Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is a method for encoding and transporting information between a client (such as a web browser) and a web server. HTTP is the primary protocol for transmission of information across the Internet.

Information is exchanged between clients and servers in the form of Hypertext documents, from which HTTP gets its name. Hypertext is structured text that uses logical links, or hyperlinks, between nodes containing text. Hypertext documents can be manipulated using the Hypertext Markup Language (HTML). Using HTTP and HTML, clients can request different kinds of content (such as text, images, video, and application data) from web and application servers that host the content.

HTTP follows a request-response paradigm in which the client makes a request and the server issues a response that includes not only the requested content, but also relevant status information about the request. This self-contained design allows for the distributed nature of the Internet, where a request or response might pass through many intermediate routers and proxy servers. It also allows intermediary servers to perform value-added functions such as load balancing, caching, encryption, and compression.

HTTP is an application layer protocol and relies on an underlying network-level protocol such as Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) to function.

HTTP resources such as web servers are identified across the Internet using unique identifiers known as Uniform Resource Locators (URLs).

How Can NGINX Plus Help?

NGINX Plus and NGINX are the best-in-class web server and reverse proxy solutions used by high-traffic websites such as Dropbox, Netflix, and Zynga. More than 266 million websites worldwide, including the majority of the 100,000 busiest websites, rely on NGINX Plus and NGINX to deliver their content quickly, reliably, and securely.

NGINX Plus provides functionality in addition to facilitating HTTP communication, including:

With NGINX Plus you can provide your customers with high-quality web experiences, boosting customer satisfaction and revenue.