Whether you’re looking to start a career in web design or you just want to better understand how the Internet tools and resources you use every day actually work, understanding HTTP is an essential component for both.
Every website you visit has one thing in common – and that thing can be found in the address bar of your browser. Right at the very front, you’ll see something called HTTP, the h hypertext transfer protocol. Whenever you browse content on the web, you’ll use this protocol to send and receive requests and responses.
HTTP is necessary for every function on the Internet, from shopping to gaming to browsing social media. As the biggest and most accessible resource for information, the Internet is vital to our functioning as a society – and HTTP is the key to how it works so well.
If you’re ready to learn more about how HTTP works, you can read hundreds of different articles online that will give you a basic overview of the topic. But rather than wasting your time scouring the web for information, you might want to go right to the source and take a full-fledged class in HTTP.
The HTTP Essential Training Course by on LinkedIn Learning offers one of the best platforms for you to do so. In this review, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about this exciting and informative class.
What is HTTP?
As mentioned in the introduction to this article, HTTP is the hypertext transfer protocol. Whenever you interact with any kind of information or content on the INternet, you require the HTTP protocol to send requests to receive responses between browsers and servers.
Essentially, the hypertext transfer protocol is a set of servers, rules, and browsers used to transfer web documents. Every URL you type into your browser will start with HTTP – regardless of which type of browser you decide to use or which website you visit.
Interestingly, HTTP is meant to be in plain language and to be read by a human. Even though you might not always understand how the technology works, whenever you see an HTTP message, you should be able to read it out loud and make some kind of logical sense out of it. It will use simple verbs that we regularly use.
It is also a stateless protocol – every request is unique. There is no memory of previous requests.
What Kinds of Content Does the Course Cover?
Hypertext Transfer Protocol
This section of the course is one of the longest and most thorough. It goes over the basic information you need to know when you first start learning about HTTP.
After some basic definitions and information on how HTTP works (and what the acronym stands for), the instructor breaks down the differences between HTTP, HTTPS, and HTTP/2.
Like every other technology on the Internet, the HTTP protocol is constantly changing – these last two terms reflect some of those changes. In this section, you’ll get a more detailed overview over the differences between the three and what settings each is intended for.
Next, you’ll get an overview of some of the terms that can be used to describe various technologies related to HTTP. For example, you’ll learn about the acronym TCP (short for Transmission Control Protocol), FTPs (file transfer protocols), and more. You will also learn about proxies.
From there, the instructor launches into a more detailed overview of how HTTP works in the context of the web as a library. This analogy is incredibly helpful, breaking down the key concepts behind HTTP in terms that the “average Joe” might be able to relate to.
The most useful part of this course module, in my opinion, was when the instructor went into further detail about how to see HTTP in action. You can easily see HTTP transactions taking place by using developer tools in modern browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Brave, and Safari. You”ll go to the Network tab to see a cascade of files (these are the HTTP requests sent from the browser to the server).
Requests and Responses
The next section of the course deals specifically with requests and response pairs. This is a core component of HTTP, and while the course skims over this topic only briefly, it is still beneficial for a quick introduction nonetheless.
You will learn that anytime you click a link on the internet, enter an address into the address bar, or click a submit button, you are sending a request – in turn, your server will send a response. This is handled automatically by your browser, but there are a lot of in-depth details that go on here, too. There’s much more to the request-response relationship than you might be aware of, which is what this course module addresses.
After you receive a basic overview of the request-response relationship, you’ll also learn more about the URL (universal resource locator) and how it works. This human-readable address describes exactly where on the web and a server the information you need is located.
The instructor breaks down a URL to show what the various components of it mean. Basically, a URL has two primary pieces – a URN (universal resource name) and a protocol declaration. You’ll learn more about what each of these items are and how they work in this course module.
Then, you’ll learn the methods (verbs) that are used to send a request over the HTTP protocol. There are a limited set of methods available, some of which are more popular – for most web transactions, you’ll only use three (GET, POST, and DELETE), but you’ll learn about the other ones in this section, too.
The final chunk of content you will learn in this course is about what happens when you send an HTTP request to a server. Each time you do so, you will get a response – even if your response happens to be that something went wrong. This will begin with an HTTP status code explaining what happened, and then you can use the codes to figure out what happened and how to respond.
The final module of the course deals with HTTP headers. In this section, you’ll learn that HTTP headers are usually used to store information between requests. That way, if you need information about the state of the other or any other information, you can get it.
This segment also covers a variety of ways you can utilize the headers with built-in examples. You will learn about how you can see HTTP headers (the easiest way being through browser development tools). The course module breaks down a request header (the message a client application sends over HTTP to the server) and how you can work with these request headers.
From there, you will learn the same kinds of information about response headers, cookies, and caching. All four of these are vital to understanding HTTP headers and HTTP as a whole.
The LinkedIn Course Platform
The LinkedIn Learning Course Platform (formerly known as Lynda.com) is a great place to take an online course.
Here, you can receive training on a wide variety of topics, from education to business to software development. Although the courses are not free, LinkedIn Learning is a great resource for students, employees, and individuals who want to build their personal and professional skills. The platform features step-by-step instructional videos along with detailed written transcripts so that you can access course materials in several ways.
The Course & The Instructor
This course is offered solely on LinkedIn by an instructor named Morten Rand-Hendriksen. Rand-Hendriksen is both a web designer and developer himself and has quite an impressive profile on LinkedIn.
This class, launched in 2018, has been taken by more than 22,000 students and liked by nearly 1,200.
Rand-Hendriksen is a clear, skilled instructor with plenty of experiences and credentials to back up what he teaches. He is not only a designer and developer, having published more than 60 courses on WordPress, web standards, and front end web design and development, but he is also a design philosopher, educator, author, and public speaker.
He is listed as a senior staff instructor for LinkedIn Learning, a title he has held for five years, and is also a sessional instructor at Emily Carr University of Art and Design in Vancouver. He is the owner and creative director of Pink and Yellow Media, too, where he specializes in WordPress web development and custom theme creations.
He boasts reviews such as: “Morten is a genius at what he does and is worth every penny for all that he brings to the job. A doctor of many things that include design, computer programing, social media, and web communication, Morten understood SEO and Google Adwords before it became a popular must tool for growing one’s business…I highly recommend him for not only help you with your creative internet needs and blogs but also for training for your sales and social media teams.”
As you can see, you are in good hands when you decide to take this class on HTTP with Rand-Hendriksen via LinkedIn Learning.
Major Benefits of Taking This Course
Clear Learning Objectives
As a former teacher, I found it incredibly helpful to see the learning objectives for this course laid out clearly for me before I even started taking the class. This was the only class I wanted to take, but had I been comparing it with other HTTP courses, seeing the learning objectives laid out for me would be a helpful way to know what I was getting myself into and whether this was the right course for me.
This class’s learning objectives are as follows:
- What is HTTP?
- Tools to see HTTP in action
- Anatomy of a URL
- How to see HTTP headers
- Anatomy of a request header and a response header
- Cookies and caching
In the course, you will cover basic skills like front-end development, back-end web development, hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP), and application programming interfaces.
Brief and to the Point
Unlike many online courses I’ve taken in the past, this one does not drag on endlessly for hours upon hours. Instead, it is only 50 minutes long. Each module, for the most part, is less than half an hour in length and comes broken down into mini subsections. Not only does this kind of organization make the course easy to navigate, but it also makes it quite speedy to work through.
You can sit through all the modules at once, as I did, or you can break it up into individual chunks and only move on when you’ve mastered the material. The short course segments are helpful in that it’s possible to revisit sections as needed without feeling like you are investing a ton of time in doing so.
Comes With a Certification
Although you don’t necessarily have to have a certification when you take this kind of course, it’s always nice to know that you’re going to get at least something when you take a class. As is the case with many other LinkedIn courses, the HTTP Essential Training Course comes with a LinkedIn Learning Certificate. As long as you complete all of the content in the course, you can download a certificate.
This is a great badge to display on your LinkedIn profile or in your resume when you start applying for jobs – or even just to use as a cool trophy showing that you finished the class.
You can access your LinkedIn Learning account from most devices, including a desktop computer, laptop computer, or mobile device. There is also a LinkedIn Learning app that can be downloaded on Google Play or the App Store.
Easy to Follow Instruction
The instructor for this course, Morten Rand-Hendriksen, has a slight accent – nevertheless, he is very easy to understand. He speaks slowly and deliberately and it’s not difficult to understand what he is saying. The volume of the course was perfect, too – I didn’t need to adjust my speakers in order to make out the words that were being spoken.
Transcript of Course
As I mentioned above, Rand-Hendriksen is not difficult to understand and he speaks slowly enough that it’s pretty easy to catch all of the information.
However, I did appreciate that the course came with its own transcript. This is helpful because I could follow along with what was being said as the instructor was saying it.
If you are a visual learner, like I am, this is incredibly helpful. You can view the transcript while listening to the dialogue, or you can watch the videos that have Rand-Hendriksen’s audio instruction overlaid over them (so you can see the individual steps to finding and working with HTTP on your own computer).
I’ve taken a number of online courses before, and one thing that consistently impresses me is that all of them, deposit ehte platform, offer free notebook features. These are incredibly helpful as they allow you to type notes as you move through the modules – and the notes correspond with each individual module so it’s easy to find them later on.
I’ve taken online courses before in which I had to write down handwritten notes on a pad of paper. Although I could always replay a section if I had trouble putting something down too fast, the problem with taking notes in this manner is that it was difficult to review them later on. Not only were they disorganized and scrawled so quickly that they were tough to read, but they didn’t always match up with the organization of the class, either.
This digital notebook tool is incredibly helpful, and one I appreciate seeing in this course.
Clear Intro, Wrap-Up, and Course Organization
I really enjoyed how this course was organized. It is clearly broken down into distinct modules that are organized and succinct, making it easy to move quickly through the course content.
Although a lot of the information was a bit complicated and wordy for a beginner like me to understand, the benefit of the clear organization of the class is that I could return to the individual course modules to review the information again. Having that kind of ability was helpful as I could go back through as many times as I wanted.
Hands-on Resources and Instructionals
One of my favorite parts of this course was that it gave me very explicit instructions on how to see HTTP in action. I am a complete beginner when it comes to computers and anything involving them, so many times, stacking all of the lingo on top of itself and going over the verbage and how-to can be overwhelming.
The instructor of this course does a nice job of breaking down resources that helped me find places to actually see HTTP at work. Being able to interact with real-life examples was one of the best ways I’ve found to get a clear picture of what I need to do.
As I’ve mentioned, I’ve taken several online courses before. One of the most frustrating things, in my experience, is that they all are very end-users. What I mean by that is that you don’t get the opportunity to interact with the instructor at all.
This course comes with a helpful Q&A so that you can easily submit questions you have and get a response. The responses aren’t always from the instructor – however, you can get responses from other users who have taken the course, which in many cases is just as useful as hearing from the instructor himself as you can get the perspective of multiple users.
There aren’t many related courses on HTTP available on LinkedIn, although this is a topic covered extensively on other course platforms (such as Udemy).
If you like this class, though, you might want to consider other classes taught by Morten Rand-Hendriksen. Some of the most popular include:
- Learning Gatsby
- WordPress: REST API
- Installing and Running WordPress: MAMP
- WordPress: Creating an Intranet Website
Complaints About the Course
Not the Best for Beginners
When I first started to take this class, I was very excited that it seemed to be in easy-to-understand terms that were broken down into simple language for beginners.
However upon entering the first course module, I found that I had to go back in several times to get clarification on what was just said. Fortunately,the course comes with a transcript so I could go back and review the information, but there were definitely times when the terminology used was a bit too advanced for me, as a beginner with no training in computer science.
As with other courses on LinkedIn Learning, the HTTP Essential Training Course is not free. In order to take the course, you will need to sign up for a monthly subscription. There is a free trial subscription, but otherwise, you will need to pay for a premium monthly subscription at $29.99 or an annual subscription at $299.88.
Of course, you get what you pay for – LinkedIn Learning offers courses in multiple areas that are clear, easy to understand, and of a significantly higher quality than what you might find via other course platforms.
Not Frequently Updated
This course was launched on LinkedIn in April of 2018. While I doubt that much has changed regarding HTTP since then, it would be nice to see that the course was more regularly updated. The internet is a constantly evolving place, and it would have been nice to see updates, either at the beginning or end of the course, to see that it was current with any changes.
Who is the HTTP Essential Training Course on LinkedIn Learning Best For ?
If you’re interested in learning more about HTTP and how it can help you, your business, or your career, you may want to give the HTTP Essential Training Course on LinkedIn Learning a try. Although some of the material might be a bit challenging for beginners, I wouldn’t say that it’s out of reach for a total newbie. Move slowly through the material and revisit confusing sections, and you should have no problem mastering the content at all.
Good luck – and happy learning!