The Story Of a Web Page
A lot of people wonder how this whole web thing works, and I thought perhaps giving an example of how a web page gets delivered to your device might be of interest. A web page is a file or stream of 1’s and 0’s that are in a file on a web server, a computer or group of computers located across the globe. This stream of information is encoded in a format called UTF-8 which usually allows for a variety of languages to be encoded in a file. UTF-8 consists of a string of between 8 to 32 1’s and 0’s which can signify pretty much any language and character. A web page can consist of a lot of different files grouped together. A web page is usually a file with an extension of .html or .htm primarily although individual files of other types can be considered a web page, in that you don’t need to have an html file to use or access them. For example image files can be served to your computer if you know the url, without needing an html or htm file.
When you visit a website here’s what typically happens. Your browser software sends a request for your web page through the URL (Universal Resource Locator) field which you fill in on your browser. The request goes to a name server, which, if the IP address is not found, forwards the request on to other nameservers until it is. The name server finds the appropriate IP address associated with that URL, which is then returned to your device which makes a request to the server with the appropriate IP address. This request is then delivered over the internet through a protocol called HTTP which finds a path to the server for the page. The server receives the request. The server then sends a response to the device, based on the address used.
And that’s most likely how this web page got to you! 🙂 There is also static and dynamic pages but we will discuss that in another blog post…