HTTP, or Hypertext Transfer Protocol, is the backbone of the internet. It is responsible for transferring information between a web browser and a web server. When you enter a website's address into your browser, HTTP kicks into gear and delivers the requested content to your computer. This blog post will discuss HTTP, how it works, and some of its most important features!
So, what is the Hypertext Transfer Protocol? In short, it is a set of rules that govern how computers transfer information on the internet. When you enter a website's address into your browser, your computer sends a request to the server hosting the website. The server then responds with the requested content. This entire process happens in a matter of seconds!
When you open example.com in your browser, the browser sends the following request to the website's server.
GET / HTTP/1.1 Host: example.com
- Here, GET is an HTTP method used to fetch a resource such as an HTML document, an image file, etc.
- / is the path to the document or file that the browser requests.
- HTTP/1.1 tells the server which protocol and version to use.
- The Host is the host/domain whose file is requested.
The server sends the following response to the web browser.
HTTP/1.1 200 OK Date: Mon, 27 Apr 2022 12:28:53 GMT Server: Apache/2.2.14 (Win32) Last-Modified: Wed, 22 Jul 2019 19:15:56 GMT Content-Length: 88 Content-Type: text/html Connection: Closed <html> <body> <h1>Hello, World!</h1> <p>It is a good day to learn something</p> </body> </html>
- The server responds with the HTTP/1.1 protocol and version, thus confirming that the two agree on the rules.
- 200 is the HTTP status code for the response, which means that the request was valid. OK is the human-friendly representation of HTTP status code 200.
- The following line includes the Date/Time for the response.
- The server gives the browser information about the webserver which processed the request.
- Last-Modified tells the browser when this content was last modified on the server.
- Content-Length is the content size (in bytes) returned at the end.
- Content-Type is the mime type of content. In our case, it is an HTML document.
- Connection: Closed - The final header tells the browser to close the connection.
Everything after the headers is the actual content returned by the server. In our case, it is the HTML web page. The browser renders it on the screen to show us this page.
Now that we know how the protocol works, let's take a look at some of its most important features:
One of the main concerns about data transfer is its security. Thankfully, SSL/TLS encryption is used with HTTP to ensure that all information remains confidential between the browser and server.
Another essential consideration is speed. Servers use compression algorithms such as gzip to reduce the size of files and lower the loading time of webpages.
One of the great things about the Hypertext Transfer Protocol is that it is compatible with many devices and browsers. This wide adoption makes it easy for people to access information no matter where they are or what device they are using.
We hope this blog post has helped you better understand the Hypertext Transfer Protocol! If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments below. Happy surfing!