How Web Browsers Work: The Underdog of the Internet

Welcome to the world of web browsers! 🌎 As you may know, web browsers are essential tools for navigating the internet and accessing all the information and resources it has to offer. But have you ever wondered how exactly these browsers work? Well, let me break it down for you.

If you are new in the tech field, this is one of those questions everyone assumes you know but most people struggle answering this question.

What Happens in the URL bar?

First, let's talk about what happens when you type a URL into your browser's address bar. 💻 The browser sends a request to the server where the website is hosted, asking for the necessary files to display the page. The server then sends back the HTML, CSS, and JavaScript files for the browser to process and display.

web request

Files received, now what?

But what exactly happens once the browser receives these files? 🤔 The HTML file provides the structure and content of the page, the CSS file provides the styling and layout, and the JavaScript file provides the interactivity and dynamic functionality. Together, these files create the final website that you see on your screen.

Homer's website

The browser's rendering engine is responsible for taking all of these files and turning them into a webpage that you can interact with. 🎨 It interprets the HTML and CSS and applies them to the page, and it runs the JavaScript code to create dynamic functionality. This is where the browser's layout engine comes into play, which is responsible for rendering the webpage.

The Javascript Engine 🚒

Now, let's talk about the browser's JavaScript engine. 🚀 This is responsible for executing the JavaScript code on the webpage.

It parses the code, converts it into machine-readable instructions, and executes them. This allows for things like form validation, interactive maps, and dynamic content on a webpage.

Accept Cookies? What do you mean?

But what about those pesky browser cookies? 🍪 These are small text files that are stored on your computer by a website, and they allow the website to remember things about you, such as your login information or preferences.

This can make your browsing experience more convenient, but it's important to be aware of the potential privacy concerns associated with cookies.

Browser extensions 🔌

Lastly, let's talk about browser extensions. 🔌 These are additional tools that can be added to your browser to add extra functionality, such as ad blockers or password managers. These can be a great way to customize your browsing experience and improve your productivity.

chrome extensions

Now that we have a general understanding of how web browsers work, let's take a closer look at some of the most popular browsers out there. 🔍

Google Chrome

  • Developed by Google
  • Based on the open-source Chromium project
  • Uses the Blink rendering engine
  • Known for its speed and simplicity
  • Has a wide range of extensions and developer tools
  • Has a large user base and is considered one of the most popular browsers in the world.


  • Developed by Apple
  • Uses the WebKit rendering engine (which is also used by Chrome's Blink)
  • Known for its sleek design and integration with Apple devices
  • Has a focus on privacy and security
  • Has a relatively small user base compared to Chrome and other browsers

As you can see, both Chrome and Safari are powerful browsers with their own unique features and strengths.

Chrome is known for its speed and simplicity and has a wide range of extensions and developer tools. Safari, on the other hand, is known for its sleek design and integration with Apple devices and has a focus on privacy and security.

However, one key difference between the two is the rendering engine they use. Chrome uses the Blink rendering engine, while Safari uses the WebKit rendering engine.

These engines interpret and display the HTML, CSS, and JavaScript code on a webpage in slightly different ways.

You forgot about the other browsers

You are right. There are lot of other really good browsers. There is Brave, Orion, Firefox, Opera, even Edge(🤮🤮🤮🤮) In my experience I use Chrome and Safari the most.

I use Chrome because it's become the most popular browser(I jumped on the bandwagon). I honestly use Safari because I can use touch id to autofill my info.

This is just a basic breakdown. All browser more or less operate the same, so its good to know the basics if you are starting out.

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