If you’re a developer/blogger who is tech-savvy and just plain adventurous, you might feel confident enough to host a domain/website on your own. That’s right, in your basement (if you live in a part of the world where most people have one) or maybe just in your own bedroom. If you think a hosting company like us wouldn’t even want to broach the topic with you–you’re mistaken! We are as geeky as some of you are and appreciate those with a taste of adventure.
If you’re in the group which isn’t sure exactly how to host a domain or website on your own, let’s explore this:
A few steps on how to host your domain or website:
1.Register a domain name
There are several websites that could choose to register your domain name. You will also realise once you visit a good domain registration website is that a domain with a .COM extension is not your only option.
2.Code your website
If you’re in a hurry, you could customize an existing template from WordPress. If you have more time on your hands or are determined to code your website from scratch, using PHP is a good way to go-considering WordPress is largely built on PHP.
3.Find out what your IP address is
4.Point your domain name to the IP address of your computer
Get a static IP address to your machine within your network. A static IP address is an IP unchanging number that identifies your machine within the network. Your router stands between your machine and the rest of the internet. Give your router the IP address for which you are opening up the port to be accessible by the rest of the internet.
5.Find out if your ISP supports hosting
You may have issues here based on your bandwidth quota. You don’t want to find out that your internet connection has been suspended because of one harmless experiment!
6.Ensure your computer at home can support hosting
The machine you decide to host your domain/website on will have to be running 24X7 and will need to be kept cool to avoid overheating and crashes.
7.Ensure your computer is secured
Make sure you have the latest updates to your OS and security features
8.Download the AMP software
AMP is the shortened version of the Apache, Mysql, PHP web stack. Here’s one you could try if you’re a Windows user. It’s called WampServer.
9.Follow the installation instructions in the link above
10.Copy your website’s source code into the WampServer root folder
11.Start your AMP server
Your website will now be live!
Reasons to host your own domain/website:
- For learning and fun!
It is a good experience and introduces you to a whole new world. You could dive from hosting to programming to web design and the world is your oyster. Another reason you learn a lot is that by hosting a domain/website you are free to make whatever system changes you like.
- You have an idea and just want to test it out:
A risky move. If this idea involves a sample group of customers–first impressions are of utmost importance. A self-hosted website (as cool as it was settling it up) is unlikely to do justice.
- You think hosting is expensive:
This is a huge myth. There are several web hosting options available starting from as low as $ 0.49/month at ResellerClub. Plus, the benefits outweigh the cost as a good hosting package can provide services that you really can’t match at home like security, backups, etc
So, finally-here’s where you may face some bumps:
Your computer needs to stay on at all times. If your computer reboots, shuts down, is hacked or has no power connection, your website will be unavailable.
- Performance and visitor experience
Even if you have a high-speed connection from your ISP, it will not be near enough to match the speed a good hosting company can provide. Considering the stats on how long visitors wait for a website to load (less than 3 seconds), self-hosting is not a good idea for a serious website.
There are numerous potential security threats to websites and the machines they are hosted on-including yourself. You could corrupt or delete essential files with fatal consequences. With regards to online threats, you’ll need everything from security certificates, firewalls and malware removers to be completely secure. These are all paid services and you might as well get a good deal with a hosting company.
- You will not be able to host high traffic websites
The bandwidth your ISP provides you will definitely not come close to what you will require with a website with a lot of visitor traffic. Only with a hosting company can you get the right deal to match your website requirements.
- You will dedicate almost all your time to your website
This would involve monitoring your website, maintaining your machine’s hardware and ensuring your server software is up-to-date.
- You will need to pay huge electricity bills
As we mentioned before, your machine will need to be running 24X7.
Like we said at the beginning, this is no reason to discourage you. Try it out. Those who have can guarantee that the learning is immense. Once you’re done with your experiment, try hosting your website with a good hosting provider. You can just sit back, relax and focus your energies on just scaling up your web business.