Web Hosting From Home
The current economic times dictate a need for budgeting and one area some are looking into is cutting their web hosting costs. The advantage of high speed Internet connections and open source technology is the ability to allow the average web user to create and maintain their own hosting without the need of a web hosting company. While this may not be an option for a web site that generates a lot of traffic, those in need of a basic web site for friends and family should consider hosting their web site from home.
One of the first items needed on this journey to self-web-hosting is a desktop computer that is currently not being used. It is essential to note that hosting on a computer that one uses to connect to the Internet for web surfing or e-mail purposes is not an ideal solution. It is a matter of security. Any private information available on the computer being used as a hosting piece of equipment can be hacked and revealed.
The next item to consider is the type of Internet connection one has to one’s home. A dedicated Internet connection is required for self-hosting. The most common forms of dedicated Internet connections are DSL or cable. More often than not, these types of connections will offer more bandwidth capabilities than a cheap web hosting company online.
The third item one needs to setup a self-hosted web site is a web server. This critical and required item is what will allow web pages to be shown to the public. A quick check to see if the computer in question already has this capability installed is to open a web browser and type in http://localhost in the URL bar. If the proper software is in place, a web page should show. If a web page does not show, then a search for a good web server solution needs to be done.
An exceedingly simple to use and easy to implement web server solution is WampServer. This all-in-one program installs Apache, PHP, and MySQL onto a Windows-based computer without a lot of fuss or need to pour through dozens of manuals. The software’s web site touts WampServer as a web development environment but works perfectly in production environments.
Once installed, WampServer runs automatically and can be accessed from a desktop tray icon. With a quick click of the mouse, the web server or single services (Apache, PHP, MySQL) can be stopped, started and restarted.
The WampServer web site has a user forum and several avenues of help should a question or issue arise.
In going beyond the basic requirements to setup a self-hosted web site, having software that enables one to create web pages without difficulty is crucial. An excellent suggestion in this regard is WordPress. This software goes beyond basic blogging and allows users to create pages, upload graphics and videos and much more. There are dozens of other open source web page creators to be found on the Web but when it comes to simplicity, WordPress is the route to take.
The desktop is connected, the web server is running and a web site has been created – how does the general surfing public find the new web site? Without having to crack open the technical books and learn all about IPs, DNS and name servers, a quick visit and setup with DynDNS can save one a lot of hassle.
DynDNS offers free host names that point to the IP address associated with one’s personal Internet connection. The company offers a couple dozen main domains to choose from and makes the process quick and easy. Once the domain has been selected, the new user can pick up an automatic updater that will reside in the desktop tray. This program will automatically access the DynDNS servers to update the current IP address and connect it to the newly created domain.
A computer, a constant Internet connection, a web server, a web site creation program and a domain – five items one needs to self-host a web site. Thanks to open source technology, high speed Internet access and a couple of free services, anyone can host their own web site from the convenience of their home with ease.
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