How do I host my own website on my computer from home?

Jun 28th, 2015

Below is a typical question about web hosting at home:

1. I have to keep it on all the time (well when I want the website to be up (I will have closing times)
2. I installed WAMP Server, working fine (Windows – Apache – MySQL- PHP5)
3. I have got my outside IP
4. ISP allows non-commercial servers
5. I am over 13 years of age
6. I want to host a MediaWiki site
7. I want to host a PHPBB3 forum site
8. I want to host a chat site

I am a person who:
Knows how to programme in MediaWiki
Knows how to programme in PHPBB
Knows how to programme in PHP
Knows how to edit file systems such as BOOTSECT
Knows about files (yes I passed university on electronics ICT programme)
Has past experience with free hosting websites

My question: How do I host my own website on my computer?
My friend did it on his and I have seen it on his actual PC, he calls through localhost and calls his external IP and it is 100% free and legal to both ISP and law. He won’t tell me how he did it because he wants to host me on it for free, but I want my own with 24/7 access on my PC, I will redirect my external IP path with dynamic IP.

One Mistake Site Owners Do To Kill Their Online Business from the Start

Many website users thought that they could minimize expenses if they host their websites on their own home server. They thought this idea would eventually give them the same result as hosting their website from a paid host.

Unfortunately, hosting from a home server may cost you more in the long run. It may cost you the hardware and in higher electricity bills in the beginning, and cost you downtime and headache in the end.

The horror of setting up and maintaining a home web server

Although using your own home servers will give you total control, however it wouldn’t be easy especially for beginners. First, you need to purchase your own equipments which is more costly than getting web hosting service. Aside from that you need to secure the place.

You need to keep it clean, cool, and safe for your servers. It might cost you additional for electricity expenses. Additionally, you need to set it up correctly, which isn’t advisable if you are a beginner in this area.

How to Save Money and Have No Downtime with Your Website

Thus, when you want a safer, less expensive and less hassle option, it is better to get a paid web hosting service. First of all, they will manage the servers for you. All you need to do is to manage your websites.

Secondly, it is cheaper for you than to buy your own equipment. And most of all, majority of web hosting providers support multi-domain hosting feature, so you can host multiple websites (even your friend’s or your family’s website) and save more money.

Why Hosting at Home is not Recommended

  • A binding service level agreement (SLA) is one thing a residential broadband connection does not come with. If the connection is down for a day or two, all one can expect to get is sympathy, a possible apology, and maybe a few dollars refund.
  • Dealing with service providers, part 1: DSL and cable providers are not always hospitable to Web hosting. Some ISPs block ports needed for hosting (for example, http, ftp, sftp and ssh ports).
  • Few homes have redundant Internet connections, or alternative power sources. Using multiple network providers (cable and DSL, or two separate ISPs) is a possible way to get connection redundancy, as long as the providers do not use the same Internet backbone.
  • Most ISPs provide dynamic IP addresses to home users, which means that the server’s IP address changes every few days or even every few hours. A fixed IP address is better for hosting a server, and is recommended even if incurs an additional cost from the ISP.
  • The server shares bandwidth with every connected device in the household. When the server gets busy, everyone else waits for Web pages or audio/video streams to download. So, once a site gets popular, be prepared for complaints from all other members of the household.
  • Standard DSL (at least in the US) is asymmetric, offering a download rate of 1.5 Mbit per second, and an upload rate that is 1/4 to 1/2 of that speed. This may be enough for personal Web pages that are reviewed only a few times a day, but once the hosted site becomes popular, or if there are large files for viewing or download, viewers may experience lags or even failures (time-outs) when they attempt to access the server.
  • Unlike hosted servers, there is little option to upgrade or downgrade the system, without incurring additional costs.
  • Any server, and especially the clunker salvaged from disposal to pose as a server, inevitably generates noise from the processor and power supply fans, from the hard drives and from other mechanical storage devices.
  • When one hosts at home, there is no one else to blame. The host is now responsible for securing the server, auditing, patching and updating the software, intrusion prevention, backing up and restoring data, diagnosing problems, maintaining hardware and restarting the server when necessary.
  • Unless one uses a physically separate network for hosting, personal computers will share the same network as the server. While a firewall on the router can block access to these machines, the server must be open to the world.

How to Host Your Website for Free

If you are not sure which host to use, try Webfaction. You can them without any fee for one month. Click here to claim the free trial.

Why we recommend Webfaction for new website owners?

  • Webfaction provides a 60-day moneyback guarantee on all plans so you can try them risk free.
  • Many hosting plans to upgrade to, from premium shared packages to managed servers (as compared to many providers offering unlimited-everything one-package hosting plan which may not live to some expectations).
  • Customer service and their tech support are second to none (fluent English speaking knowledgeable tech support as compared to the oversea-outsourced support by many other hosting providers).
  • You can try before you buy. Click here to try Webfaction now. No credit card required, no commitment, instant activation. Full functionality to test and see if the service and plan can meet your requirements.
  • If your website audience are from India, Malaysia, Indonesia or anywhere in Asia, you can opt for their server in Singapore.

Try a Web Hosting Plan for Only $0.01

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Hostgator is highly recommended by many experienced webmasters because HG:

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  • has Fantastico and QuickInstall to quickly install apps like WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Magento and more,
  • has a very good Site Builder,
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  • unlike other one-plan hosting companies, Hostgator shared plans can be upgraded to VPS or dedicated hosting if and when your business require

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We hope our answer about php5 hosting has helped to solve your problem. Please leave a comment in the box below.

  1. Tracy L
    Feb 26th, 2011 at 13:20
    Quote | #1

    Well you are nearly setup if all you say you have done is live.

    Localhost should be working NOW if WAMP is installed and running! Try it from your laptop. If it is not working now as you say you are setup then you need to find out why cause your server isn’t running if it doesn’t work.

    For a web server to work you have to get the IP to see your computer.. most of the time this is done with a live URL..
    like yourdomain.com etc. So register a domain, then at the same location have them register some nameservers for you or have them run nameservers for you. Point the nameservers at your IP!

    Second if you are behind a router with your computer (you can connect it directly to some DSL/Cable lines) you will need to forward the following services
    Port 21 (for FTP)
    Port 23 (for SSH)
    Port 25 (for mail)
    Port 53 (for DNS if you run the DNS servers)
    Port 80 (for webserver)
    Port 110 (for SMTP mail)
    Port 443 (for secure https –if needed)
    Forward these ports to your laptops nated IP like 192.168.0.101 etc.. once that is done you can reach your website from the web using your IP or if you registered a domain name with the domain!

    Your firewall will also need to accept traffic to these ports.

  2. Ahmad
    Feb 26th, 2011 at 13:20
    Quote | #2

    Did you forward traffic to port 80 to your local machine from your router/firewall? You seem to have pretty much done everything else.

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