A newbie stupid server question...
I have a question. I understand that websites are hosted on a server, but if you buy a server can you host your own site with it? Will you still need an ISP? Can someone clarify to me what other than a server a person might need, including software..... in order to host his own site. Are there any advantages? Please... I need a good insightful answer to this question. Thank you so much guys.
Well, it all depends. If you bought the server, stuck it in your closet, then yes, you will still need an ISP. You have to have some way to hook into the Internet. Basically, you just need an IP address, which an ISP assigns. Once an IP is assigned, then you can just type in that IP into a web browser and it should connect to your server (of coruse, you've got to set-up some stuff on the server...).
However, you can go the easier route and buy a server from a company. This company, for a monthly fee, would give your server internet access and have the software set-up on it. A company that does this can be found here (I'm not recommending them, I've never used them):
Now, I'm not a Linux expert (I"m sure their is some kinda bootable server off of a CD or something), but I do know this. You will need an OS, like Windows or Linux. Then you would need some kind of server software. You can use Microsoft IIs for this or Apache Web server (www.apache.org). I would recommend Apache b/c I have used them, its open source (so well documented), their is plenty of help, and it wasn't too hard (digging through the config file is a little daunting at first).
If you want to see what it's like running your own server, just download Apache and have it run locally! You can act like it's on the web, it's just you are the only one that can access it. I do this on my local machine so I can preview my changes (I use SSI) without uploading it. I also like to write PHP scripts w/out an internet connection, so I just test em using Apache.
Unless you have 24/7 to dedicate to your server, using an already established host would be your best bet.
Running your own server can be costly. If you are running a traffic dependent site (say you expect your site to receive 2 million hits a day), you would want to have a super high-speed connection for your server to the net as to not cause congestion on your site. But with bandwidth comes major cost.
If you go to a server host, you will see lots of different packages. Before you pick a host, think of everything your site(s) will require. How much physical space will you need to host all of your files? How much bandwidth will your site(s) require? etc.. All packages offer different features.
But between the two, a server host is much less time intensive and will allow you to concentrate on site design, structuring, developing, etc..
To develop what etheracide said...
Running a server from your house is a really neat thing to do. You gain experience and perspective. However, it can be time consuming learning everything and it might become expensive. If your setting this up for a real business I would recommend paying somebody else to host your website, or at least renting/buying a server from somebody like rackspace.com.
Where do you get bandwidth and how much does it cost?
Where can one find out how much bandwidth is and how much he needs? I was thinking about buying my own server too. I want to start up my own web business and so i should get like 1000 hits a day. But i dont want the site congested. how much is bandwidth? where can i get it from? How much are servers?
You would get it from some ISP. Not all ISPs allow people to run web servers from their homes. A server can be anywhere from $300 USD to $3000+ USD. You're thinking of a server as a computer. Technically a server is just software running on a computer. You can get Linux with the Apache web server for free.
Administrating a web server is a lot of work and requires a lot of technical knowledge and skills. Since you are obviously new to this, I really recommend you just find a reliable web host and buy hosting from them.
P.S. In the future, please don't post in threads that are more than a few months old -- start a new one instead.
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