Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.

You'll be in for an education if you want to host your own web site, but we'll walk through a couple of the basic things you'll need to get started.

I have a Server type computer, I was wondering what you recommend I use as an OS and how to use it to host my own websites and/or use it as an FTP site.

You've got a machine on the internet. Why not let people connect to a site you host on your own machine?

It's certainly possible. The question is - is it the right way to do it?

I'm assuming you're setting up this server at home or at a small business that's connected to the internet by some kind of broadband (Cable or DSL) connection.

Actually, what OS you use is less important than how you're connected to the internet. Some ISPs don't allow servers on the connections they provide. Others charge a bit more for the ability to do so. If you're using broadband (DSL or Cable), remember that while it might be fast enough for you, it's shared between you and everyone who might be connecting to your server. It can get clogged and slow very quickly.

Your machine will need to be on 24 hours a day, and you're most likely going to need a static IP address - dynamic (or changing) is the more common default. You'll also probably want to grab a domain name (like "example.com") so people can find you.

Once you've got the physical connection, I'd run Windows 2000 Server or Windows 2003 Server, both of which come with the software to host a web or ftp site: IIS (Internet Information Services). Another alternative would be a Linux distribution; most come with ftp software as well as the Apache web server.

I'll warn you that you're in for an education. Hosting a server is not a trivial task and not for the faint of heart. My recommendation for most folks is rather than hosting their own, spend a few dollars a month and go to a shared hosting company where you can get some space on a server that's maintained by someone else. In fact, your ISP probably already has some set aside for you.

Article C2234 - November 28, 2004 « »

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Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

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45 Comments
janix
December 2, 2004 9:23 PM

QUEsTIONS:
do i need to apply to get a static ip?
how do i get a domain name?
is my dsl connection good enough at 256/128?

Leo
December 4, 2004 9:44 PM

You'll need to contact your ISP about the static IP address.

Domain names can be purchased at registrars including simpleurl.com, godaddy.com, and many many others.

256/128 is probably not good enough, but it really depends on what kind of traffic you expect. If no one visits, it'll be fine. If you get hundreds of visitors a day, or if you're hosting lots of pictures music files and the like, it most definitely won't be.

kingkabuz
March 2, 2005 7:37 PM

I have everything ready and installed and activated on my server, as well as an owner of a domain name. Where should I go from here to get my website online with my server as the host?

adam
March 7, 2005 1:35 AM

I'm also wondering how to do this, im at the same stage as kingkabuz

I have a domain name www.adamcsmith.org
my server is setup
internet ready etc

where do i go next?

matthew
June 4, 2005 7:31 PM

can you recommend a good connection? Do I need a T1 for my small business? I've been researching for hours and I don't seem to be finding the answers I want. I want my own server - http, email (smtp/pop3), and a MySQL database. What ISP should I get?

Leo
June 4, 2005 8:10 PM

I can't really answer that, because there are too many variables. for a small, low-traffic site, hosting on a DSL or cable connection can work. A T1 might be required, or it might not be nearly enough. This website, for example, started out on a server in my closet on my residential DSL. As traffic and my sites have grown, I found that I needed much more bandwidth, so moved to a hosting company. Options there include shared hosting (you share a server with others) or dedicated (you have the entire box.) It also depends on your own level of technical proficiency is. Some hosts offer very little support, but have a great price, others offer much more support and hand-holding and cost appropriately more. My recommendation would be to call up a couple of ISPs and Web hosting companies and discuss their offerings with you. Make sure it's clear exactly how much you'll be expected to do yourself.

kingkabuz
June 4, 2005 9:31 PM

To answer your question Adam. You need to link your website name with your server. so it can accept requests. If you have a dynamic ip(you have to specifically buy a static ip from your isp) then you will have to use a program to link your domain name to your ip. I used zoneedit.com It works like a charm. You have to setup your server so that it knows what to display when that url is requested. There should be tutorials on manufacturers website. I used apache and there is alot of help for that.

matthew
June 8, 2005 4:44 PM

I understand.
I think, for now at least, I can host on my cable connection here at home. My problem is, though, that my ISP, Adelphia, blocks some incomming connections, including 80 and 21 for sure, and possibly SMTP and POP3.
I have contacted BellSouth about their DSL service (as well as other small business packages) and will deal with current web hosting company untill I figure out how much they charge.
thanks for your help!
-mpoer

Dave Bieniek
July 19, 2005 10:08 AM

To host a website, your going to need a:

-Server
-Fast Internet Connection
-Router (obviously if you have a network)
-I'd recommend hardwired connection
-Server software (IIS, Apache, mySQL, php, active perl, ect)
-OS

For the server, it depends on what you plan to host. If it's going to be just static webpages, then you don't need a very powerful server, or extremely fast connection. Standard DSL/Broadband will work. Also remember, that even if you have a server with 2 Processors, 2GB of RAM, it will still only get the information to your users at the speed of theirs, and your connection.

Setting up the software:
You'd point your domain name to your IP address (can be found at: www.whatismyip.com), then configure your router to point to your Internet server IP (it's IP address on the LAN), afterwards, you'll configure your server software to accept connections on the port that your router forwards the data too. I'd recommend firewalling all ports EXCEPT the one you'll be hosting on.

http://www.yourdomain.com will point to your IP (it'll actually be saying: http://255.255.255.255 (your IP))

Sends to your router, your router says, send to (internal LAN IP) 192.168.X.X.

That server's software says, this request is coming in, so I'll send back page.html.

The Helper dude
August 22, 2005 5:51 PM

I this is A one time post. All you guys need are A simple program.
The easit way to go is www.tzo.com and get there webserver program.

Or for advance like ftp upload etc

www.planetdns.net

Any ways thats all.

Julie
August 31, 2005 11:32 AM

Hello.
I ahd built a web page, but I didn't know how to connet to my server. I had changed two server,every time I follow the instruction that server company offered to me, but every time I failed to open my site on my server. Do i need to do something on my computer such as built some network?
Thanks
Julie

kenchoi
September 16, 2005 8:00 PM

I have registered a domain name in godaddy.com. How can I point the domain name to my internet ip. I have a static ip from my isp.

Kenchoi

Leo
September 16, 2005 8:03 PM

godaddy provides an interface for doing exactly that. Check with them and their on-line help.

Francisco
September 17, 2005 1:27 PM

Ok, about this wholewebsite making deal, I've found the perfect answer. Go here.

http://www.download.com/Unlimited-Web-Space/3000-2125_4-10352311.html?tag=lst-0-1

In there, u can download an eBook for free witch explains everything on how to host your website from your own house. And I know it works becuase i did it myself, in just a couple of minutes. Is easy to understand. I'm only 16, so yeah, is easy.
I have a 4mb Cable connection at home, and i try streaming music from skool, and it works perfect.Because my internet connection is so fast, the songs get downloded faster than i plays, get me?
And yeah, I also have Adelphia, and I know they block port 80. But in that eBook it explains how to redirect it to port 8000, so the website works.
And the best part about it, is that is all free. You don't need to have an static IP adress either, it also explains how you can solve that problem, so every time your IP changes, the program redirects you to the new IP.
So this is the perfect solution.
Ok, I hope that helped.

Att: Francisco

Dave
September 29, 2005 6:12 PM

I have an old computer that I would like to host my own web site. It would be a limited access...family and close friends. Can you help me get started? Thanks.

erskie
October 18, 2005 9:48 PM

All,

Using an old PC to host your own webserver is SIMPLE. Go to www.aprelium.com, and download their FREE webserver. The forums there will explain everything.

It took me 10 mins, and I am a computer moron.

Host web How??
October 29, 2005 9:07 AM

ok, I have Dedicated IP with 6.0 connection, I have an older Athlon 800Mhz with 256meg ram with Win 2000 Server loaded on a 20Gig HD. The manual is vague on how to configure 2000 Server to host and I got 3 books about how to and they are filled with to much crap I cant understand them.

Anyone know step by step to set up my server for hosting a standard static web site? I have built web sites for years, networked 3 computers and a laptop, even know how to use Flash. I feel retarded on this one though.

Stephen Edgington
May 27, 2006 3:59 AM

Okay. I have a website set-up. I am in negotiation with BT to unblock port 80 so that I can host it from home. As someone above said, It will only be for a small amount of people initally, when it becomes bigger I will use a hosting service like '1and1', which is what I would recommend for anyone really. I just need to do some tests and demos. The thing I want to know is, are there any tips on getting Apache server working correctly and with MySQL which I will be running behind the scenes. Tips on good places to go to get inf. on setting up this sort of thing would be good here aswell.
Kharlos - If you have a web-designer writing your site then that person will upload it to a webspace somewhere. This is normally a free space provided by your ISP for small personal site and blogs, but would be with some hosting service/company if you expect to get a lot of traffic (hits) on your site. hosting companies like 1and1 (go to 1and1.co.uk) can provide other things like e-Mail addresses and managment tools, MySQL databses, domain name(s), anti spamming and virus tools and a large amount of traffic per month. remember that most ISP's have a useage limit on personal connections. This might be reached quite quickly if you host from home. Using a hosting company would solve that.
In Britian one can be self-employed without doing anything really, apart from telling the taxman and then doing your tax returns. running a website to support your business and/or to increase sales is just another part of your 'self-employed' business. You only need to register a business if you form a limited company and registering a business with a local business bureau, while not necessary is a way of making contacts and increasing revenue. I would join the local 'Business Enterprise Agency' or 'Business Advice Centre'. They have a lot of business people whom you can meet personally and get very useful advice from.
As for the question of copyright compliance, just make sure that pictures on your site are yours or free to use. There is quite often a free licence to use photos as long as it is not in relation to a business, so check that part. A business name can be anything as long as you are not registered (limited). It is a different ball-park then! Don't plagerise any other site for code to build yours and make sure that your web-designer does not do this. Ask him/her specifically. Otherwise. good luck.

David Macphail
August 12, 2006 12:11 PM

I've just written a tutorial on how to host your own web site from home. Here's the link:
http://www.macphail.biz/Host%20your%20own%20website%20tutorial%20-%20Index.shtml
Let me know what you think,
David

naag
September 19, 2006 4:48 AM

Hello sir i have recently taken a static ip for my small org.and i set the static ip to my system,now internet is working fine,and it pinging from outside my system.but when i type url like http://staticip it not opening any page and it is in hanging.so i dont know what to do bcoz im very new this static ip.my os is windows xp/2000 server.Please help me in this regard.

ahmed
June 15, 2007 1:55 AM

i think hostmonster is great at giving all the things you need.

http://www.hostmonster.com/track/ahmed/CODE3

gary
June 23, 2007 3:38 AM

I have a question, is there any difference between hosting traditional websites (for desk-top pc's) & hosting mobile device ready .MOBI websites?
I just wondered if the costs should be lower as the data requirement for a .mobi site is usually a lot less than for a 'big screen' site.

Thanks in advance.

Gary

Charles
August 28, 2007 3:02 AM

HI, My name is Charles Outwit, I was impressed with the search i made through, and at the end of my search, i meet ask-leo.com, What brought my intension and presence here, i was having difficulties with my Host, sincerely, my host is okay, good and perfectly working, my ftp status is also in good status, but i find it difficult to upload mysite. Please i will Really appreciate you, if you can solve this problem behind me and enlighten me more on how to upload a site on my server and Ftp. It's urgent.

Regards

Charles Outwit

JOSE
September 21, 2007 3:50 PM

try abyss webserver ...

Jamie Devine
December 19, 2007 1:11 PM

Hi!
I want to set up a web server (using dell1900 server) I have a BTHOMEHUB... is this possible?
Thanks...

anto
June 7, 2008 7:35 PM

hi sir i want to upload my webpage i does't have seperate domain for that but tell me some websites for free domain for that and how to upload my webpage or webpage in that.
thank u in advance

steve
July 10, 2008 8:46 AM

please i have my web site, i have design it only to host it and am looking for cheap and afordable web hosters,
thanks stsvs

Ashee
August 7, 2008 11:00 PM

hey man!,
i'VE jst published a webpage through windows publisher.
i have a free domain from co.cc
but how do i link my published document to my URL??

Ian
August 10, 2008 5:13 AM

Try a cheap web host rather than doing this alone.

I'd recommend a Linux host, Windows tends to cost more, and Linux is more available, hence you can move your code between hosts better later if you use Linux.

I tried hosting a site myself once. It put up electric bills, increased hack attacks on my PC, and the site wasn't that fast for people accessing it anyway.

Just find any cheap web host, I've gone with beachyuk.com, but there are loads out there like them. I'm paying £10 a year (that's about $5) for a basic package. That's peanuts, and saves me the hassle of doing a DIY job on it, it's also a lot faster than when hosted down my domestic broadband line.

Alex
December 15, 2008 7:43 AM

First I would like to say if you going to host your server, I wouldnt go with any form of windows server, rather learn something new and go with a linux server,and learn some command line, if you really need to have a GUI to do everything then use something like Ubuntu Server. In my opinion Id rather pay a hosting service to host my websites than run my own server, I recommend hostmonster.com

ketan
January 2, 2009 9:39 AM

I wan to know that I have static ip .now i want to use my pc as a server then how can i do it.what to configure?

please let me know

Ketan Raval
http://letsnurture.co.cc

mohit
February 13, 2009 11:04 AM

We have a server in my compny which denied all the request to open the site Request denied by the server and shows this message in the bracket (WatchGuard HTTP proxy.
Reason: one or more categories denied helper='WebBlocker.1' details='News'

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Method: GET
Host: timesofindia.indiatimes.com
Path: /)
.How can we browse the site without being identified by the server security.

Zakary
February 14, 2009 7:24 PM

What a way not to answer the question posed.
Instead of giving valid info for how to go about this, you state it is really hard to do and all the potential hardships. I hate this kind of thing ... I find it in a search engine and the very opposite of what you are looking for information about is given.

ultra lame.

You need a Domain Name. Buy one from a reputable company ... and as a precaution, make sure that company has a nameserver that can point to your ip address.

dyndns.com is a good option. do not buy from google, although reputable, in this one area it is a pain in the neck to get things transferred.

it is easier to use an all in one web hosting solution, but there are a ton of reasons that make hosting your own server worth while. THAT EDUCATION is one of those reasons.

Ubuntu makes a server and is free... linux is a good solid option in general, unless you are doing something with ASP... then you need to spend the cash on a Windows solution.

letsnurture
March 19, 2009 11:39 PM

I static ip and I have tried to follow your instruction but still not able to configure it as a live server..

Have configured lan IP , configured router too...
Please help me to configure live server

[link removed]

majora64
July 25, 2009 10:44 AM

well I think Il go with
hostmonster.com cause my windows cant Idenefy the
connectin when I make it static

anil
August 21, 2009 12:18 AM

I have domain registered and having good internet connection, with windows2003 server and wanted to host my domain. Can you tell me step by step procedure to host my own site?

HtmlGifted
September 9, 2009 6:54 PM

Posted by: steve at July 10, 2008 8:46 AM

hey man!,
i'VE jst published a webpage through windows publisher.
i have a free domain from co.cc
but how do i link my published document to my URL??
wanted to ask you for that co.cc address need to tuch base with them.. thanks..

also will this go good with hosting from xampp?

Adam
December 18, 2009 12:19 PM

Technically this page is absolutely correct, but clearly written from the viewpoint of a ‘techie’ and not that of an entrepreneur. This page will be undoubtedly stumbled upon by the plucky entrepreneur who is looking to develop and test a site of his/her own in a test environment before giving it the public test. Whilst I understand that this is not a ‘how-to’ guide, I feel that pointing people to sources such a www.joomla.org would give great practical insight. Furthermore, I’m doubtful that IT professional users would require such advice (and as business/professional users) they would be the only users with the ability to utilise IIS. This is not a service that can be used by the average user.
- If you have returned this as a search, and you are looking to 1- Get to grips with how you can host your own website OR 2 – Want to try doing it yourself, visit www.joomla.org. Its opensource (at this stage you may not need to worry what that means- but it is free ?) and really take your time. Oh and good luck.... Adam

scott
March 16, 2010 2:09 PM

Good info,probably will try my own server but will I will stick with client hosting at www.snazflash.com

Mick Beli
July 24, 2010 11:56 PM

can you please tell us more about speed, if i have adsl connection, Is it going to be too slow if i host it from my place, i mean upload becase it is adsl, i am not quite sure about it, thank you.

regards,
mick
__________
web design sydney

Probably. The "A" in ADSL stands for asymmetric, meaning that the upload speed is slower than the download speed. When you host a server in your home when someone out on the internet accesses it you are in essence "uploading" from your home to them the pages that they want to view. Unless you have an extremely fast internet connection I would guess this will be too slow. Check with your ISP. They may also have restrictions on hosting servers out of your home as well.
Leo
25-Jul-2010

http://www.forex4you.com/
December 28, 2010 1:58 AM

I have booked a wordpress domain. Can i host it on differerent server than of wordpress is it possible to do so???

shiva
April 25, 2011 12:01 PM

hi,

i created few webpages, which is using by 1000 users/day , i want to host in internet for wide area ...can let me know procedure for that .................shiva

BDN RAO
July 26, 2011 11:08 AM

I have gone through the above article. It is good. Please let me know whether any mapping is required for the doman name to the static IP Machine i.e., the server where the web site is to be hosted and how and where to configure it whether in IIS or elsewhere?
Regards,
BDN RAO.

José San Pedro
November 3, 2011 2:28 PM

i want to host my website, but i thought that only with an static ip i was able to do that. dynamic ip its ok too? how my server will respond to a dynamic a ip? if it keeps changing all the time?

thanks ind advance....

Mark J
November 3, 2011 3:22 PM

@José
It's generally best to have a static IP address, but a dynamic IP is possible with a dynamic DNS service which updates the DNS with your new IP number when it changes. This might work with a small experimental website, but probably won't handle any serious web traffic. Don't forget, with most ISPs upload speeds are only about 1/3 to 1/4 as fast as download speeds and your web server would be uploading most of the time.

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