delivered to the browser.

You can update and alter the dynamic content as you like. The web server can even generate content when it is required from the database. The dynamic web server is not as accessible as it might seem. However, it is a flexible web server that comes with multiple complications.


The web server is the most crucial part of the internet. No program can be run without the help of web servers. The top 8 web server examples mentioned in this guide are highly active and responsive to host the users. These web servers help manage and carry the heavy website traffic and balance their load.

Most of the mentioned web servers are ruling the internet market. Each web server has its unique role, features, and specifications, although some web servers secure the top positions. This guide contains the definition, description, examples, functions, types, and uses of web servers. The requested content website is delivered to the desk of the client’s browser through web servers.


SHAIK VAHID is a Blogger, Entrepreneur, Full Stack Developer, Metallurgical Engineer and Tech Learner. Love to write and share tech content. He have 7+ Years experience in web hosting industry.


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