GET vs POST Requests

Introduction

The Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) has been created to allow communication between clients and servers.

The HTTP does a work of a request-response protocol in between a client and server.

For example: consider a client who wants to send an HTTP request to the server; after that, the server will return a response to the client. The response returned by the client will give the status information about the request and may also contain the content that is requested.

The two most common HTTP requests are GET vs. POST.

GET

The GET request is generally used to get data from the server. It is also used to append the form data to the URL in the format of name-value pair. The length of the URL will stay limited if we use GET. It also helps to submit the bookmark of the result. GET is better in the case when the data do not require any type of security or have any images or files.

Features of GET

Below are some of the features of the GET request:

  • It becomes very easy to bookmark the data sent to the server.
  • The length restriction when using the GET method is limited.
  • GET request is only used to retrieve the data from the address bar of the browser.
  • GET request helps us to store data easily.

GET Method Example

Here is an example of GET method:

/test/demo_form.php?name1=value1&name2=value2

Note that the query string (name/value pairs) is sent in the URL of a GET request.

Advantages of GET

Below are some of the advantages of the GET request:

  • GET request helps us to save the results of a HTML form.
  • GET requests are available to view in the browser history.
  • It is easy to use GET method to request the required data.
  • The GET request can be used to retrieve information that is identified by the request-URI(Uniform Resource Identifier).

Disadvantages of GET

Below are some of the disadvantages of the GET request:

  • GET requests cannot be used to transfer images and files.
  • GET requests can only be used to get the data.
  • GET requests should not be used to pass credentials such as usernames or passwords.
  • The limited length of the URL, limits the use of working with GET requests.
  • When using the GET request the browser appends the data to the URL, which is not at all secure.
  • Query String value can be easily bookmarked in the GET request.

POST

The POST request is a request that is supported by HTTP. The POST request depicts that a web server also accepts the data in the body of the message. POST is very frequently used by the WWW (World Wide Web) to send user-generated data to the web server.

Features of POST

Below are some of the features of the POST request:

  • POST requests take the input from the request body and the query string.
  • The data passed using the POST method will not be visible in the query parameters of the browser URL.
  • The parameters of the POST requests are not saved in the browser history.
  • In POST requests, there is no restriction on the length of data that is to be transmitted.
  • POST requests are helpful in sending confidential information like passwords and usernames to the server.

POST Method Example

Here is an example of POST method:

POST /test/demo_form.php HTTP/1.1
Host: codingninjas.com
name1=value1&name2=value2

The data sent to the server with POST is stored in the request body of the HTTP request.

Advantages of POST

Below are some of the advantages of the POST request:

  • The POST requests helps to know the resource URI.
  • The specification of a new resource location header is ver simple when working with POST requests.
  • We can also send a request to accept the entity as a new resource, which is later identified by the URI. This helps to change the resource with the help of POST requests.
  • Like the GET request, we can also send user-generated data to the web server.
  • POST requests come in very handy when we do not have any idea resource that is to be kept in the URL.
  • Use POST requests when you need the server, which controls the URL generation of your resources.
  • POST requests are very secure as their requests are not visible in the browser history.
  • We can transfer a large amount of data using the POST request method.
  • POST requests can keep the data private.
  • POST requests are also used to send binary and ASCII data.

Disadvantages of POST

Below are some of the disadvantages of the POST request:

  • In POST request, the data sent cannot be saved, because the parameters are not visible in the URL.
  • The browser history does not show the POST requests.
  • The POST method is not compatible with many firewall setups.
  • In POST requests, we cannot use spaces, tabs, carnage returns, etc.
  • The POST method consumes a lot of time when working with large binary files.

Difference between a GET vs. POST

Below is some major differences of GET vs. POST

GETPOST
In GET method, values are visible in the URL.In the POST method, values are not visible in the URL.
GET has a limitation on the length of the values, generally 255 characters.POST has no limitation on the length of the values since they are submitted via the body of HTTP.
GET performs are better compared to POST because of the simple nature of appending the values in the URL.It has lower performance as compared to the GET method because of time spent in including POST values in the HTTP body.
This method supports only string data types.This method supports different data types, such as string, numeric, binary, etc.
GET results can be bookmarked.POST results cannot be bookmarked.
GET request is often cacheable.The POST request is hardly cacheable.
GET Parameters remain in web browser history.Parameters are not saved in web browser history.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Key Difference

  • In GET method, values are visible in the URL while in the POST method, values are not visible in the URL.
  • GET request has a limit on the length of the values, whereas the POST request has no limit on the length of the values because they are submitted through the body of HTTP.
  • The GET requests only support string datatypes, while the POST requests support different types of data, such as string, numeric, binary,etc.
  • The GET request is very often cacheable while the POST request is hardly cacheable.
  • The GET performs are better compared to POST.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is an HTTP request?
The Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) has been created to allow communication between clients and servers.

What is a GET request?
The GET request is generally used to get data from the server. It is also used to append the form data to the URL in the format of name-value pair. 

What is a POST request?
The POST request depicts that a web server also accepts the data in the body of the message.

Key Takeaways

We learned about the concept of HTTP requests. We learned about two important HTTP requests, GET vs. POST. We learnt about the key differences between the GET vs. POST requests. This article also explained the advantages and disadvantages of GET vs. POST requests.

For more information about javascript, You can also expand your knowledge by referring to these articles on javascript.

Happy Learning!

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