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Saturday, April 11, 2009

HOW TO HOST YOUR OWN WEBSITE

The internet opens doors to a wide audience. Whether you want to publish your work portfolio online or want to be approachable to a larger audience, hosting your own website enables you to do it all. Here are some basic steps to help you host your own website:

1. High Speed Internet Connection
You will need a cable or a DSL modem for a high speed internet connection that is always on. This will allow people to visit your Web site 24 hours a day. A dialup telephone modem is not good enough. A small or medium web site will consume between 1GB and 5GB of data transfer per month.

2. A Loaded Computer
Instead of using your own computer to host your site, you should have a separate computer dedicated to the task. A good processor, lots of memory and a large hard disk are ideal. You will also require an IP address for this computer. A small or medium web site will need between 10 and 100MB of disk space.

3. A Web Server
A web server is the software that runs your Web site. You need to install a server in the computer hosting your site. Internet Information Server and Apache are good quality servers. Some ISPs also provide web hosting. Expect each HTML page to take up between 5 and 50KB of disk space on your web server, depending on the use of images and other space consuming elements.

4. A Domain Name
This is the name that you give your site and people search it by. You get a domain name by paying a fee to a registrar like register.com for the right to use that name. Then your domain name and site's information is stored on a DNS (Domain Name System) server. This server is responsible for informing all other computers on the internet about your domain name and your site address.

5. Designing and Uploading Your Website
Use a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) web editor like Dreamweaver or KompoZer to design your site. Such editors allow you to design your site visually. Adding key words and links enhances search engine promotion vis-à-vis your site. You can improve and update your website on your own.

Remember to configure your router to forward connections on port 80 to your web server and configure Windows firewall to allow your web server to communicate on port 80. Also, by setting the upload/download speeds equal on your router, you will be able to upload at the same speed with which you download. Go ahead and work on your own site but always remember to take safety precautions and back up!

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