Hypertext Transfer Protocol

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The Definition of Hypertext Transfer Protocol

Hypertext Transfer Protocol – the Hypertext Transfer Protocol or (HTTP) is an application system used for the distribution of data. It defines commands and services used for the transition of web pages and content.

Hypertext Transfer Protocol, or HTTP for short, follows a server-client model.

What this means is that when someone wishes to access a website from a device such as a laptop, smartphone or any other device – the client – using a browser, sends a request to the server which hosts the website. The server responds by sending an HTTP status code and if the URL is valid the server grants a connection and the browser downloads the relevant web page files for viewing.

There are a number of different HTTP status codes that can be sent by a server to a client.

HTTP status codes include:

  • 200 – Request successful (the web page is valid)
  • 301 – Web page moved permanently (may redirect to a new URL)
  • 401 – Unauthorized request (authorization required)
  • 403 – Forbidden (access to the web page or directory is not allowed)
  • 500 – Internal server error (often caused by an incorrect server configuration, often a temporary issue with many possible causes such as when a website is undergoing maintenance or the server may be experiencing high traffic and take to long to respond.)

When looking at a website URL in your browser you will typically see HTTPS. The ‘S’ means the connection to the server is encrypted.

See also: WordPress, Domain Name, URL, Encrypted


Gordon Wridgway
Gordon Wridgway
Founder and CEO of SME Rocket. Gordon is passionate about eCommerce and growing small businesses into big businesses.
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