Sunday, December 16, 2012

How to host a website from home


Hosting your own web server may not be practical and economical, unless you have a viable reason for doing so. It takes some expertise, a great deal of time and often it is slow and unreliable which will make you lose visitors to your site. Your home server most probably will experience slow download or upload speeds which would annoy your visitors. Your ISP or Internet Service Provider may not allow you to host your own site at home and block your port number 80. Port 80 is the default port where your home web server is communicating with the world wide web or the internet.  Or, in most cases, your ISP may 'throttle' your connection speed. Also you may end up losing money rather than saving dollars. Running a home web server is also a threat to your security. Hackers may gain access to your sensitive files and is therefore a security risk. Generally, it is more economical, not to mention 'peace of mind'  to simply sign up for paid hosting company and let your website be hosted by paying a few dollars per year on web hosting sites. Just make sure to check the reputation, quality and value of service of the hosting site where you will get your website hosted. On the other hand however, some people or group would like to host their own website so that they have absolute control of the content and they have the money to pay for fast, reliable service to accomodate great traffic and massive visitors.

How to setup and host your web server from home: (Windows computers)


1. Get a Broadband with high-speed internet connection.
Sign up for an internet connection with a decent download speed especially for video and audio files.

2. Get a DNS hostname.
Obtain a DNS hostname absolutely FREE by going to http://freedns.afraid.org/
Follow the instructions.

3. Get a static IP address.
You will need this to have a permanent address for your home web server. If you have a router, it will automatically assign a non-permanent IP address, that is why you need a permanent address so that people who would like to visit your home web server will be able to access it.

4. Setup your router to allow port forwarding on port 80.

5. Allow Windows Firewall to have exception on port 80.

6. Choose a web server program.
Apache and IIS provides the best quality web servers. Other good alternative web server programs include Nginx, LiteSpeed, Lighttpd, Hiawatha, and Cherokee.

7. If you installed Apache, open a web browser and type http://localhost/.
You should see the default Apache home page. If this is working, then you can change it to your own home page. This is the page where visitors to your website will be directed to.

8. Edit the contents of your website.
If you installed Apache web server, the folder for your web pages will be here:
C:\Program Files\Apache Group\htdocs
The htdocs folder is where you will put your web pages, videos, music, and images, and other files. You can then edit and make updates, add files, change or delete files as you wish. You can then design your own website. Note that your home page should be named "index.html". This is the landing  page when visitors access your home website on your own home web server.

For more information on How to host your own website at home, visit this excellent website (it will answer most of your questions regarding hosting your own site at your home web server):
http://www.boutell.com/newfaq/creating/hostmyown.html

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