Creating a web server hardware-wise has never been much of a risky endeavor or gone much beyond (I need reliable, powerful components, with a lot of RAM) so for today I’m going to teach you how to host your own web server on the more difficult, software end of things using “Wamp Server”
Before we jump right into it let talk about WHY IS THIS USEFUL!!!
Having a personal web server is very convenient for as far as I can tell 4 major factors.
- Unlimited bandwidth
- No limits on type of content hosted
- Once it’s setup, it works through your regular Internet connection
- Allows you to test things without using bandwidth
Though there is one major drawback. You on your own to protect the site from hackers.
1) Setting up DynDNS
First before you even get started with creating the web server you are going to need to need an account at dyndns.com When you have finished creating your account go and login > click on account > add host services (under “my hosts”). Your only allowed 1 of these for a free account but that’ll be more than enough. You’ll be at a form that is going to give you a url to be used for your site. While people with static IP’s can just use that as a site, people with dynamic IP addresses never have the same address for long. Which makes it hard for anyone to really use your site. DynDNS will watch your IP as it changes and give you a url that directs to whatever your current IP is. So finish up the form, leave Wildcard, Service Type, and Mail Routing alone for now and create your host. Then go here and download the DynDNS Updater and install it. You’ll need to input a bit of your account info but not much.
2) Installing WAMP Server
The reason we are using wamp instead of simply apache is because WAMP installs PHP and MySQL along with Apache and sets it up for it.
IMPORTANT: before you install wamp configure your router to forward through port 80 make sure DynDNS also knows this as well as your firewall if you have one. Otherwise while you’ll have access to your site no one else will.
Go here to download & install Wamp server. Start it immediately after the installation. Open up your web browser and go to http://localhost. You should see this page above. Now by putting items in C:\wamp\www you can make your own site.
3) Adding Stuff
Well, as you can tell by the front page you have PHP and MySQL already configured on your web server. What can these be used for? Well you can host a wiki with MediaWiki.
You can host a blog with wordpress.
Do all sorts of things with the Content Management System Joomla.
Even host your own photo gallery with the aptly named “Gallery”
To add things like this you would go to their sites, download the binary and extract it in a folder in that directory. Then you would setup a database for the “web application” your downloading by going to http://localhost/phpmyadmin/ , typing in the database name and clicking create as shown below.
IMPORTANT: You only have to do this once but, go to phpMyAdmin>privileges>edit the “root” user > change his password. Open up wamp\apps\phpmyadmin2.10.1\config.inc.php in your favorite text editor and look for this
$cfg[‘Servers’][$i][‘user’] = ‘root’; // MySQL user
$cfg[‘Servers’][$i][‘password’] = ”; // MySQL password
Insert the password in between the 2 colons and save after this follow the instructions given by the web app and when it asks for a database put in the name of the 1 you had just created. Also when you see part of the installation form that that mentions the location of the site. leave it ass http://localhost.
And that’s it, now get working on that site!