Top five popular web servers used today
A web server is a program that acts like a computer or a virtual machine that hosts the web pages over the World Wide Web. The main function of a web server is to deliver the html documents to the clients. The html documents may involve text, images, videos, audio etc. The common features of all the web servers are virtual hosting, bandwidth throttling, large file support, server side scripting. Depending on how the above features are handled by a web server, some web servers are rated superior than the others.
Some of the highly rated web servers are Apache, lighttpd, IBM Lotus, Microsoft IIS. The most popular web server is Apache and accounts for almost 54 percent of the total share of the web sites which are hosted. Some of the major advantages of using an Apache web server are the following
An Apache server has a modular structure and hence it can be customized very easily. It is also an open software whcih means that you can add your own modules to the server as and when required and make modifications that suit your specific needs. It is more stable than the other web servers and is easier to solve administration related issues and make changes to settings or some features. Moreover, it can installed successfully in multiple platforms.
Microsoft IIS Server
Microsoft IIS has all the above features of an Apache server except of the fact that unlike the above case it doesn’t belong to the open source software category and hence personal modules cannot be added easily and modification becomes a little difficult. It is developed and maintained by Microsoft and thus works with all the Windows operating system platforms.
The Lotus servers, maintained by IBM has most of the features of Apache, apart from some of its own.
Real offline access
You can also work offline with an IBM Lotus server and prepare presentations, data offline as well.
Real time integration
This allows users to chat and also integrate their systems with other web conferences.
Apart from these, Lighttpd has gained a lot of popularity, mostly due to its special features.
Lighttpd is very small and hence it has minimum memory and processor requirements but all this comes at a cost of reduction in the flexibility like an Apache server.
Hence while you choose among the various web servers for hosting you should have a clear idea of what you want. For example if you want minimum memory and processor requirements then you can go for lighttpd or else if you want flexibility then you can opt for Apache. In case you want offline access to your server then you can go for IBM Lotus. One thing that you must remember that all the web servers are unique in one or the other feature hence you must decide clearly upon which feature is most important for you and then choose the appropriate web server to suit your requirements.
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