How can I use my old computer as a server for my websites?

deepak kapoor April 18, 2011
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I have an old computer and I have some sites. I want to use it to host my sites at it because the hosting is a bit expensive. I want to know how can I do it. Step by step instructions required.

  1. MadKrupt
    April 25, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    There are some great lightweight full packages out there, that will provide you a good base stack to run any kinda of website you want (with scripting of various languages, FTP server support, MySQL or other database back ends, so on).

    I highly recommend the following:

    XAMPP ( http://www.apachefriends.org/en/index.html ) - its super easy to get started, portable, has good control panel/GUI, and will provide all the power you need. I use this software all the time, and always come back to it.

    Small HTTP server ( http://smallsrv.com/ ) - does http, mail, ftp, dns, dhcp but I've only used it for http. It very light weight, simple setup, extention/customization is still gui/interactive. Definitly limited if you decide to go large with webhosting, but if your looking for something small check it out

    WAMPServer ( http://www.wampserver.com/ ) - Control Panel GUI, very similar to XAMPP

    All of the above options are for windows, for Mac/Linux, there are similar setups.
    Basically if your looking for free and easy look for different variations of what are called LAMP/WAMP:

    LAMP - Linux, Apache server, Mysql server, Perl ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LAMP_%28software_bundle%29 )

    WAMP - Windows, Apache server, Mysql server, Perl ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WAMP )

    List of AMP Packages for Windows/Mac/Linux ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_AMP_packages )

    Comparison of WAMPs ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_WAMPs )

    That doesn't specify specific configuration but XAMPP or alteratives will pretty much hold your hand through the configs. Hope this is helpful.

    -MadKrupt-

  2. Richard Head
    April 20, 2011 at 4:52 pm

    Broadband provider T&C often say you can't host a server but they'll probably only take action (like disconnect you!) if the websites are commercial or high traffic - but in any case commercial/high traffic on a home connection would be a poor decision in so many other ways too.
    A lot of ISPs give you a bit of space on their servers, it makes more sense to use that if it's things like a website of photos to share with family and friends (but still not commercial/high traffic). That "free" ISP webspace is unlikely to offer anything more technical than straightforward HTML web page support (no databases for example).

  3. Deepak Kapoor
    April 19, 2011 at 8:28 am

    Thanx a lot people! that really helped me a lot..
    i am into it and will bring it in action pretty soon. :D

  4. Mike
    April 18, 2011 at 11:14 pm

    A general guide is to:
    1. setup a Web Server (httpd) on your computer
    2. setup Port Forwarding on your Router (Port 80 for http, Port 443 for https)
    3. get a Domain (if you have a Dynamic IP you'll want to use something like DynDNS)

    http://www.siolon.com/blog/host-your-own-website-tutorial/
    http://www.ehow.com/how_2362054_host-own-website-home.html
    http://www.gwy.org/host.html

    Giving you a step by step guide is kind of impossible. Depending on your Operating System, Network and requirements there are different options.

    If you are using Windows you could install Microsoft IIS, Apache or use some ready to use server bundle (WAMP, LAMP, BitNami). While server bundles are fine for small sites you'll want to use Apache or IIS for larger user groups.

    Another option would be to install some UNIX or BSD-Based Operating System and then get Apache, nginx or lighttpd up and running to host your sites.

    Doing the Port Forward on your Router shouldn't be too hard. This should be explained in your Routers manual or help page.

    In general if you have a Dynamic IP you need some dynamic DNS Service because Second-level Domains (example.com) are not designed for frequent IP changes. As mentioned before DynDNS is one option (you will then have something like yourname.dyndns.org).
    If you do want to have a 2nd-level Domain (e.g. yourname.com) you can then point it to your DynDNS Address instead. Doing it this way will prevent outages of 12-48 hours duo to DNS Updates and their TTL.

    Since you want to host several sites you might have to create VirtualHost entries (or Sites as they are called in IIS). How to do this highly depends on the previous setup.

  5. Hozefa KB
    April 18, 2011 at 8:23 pm
    • Deepak Kapoor
      April 19, 2011 at 8:36 am

      i alreaddy read it.

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