Difference between post and put?

Developers often face the dilemma of choosing between two different HTTP writing techniques, i.e., Post vs. put. To make your choice easy, we are going to introduce their workings and features in detail so that you can decide which one you should use in 2021.

So without any delays let’s get into our main topic.

Overview of differences between post and put.

Post is used to create a child resource to request URI.It is used to create a new resource or change an existing one.
It is idempotent. It means sending a request several times is equal to a single request.It is not idempotent, so if you send requests n times, you will have n resources with n URIs.
The response is cacheable.The response is not cacheable.
It is generally considered not safe enough.It is completely safe.
Use it for update operations.Use it to create operations.
It is used to create a new resource or update an existing one.It is used to create a child resource.

Have a look at the detailed comparison and features of Post and Put and see which one will work best for you.

What is Post?

To choose between Post and put, we first need to understand the meaning of the post method.

The post method is used to send data to the webserver to request that the body of the message is subordinate to an existing source. The worldwide web server generally uses it.

When to use Post?

We generally come to the point where we ask when to use Post and not to use Put. Here are some cases.

  1. It is used when a user uploads a file or a post or gives a comment.
  2. The post method is useful if you have to create a subordinate to the requested URI. This means Post creates child resources from a request-URI under the URI collection.  
  3. Also, if you do not know where your URI of the newly created content should be, you can use Post.

Post with an example.

For example, if a new thread is created without knowing where it should reside, then use something like:

POST /forums HTTP/2.0
Host: yourwebsite.com

By this method, you would receive a response like this, following this URI path:

HTTP/2.0 201 Created
Location: /forums/<new_thread>

So, the post method creates a child resource identified by request-URI. In this example, request-URI would be /forums, and the child would be <new_thread>.

Pros of Post

Whenever we compare two topics in a post vs. put, we need to know their pros. Here are some pros of the Post.

  1. We can send text as well as binary data on the Post.
  2. There is a larger limit of the content and data to be passed.
  3. It is much more secure as information entered by the user is not visible in server logs or URI query strings.

Cons of Post

Whenever we compare two topics in a post vs. put, we need to know their cons. Given below are some cons of the Post.

  1. We can not bookmark the page as the user-entered information is invisible.
  2. It can not be saved for a longer time as post requests are not cached.
  3. Post requests do not appear in search history, and the data has to be sent again by the client if the page is used again normally.

What is Put?

To understand the application of put, we need to understand its definition first.

“Put application designs a new URI or alternates an existing one. It typically replaces what is at the target URI.”

When to use Put?

Some cases in which to use put are listed below.

  1. It is used to create or overwrite a URI known to the client. 
  2. Use put when a singular resource from a resource collection is to be entirely modified.
  3. Use put for update operations.

So in a post vs. put query, we now know the uses of the Put operation in various situations.

Put with an example,

The Put method is used to create a new thread  that would be like this:

PUT /forums/<new_thread> HTTP/2.0
Host: yourwebsite.com

Here, <new_thread>  is the actual name of the thread, and the new thread design would look like this,

PUT /forums/<existing_thread> HTTP/2.0
Host: yourwebsite.com

So Put creates or alternates a resource at a particular URI known to the client.

Pros of put

  1. Using the Put method is very easy and creating resources many times is possible.
  2. It can help you to store the request under the supplied URI. 
  3. If an entity refers to an already existing resource, it can use the create operation or update operation.

Cons of put

While considering the functions of put operations in a post vs. put analysis, we know the disadvantage of put that it is not entirely secure as the user-entered information is visible and accessible. The attacker may modify the server or add harmful information.

Final Thoughts 

So now we have gone through a detailed analysis of Post and Put, it has become easy to understand their differences and uses alike in various situations. The choice between Post and Put depends on the problems you are facing and your requirements. Both of them are useful and applicable in various fields so we can’t say that one is better and the other is worst. Still, we respect everyone’s opinion so you are free to declare one of them as best.

All-inclusive, Read this comparison, make a choice, and don’t forget to give your precious feedback on the article!