The Web and How It Works

Understanding the web

What is the web?

The web which is a short word for World Wide Web is a network of pages known as HyperText document. They are called HyperText document because the documents are inter-linked. These documents are formatted using HTML (HyperText Markup Language) for the document structure, CSS (Cascading Styles Sheet) for layout styling and JavaScript for interactivity

I am Odinaka Joy and on this topic I will be writing about the web, the internet, how they work, it’s uses and lots more. So let’s dig in

HyperText Markup Language as the name suggest is the backbone of every web document. It supports links to other documents, as well as graphics, audio, and video files. This enables users to move from one document to another by simply clicking on a link.

How The Web Works

The web is an abstraction layer on the internet. The working of the web  is simply the processes behind searching the internet via a web document (e.g. Google Home Page) using an internet enabled device with a web browser (Google Chrome), and getting a feedback which is also a web document.

Client to Server

Client-Server Concept

Any device that makes a request is a client  A client can be any device or machine and it’s unique feature is that it must have an interface via which users can interact with it.

The server is any computer that store web contents. When a client device makes a request to the server, a copy of the file requested is downloaded from the server onto the client which in turn is displayed in the user’s web browser.

So what happens, exactly?

When you type a web address into your browser, the browser first goes to the DNS (Domain Name Server) and finds the original address which is the IP Address of the server where the web document is stored.

The browser sends an HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol) request message to the server, to request a copy of the web document to the client. The request and every other response details returned from the server are sent and received via users internet connection using TCP/IP (Transmission Communication Protocol/Internet Protocol.

If the client’s request is approved by the server, it confirms the request by returning a “200” which means “OK” response to the client, and immediately begins sending a copy of the requested document in small chunks called data packets.

The browser assembles the small chunks into a complete web page and displays it to the user.

Definition of Terms

  • DNS:  DNS is an acronym for Domain Name System and it is the phone or address book of the internet.  DNS translates domain names (e.g. to IP address (e.g. so that browsers can know the exact location of web files.
  • IP Address: IP Address is an acronym for Internet Protocol address and it is a numerical label assigned to each device connected to a computer network that uses the Internet Protocol for communication.
  • TCP/IP: TCP/IP is an acronym for Transmission Control Protocol and Internet Protocol and it is like a transport mechanism on the internet. These are communication protocols that define how data should travel across the web.
  • HTTP: HTTP is an acronym for HyperText Transfer Protocol and it is an application protocol that defines a language for clients and servers to communicate with each other.
  • Data Packets: Data sent across the internet is called a message and a message before it is sent is split into chunks called Packets. These packets are sent independently of each other and reassembled on the client before being displayed

Who Builds For The Web?

Many skills are put in place to put contents together for the web and make it available to all. But we will talk about the most basic ones.

Who Builds For The Web

  • Front-end Developers: These are people that put together the layout and appearance of files using the three basic tools – HTML, CSS and JavaScript.
  • Back-end Developers: These are people behind the logic’s of the web content such as saving users file for easy update and retrieval when needed. They use variety of tools – PHP, Java, Node.js, Ruby, e.t.c. It all depends on skill and choice of the developer.
  • UI/UX Designers: These are people who produce a graphical look of the web document which is translated into a functional document by the developers.
  • Product Managers: These are people who manage all the processes involved in making the web document a reality. They also manage and guide the developers to ensure the product meets it’s intended requirements and goals.

So, that’s it. Hope you enjoyed and learnt something new. Please share and like if you did. Thank you.



Software Engineer (React, Node/Express) || Facilitator/Mentor || Open Source Lover || Future World Class Developer

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