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Beginners Guides: Website Hosting From A Home PC

Beginners Guides: Website Hosting From A Home PC - PCSTATS
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

Domain names and websites

Do you have to register a domain to have a website?

No. The advantage of paying for a domain name is that you get to choose an easy and memorable word that people can type into their browsers to reach your website. Otherwise there are many free services that will cheerfully provide you with one of a limited set of domain names, and you can even just use your IP address as the way to contact your website (though this will not work if you have a dynamic IP connection, more on that below). We'll go into these services in more detail later in the article.

Static IP versus dynamic IP

If you want to host a website, you need to know whether your ISP assigns your PC a static (rarely changing) or dynamic IP address. Many cable-based ISPs provide static addresses, while most DSL providers use dynamic IP addresses which change every time your computer connects to the internet. There are exceptions to both of these rules though, so the best way is to contact your provider and ask. Alternately, you can monitor your IP address over the course of a couple of days of normal use (including connecting and disconnecting from the Internet if you are using DSL) to see if it changes.

A static IP address is very easy to host a website with, while dynamic addresses introduce a few more complexities. It's quite possible to do it either way though, so don't worry.

As above, to check your Internet IP address, sit at the computer your DSL or cable modem is connected to and go to 'start\run' and type 'cmd' to bring up the command prompt, then type 'ipconfig'.

If you use a router or Internet sharing device, go to the status menu to check it's current IP address. Make note of this IP number.

Part 2: Hosting a Website andInstalling IIS

Now let's get down to business. To host a website on your home PC, you will need to have Microsoft's IIS (Internet Information Server) installed on a Windows XP Professional or Windows NT/2000 system. There are other hosting programs out there, like Apache, but that is beyond the scope of this guide.

The first order of business is to make sure you have IIS installed. Go to 'control panel\add or remove programs'. Next, click the 'add/remove Windows components' button on the left.

From the new window, scroll down until you find 'Internet Information Services (IIS)'. Check this entry if necessary, then Double click it. If it is already checked this means IIS is installed on the computer.

Scroll to the bottom and ensure that the World Wide Web service is checked. Uncheck the SMTP and FTP service for now. Click OK, then OK again. If IIS was not previously installed, you will need to insert the original Windows Installation CD to install it now.

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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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