Blog / What is a web browser and how does it work?

What is a web browser and how does it work?

by SW Team

Today's Internet gives people access to information from virtually anywhere they want, and that is thanks to the web browser. It is essential that every device connected to the Internet has a web browser to be able to access websites and their services.

A browser is an application that allows users to browse the World Wide Web or any other network of interconnected web pages, displaying their content as text and images in documents that humans can read.

info Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge and Opera are the most widely used web browsers on the market today

How does a web browser work?

Web browsers have undergone significant changes and have become more complex as computer technology has advanced. The modern web browser is not just an application for viewing web pages, but a complex programme that allows users to browse the Internet, store information, save time and money, and communicate with friends and family.

When you enter a URL and press the "Go" button on the browser, the programme opens a connection to the website's server via the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) and downloads its contents.

HTML is read in the browser, along with CSS, to tell you which elements of the web page are displayed when they are shown on your screen. It also saves data from the website in the cache for future reference, allowing it to load more quickly during each subsequent visit.

Browsers work by using a rendering engine that processes code to display content on the screen. Although HTML can be used to mark up any type of content, it is not a programming language and therefore cannot be used to control how content is displayed. This is where the rendering engine comes into play to render content.

When you navigate to a website, the rendering engine processes the code to display the content on the screen. Browsers use different rendering engines and have different functionalities. For example, Chrome, Edge and Opera use Blink, while Safari uses Webkit and Firefox works with Gecko.

If you are a web designer, you should remember that each browser has a different rendering engine, so in each browser, your page may look different.

The rendering engine is responsible for delivering the desired user experience which includes page layout and visual elements, page load speed and code reading accuracy. Browsers with different rendering engines may have different rendering modes and provide different user experiences, which will ultimately affect users.


Browser features

Each browser is different and may offer different features. The most important buttons on any browser may be the navigation button to go back or move between different recently visited pages, and the refresh button to reload the same page. Many browsers display cached versions of web pages; refreshing in this way ensures the latest version.

There is also a pause button that stops the page loading; this is especially useful if you accidentally end up on a malicious site. One of the most common options is the home button that takes you back to the page you set as your home page.

One of the most important parts is the address bar, where you enter the address of the page you want to visit. Most browsers now include this option in the address bar. There is also the integrated search so you can search according to your needs, instead of going to a specific website.

So much for navigation, but modern browsers are capable of much more. They have evolved from simple navigation tools to comprehensive information management tools that allow you to save bookmarks, organise your favourite links, create customised shortcuts, and add notes and comments.

Many browsers have added an auto-complete feature that not only remembers your username and password (using a password manager), but also saves your information as you fill in the form so you don't have to enter it manually each time.

Not to forget advanced security measures, all modern browsers offer advanced security measures to protect you from malicious links, with built-in anti-virus features that scan for viruses and prevent you from clicking on harmful content. They also offer a built-in ad blocker that eliminates the need for third-party plug-ins. From there, each browser offers special features, such as Rockmelt which allows you to integrate Facebook without logging into the social network to keep track of what's going on, or Opera which also includes a VPN if you need it for safer browsing. The choice is your!


Understanding what web browsers are and how they work is essential for anyone who wants to enter the digital world. The browser is not only a gateway to the Internet, but also an essential tool for developing and managing your website.

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