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Beginners Guides: Website Hosting From A Home PC

Beginners Guides: Website Hosting From A Home PC - PCSTATS
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Abstract: Obstacles like IIS and dynamic IP addresses can make the process of running a website off a home broadband internet connection complicated.
Filed under: Beginners Guides Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: PCSTATS Aug 31 2005   Mike Dowler  
Home > Reviews > Beginners Guides > PCSTATS

Beginners Guides: Website Hosting From A Home PC


Obstacles like IIS and dynamic IP addresses can make the process of running a website off a home broadband internet connection complicated... There are several tricks you'll need to know to get it working, so follow along and get clicking! - Version 1.0.0

Websites are still cool. It doesn't matter how many badly designed personal sites there are out there with questionable flash animations and animated GIFs abounding; the fact is that a website still offers you almost unlimited room for personal expression, with the added side-bonus of potentially being useful.

If you want a website badly enough, there are many service providers that will be only too willing to design the site for you, then host it on one of their servers for a monthly fee. If you have the cash, you can have a website of your own quickly and easily.

But what if you have the ideas but not the cash? Why pay someone else to host your website for you when you can easily do it yourself on the home computer over a broadband Internet connection?

In this guide, PCSTATS will explore the process of hosting a website from your home computer using a broadband Internet connection. For the sake of simplicity, we'll stick to using Microsoft's IIS (Internet Information Server) to render the site, and help you deal with the issues of dynamic IP addresses, among other potential home-based web hosting problems.

We'll leave the details of creating your own HTML website up to you. There are plenty of freely available programs that can help you do this, and of course you can always just use Notepad to code up the HTML by hand, so no excuses. We're only interested in the hard parts of hosting a website from a home PC!

Note: Since this PCSTATS beginner's guide only covers using Microsoft's IIS application to host websites, users of Windows XP Home edition or Windows 98SE/ME are out of luck. Unfortunately, IIS is not included with these operating systems. We may produce a guide on using a third-party web hosting program like Apache later on, depending on reader interest. For the purposes of this guide,Windows NT/2000/XP Professional will all work.

Before we get going, we need to get familiar with a few basic concepts, namely DNS (Domain Name System) and IP (Internet Protocol) addresses and how they are used when hosting a website. The following descriptions are slightly (or not so slightly) simplified, but they will suffice for our objective.

Understanding IP Addresses

IP (Internet Protocol) addresses are the backbone of computer networking, both on the Internet and in your home network. They are the 'phone numbers' that allow computers to locate and communicate with each other across networks.

An IP Address is made up of 4 sets of decimal numbers, 0-255, separated by periods (for example, 192.168.44.251) which form the address of a computer on the Internet or within a local network, and allow it to be referenced by other computers.

In order to view a website, or to allow others to view your website, your computer must have a valid Internet IP address in order to exchange data with a web server or the potential readers of your website.

Your Internet Service Provider allocates your home PC a valid Internet IP address when it connects to the Internet. Depending on the provider, this IP address may stay the same for long periods (static IP) or may change frequently (dynamic IP).

A computer can have multiple IP addresses assigned to it. If your computer connects both to the Internet via your provider's cable/DSL modem and to a home network, you will have a separate IP address for each connection.

To view your IP address information, go to 'start\run' and type 'cmd' to bring up the command prompt, then type 'ipconfig'. This will list all the IP addresses your computer is currently using. If you use a home router or other Internet sharing device, check its status page to find out your Internet IP address. If you are not sure how to do this, consult the manual for the device.

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Contents of Article: PCSTATS
 Pg 1.  — Beginners Guides: Website Hosting From A Home PC
 Pg 2.  Understanding DNS
 Pg 3.  Domain names and websites
 Pg 4.  Patches and IIS Options
 Pg 5.  Making a website Accessible from the Internet
 Pg 6.  Hosting a website on a dynamic IP Internet connection
 Pg 7.  Hosting a website on a static IP Internet connection

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