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Use my Windows XP Professional Computer to host my Web Site?

Posted on 2004-04-11
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Last Modified: 2010-04-20
Hi,
         I will try my best do describe what I need hep for. I have done a fair bit of web page building in my own time for fun, but unfortunately have never got into the hosting side of it or actually uplaoding a page on the internet so am abit in the dark!
         I plan to build a web page in Frontpage which contains an access database in it with cars that I am selling, from there people will be able to look at the individual cars etc, and email me if they are interested.
         I have broadband internet at home and wondered, if i bought a domain name, for example, http://www.EdwardHotchkissCars.co.uk, would i be able to link it so that when people accessed the page, my own computer would host it, so that i do not have to pay a compnay to host it for me? I.e. when they access that page, they directly access the website that is hosted on my computer? Is this possible, as my broadband and computer are always on?
         If this is possible, how do i go about setting it up? Is it possible to make a section of the hard drive that contins the webpage that people are viewing seperate so that the rest of the hardrive is somewhat secure?
        It could be that what I am asking is not possible and the only way for me to do it would be just to buy some webspace from a hosting company and upload the website whenever alterations are made. Any help would be much appreciated as i am looking forward to the project of making and maintaining a website in my free time. Thanks, and sorry if my question seams so long winded!
Yours in need of guidence!
Ed Hotchckiss
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Question by:ejhotchkiss288
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dorward earned 500 total points
ID: 10801779
To host a website (at least in a sensible fashion) on your own machine you need two things:

1. A static ip address, i.e. one that does not change with time or when you reconnect.
2. A service provider that allows you to host websites. Many forbid it in their terms and conditions, and some proactively block incoming connections to port 80 (the standard port for http).

To go about setting it up you need:
1. A webserver running on your PC. I suggest Apache, which is the industry standard. It is freely available from http://httpd.apache.org/
2. The DNS record for your domain name pointing at the external ip address of your computer. This you need to discuss with the company hosting your DNS (who will probably be the people you buy your domain name from).

As far as I know, Windows XP doesn't include any way to limit a piece of software to a specific part of the drive. You could run a virtual machine using something like VMware (http://www.vmware.com/) or install Linux and use chroot or User Mode Linux to limit it. However, this shouldn't be needed as the webserver should limit itself (you would only want to so as to protect yourself from security holes, but Apache has a good security record).

That said, I would still suggest you find yourself a third party host. They can be available from as little as $4/month and you'll probably get better service and less work then should you try self-hosting.
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by:ejhotchkiss288
ID: 10802257
Thanks Alot! Lots of Good Info! Will Get Started!
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