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A web server can be referred to as either the hardware (the computer) or the software (the computer application) that helps to deliver content that can be accessed through the Internet.
The most common use of Web servers is to host Web sites but there are other uses like data storage or for running enterprise applications.
While the primary function is to serve content, a full implementation of HTTP also includes ways of receiving content from clients. This feature is used for submitting web forms, including uploading of files.
Many generic web servers also support server-side scripting, e.g., Apache HTTP Server and PHP. This means that the behaviour of the web server can be scripted in separate files, while the actual server software remains unchanged. Usually, this function is used to create HTML documents "on-the-fly" as opposed to returning fixed documents. This is referred to as dynamic and static content respectively. The former is primarily used for retrieving and/or modifying information from databases. The latter is, however, typically much faster and more easily cached.
Web servers are not always used for serving the world wide web. They can also be found embedded in devices such as printers, routers, webcams and serving only a local network. The web server may then be used as a part of a system for monitoring and/or administrating the device in question. This usually means that no additional software has to be installed on the client computer, since only a web browser is required (which now is included with most operating systems).