What is Apache Web Server?
Majority of web servers around the world use Apache or Apache HTTP Server software.
Apache Web Server is quite fast, secure and can be customized easily for different environments by using extensions and modules. Apache runs smoothly on both Windows and Linux web servers. It is an open source software developed and maintained by the Apache Software Foundation. Apache HTTP Server is not a physical server, but rather a software that runs on a server.
In this article, we will discuss the following:-
Who is using Apache Web Server?
Apache software is currently used by 43.2% websites all over the world.
Popular Companies Using Apache HTTP Server:
Learn more about Best PHP Servers
What is a Web Server?
The primary function of Web Server is to store, process and serve the web pages to the clients. It uses HTTP protocol to bring the user the webpage he wants to see.
Apache helps in establishing a connection between a server and the browsers of website visitors (Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari, etc.) while delivering files back and forth between them (client-server structure).
The browser requests for a specific file or resource and initiates the process. In response, Web Server read the request and grab the resources and serve them as web pages so the user can interpret them.
All the communication occurs via HTTP or HTTPS. Web Server also allows web browsers to take the files from end-users and transfer them to storage.
It is not as easy as it looks. Therefore, it is crucial to understand web server frameworks. Many users are requesting different web pages at the same time. Web Server has to respond to all requests and provide the correct files to each one.
Why Choose Apache?
Apache is open-source software, which means that the source code can be viewed and collaborated for free.
Being open-source has made apache very popular for developers who have built and configured their modules to apply specific features and improve their core functionality.
From 1995, Apache is helping in the development of the internet.
Web servers are an integral part of websites, but front end users typically don’t interact with web server type of things directly.
It is mostly a backend thing.
Apache Software Foundation is an American non-profit corporation that is working to support the Apache Software projects. This foundation is a decentralised open-source community of developers working together for the development of Apache.
Features of Apache Web Server
When you dig into the basics, you will find that the main job of the web servers is to accept requests from the client and then send the response to the application.
Apache server has other features too:
- Loadable Dynamic Modules
- Handling of static files, index files, auto-indexing, and content negotiation
- .htaccess per-directory configuration support
- Apache is compatible with IPv6
- Apache Server supports HTTP/2
- gzip compression and decompression
- FTP connections are possible with proper module
- Perl, PHP and Lua scripts are already build
Pros and Cons of Apache
Pros of Apache Server:
- Apache is open-source, and anyone can get it for free
- Customizable code can be adjusted to the needs
- Ability to add more features and modules to improve functions
- Highly reliable and excellent performance
- Apache is straightforward to install
- Immediate recording of changes
- Can be run on every operating system
- Actively maintained and upgraded by a community
- Highly flexible Web Server
- Impressive Documentation that is quite extensive and helpful
Cons of Apache Server
- Ability to modify the configuration offered an invitation to various threats when you meddled with code, insecure gates open.
- Again, the customization means new bugs and errors. Debugging means time and resources consumption
- Strict updating policy is necessary that needs to be done at regular intervals
- Recognising and disabling unwanted services and modules
- Performance issues on extremely traffic-heavy websites.
Alternative to Apache HTTP Server
- Apache Tomcat
- Microsoft IIS
Surely, Apache is famous and reliable, but it is not a single Web Server in the market.
Right now, Nginx is the next most popular web server after Apache HTTP. The Nginx solved the weakness of Apache.
Apache was not able to support the high volume concurrent traffic while Nginx can manage a hundred thousand users at the same time.
Most of the sites install both the server and use the Nginx as the backup server.
At ServerGuy, we provide both the Web Servers with our hosting.
Apache HTTP Server vs Tomcat
Apache Tomcat is an application server built for Java web applications. Apache HTTP server is designed to serve static web pages. You can serve the web pages can through Apache Tomcat but it will be less efficient. Apache HTTP server can do the sufficient job to compared to the Tomcat.
Apache HTTP Server vs Nginx
Apache is a web server that also works as a reverse proxy. Nginx, on the other hand, acts as a reverse proxy only. The Apache was designed to serve multiple requests from client using the multiprocessing module whereas Nginx can handles multiple requests simultaneously smoothly.
Know more differences between Apache and Nginx.
How to Check which Web Server You’re Using
You can check which Web Server a site is using by using the Google Chrome. Check the version of Apache here.
- Open the site on Google Chrome.
- Right-click on the page and click on the Inspect Elements.
- Go to the Network tab
- Reload the web page
- Click on the site address
- Check the header tag
Many online tools can tell which web server a site is using. You can use Wapplyzer.
Finally, What is Apache Web Server?
Apache Web Server is a mature and reliable web server that allows a site to serve web pages to the users.
You can install WordPress site on Apache. Not only WordPress, but Apache is also compatible with all the popular CMSs like Joomla or Drupal. Compatibility is also a significant reason that Apache is so popular among web developers.
I hope you know what is Apache Web Server now.
Leave your doubts in the comment box.