What Are HTTP GET and HEAD Requests and How to Leverage Their Power

Welcome back to another Networking 101 guide! Today, we will explore the world of HTTP requests and dive into the functionalities of HTTP GET and HEAD requests. If you've ever wondered what they are, how they work, and what makes them essential in web development and troubleshooting, then this guide is for you. We'll walk you through everything you need to know about these HTTP methods, their significance, and how to make the most of them in various scenarios. So, let's get started and uncover the power of HTTP GET and HEAD requests!

What are HTTP GET and HEAD requests?

HTTP GET, and HEAD requests are two of the most commonly used HTTP methods in web development and communication between clients and servers.

HTTP GET Request:

You can use HTTP GET requests to retrieve data from a specified resource on a web server. For example, when you enter a URL into your web browser's address bar and hit Enter, your browser sends an HTTP GET request to the web server hosting that URL. The server processes the request and responds with the requested resource, typically a web page, in the HTTP response.

HTTP HEAD Request:

The HTTP HEAD request is similar to the GET request but only retrieves the response's headers and not the actual content. This makes the HEAD request useful when you need specific information about a resource, such as its Content-Type, Content-Length, or last modified date, without actually downloading the full content.

Why are HTTP GET and HEAD requests important?

HTTP GET, and HEAD requests play a crucial role in web development and various use cases, including:

  • Retrieving web pages and resources: When you click on a link or type a URL in your browser, an HTTP GET request is made to fetch the web page's content. GET requests are fundamental to web browsing, enabling users to access the desired resources from web servers.
  • API integration: Many web APIs utilize HTTP GET requests to provide data to consumers. APIs often return data in JSON or XML format, allowing applications to consume and process the information efficiently.
  • Caching and performance: The HEAD request is valuable for checking whether a resource has been modified since the last visit without downloading it. This helps implement caching mechanisms and optimize website and app performance by reducing unnecessary data transfer.
  • Testing API endpoints: HTTP GET requests are commonly used to interact with different API endpoints and validate their responses when developing or testing APIs. This enables developers to ensure API functionality and data accuracy.

How to make HTTP GET and HEAD requests

Let's walk through some examples of how to make HTTP GET and HEAD requests using the terminal!

HTTP GET Request

To make an HTTP GET request using the terminal, you can utilize tools like curl or wget. Here's an example using curl to fetch the contents of the jsDelivr website's homepage:

curl https://www.jsdelivr.com

After executing this command, you'll see the HTML content of the jsDelivr homepage displayed in your terminal.

Or to do the same, but from a different location, you can run this command using the Globalping CLI tool:

globalping http https://www.jsdelivr.com --from Germany --method GET


You can use the -I option with curl for an HTTP HEAD request. Let's retrieve the headers of the same webpage:

curl -I https://www.jsdelivr.com

By running this command, you'll receive the headers of the jsDelivr homepage, providing information such as the Content-Type and Content-Length, but without the actual page content.

Do you want to execute the command from another location? Again, you can use the Globalping CLI tool with the following command to run the GET request from, let’s say, East Asia:

globalping http https://jsdelivr.com --from "East Asia" --method HEAD

Troubleshooting with HTTP HEAD and GET requests

HTTP GET, and HEAD requests are valuable tools for troubleshooting various scenarios:

  • Content verification: Use HTTP HEAD requests to verify if the content of a resource has been modified. This can help detect changes or potential issues with cached data.
  • API endpoint testing: When developing or testing APIs, make HTTP GET requests to examine the responses and ensure that the API returns the expected data.
  • Website performance: You can assess website performance metrics by analyzing the response headers using HTTP HEAD requests, such as cache expiration and compression settings.
  • Data validation: When working with APIs, HTTP GET requests are handy for retrieving data and validating its accuracy against expected results.


In conclusion, HTTP GET, and HEAD requests are fundamental components of web development and troubleshooting. GET requests to retrieve data from web servers, making them essential for browsing the web and integrating with APIs. On the other hand, HEAD requests provide valuable information about resources without transferring unnecessary data.

Ready to harness the power of HTTP GET and HEAD requests? Take your web development and troubleshooting skills to the next level with Globalping, which allows you to make HTTP requests from anywhere in the world. Try Globalping and explore the potential of HTTP GET and HEAD requests globally. Happy testing!