Clients and Servers

A common way to understand the internet is within the 'Client - Server' model. The basic idea is that the internet can be divided into two types of computers, 'clients', that make requests for resources (such as web) pages and 'servers' that respond to such requests. Communication between clients and servers can be visualized as a cycles of a client request followed by server response. Clicking on a link in a web browser (the client) sends a request for a web page. The request is passed through a number of gateway machines until finding its target server. The server response by sending the page to the client or alternatively generating an error (eg: 404 page was not found). A client connects to a server using a URL (Universal Resource Locator). The URL specifies the address of the target server as well as the location of the page or resource on that server.

About Servers

There are 4 broad types of web site servers.

1. Platform hosted Eg: Wix,, facebook.

Pros: No setup
Cons: No control, insecure, not portable.

2. Shared Server Eg: cPanel

Pros: Cheap, Simple install scripts for popular applications (Joomla, Wordpress etc), Visual management console
Cons: Slow, sometimies unrealible, less secure, less configurable

3. Virtual Private Server

Pros: Cheap, configurable (comand line access), flexable.
Cons: Learning curve, security? reliability?

4. Dedicated Server

Pros, reliable secure, configuarble
Cons: Expensive