Hosting a website at home is possible, if you can offer what it needs, but still if you are going to build a website for business, it is well recommended to find you a professional hosting provider, if you just want to try to host your personnel website at your home, this article will show you how step by step.
Let’s first find out what we need
1- A computer, web hosting providers uses servers it is just a computer but it does have more speed (that mean dual processors) more memory more hard drive speed and equipped with a strong cooling system, because they stay 24/7 on, ok don’t panic if you have a computer dual or not is ok, you will need at least 512 mb and 20Gb hard drive , if you are going to use IIS in windows xp pro or other windows operating system that comes with built in internet information server like windows NT 2000 …etc ,
2- A operating system , web hosting providers uses most of the time Linux or windows 2003 servers , ok you can use just windows XP Pro this is the easiest that you can find , Linux is very complicated to handle , if you have window 98 or xp home edition then you will need to download apache server which this article does not cover the setup of that kind of servers
3- A Connection , if you have cable or DSL you are ok , as much speed you have as faster your website will be loaded in your visitor’s computer , we are not talking about the download like for example if you have a DSL of 256 kb/s , that is just the download , so your upload must be 128 Kb/s as fast your upload is as fast your website will be delivered
4- A Static IP address, it looks like this ( xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx example 22.214.171.1247) you will need to find out if your internet provider assigned for you a static ip if it is a dynamic ip I think it will be hard for your visitors to find your website because a dynamic ip does change every now and then depend on your dhcp server of your provider , you will need a static IP address
5- A domain name , it is optional but very helpful that will make it easier for your visitors to remember how to find your website , if you don’t have a domain name your visitors needs to type your address ip and that will be hard to remember it than just type your domain name like for example if your static address ip 250.236.152.14 no one will remember or find out there is a website behind that ip but if you register a domain name and redirected to your website for example say you register domain name johnwebsite.com then redirect the domain to 250.136.152.14 your visitors will type www.johnwebsite.com and your website will show up
Now let’s start
Get your xp pro cd and insert it in your cd drive , automatically the welcome window will show up , in the menu look for “ install optional windows components” click on it , then in the little window box find and select “internet information services (IIS)” and click details in the next little window box check Common files , Documentation, Front Page 2000 Server Extension , Internet information services Snap-in , and World Wide Web Service , if you don’t have some of these that is ok the most important is “internet information services” and “World Wide Web service” , after you check all of the above options click ok that should close the second window now click next in the first window and let it install .
Now when are done installing “internet information services” , let’s take a look at it , go to start then setting and click on control panel , in the control panel window look for Administrative Tools click on it 2 times and look for Internet Information Services click on it 2 times , your computer’s name should show up as “local computer” click on it 2 times there will be a folder called web sites click on it 2 times you will find Default Web Site , click on it one time you should see folders and files in your right , that where your website should be , now let every thing open and lets make our first page .
Lets clean up first the folder where your website will be located go to C:\Inetpub\wwwroot
Remove the files that are already in that folder then Go to start / programs / accessories / and click on notepad
Let make a web page with “hello this my first website hosted in my own computer”
Ok start typing what is between the 2 lines below
<title>My first website</title>
<p align="center"><font face="Verdana" color="#FF0000"><b>Hello my first website hosted in my own computer </b></font></p>
now lets save the file , click on file / Save the box will show up , look on top there is save in drop that list box and look for Local Disk C: click on it one time the folder in your hard drive will show up under the drop box look for InetPub click on it 2 times then look for wwwroot and click on it 2 times now in file name text zone located below where you see the folders type index.htm, then below it drop the box of save as type chose ALL FILES , then click on save button. And your are done
Let see our page now, open internet explorer and in the address bar type 127.0.0.1, there is our page J
Locally you can see your page and it is working 100% but wait don’t call your friend yet to show him your website , because he will not be able to see it yet .
Now let’s find out if you do have a fire wall protecting your computer , if you do have other fire wall you need to authorize web service in that fire wall to be accessed , lets say for example xp pro windows default firewall , go to control panel and click 2 times on “network connections right click on local area connection choose properties go to advanced TAB click setting go to advanced TAB in that 2nd window select “Local Area Connection” click setting Check Web server HTTP and then click ok , then ok in next window and then ok in the last window
Ok we are all most there, if you have a router or sharing network with other computers at home , then you will need to create a port forwarding it’s like virtual server , find out the documentation to find the configuration page for port forwarding , you will need to enter your static ip address and then in port enter 80 that way your website can be accessible from the internet ,
Now if you have a domain name , go to your registrar login to your account, find the domain and click on “Manage Advanced DNS Settings” find A Record johnwebsite.com , A Record www.johnwebsite.com and CNAME Record *.johnwebsite.com and type in them your static ip address , if your registrar does not provide the A records or CNAME RECOD it is ok you can still do it go back to your control panel choose the domain and look for masked forward or forward , choose that option and then type your ip address ending with SLASH / click ok next step if you chose masked forward enter the title and the description of your website , then ok get out of your registrar account and try to type the domain in your internet explorer www.johnwebsite.com and see if it will access if not then you will need to wait for the propagation depend on your registrar it may take 30 min to 24 hours
While you are waiting go a head and create your website and don’t forget when ever you are done with your website copy and past it in c:\inetpub\wwwroot