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(also Hypertext Transfer Protocol)

HTTP definition

HTTP is an application layer protocol for distributing information between networked devices. On the internet, HTTP serves as a set of rules for web servers to provide browsers with everything they need to display a website on the user’s screen.

HTTP forms the basis of the modern internet and is key to user-friendly online navigation. HTTP operates on a request-response basis — your actions (like clicking a hyperlink) are translated into HTTP requests, prompting the server to send a HTTP response with data required (such as layout and content.)

Real HTTP requests to servers

  • GET: obtains the specified resource in its entirety
  • HEAD: obtains the specified resource without any body content
  • POST: adds content, messages, or data to a new page under an existing resource
  • PUT: creates a new resource or replaces the target resource with the data in the request
  • DELETE: removes the specified resource
  • TRACE: displays changes and additions to a resource
  • OPTIONS: displays the HTTP requests available to a specific URL
  • CONNECT: starts two-way communications with the requested resource
  • PATCH: alters the specified resource in part