How to Build a Web Server and Get your Own Domain - 7 Steps to Hosting your Site Yourself

Published: 04th November 2005
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There are many reasons why you would want to have your website professionally hosted. However, some people are better off hosting their site themselves. For example, if you are starting a new business or playing with an idea that you are not sure will work, you might not want to pay a hosting company to host your site, at first. Hosting the site yourself will allow you to save money that you can use to grow your business. Once your business starts growing and your site starts getting a lot of visitors, then you will find it necessary to pay a web hosting company to host it for you, but until then, you need to test the waters.

If you have a computer and a high speed internet connection (DSL/Cable) you can host your own website. You will need to keep your computer on and online 24/7, which might not be a big deal for you. Besides this, you need only to follow the 7 steps I describe below, to make your website available to users on the internet:

1) Install a web server: Most Windows operating systems either come with a web server, or one can be downloaded for free depending on the version of Windows. The web server is the program that runs in the background on your computer and listens to requests from people on the internet. It's the software that finds your pages in your computer and sends them to the users requesting it.

2) Configure the web server: In this step you simply tell your web server where to find your website that is sitting somewhere in your computer.

3) Get a domain name: Domain names exist only to make it easier for us humans to remember a website's address. The real address of a website looks something like this: 24.65.64.215. DNS takes care of keeping track of what domain name goes with what IP address. In this step you decide on the name that you want for your site and buy it from a provider. Domain names are cheap and you pay the fee only once a year.




4) Configure DNS: You can think of DNS as a database containing name-ip pairs that look like "(google.com, 24.65.64.215)." This is where you associate your website name with the IP address (the real address) of your computer so users are transferred to your computer when typing the name of your website. When someone types a domain name in their browser the domain name needs to be translated to the correct IP address of the computer that has the website.

5) Configure your router: When you have a router, users are actually connecting to your router when they type your website's address. The router needs to know which computer has the web page the user is looking for. Once it knows this, it can forward the request to the appropriate computer.

6) Solve the dynamic IP problem: Most people have a dynamic IP address. This means the IP address of your computer might change. This is a problem because DNS needs to know the IP address of the computer that people need to be forwarded to when typing a domain name. There is a way to solve this problem without having to pay your ISP more money for a static IP. There are applications that will automatically update DNS when your IP changes.

7) Secure your server: The last step is to make sure your computer is protected from malicious programs on the internet by having the necessary software installed and configured.

These are basically the steps required to host your website yourself. Of course, there are steps within these steps, but none of them difficult if you understand the concepts.

Depending on your situation, you might consider this a learning experience or just a way to save some money.

For detailed information on how to perform each of the steps described in this article, visit:

How to Build a Web Server and Get your own Domain


Video Source: Youtube

Comments
Gregg on September 13, 2011 said:
This looks relatively simple and it could save me a lot of money so thank you for this information

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