You can turn your Pi into a simple web server and use it to show simple web pages you can view in any web browser.
A web server is a special kind of computer. Desktop and laptop computers can do lots of useful things. A web server does exactly one thing: It serves up web pages.
This maybe sounds wasteful. It isn’t.
Big websites like Facebook (see Figure 14-1) have to serve a lot of pages quickly all through the day and night. It would be bad if Facebook slowed down whenever someone at Facebook HQ tried to play Minecraft. So if you’re running a really big website, you put your web pages on a special server, and you set it up so that it doesn’t do anything else.
You can’t run all of Google or Facebook on your Pi because it isn’t fast enough. (Really, it isn’t.) Big sites have a lot of extra software custom-written for them. You can’t install that software because it’s not available to the public.
But you can still set up a simple web server that can handle maybe five or ten visitors at a time.
A dumb website is just a file with a list of very simple instructions that define what appears on a web page. Most web content — the bits you can see — is words and letters, also known as text. Optionally, ...