HyperText Transfer Protocol

HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure

What Does Hypertext Transfer Protocol Mean?

Updated: July 28, 2023
By: RSH Web Editorial Staff

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Technology developed to communicate
between Web Servers and Web Users


Hyper Text Transfer Protocol

The primary technology protocol on the Internet that allows linking and browsing. This is the technology used to communicate between Web Servers and the Internet. This protocol is the foundation for large, multi-functioning, multi-input systems. Such as the World Wide Web. The web as we know it would not function without this bedrock of communication processes, as links rely on HTTP or HTTPS in order to work properly.


Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure

Another primary protocol primarily developed with SSL. SSL is a secure encryption Web protocol used to make data safe when transmitted over the Internet. SSL is especially utilized on shopping sites to keep financial data secure, but is also used on any site that requires sensitive data (such as passwords or banking information). Web searchers will know that SSL is being utilized on a website when they see HTTPS in the URL of a web page.


Provides a network protocol standard that web browsers and servers use to communicate. It's easy to recognize this when visiting a website because it is written right in the URL
This protocol is similar to others like FTP in that it is used by a client program to request files from a Web Server. In the case of HTTP, it is usually a web browser that requests HTML files from a web server, which are then displayed in the browser with text, images, hyperlinks, etc.



This is what is called a stateless system. Meaning, unlike other file transfer protocols, such as FTP and SSH. The HTTP connection is dropped once the request has been made. In other words, once your Web Browser sends the request and the Server responds by showing you the page, the connection is then closed.

Since almost all web browsers today default to HTTP or HTTPS. You can just type the Domain Name and the Browser will autofill the https:// portion of the URL. There is also no need to type the WWW.


History of HTTP

Tim Berners-Lee created the initial HTTP in the early 1990s as part of his work in defining the original World Wide Web. Three primary versions were widely deployed during the 1990s:

HTTP 0.9 (for support of basic hypertext documents)
HTTP 1.0 (extensions to support rich websites and scalability)
HTTP 1.1 (developed to address performance limitations of HTTP 1.0, specified in Internet RFC 2068).

The latest version, HTTP 2.0, became an approved standard in 2015. It maintains backward compatibility with HTTP 1.1 but offers additional performance enhancements.

While standard HTTP does not encrypt traffic sent over a network, the HTTPS standard was developed to add Encryption to HTTP via the use of (originally) Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) or (later) Transport Layer Security (TLS).

How HTTP Works

HTTP is an application layer protocol built on top of TCP that uses a client-server communication model. HTTP clients and servers communicate via HTTP request and response messages. The three main HTTP message types are GET, POST, and HEAD.

HTTP GET messages sent to a server contain only a URL. Zero or more optional data parameters may be appended to the end of the URL. The server processes the optional data portion of the URL, if present, and returns the result (a web page or element of a web page) to the browser.

HTTP POST messages place any optional data parameters in the body of the request message, rather than adding them to the end of the URL.

HTTP HEAD request works the same as GET requests. Instead of replying with the full contents of the URL, the server sends back only the header information (contained inside the HTML section).

The browser initiates communication with an HTTP server by initiating a TCP connection to the server. Web browsing sessions use server port 80 by default. Alternate ports such as 8080 can also be used. Once a session is established, the user triggers the sending and receiving of HTTP messages by visiting the web page.

Issues With HTTP

Messages transmitted over HTTP can fail to be delivered successfully for several reasons, including:
User error
Malfunction of the web browser or web server
Errors in the creation of web pages
Temporary network glitches.

When these failures occur, the protocol captures the cause of the failure (if possible) and reports an error code back to the browser called an HTTP status code. Errors begin with a certain number to indicate what kind of error it is, most numbers by 4xx errors, which indicate that the request for the page can not be completed properly or that the request contains incorrect syntax. As an example, 404 error warnings means that the page can not be found. Some websites even have some fun with custom 404 error pages.

Most of us understand that when they see HTTPS at the front of a URL it is affording them some sort of protection, and know that it indicates a secure connection.
This is an easy way for people to know they have some protection for their personal information. In general, it is good advice to avoid entering any sensitive information on sites that do not use the secure protocol.

With all RSH Web Services Hosting packages, we include SSL certificates.
This will change your Domain Name over to HTTPS automatically.
And Google will love you for it.

We welcome your comments, questions, corrections and additional information relating to this article. Please be aware that off-topic comments will be deleted.
If you need specific help with your account, feel free to contact us anytime
Thank you

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