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How Web Servers Work

        Tech | Networking

Extras: Dynamic Pages

But what about the Web pages that are dynamic? For example:

  • Any guest book allows you to enter a message in an HTML form, and the next time the guest book is viewed, the page will contain the new entry.
  • The whois form at Network Solutions allows you to enter a domain name on a form, and the page returned is different depending on the domain name entered.
  • Any search engine lets you enter keywords on an HTML form, and then it dynamically creates a page based on the keywords you enter.

In all of these cases, the Web server is not simply "looking up a file." It is actually processing information and generating a page based on the specifics of the query. In almost all cases, the Web server is using something called CGI scripts to accomplish this feat. CGI scripts are a topic unto themselves, and are described in the HowStuffWorks article How CGI Scripting Work.

For more information on Web servers and related topics, check out the links on the next page.


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