Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is a method used to transfer or convey information on the World Wide Web. Its original purpose was to provide a way to publish and retrieve HTML pages.
Development of HTTP was coordinated by the World Wide Web Consortium and the Internet Engineering Task Force, culminating in the publication of a series of RFCs, most notably RFC 2616, which defines HTTP/1.1, the version of HTTP in common use today.
HTTP is a request/response protocol between clients and servers. The originating client, such as a web browser, spider, or other end-user tool, is referred to as the user agent. The destination server, which stores or creates resources such as HTML files and images, is called the origin server. In between the user agent and origin server may be several intermediaries, such as proxies, gateways, and tunnels