The Apache web server also commonly known as just Apache, is a public domain open source web application. It was originally released in 1995, gained prominence in 1996 as the most popular web server and is currently still the worlds most used web server software. Apache is also widely regarded as playing a pivotal role in the initial growth of the internet.
It’s name was derived from the Native American tribe for their superb warfare and strategic skill. It was chosen out of respect for the Apache nation.
In June 2013, it was estimated that Apache serves 54.2% of all websites.
What’s A Web Server?
A web server is a computer, that processes data requests through hypertext transfer protocols (HTTP). You’ll notice that most, if not all websites start with “http:”. HTTP is the basic network protocol used to send data on the internet.
Basically, web server computers serve the data that make up websites to the end user.
Any computer connected to the internet can become a web server by using programs such as, Apache.
Apache is a free, secure and open source program with a variety of features. It’s the world’s favorite web server application for a reason.
Since Apache is an open sourced application, many users have created various modules (mods) or plugins that enhance the functions of Apache. These plugins can provide anything from increased programming language interfaces to authentication and security processes and page compression methods.
Apache also has the ability to provide virtual hosting. It allows a user to host multiple websites on a single computer. These are only a few of the modules and plugins that make Apache so popular around the world.
Apache continues to develop through a dedicated core of users and is available on a variety of operating systems including Unix, Linux, OS X and Microsoft Windows.
Can I Use Apache?
Anyone can use Apache as long as you have the knowledge base to program it. Those with minimal programming experience will find the process much harder than someone who does have programming experience.
There are many great user forums that can help anyone learn how to use Apache. It could be a fun hobby for some people who enjoy programming.
For most users, web site hosting isn’t a priority. It’s much easier for an individual or a small business to pay for a web hosting company and not have to worry about compromising your home network or learning programming.