How To Create Your Own Server At Home For Web Hosting
Are you looking to set up your very own website? Chances are that you must have browsed around for web hosting. Did you find the cost too high? Well, you can do that with your home server! All you need is the necessary hardware and a reliable internet connection. This is a good idea as it can save you tons of money on hosting costs along with giving you more options on the software your server can support.
Working With The Hardware
If you want to host a website, the first step in that direction is to select the hardware that can host it reliably. In order to do so, you first need to think about the future probably usage. This includes asking yourself questions like how many users do you expect and how much storage you will require? What kind of processing power will suit you? Coming to the financials, there is some good news. If you are working on a limited budget, you can always make do with what you currently have and you wouldn’t have to purchase anything new. In most cases, even an old PC can efficiently run the software you require for your web server. However, one thing to keep in mind here is that older versions of computer might not be able to satisfy your power requirements, especially if you need to run the server across the day and night.
Choosing Your Operating System
Once you have decided on the hardware, the next step to build a server for the website is to think about the operating system. There are two major options – Microsoft Windows or Linus. Recent research tells us that a whopping 70% of servers out there are running on Linus right now. While the reason for this is many, in most cases, it is financially beneficial and more user-friendly.
If you want to go ahead with a Windows web server, it is still a good choice. One thing to note here is the fact that you will require a Windows license. Linus, on the other hand, is open source and completely free. It is also more customizable than Windows. Linus servers are also known for being more secure. But, if you keep your software up to date and configure your server properly, you will be safe, regardless of the OS you choose.
DIY web hosting needs a reliable internet connection. It needs to be sufficient enough to handle your web traffic. This is where you need to check out your upload and download speeds since it is common that residential or home data connections usually have a good enough download speed but a poor upload speed. The upload speed is important since it is the factor which will determine how fast your website data is uploaded to each visitor to your website. All the users simultaneously accessing your website will share this connection so the speed needs to be really good. If you are not sure about the speed, you can always use effective online speed checking tools. If you are not getting sufficient speed, you should consider changing your provider. It is also a good idea to see if you have any cap on your data limits.
Setting Up And Configuring The Server
Now that you have chosen your hardware, the OS, and have established a reliable internet connection, it is now time set up the software required to host your website. This is based on the OS that you have chosen. With Windows Server installation, you can install the IIS, a web server add-on. Microsoft provides a support document that will guide you through the steps.
However, if you have chosen to move ahead with Linus, you can choose between Apache, Lighttpd or NGINX and install it. While Apache is the most popular one, the others are good too. Apache has a lot of user manuals online and can be easily installed. To allow the web traffic to communicate with your web server, you might need to open up the home router and the firewall. The ports 80 and 443 are the most important ones with regards to web traffic.
There is plenty of help found online on how you can open the ports of your router to allow communication. After you have set up the server and configured it accordingly, do a check. Visit your server on a browser. Most servers have a test page that will show up when it loads successfully. Later on, you can load your website files here. To maintain this web server, you might require some tools, most of which are available easily online. They will make your life very easy indeed.
Setting Up Domain Name
Now that you have done all the major, techy things, you are almost done. The last step is to set up your domain name so that you will have a digital identity and your users will be able to locate you. Before you do this, your visitors can only find you by keying in your web server’s IP address. Instead of what may seem like gibberish and numbers, users would always prefer to use a relevant and sensible address.
Domain names usually come at a cost. But, if you are determined not to spend money, you can register a sub-domain for free. There are some services out there which can help you with this. No-IP is one example of this. Once you have a domain name, set up relevant DNS entries pointing to your server’s IP address. Keep in mind that this will usually take some time to reflect.
Now, you know how to create your own server at home for web hosting. It means you are all set and are saving loads! Besides saving money on fees, you are also making sure that data is secure since it is in your control. You can run any type of website on your server as well.