Web-app Using Nginx And Node - Which Is The Web-server?

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I have a web-application using nginx as a reverse-proxy and using the express framework as my backend in node.js. I am confused which is the web server. I use react, so the application features client side rendering, and nginx holds these files should it make a difference.

according to

On the software side, a web server includes several parts that control how web users access hosted files, at minimum an HTTP server. An HTTP server is a piece of software that understands URLs (web addresses) and HTTP (the protocol your browser uses to view webpages). It can be accessed through the domain names (like of websites it stores, and delivers their content to the end-user's device.


A web server first has to store the website's files, namely all HTML documents and their related assets, including images, CSS stylesheets, JavaScript files, fonts, and videos.

Taking this into consideration, I would say that Nginx is the web-server since it holds the html file. However, I really am not sure. Is it one of the two, both or is it a grey-zone?



Web servers provide web pages(HTML) with CSS, JS files that are required to render those pages. In your case, NGINX acts as a web server since it serves with HTML files.

NodeJS has a built-in HTTP module which supports to work with HTTP. We can use NodeJS to create Web servers since they use HTTP. But in this case, NodeJS acts as an API which exposes an HTTP interface to interact with it.