Understanding how websites work

——   Created by Kalob Taulien

A glimpse into the request/response lifecycle (beginner friendly!)

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More about this course

Learn how your computer "talks" to a website.

In this course, you will learn how your computer (and web browser) communicate with a website. When you go to http://www.yourwebsite.com your browser is doing a lot of things behind the scenes, including "making requests" and "accepting responses".

  1. But what does our browser ask for?
  2. How can we tell what the browser has received?
  3. What does a server give us? 
  4. And how does it all work?

As a web developer, it's vital to know how these things work. This is one of those skills that separates good developers from great developers — aim to be great! 


When you ask a website for information, your browser makes a request for information. The server then checks to see if you're allowed to see certain things and use certain files, and gives you the data (and files) you need to display the website. 

Your browser will then download all the files it needs, piece them together, and display the website. 

But at some point, it needs to determine what is HTML, what is CSS, and what is JavaScript (plus other file types like images or fonts). 


When you ask a website for information, the server you're talking to gives you files to download. Your browser safely does this in the background and puts all the different files together. If it needs to make more requests, it will make more requests and await another server response.

In this course, you will learn how all of this works, why it's important to know all this, and how to check in on your requests and responses. 


The course project

You will explore your request/response lifecycles in your browser to get hands on experience with how your computer is talking to websites.

This is a really good exercise and skill to have when trying to optimize website load speeds.

One of the top-ranking factors with search engines like Google is how fast your website can actually load, and one of the biggest factors we can control is how many requests and responses the server has to make before the website is fully rendered. 

With this project, you'll learn how to "snoop" on your browser requests and see all the responses. You'll even filter through all the data to find specific files you want to look for.

Don't forget to take a screenshot of your network panel and share it in your Arbington Project! 

8 Lessons

What is a browser?
What does your browser do?
What are web requests?
The request lifecycle
What are server responses?
Interpreting HTML, CSS, and JavaScript
Viewing your requests and responses
Your project
Enroll in this course for $19.97
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Class benefits

  • Certificate of Completion
  • 14 day free trial
  • 24/7 streaming access
  • Project included
  • Teacher Q&A
  • 17m of on-demand video
  • Have a coupon?

About the instructor

Hi everybody! I'm Kalob Taulien.

Here's the TL;DR (short) version about me:

  • I have been coding since 1999 and teaching people how to code since 2011
  • I have over 500,000 web development students world-wide
  • I'm on the Wagtail CMS core development team (Wagtail is Python's #1 most popular website making …
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