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Web servers are often thought of as big, black machines with many wires, buttons, and lights. But, on the other hand, maybe you think of a long, flat device that fits into a rack somewhere, whirring and beeping as the lights on the front of it twinkle.
While this is a good interpretation, those images are really just commercial-level computers. What makes a computer a web server is the software installed on it.
Any computer, even a desktop or laptop, can host a web server. Still, without a public IP address, the page won't be visible on the internet, and website visitors won't be able to see any websites hosted on it. However, most of the software needed to host a website is freely available. You can install it on any compatible machine.
Web server software offers several features that make it capable of providing an interactive experience for its users. Here are some of the key benefits of web servers:
Apache Web Server: One of the most common web servers on the internet is the webserver created by the Apache software foundation. Many well-known control panels, such as cPanel, and Centos Web Panel, are written to support Apache. Additionally, many applications written in PHP expect an Apache webserver.
Nginx Web Server: Nginx offers an easy configuration language, and several advanced capabilities, like reverse proxy setups. If you use Flask, Django, or ruby on rails to build your apps, try Nginx. It can interact with WSGI daemons out of the box.
Written by Hostwinds Team / June 5, 2021