Different Http Methods

This post describes the different HTTP methods like put,post,patch delete

10/17/20235 min read

The Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) serves as the backbone of the World Wide Web, enabling communication between clients and servers. HTTP defines a set of methods that clients can use to request specific actions from web servers. These methods are an integral part of how information is exchanged on the internet.

1. HTTP Methods Overview

HTTP methods, also known as HTTP verbs, define the actions a client can request from a server. Each method has a specific purpose, and they play a crucial role in structuring and managing web interactions. The primary HTTP methods are:

- GET: Used to retrieve data from a specified resource.

- POST: Used to submit data to be processed to a specified resource.

- PUT: Used to update a resource or create a new one if it does not exist.

- DELETE: Used to remove a resource from the server.

- PATCH: Used to apply partial modifications to a resource.

- HEAD: Similar to GET but only returns the response headers.

- OPTIONS: Used to retrieve information about the communication options for a resource.

- CONNECT: Establishes a network connection to a resource, typically used in HTTPS tunneling.

- TRACE: Performs a diagnostic test for a connection.

Each method serves a distinct purpose, allowing clients and servers to interact in various ways.

2. GET Method

The GET method is one of the most common HTTP methods. It is used to request data from a server, such as retrieving web pages, images, or other resources. When a client sends a GET request, it typically includes parameters in the URL to specify the resource it wants. For example to get details of a particular employee the client will send the employee id in the URL. The server processes the request and responds with the requested employee if it exists.

3. POST Method

POST is another fundamental HTTP method. It is used to send data to the server to be processed. Unlike GET, which appends data to the URL, POST sends data in the request body. This method is commonly used for form submissions, file uploads, and other actions where data needs to be sent to the server without exposing it in the URL.For example POST can be used to add an employee in the database.

4. PUT Method

The PUT method is employed to update an existing resource or create a new resource if it doesn't exist. It essentially replaces the existing resource at the specified location with the data provided in the request. PUT requests are idempotent, meaning that making the same request multiple times will have the same effect as making it once.

5. DELETE Method

DELETE, as the name suggests, is used to request the removal of a specified resource from the server. It is also an idempotent method, which means that deleting a resource multiple times will result in the same effect.

6. PATCH Method

PATCH is used to apply partial modifications to a resource. It is often used when a client wants to update only specific fields of a resource without sending the entire resource back to the server. The PATCH request typically includes a set of instructions or data to be applied to the resource.

7. HEAD Method

The HEAD method is similar to GET, but it only requests the response headers without the actual data. It is useful when a client wants to check the headers for information like content type, content length, or server status without downloading the entire resource. This method is often used for checking resource availability or metadata.

8. OPTIONS Method

OPTIONS is used to retrieve information about the communication options available for a resource. When a client sends an OPTIONS request, the server responds with a list of methods that can be used on the specified resource, along with other relevant details. This method is particularly helpful for API developers, as it allows clients to understand how they can interact with a server.

9. CONNECT Method

The CONNECT method is primarily used for establishing network connections through a proxy server, typically for HTTPS tunneling. It allows clients to create a network connection to a resource identified by a URL. This method is less common in typical web interactions but is crucial for secure and encrypted connections.

10. TRACE Method

TRACE is a diagnostic tool that can be used to retrieve a diagnostic trace of a client's request as received by the server. It is useful for troubleshooting and debugging, helping developers understand how requests are processed and modified as they pass through intermediary servers.

11. Idempotence in HTTP Methods

Idempotence is an important concept when working with HTTP methods. An idempotent HTTP method is one that produces the same result regardless of how many times it's executed. GET, PUT, and DELETE are idempotent methods, as performing the same request multiple times will have the same effect as doing it once. This property ensures that repeated requests do not cause unintended side effects.

POST and PATCH methods, on the other hand, are not idempotent, as multiple requests may lead to different outcomes. A POST request may create multiple resources with different IDs, and a PATCH request may modify different fields in each request.

12. Status Codes in HTTP

HTTP status codes are used to indicate the outcome of an HTTP request. They provide information about whether the request was successful, encountered an error, or requires further action. Here are some common HTTP status codes:

- 2xx series: Success codes, indicating that the request was successfully received, understood, and accepted (e.g., 200 OK, 201 Created).

- 3xx series: Redirection codes, indicating that further action is needed to complete the request (e.g., 301 Moved Permanently, 302 Found).

- 4xx series: Client error codes, indicating that the client made an error in the request (e.g., 400 Bad Request, 404 Not Found).

- 5xx series: Server error codes, indicating that there was an error on the server's side (e.g., 500 Internal Server Error, 503 Service Unavailable).

Status codes provide valuable feedback to clients, helping them understand the result of their requests and take appropriate actions.

13. Real-World Examples of HTTP Methods

To illustrate the practical use of HTTP methods, let's consider some real-world examples:

- Web Browsing: When you open a web page in your browser, it sends a GET request to retrieve the page's content. Any form submissions, such as a login or search, use POST.

- RESTful APIs: RESTful APIs make extensive use of HTTP methods. For instance, a GET request is used to fetch data, a POST request to create resources, a PUT request to update resources, and a DELETE request to remove resources.

- File Upload: When you upload a file on a website, the data is sent to the server using a POST request.

- Online Shopping: In an online store, when you add items to your cart or complete a purchase, these actions are typically carried out with POST requests.

- User Authentication: When you log in or log out of a website, it involves POST or DELETE requests to manage your session.

These examples highlight how different HTTP methods are used in various aspects of web interaction, from simple web browsing to complex application interactions.

14. Security Considerations

When working with HTTP methods, security is a critical concern. Here are a few key security considerations:

- CSRF (Cross-Site Request Forgery) Protection: To prevent malicious websites from making requests

on behalf of a user, it's essential to use techniques like CSRF tokens.

- Input Validation: Ensure that data sent via HTTP methods is properly validated and sanitized to prevent security vulnerabilities.

- Authentication and Authorization: Implement robust authentication and authorization mechanisms to control access to resources.

- HTTPS: Secure your web communications by using HTTPS to encrypt data transferred between clients and servers.


HTTP methods are fundamental to the operation of the World Wide Web. They define how clients and servers interact, enabling the exchange of data, resources, and actions. Understanding the purpose and characteristics of each HTTP method is crucial for web developers, as it forms the basis for building web applications, RESTful APIs, and other online services.

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