What is HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol)? Explanation of basic protocols for web communication

Explanation of IT Terms


HTTP, or Hypertext Transfer Protocol, is a fundamental protocol of the internet that governs the transfer of information between web servers and clients. It enables communication and the exchange of data through the World Wide Web. In this blog post, we will delve into the basics of HTTP, its role in web communication, and its key features and functions.

What is HTTP?

HTTP is an application layer protocol that allows the transfer of hypermedia, such as HTML pages, images, videos, and other resources, over the internet. It was developed to facilitate communication between web browsers and web servers, enabling the retrieval and display of web content.

HTTP Request-Response Cycle

At its core, HTTP functions through a simple request-response cycle. When a client, typically a web browser, wants to retrieve a web resource, it sends an HTTP request to the server hosting that resource. The server, upon receiving the request, processes it and sends back an HTTP response with the requested data. This process is illustrated in the following steps:

1. Client sends an HTTP request to the server.
2. Server processes the request and generates an appropriate response.
3. Server sends the HTTP response back to the client.
4. Client receives and processes the response to display the requested content.

HTTP Methods

HTTP defines several methods, or verbs, that specify the actions to be performed on the requested resource. The most common HTTP methods include:

1. GET: Retrieves a resource from the server.
2. POST: Submits data to be processed by the server.
3. PUT: Updates an existing resource on the server.
4. DELETE: Removes a resource from the server.

These methods allow clients and servers to interact and perform various operations, facilitating dynamic web applications and seamless data exchange.

HTTP Status Codes

HTTP responses include status codes that indicate the outcome of an HTTP request. These codes provide information about the success or failure of a request and help identify the nature of the response. Some common HTTP status codes include:

1. 200 OK: The request was successfully processed.
2. 404 Not Found: The requested resource could not be found.
3. 500 Internal Server Error: An unexpected condition occurred on the server.

These status codes help in troubleshooting and debugging web applications, enabling efficient error handling and response handling.


HTTP, or Hypertext Transfer Protocol, is a critical component of web communication. It allows for the exchange of information and resources between clients and servers, enabling the seamless display of web content. Understanding HTTP and its basic protocols is essential for developers and web enthusiasts alike, as it forms the foundation of the modern internet. By familiarizing ourselves with HTTP, we can better comprehend how web applications function and optimize their performance.

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