As you begin to learn more about website hosting and related topics, you may encounter terms like “web server” and “Apache.” What is Apache? It is a web server and one of the most popular such server software of its kind today.
To learn more about Apache and how it fits into the web hosting process, read this post where we explain everything you need to know.
What is Apache: An overview
A popular and ubiquitous web server
As one of the original web server software, Apache has firmly established itself in the industry. The program is used by many high-profile companies along with around 67% of all other websites in the world. Some of the reasons for this popularity are the program’s speed, security, and level of customization possible.
Understanding the Apache server
How does the Apache server work exactly? It’s a complex program, but its function can be distilled into how it is, by nature, a web server.
What is a web server?
A web server is a middleman that works behind the scenes. A website’s files are stored in a database, and whenever a browser makes a request, the web server is the software that goes to the database and retrieves the information asked by the browser. The browser then presents the information to the site visitor. Once the visitor leaves, the web server also cleans the memory for new visitors. These processes are the barebone functions of the Apache software.
Features and functionalities of the Apache server
Aside from the basic functions of a regular web server, Apache can be customized to include other functionalities for added capability. Here are some of the well-recognized features that can be integrated into the software with modules:
- Handling static files from your database and sending them to the web browser.
- Supporting IPv6 and HTTP/2 as well as other protocols that define how information is transmitted on the internet.
- Auto-indexing to bypass the generation of index.html or default pages.
- Session tracking to detect how long a user stayed on the website.
- Geolocation to determine where a site visitor is located.
What is Apache: Pros and cons
There are pros and cons to using the Apache web server. Here are some of them:
- Open-source software that allows for maximum customization
- Frequent updates to patch security issues and vulnerabilities
- Supports many types of module structures
- Easy to set up and configure for beginners
- Compatible with many types of programming languages
- Consumes more RAM for demanding loads, especially when used locally
- May be inefficient since it creates a new process for every request
- May be vulnerable to security issues since individuals can freely modify the configuration as they add more functionalities
Hosting websites with the Apache server
If you wish to host a WordPress website on a local network, like your own computer, you can install the Apache software. Before you can make use of Apache, you’ll also need extensions that handle other processes in web hosting, such as PHP and MySQL.
After installing all other necessary integrations, you’ll need to configure Apache to host your website. Securing the WordPress site with an SSL is also needed.
Alternatively, it’s a much easier approach to host your site with a web hosting firm like Bluehost. Those companies make sure to keep your website safe and optimized while charging a relatively small fee each month.
Conclusion on the Apache web server 🧐
What is Apache? Only one of the most beginner-friendly, reliable, and customizable web servers out there. This software works behind the scenes to connect your database and web browsers, providing the files requested for a visitor’s viewing pleasure.
While Apache has a few disadvantages, its pros far outweigh the cons. It’s not surprising that the software remains a popular choice, especially for WordPress websites.