Web Architecture 101

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Web architecture can most simply be broken down into three components:

  1. Client-side
  2. Server-side
  3. Network

The Client side is where your web browser lives. Common desktop browsers today are internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome and Safari. In addition, modern smart phones incorporate browser applications.

The Server side most basically consists of a web server, listening for requests and responding to them by returning web pages to be displayed. Web pages are typically delivered as HTML (HyperText Markup Language) and  CSS (Cascading Style sheet) files, along with image files as required. HTML and CSS files may be static (i.e. pre-designed and stored in folders on the web server in their deliverable form) or dynamic (i.e. constructed on demand by server-side programming languages like PHP or ASP). The big advantage of dynamic (database-driven) pages is that they can be delivered out of a Content Management System (CMS) and are built from data in the database and in the user environment at the time.

A CMS-based website generally requires a lot more work to get started, but once the framework and templates are properly planned and structured and in place, adding and changing content can become very quick and easy. A CMS is generally regarded as the most cost-effective option over the life of a business website.

The Network consists of all the physical connections (both wired and wireless) and layers upon layers of networking protocols that make sense of the streams of data that flow between the Clients and Servers. The Internet is simply a network of networks, all tied together by networking protocols.

In effect, whenever you type a web address (geeks like to call them URLs) into your client-side browser, you're sending a request across a multitude of interconnected networks to a Server. The Server does its thing and responds appropriately, sending back a page to be displayed by your browser.



0 #1 Invitationadmin 2010-09-16 03:07
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