Web Browsers OpenFAQ

How does a web browser work?

Contributors:

A web browser (sometimes called a "User Agent") works by using a protocol called HyperText Transport Protocol (HTTP) to request a specially encoded text document from a web server such as Apache or IIS. This text document contains special markup written in HyperText Markup Language (HTML). This markup is interpreted by the User Agent, the job of which is to render the document's content in an appropriate manner for the user's convenience.

The HTML may include such things as references to other web documents using hyperlinks, suggestions for text colo[u]r and position, and other content such as images and audio and visual ("multimedia") content. Web pages may employ a technique called Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), which is becoming more widely implemented by User Agent developers, to make layout suggestions for various media.

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